Partial mobilization was announced in Azerbaijan against the background of the aggravation of the Karabakh conflict. The corresponding decree was signed by the President of the Republic Ilham Aliyev, RIA Novosti was told in his press service.
The previously unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Armenia declared martial law and general mobilization. It was stated in Baku that the Azerbaijani army is complete and there is no need for mobilization.
The situation on the contact line in Nagorno-Karabakh escalated on Sunday morning. The unrecognized republic said that the Azerbaijani military opened fire on its territory, including the capital, Stepanakert. There are civilian casualties.
Baku and Yerevan blame each other for the escalation. The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry claims that the Armenian side started the shelling, and the Azerbaijani forces are conducting a counter-offensive operation. The Armenian military say that Karabakh was subjected to air and missile attacks from Azerbaijan.
The Russian Foreign Ministry called on Baku and Yerevan to immediately cease fire and begin negotiations.
The Karabakh conflict began in February 1988, when the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its secession from the Azerbaijan SSR. As a result of the armed confrontation in 1992-1994, Azerbaijan lost control over Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions.
Since 1992, negotiations have been held on a peaceful settlement of the conflict within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group, headed by three co-chairs – Russia, the United States and France. Azerbaijan insists on preserving its territorial integrity, Armenia protects the interests of the unrecognized republic, since NKR is not a party to the negotiations.