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Kremlin warns against steps that could violate fragile ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh

May 05, 13:45 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Earlier in the day, Armenian government approved a legislative initiative of opposition lawmakers on recognizing Nagorno-Karabakh and sent it for consideration to the republic’s parliament
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Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov

© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, May 5. /TASS/. The Kremlin calls on parties to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh to avoid steps that could violate the fragile ceasefire and lead to the escalation of tensions in the region, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.

Commenting on the Armenian government’s approval of the opposition’s draft law on recognizing Nagorno-Karabakh earlier on Thursday, Peskov said: "We are very carefully monitoring the decisions taken in this context."

"No doubt, we still expect that the conflicting sides will avoid any steps that may violate a rather fragile ceasefire and lead to the escalation of tensions in Nagorno-Karabakh in general," he said.

The Kremlin spokesman also said the draft law on recognizing Nagorno-Karabakh was not discussed by Yerevan and Moscow.

Earlier in the day, Armenia’s government approved at a session a legislative initiative of opposition lawmakers on recognizing Nagorno-Karabakh and sent it for consideration to the republic’s parliament.

Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan who presented the document said the conclusion is explained by "results of discussions between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh taking into consideration the possible development" of the situation, "including external factors."

This is not the first proposal of the opposition to recognize the Nagorno-Karabakh republic. But previously the government has always rejected such initiatives saying that the move could hamper the negotiating process on settling the Karabakh conflict with the mediation of the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) co-chaired by Russia, France and the United States.

The situation along the contact line of conflicting sides in Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory between Armenia and Azerbaijan, deteriorated dramatically overnight to April 2 when fierce clashes began.

The parties to the conflict accused each other of violating the truce. At a meeting of chiefs of General Staff of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Moscow an agreement was reached on the ceasefire from noon local time (0800GMT) on April 5. Since then, the sides have reported ceasefire violations along the contact line.

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