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Armenia’s recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh depends on military presence - envoy

Armenian Ambassador to Moscow Vardan Toganyan noted that Armenia is a "guarantor of Nagorno-Karabakh’s security"

MOSCOW, September 28. /TASS/. The possibility that Armenia officially recognizes independence of Nagorno-Karabakh depends on the way situation on its border unfolds, Armenian Ambassador to Moscow Vardan Toganyan said Monday in an interview with RBC channel.

"The closer Azeri and Turkish military units get to the Nagorno-Karabakh border, the closer this moment of recognition [by Yerevan] is," he said.

The diplomat noted that Armenia is a "guarantor of Nagorno-Karabakh’s security." "We believe that we cannot abandon our compatriots," Toganyan added.

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 a troop 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.