YEREVAN, September 27. /TASS/. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan had a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin and stressed the inadmissibility of further escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh and involvement of off-region forces into the conflict, the press service of the Armenian government said on Sunday.
"Prime Minister Pashinyan informed [Putin] in detail about the situation along the contact line between the Karabakh and Azerbaijani armed forces. Nikol Pashinyan expressed profound concern over Azerbaijan’s unleashing combat operation, saying that they are seen as an aggression against Nagorno-Karabakh. He stressed the inadmissibility of further escalation, involvement of off-region forces [in the conflict]," it said.
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.