"The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses serious concern about the sharp aggravation of the situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border on July 12. According to incoming information, hostilities continue. Artillery is used. There are killed and wounded. We express our condolences to the families and relatives of the killed soldiers. We consider further escalation that threatens the security of the region unacceptable. We urge the conflict parties show restraint and strictly adhere to the ceasefire," the ministry stated.
Starting from noon on July 12, units of the armed forces of Armenia, grossly violating the ceasefire in the direction of Tovuz district along the Azerbaijani-Armenian state border, opened artillery fire at Azerbaijani positions. Azerbaijan's armed response forced the Armenian armed to retreat, suffering losses.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on the withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding districts.