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Moscow to provide Yerevan with assistance if clashes expand to Armenian territory

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Moscow,Russia | XINHUA |    Moscow will provide all the necessary assistance to Yerevan in accordance with the 1997 treaty between the two countries if the clashes spill over into Armenia’s territory, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Saturday.

“We reaffirm the commitment of the Russian Federation to its allied obligations towards the Republic of Armenia, including those arising from the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Armenia of Aug. 29, 1997,” the ministry said in a statement.

“A number of articles of this treaty presuppose specific actions in the event of a threat of an armed attack or an act of aggression against each other’s territory,” it said, adding that Moscow will provide Yerevan with “all the necessary assistance if the clashes take place directly on the territory of Armenia.”

Earlier in the day, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan sent Russian President Vladimir Putin a letter to call for discussion of possible security assistance to Armenia, according to the statement.

“Taking into consideration that the combat operations are nearing the border of the Republic of Armenia … the Armenian Prime Minister has applied to the President of the Russian Federation to launch immediate consultations,” local media reported on Saturday.

The Russian Foreign Ministry called on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict parties for “an immediate ceasefire, the de-escalation of tensions and a return to substantive negotiations,” in order to achieve a peaceful settlement in line with the basic agreements reached by the foreign ministers of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia in Moscow on Oct. 10.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been at loggerheads over the mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh since 1988. Peace talks have been held since 1994 when a ceasefire was reached, but there have been sporadic minor clashes.

A new round of armed conflict broke out along the contact line on Sept. 27, causing heavy casualties and property losses.



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