BAKU, Azerbaijan, July 24
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
Russia is taking the concrete steps to prevent further escalation on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border, Spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said.
Zakharova made the remark during a briefing on July 23, Trend reports.
“There is still tension,” spokesperson added. “We are taking concrete steps within the OSCE Minsk Group as one of its co-chairs, as well as acting independently to prevent further escalation.”
“The situation in the conflict zone was considered at a meeting of the OSCE Minsk Group last week, then at the meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council in the presence of all members of the organization,” Zakharova said. “The OSCE Minsk Group’s co-chairs are in constantly contact with the parties.”
“The consultations are planned to be held with the UN Secretariat,” spokesperson said. “A number of statements calling on the parties to show maximum restraint and strictly adhere to the ceasefire regime, including through the Russian presidential administration and the Foreign Ministry, have been made.”
“Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had the urgent conversations with his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts over the phone,” Zakharova said. “This week he discussed the situation with the Azerbaijani and Armenian ambassadors in Moscow. The cooperation is underway through the defense ministries.”
“Yerevan and Baku voice various initiatives aimed at consolidating the truce and intensifying the negotiation process,” spokesperson added. “We discuss them with the parties. We hope that after the restrictions on trips to other countries are lifted, it will be possible to substantively work out the whole range of issues related to the settlement of the conflict [the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict]."
Following continuous ceasefire violations of Armenia's armed forces, the country launched another military provocation against Azerbaijan on July 12. Grossly violating the ceasefire regime, Armenian armed forces opened fire in the direction of Azerbaijan's Tovuz district.
As a result of the appropriate measures, the Armenian armed forces were silenced. The tensions continued on the border, July 12 night. During the night battles, by using artillery, mortars and tanks, the Azerbaijani armed forces destroyed a stronghold, army vehicles.
As a result of the shelling, many houses in the Tovuz district's border villages were damaged.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on the withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding districts.
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