Moscow urges restraint in conflict between Armenia, Azerbaijan
31 July 2020

Moscow urges restraint in conflict between Armenia, Azerbaijan

MOSCOW, July 30. /TASS/. Russia is calling on other regional actors to exercise restraint in their military activity amid the latest skirmishes on the Armenian-Azeri border, deputy director of the Russian foreign ministry’s press department Alexei Zaytsev told a briefing Thursday. "Naturally, we are carefully watching what’s happening in the region, especially considering the recent Armenian-Azeri border conflict, and emphatically urge all parties to exercise restraint, particularly in their current military activities," he said when asked by TASS about Baku’s intention to hold joint drills with Turkey on the border with Armenia in particular. The diplomat stressed that Azerbaijan is hosting joint planned military exercises with Turkish armed forces between July 29 and August 10 in accordance with the current agreement on military cooperation between these countries. The drills feature around 5,000 servicemen, 150 units of military armored vehicles, up to 150 units of artillery and air defense systems and up to 30 jets, helicopters and drones. Tensions flared up on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border on July 12, when Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said that Armenian army units had tried to attack Azerbaijan’s positions at the Tovuz section of the border with the use of artillery systems. Baku said twelve servicemen of Azerbaijan’s army, including a major general, died during the three days of battles. Armenia, in turn, reported that five servicemen were killed in the hostilities, while nine more were wounded. Both sides note that the situation along the border has been relatively calm since July 17. The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up, but primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, broke out in February 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1992-1994, tensions boiled over and exploded into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and seven adjacent territories after Azerbaijan lost control of them. Talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement have been ongoing since 1992 under the OSCE Minsk Group, led by its three co-chairs - Russia, France and the United States. Read more