Russia slams Turkey’s ‘unacceptable’ stance on Karabakh clashes
YEREVAN – Agence France-Presse
Russia on April 22 denounced Turkey’s position on the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno Karabakh region after a Russian-mediated cease-fire ended the worst clashes in decades in the breakaway enclave.
“Statements made by Turkish leaders are totally unacceptable for one simple reason - they are calling not for peace but for war,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a news conference in the Armenian capital of Yerevan.
Turkey pledged its full support to its traditional ally Azerbaijan after the latest deadly clashes erupted in Karabakh between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces on April 2.
“Unfortunately, we have already got accustomed to such quirks from the current Turkish leadership,” Lavrov added.
In a war in the 1990s that claimed some 30,000 lives, separatists backed by Yerevan seized control of the mountainous region inside Azerbaijan that is home to a majority of ethnic Armenians.
The territory is now ruled by Armenia-backed separatist authorities who claim independence and are backed by Yerevan but are not recognized by any state.
More than 100 people have been killed on both sides in fierce clashes that ended with a Russian-mediated ceasefire on April 6.
The outbreak sparked fears of a wider conflict that could drag in regional powers Russia and Turkey, which have been at loggerheads since Turkey shot down a Russian warplane in Syria in November 2015.