MOSCOW, October 18. /TASS/. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s allegations that Russia, the United States, and France are supplying weapons to Armenia in no way promote de-escalation of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, a Russian lawmaker said on Sunday.
"Regrettably, such allegations in now way promote peaceful settlement and de-escalation on the situation in the conflict zone," Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the international committee of the Russian State Duma lower parliament house, told TASS.
"Russia and other co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group are supporting neither of the sides and are calling for stopping bloodshed," he stressed.
He recalled that the leaders of the three nations had earlier issued "a joint statement calling for a ceasefire." "Later, Moscow hosted talks between the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers [Zograb Mnatsakanyan and Jeyhun Bayramov], which yielded ceasefire agreements," he said. "They must be implemented."
"Today, everyone must continue efforts to find political and diplomatic ways of settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and refrain from aggressive rhetoric and mutual accusations," he added.
The Turkish president claimed earlier in the day that Russia, the United States, and France "offer all possible support in terms of weapons."
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.
Following Russia-initiated consultations in Moscow, Azerbaijan and Armenia agreed on a humanitarian ceasefire from 11:00 Moscow time on October 10 to exchange prisoners and the bodies of those killed. However, the ceasefire has reportedly been violated.
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.