YEREVAN, September 3. /ARKA/. Russian and Armenian presidents, Vladimir Putin and Serzh Sargsyan, remain steadfast in their determination to settle Karabakh conflict by peaceful means, the presidents said in a joint statement upon today completing talks in Moscow, Novosti-Armenia reports referring to RIA Novosti.
The two countries’ leaders reiterated their commitment to the Karabakh conflict settlement process brokered by OSCE Minsk Group and based on respect for the principles of non-use of force, territorial integrity and national self-determination.
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---