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Armenia pledges to defend Nagorno-Karabakh’s population — PM

April 07, 19:15 UTC+3 YEREVAN
The prime minister has accused Azerbaijan of acting in accordance with a premeditated plan aimed at aggravating the situation around Nagorno-Karabakh
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Armenian soldiers in Nagorno-Karabakh

Armenian soldiers in Nagorno-Karabakh

© Karo Sahakyan/PAN Photo via AP

YEREVAN, April 7 /TASS/. Armenia will remain committed to its obligation to guard the security of the population of Nagorno-Karabakh. It attaches great importance to the need to preserve a ceasefire, Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan has said.

"The Republic of Armenia, which is a signatory to the 1994 ceasefire agreement, will remain fully committed to its obligations to guarantee the security of the population of Nagorno-Karabakh. We attach great importance to the need to preserve the ceasefire regime," Abrahamyan said at talks with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

Abrahamyan also said that Azerbaijan acted in accordance with a premeditated plan aimed at the aggravation of the situation around Nagorno-Karabakh.

"As you know, on the night from April 1 to 2, the Azerbaijani side, acting according to a premeditated scenario, began large-scale military operations [in Nagorno-Karabakh area] using the full range of weapons, including the T-90 tanks, Smerch multiple launch rocket systems and heavy flamethrower systems," the Armenian prime minister said at enlarged talks with the participation of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

According to him, "the weapons have been repeatedly used against the civilian population."

According to him, the agreement on maintaining a ceasefire has been in effect since midday of April 5, "but the Azerbaijani side has been periodically violating the ceasefire regime by firing, in particular, large-caliber weapons."

The situation along the line of contact in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone deteriorated dramatically overnight to April 2, fierce clashes began. The parties to the conflict accused each other of violating the truce.

According to the UN data as of April 4 in the morning, at least 33 people were killed and more than 200 wounded as a results of the armed clashes.

The Defense Ministries of Armenia and Azerbaijan announced the cessation of hostilities starting 11:00, Moscow time, on April 5.

Talks on Nagorno-Karabakh have been held on the basis of the so-called Madrid Principles suggested by co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - 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.

Nagorno-Karabakh sought independence from Azerbaijan at the end of the 1980s, which resulted in a war between Azerbaijan and Armenia that claimed the lives of 25,000-30,000 people between 1988 and 1994. Since then, the territory has been controlled by Armenia.

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