MOSCOW, September 29. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin is seriously concerned by the hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh.
The Kremlin press service said Tuesday that "the Armenian side initiated a phone call between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan" when the leaders "continued to discuss the situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone."
"Putin expressed serious concerns over the continuing hostilities. The pressing need was emphasized to cease fire by the opposing parties and take steps to de-escalate the crisis," the Kremlin noted.
This is the second phone call between Putin and Pashinyan in the last few days, their previous phone call took place on Sunday.
On September 27, Baku said that Armenia had shelled the Azerbaijani army’s positions and Yerevan, in turn, claimed that Azerbaijan’s Armed Forces had launched an offensive towards Nagorno-Karabakh, shelling regional settlements, including the capital, Stepanakert. Both parties reported casualties, including civilian casualties. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan have declared martial law and a troop mobilization. Baku reports that it took a few Nagorno-Karabakh villages and strategic heights under its control. Yerevan says that territories outside of the disputed region are shelled.
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.