YEREVAN (ARKA) — Armenia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has slammed today Ukraine for using the phrase ‘occupied territories’ in reference to Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Anna Naghdalyan said all unilaterally-made statements on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which contradict the wording of the OSCE Minsk Group, which is the only internationally mandated body to mediate the talks on the conflict, do not contribute to the peace process.
On September 27, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, citing ‘repeated’ appeals of its partners, reminded its citizens of the procedures for entry and exit to/from foreign countries. “This, in particular, concerns the entry into the occupied territory of Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan Republic) and adjacent areas, as well as the entry into the occupied territories of Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia (Georgia).
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict erupted into armed clashes after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s as the predominantly Armenian-populated enclave of Azerbaijan sought to secede from Azerbaijan and declared its independence backed by a successful referendum.
On May 12, 1994, the Bishkek cease-fire agreement put an end to the military operations. A truce was brokered by Russia in 1994, although no permanent peace agreement has been signed. Since then, Nagorno-Karabakh and several adjacent regions have been under the control of Armenian forces of Karabakh. Nagorno-Karabakh is the longest-running post-Soviet era conflict and has continued to simmer despite the relative peace of the past two decades, with snipers causing tens of deaths a year.
In the early hours of April 2, 2016 Azerbaijan, in gross violation of the agreements launched a large-scale offensive along the entire Line of Contact between the armed forces of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan, using heavy weaponry, artillery and combat aircraft. Only thanks to the decisive actions of the Defense Army, which gave a fitting rebuff, on April 5, Azerbaijan was forced to ask, as in 1994, through the mediation of the Russian Federation for the cessation of the hostilities. It has been generally maintained, despite the recurrent violations by the Azerbaijani side.