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Russia Rules Out Imposed Solution To Karabakh Conflict

Russian Defense Minister Ivanov (left) and Armenian Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian (file photo) (ITAR-TASS) May 31, 2006 -- Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov today said that talks between Azerbaijan and Armenia are the only way to resolve the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Speaking in Baku, he said a solution imposed from outside could be counterproductive and dangerous.

Russia, the United States, and France co-chair the Minsk Group of nations tasked with helping solve the 18-year-old conflict.

(Turan, Interfax)

The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

Click on the image to view an enlarged map of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone

In February 1988, the local assembly in Stepanakert, the local capital of the Azerbaijani region of NAGORNO-KARABAKH, passed a resolution calling for unification of the predominantly ethnic-Armenian region with Armenia. There were reports of violence against local Azeris, followed by attacks against Armenians in the Azerbaijani city of Sumgait. In 1991-92, Azerbaijani forces launched an offensive against separatist forces in Nagorno-Karabakh, but the Armenians counterattacked and by 1993-94 had seized almost all of the region, as well as vast areas around it. About 600,000 Azeris were displaced and as many as 25,000 people were killed before a Russian-brokered cease-fire was imposed in May 1994.

CHRONOLOGY: For an annotated timeline of the fighting around Nagorno-Karabakh in 1988-94 and the long search for a permanent settlement to the conflict, click here.

Click on the icon to view images of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict (Flash required)

To view an archive of all of RFE/RL's coverage of Nagorno-Karabakh, click here.