MOSCOW, October 1. /TASS/. Moscow expects that dialogue with Washington on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will help find a way out of the current situation, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told TASS on Thursday.
According to him, Russia and the United States are in intensive contact on the issue. "We expect that these efforts will bear political fruit in terms of finding a way out of the current crisis situation," he pointed out. "Dialogue is underway with a focus on giving political impetus to efforts to ease tensions and stabilize the situation in the region," he added.
At the same time, the senior Russian diplomat stressed that since the Nagorno-Karabakh issue "concerns a number of countries and there is a time-tested mechanism, dialogue with the US is neither a substitution nor an alternative for it." According to Ryabkov, the dialogue involves "special envoys and top diplomats."
Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The area experienced flare-ups of violence in the summer of 2014, in April 2016 and this past July. Azerbaijan and Armenia have imposed martial law and launched mobilization efforts. Both parties to the conflict have reported casualties, among them civilians.
The conflict over 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.