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Putin, Erdogan discuss situation on Armenian-Azerbaijani border

Both sides said they are interested in settling the conflict situation only by peaceful means

MOSCOW, July 28. /TASS/. The situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border was among the topics discussed over the phone by Russian and Turkish Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The two presidents stressed that there are no alternatives to diplomatic settlement of the conflict, the Kremlin press service said on Monday.

"The presidents exchanged views on the situation in the South Caucasus in the context of the aggravation of the situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. Vladimir Putin stressed the importance of prevention of any actions promoting further escalation. Both sides said they are interested in settling the conflict situation only by peaceful means, through talks," it said.

The leaders expressed readiness to coordinate efforts to stabilize the situation in the region. Putin and Erdogan also noted that "there are no alternatives to political and diplomatic settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the basis of the principles of international law in the interests of the peoples of Armenia and Azerbaijan," the Kremlin said.

The presidents also touched upon a number of current issues of the bilateral agenda. "Thus, they gave a positive assessment of cooperation in combating the coronavirus infection, which has made it possible to partially resume regular air service between a number of Russian and Turkish cities from August 1," the Kremlin said.

The Russian leader also congratulated his Turkish counterpart on the upcoming Kurban Bayrami holiday.

The conversation was initiated by the Turkish side.

The situation on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border escalated on July 12, when Azerbaijan said that the Armenian army had tried to attack Azerbaijan’s positions with use of artillery systems. Armenia, in turn, said the situation on the border had aggravated after Azerbaijan’s attempted attack. The situation on the border has been relatively calm since July 17, according to the sides.

The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the highland region of 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.