BAKU, September 27. /TASS/. Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov informed his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, about the situation at the contact line in Nagorno-Karabakh, the Azerbaijani foreign ministry said on Sunday after their telephone conversation.
"Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov had a telephone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on September 27 at the initiative of the Russian side. Minister Jeyhun Bayramov told his Russian counterpart that on September 27 the Armenian army had blatantly violated the ceasefire and shelled Azerbaijani positions along the contact line from heavy weapons, mortars and artillery systems," it said.
The Russian top diplomat "expressed concern over the current situation in the region and stressed the importance of resuming the ceasefire," it said.
Bayramov, in turn, stressed that "the Azerbaijani side is taking corresponding countermeasures against the Armenian army as part of its right to self-defense and to ensure security of civilian population," the ministry added.
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 ab 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. Armenia’s authorities have imposed martial law and announced mobilization of reservists.
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.