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Post-Soviet security bloc to look into Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, says Kremlin

MOSCOW, September 29. /TASS/. The situation along the contact line in Nagorno-Karabakh is a subject for serious analysis within the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Russian president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.

"This current situation, the ongoing hostilities along the contact line are a subject for profound analysis within the Organization [CSTO - TASS]. In all other respects, I would refrain from comments only because it is a very sensitive matter requiring utter accuracy and caution," he said.

"First of all, it is necessary to analyze the situation," he stressed. Peskov did not say though whether the Russian side thinks that the issue requires some response. "I would rather refrain from any comments on that matter now," he repeated.

The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh escalated on September 27, when Azerbaijan said its positions had come under extensive fire from Armenia. Armenia, in turn, said the Azerbaijani army had staged an offensive in the direction of Nagorno-Karabakh. It said a number of settlements in Nagorno-Karabakh, including its administrative center Stepanakert, had come under shelling by Azerbaijan. Both sides report casualties, including among civilians. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan have imposed martial law and announced mobilization.

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.