YEREVAN, August 2. /ARKA/. Russian Ambassador to Armenia Ivan Volinking doesn’t think that the current escalation of confrontation in the Karabakh conflict zone may grow into large-scale military actions.
“We are concerned over the situation, since it is wrong to solve problems by military means,” he was quoted by Novosti-Armenia as saying Saturday at a news conference. “It is necessary to reach a truce, to set a ceasefire regime and to persuade the conflicting sides of the necessity of negotiation.”
“We remain stuck to opinion that the matter should be settled by peaceful means,” the ambassador added.
In recent days, Azerbaijan’s raids on the contact line became frequent. As a result, 15 Azerbaijani and three Nagorno-Karabakh servicemen were killed.
Karabakh conflict broke out in 1988 when Karabakh, mainly populated by Armenians, declared its independence from Azerbaijan.
On December 10, 1991, a few days after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a referendum took place in Nagorno-Karabakh, and the majority of the population (99.89%) voted for secession from Azerbaijan.
Afterwards, large-scale military operations began. As a result, Azerbaijan lost control over Nagorno-Karabakh and the seven regions adjacent to it.
Some 30,000 people were killed in this war and about one million people fled their homes.
On May 12, 1994, the Bishkek cease-fire agreement put an end to the military operations. Since 1992, talks brokered by OSCE Minsk Group are being held over peaceful settlement of the conflict. The group is co-chaired by USA, Russia and France. -0---