YEREVAN, August 5. /ARKA/. Armenian Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan and Russian Ambassador to Armenia Ivan Volinkin discussed today the current situation on the line of contact between Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan, according to the Armenian defense ministry and the Russian embassy’s joint press release.
Expressing concern over the recent escalation of tension on the contact line and discussing prospects for settling the matter, they stressed the necessity of solving the problem by peaceful means and continuing the negotiation brokered by the OSCE Minsk Group.
Volinkin extended condolences to families of the servicemen killed in the recent military actions.
Raids from the Azerbaijani side became frequent in recent days. According to various sources, more than 25 Azerbaijani and six Nagorno-Karabakh servicemen were killed as a result.
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---