Putin to use close ties with parties to Karabakh conflict along with international formats for settlement
YEREVAN, August 11. /ARKA/. Russia respects the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process within international organizations and will continue its involvement in it, but intends to use also the special nature of its bilateral relations with Azerbaijan and Armenia for settlement, Russia’s Putin said at the meeting with his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts Serzh Sargsyan and Ilham Aliev in Sochi, Novosti-Armenia reported referring to RIA Novosti.
“The special close relationship and common background enables us being sincere in exchanging views on where we are and what shall be done for progress in settling all those problems inherited from the past”, Putin said.
Azerbaijan has largely intensified its military efforts along the line of contact with Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) since the end of July. Over 25 Azerbaijani and six Karabakh servicemen were killed in the latest raid operations and attempts by Azerbaijani troops to attack Karabakh’s positions.
The Karabakh conflict started in 1988 when prevailingly Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh declared withdrawal from Azerbaijan. On December 10, 1991, a referendum was held in Nagorno-Karabakh where 99.89% voted for independence from Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan responded by large-scale military operations that led to loss of control not only over Nagorno-Karabakh itself, but also over seven adjoining areas. About 25-30 thousand people were killed and about a million had to leave their homes during the military operations.
A trilateral cease-fire agreement was signed on May 12, 2004, and has been followed since then.
The ongoing Karabakh peace process started in 1992 under auspices of OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by the USA, Russia and France. –0—