MOSCOW, September 28. /TASS/. Armenia is ready to request additional military assistance from Russia but sees no reason to do it at the moment, Armenian Ambassador to Moscow Vardan Toganyan told the Govorit Moskva radio station on Monday.
According to him, Yerevan and Moscow continue to boost defense cooperation. "We believe that should the need arise, we will request Russia [for additional military assistance]," the envoy pointed out. "As of today, we don’t think that we need additional troops or other forces," he added.
"However, we do believe that Russia has a major role in the Caucasus and is capable of using political methods to put an end to bloodshed," Toganyan emphasized.
On September 27, Baku said that Armenia had shelled the Azerbaijani army’s positions and Yerevan, in turn, claimed that Azerbaijan’s Armed Forces had launched an offensive towards Nagorno-Karabakh, shelling regional settlements, including the capital, Stepanakert. Both parties reported casualties, including civilian casualties. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan have declared martial law and announced a mobilization.
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.