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Aliyev blames Armenia for ceasefire violation in Nagorno-Karabakh

Peacekeepers have called on the opposing sides in Nagorno-Karabakh to abide by the ceasefire agreement
Peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh Alexander Ryumin/TASS
Peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh
© Alexander Ryumin/TASS

BAKU, December 12. /TASS/. The ceasefire violation in Nagorno-Karabakh was provoked by the Armenian side, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said at a meeting with the French and US co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group on Saturday.

"Now [that] Russian peacekeepers are there [in Karabakh] and started the activity the situation is more or less stable. Though, I just got information yesterday about some terrorist acts either by Armenian Guerilla forces or by remaining [forces] of what they called Armenian army. This, of course, is of concern," Aliyev said cited by the AZERTAC news agency.

Meanwhile, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said the ceasefire was being observed in Nagorno-Karabakh.

"The Armenian side committed provocative actions in the liberated territories of Azerbaijan, which were accompanied by a violation of the ceasefire. The Armed Forces of Azerbaijan have taken adequate retaliatory measures. Currently, the ceasefire regime is being observed," the Defense Ministry said in a statement posted on its site.

Peacekeepers have called on the opposing sides in Nagorno-Karabakh to abide by the ceasefire agreement after an exchange of fire in Hadrut district, a spokesperson for the Russian peacekeeping force told reporters.

"Small arms shooting was recorded in the Hadrut district. Through direct communication lines, the sides were promptly informed about the demand to observe the complete ceasefire regime," the spokesman said.

Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry reported on the first ceasefire violation in Nagorno-Karabakh since the end of hostilities and the deployment of the Russian peacekeeping mission to the region. The Defense Ministry added that the violation was recorded in the Hadrut district.

Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. 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.

On November 9, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint statement on a complete ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh starting from November 10. Under the statement, the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides are to maintain the positions that they have held and then, Armenian forces are to turn over control of certain districts to Baku. In addition, Russian peacekeepers are to be deployed along the contact line and to the Lachin corridor, which links Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia.