Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish colleague Recep Tayyip Erdogan have discussed the situation around the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict during a phone call on Wednesday, the Kremlin press service informed on the outcomes of the talks between both countries’ leaders, TASS reported.
“Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan have called for activation of political process, namely based on the progress reached within the OSCE Minsk Group,” the Kremlin informed. Both sides have reaffirmed the importance of a humanitarian ceasefire reached on October 10 in Moscow.
Vladimir Putin has also expressed serious concern over the participation of Middle Eastern militants in the hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh.
“They have stressed a pressing need for solidary efforts with the aim to put an end to bloodshed as soon as possible and to move towards peaceful regulation of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. They have expressed hope that Turkey, as a member of the OSCE Minsk Group, will make a constructive contribution to conflict de-escalation,” the message informs.
Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The area experienced flare-ups of violence in the summer of 2014, in April 2016 and this past July. Azerbaijan and Armenia have imposed martial law and launched mobilization efforts. Both parties to the conflict have reported casualties, among them civilians.
The conflict over 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.