Nagorno-Karabkh: Russia calls for restraint after deadly clash




CNN

Armenia and Azerbaijan have accused each other of violating a Moscow-brokered ceasefire after deadly clashes in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, with Russia calling for restraint.

The fighting killed at least one Azerbaijani soldier, the country’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

Armenia’s foreign ministry also said the conflict had caused “casualties”, but did not specify how many or who belonged to it. It also called on the world to intervene to stop Azerbaijan’s “aggressive acts and actions”.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Russia was “concerned,” according to Reuters.

“We’re watching closely and we’re naturally concerned that things will get worse,” he said on Thursday. “We ask all parties to exercise restraint and most importantly implement all the provisions of the tripartite document.”

Both sides accused the other of launching attacks on military positions in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenian security ally Russia has maintained peacekeepers in the region after brokering a ceasefire in early November 2020, ending nearly two months of conflict that killed at least 6,500 people, Reuters reported.

Russia’s Defense Ministry on Wednesday also accused Azerbaijani forces of violating the ceasefire, Russian state news agency TASS reported.

“The command of the Russian peacekeeping forces and representatives of the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides are taking steps to stabilize the situation,” the ministry said in a statement, according to TASS.

On Wednesday, the European Union called for an immediate cessation of hostilities.

“It is imperative to de-escalate the situation, fully respect the ceasefire, and return to the negotiating table for a negotiated solution,” an EU spokesman said in a statement.

Nagorno-Karabakh is inhabited and controlled by Armenians with help from the Armenian diaspora.

It is located in Azerbaijan and is connected to mainland Armenia by an expensive highway known as the Lachin Corridor, where Wednesday’s clashes took place.

Azerbaijan has long claimed that it will retake the internationally recognized Azerbaijani territory. Control of the region has become the pride of nationalism in both countries.

The unrest in Nagorno-Karabakh dates back to the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the region declared independence from Azerbaijan with the support of Armenia.



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