U.S. presidential candidate from the Democratic Party Joe Biden expressed concern over the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and called for a ceasefire.
“I am deeply concerned about the outbreak of violence in Nagorno-Karabakh and call for urgent de-escalation, restoration of the ceasefire and resumption of negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan,” he said in a statement released by the politician’s headquarters on Monday.
In his view, the U.S. should insist on more observers along the line of contact and “call on Russia to stop cynical arms transfers to both sides. In addition, Washington should review its aid programs to ensure that no weapons can be used for offensive purposes.
“An outbreak of violence in Nagorno-Karabakh threatens to escalate into a larger regional conflict, so third parties in the region should stay out of the conflict, and Minsk Group mediators should immediately seek de-escalation and a return to negotiations,” Biden said.
On Sunday, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said that the Armenian Armed Forces opened fire on settlements on the line of contact in Karabakh, according to these data, there are deaths among civilians. According to the Armenian Defense Ministry, Karabakh “was subjected to air and missile attacks,” the Armenian side shot down two helicopters and three Azerbaijani drones. The spokesman for the president of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Vahram Poghosyan, reported that artillery fire had targeted peaceful settlements in Karabakh, including the capital Stepanakert, and urged the population to take shelter. A number of states, including Russia, France, and Germany, called on the sides to exercise restraint.
The conflict in Karabakh began in February 1988, when the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its secession from the Azerbaijani SSR. During the armed confrontation in 1992-1994, Azerbaijan lost control over Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts. Since 1992, negotiations on peaceful settlement of the conflict have been held within the OSCE Minsk Group led by three co-chairmen – Russia, the USA, and France.