MOSCOW, May 1. /TASS/. Moscow is ready to continue to assist in resolving the situation on the border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, Russian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday following telephone conversations between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with Foreign Minister of Kyrgyzstan Ruslan Kazakbaev and Foreign Minister of Tajikistan and Sirojiddin Mukhriddin. The parties discussed the situation resulting from armed clashes on the border of the two countries.
"Russia is ready to continue to provide all necessary assistance to this process in accordance with the principles of strategic partnership and alliance with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan," the Ministry said.
Lavrov also welcomed the parties' agreements on a settlement on the Kyrgyz-Tajik border. "Russia welcomes agreements reached by the parties - in accordance with the instructions of the leaders of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan - agreements on the settlement of the conflict exclusively by political and diplomatic means," the ministry said.
The Ministry added that Russia hopes that "Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan will strictly follow their commitments in the interests of completely normalizing the situation and restoring an atmosphere of trust and good-neighborly relations between the two fraternal peoples."
The Russian Foreign Ministry reported that the talks took place at the initiative of the Russian side.
The situation on the border between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan near the Golovnoy water intake facility escalated on April 28, after clashes had sparked between residents of the two countries’ border areas. On April 29, armed skirmishes between Kyrgyz and Tajik servicemen broke out. Kyrgyzstan accused Tajikistan of using mortars, machine guns and Mi-24 military helicopters. On the evening of April 29, the sides agreed to a ceasefire and the pullout of troops, however, hostilities continued periodically in certain locations until May 1.