Moscow concerned over escalation in Karabakh conflict zone
YEREVAN, January 31. /ARKA/. Russia’s ministry of foreign affairs expressed concerns over escalation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone and warned against negative consequences in case of further aggravation.
The cease-fire is being violated and deaths are recorded on the line of contact, says press office of the ministry. Further escalation may damage the peace process, according to the statement.
The statement also says the current situation may undermine the agreements reached at Azerbaijani-Armenian summit in Vienna on November 19, 2013.
The Russian foreign ministry calls upon the sides to the conflict to take additional measures to stabilize the situation, including steps to strengthen the cease-fire under the agreement February 4, 1995.
According to last week reports, Azeri forces opened a fire at a number of Armenian villages of Tavush region and wounded a sixteen-year old girl in Aygepar borderline village.
Apart from that, Azerbaijani subversive groups made attempts to penetrate into Nagorno-Karabakh overnight into Monday January 20, but were thrown back and suffered losses. A junior sergeant of Karabakh Army of Defense Armen Hovhannisyan was killed in the clash.
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-