Tags: EU | Azerbaijan | Armenia

Skirmishes Continue in Nagorno-Karabakh Despite Cease-fire

Friday, 08 April 2016 10:18 AM

BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Skirmishes continued Friday around Nagorno-Karabakh with Azerbaijan and Armenia blaming each other for cease-fire violations, while Russia sought to stabilize the situation by playing a go-between.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev met with Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev in Baku a day after holding talks with the Armenian leadership.

Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry said Friday its troops returned fire after Armenian forces shelled Azerbaijani military positions and populated areas. The Armenian side accused Azerbaijan of shelling its positions, killing two Armenian soldiers overnight.

The gunbattles threaten to derail the Russia-brokered truce declared at midday Tuesday following several days of intense battles which marked the worst violence since a separatist war ended in 1994. The war left Nagorno-Karabakh, officially a part of Azerbaijan, under the control of local ethnic Armenian forces and the Armenian military. Armenian forces also occupy several areas outside the Karabakh region.

Azerbaijan has said 31 of its soldiers have been killed since Saturday while Armenia's Defense Ministry has acknowledged the loss of 44 troops. Each party put enemy losses in the hundreds, claims that couldn't be independently verified. Several civilians have also been killed on both sides.

The conflicting parties reached a tentative agreement to evacuate bodies from the frontline on Friday.

The fighting involving heavy artillery and rocket systems has raised fears of a possible regional escalation, with Turkey strongly backing Azerbaijan and Russia obliged by a mutual security pact to protect Armenia.

Russia, which has a military base in Armenia, also has sought to maintain friendly ties with energy-rich Azerbaijan and provided it weapons in a bid to shore up its influence in the Caucasus region, a conduit for energy resources from the Caspian Sea to the West.

Along with the United States and France, Russia has also acted as a mediator in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace talks which have dragged on since 1994 without any visible results.

Medvedev said during Friday's meeting with Aliyev that Russia values its relations with both Armenia and Azerbaijan and voiced hope that they could resume their negotiations under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Avet Demourian in Yerevan, Armenia and Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow contributed to this report.

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


   
1Like our page
2Share
Europe
Skirmishes continued Friday around Nagorno-Karabakh with Azerbaijan and Armenia blaming each other for cease-fire violations, while Russia sought to stabilize the situation by playing a go-between.Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev met with Azerbaijan's President Ilham...
EU,Azerbaijan,Armenia
365
2016-18-08
Friday, 08 April 2016 10:18 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved