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Lavrov has conversations with foreign ministers of Azerbaijan, Armenia

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in conversations with foreign ministers of Armenia and of Azerbaijan called on influencing situation in Nagorno Karabakh and stopping violence.

"In development of the reaction of the Russian president to resumed military actions at the line of engagement in Nagorno Karabakh, as well as in efforts of the Russian side to bring to normal the situation there, including in contacts with co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Sergei Lavrov had conversations with foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and of Armenia and called on them to influence the situation in order to stop the violence," the foreign ministry said.

Parties to the Karabakh conflict have accused each other of violating truce along the front line. The claims came on Saturday from defense authorities of Armenia and of Azerbaijan.

Armenia's Defense Ministry said along the line of engagement in Nagorno Karabakh fierce clashes continue between Azerbaijan's military and forces of the unrecognized Republic of Nagorno Karabakh.

Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry, in its turn, reports intensive artillery fire by the Armenian military on settlements along the engagement line in the conflict area.

Neighboring Armenia and Azerbaijan fell out with each other in the late 1980s because of Nagorno-Karabakh, the disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up but was mainly populated by Armenians.

In 1991-1994, the confrontation spilled over into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and some adjacent territories. Thousands left their homes on both sides in a conflict that killed 30,000. A truce was called between Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh republic on one side and Azerbaijan on the other in May 1994.

Talks on Nagorno-Karabakh have been held on the basis of the so-called Madrid Principles suggested by co-chairs of the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) - Russia, France and the United States - in December 2007 in the Spanish capital. They include three key principles written in the Helsinki Final Act: refraining from the threat or use of force, territorial integrity and the right to self-determination.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 02Apr16]

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