YEREVAN, August 2. / ARKA /. Following the latest clashes along the line of contact between the Armenian troops of Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijani forces that claimed at least the lives of 15 Azerbaijani and three Armenian servicemen the Russian foreign ministry said it is "concerned about the escalation of violence" around the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Maria Zakharova, deputy chief of the Press and Information Department of the Russian foreign ministry, said in a statement, "We are seriously concerned over the sharp aggravation of the situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, which resulted in many casualties. We express our condolences to the bereaved families. We consider the latest clashes as a serious violation of the ceasefire and the stated intentions to reach a settlement by political means. We presume that further escalation of tension is unacceptable,” the statement says.
"We call on all the sides of the conflict to show restraint, renounce the use of force and take immediate measures to stabilize the situation," it says.
Earlier the US Department of State called on the sides to take immediate action to reduce tensions and respect the cease-fire.
"There can be no military solution to the conflict. Retaliation and further violence will only make it more difficult to bring about a peaceful settlement," said State Department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf.
She added the US "urges the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan to meet at the earliest opportunity to resume dialogue on key issues," and called on the two countries "to accept the proposal from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Chairman-in-Office to enter into negotiations which can lead to the conclusion of a peace agreement." -0-