President Recep Erdogan of Turkey has accused Russia, the U.S. and France of supplying weapons to Armenia in its fight with Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Souther Caucasus.
“What are they saying about our support to our Azerbaijani brothers? What are the Minsk three – the United States, Russia, France – saying? They support Armenia. They offer all possible support in terms of weapons,” he said on Sunday, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
The Kremlin did not take kindly to the comments.
“Regrettably, such allegations in now way promote peaceful settlement and de-escalation on the situation in the conflict zone,” Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the international committee of the Russian State Duma lower parliament house, told TASS.
“Russia and other co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group are supporting neither of the sides and are calling for stopping bloodshed,” he stressed.
He recalled that the leaders of the three nations had earlier issued “a joint statement calling for a ceasefire.” “Later, Moscow hosted talks between the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers [Zograb Mnatsakanyan and Jeyhun Bayramov], which yielded ceasefire agreements,” he said. “They must be implemented.”
“Today, everyone must continue efforts to find political and diplomatic ways of settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and refrain from aggressive rhetoric and mutual accusations,” he added.
Fighting continues in the disputed territory in a ‘frozen conflict’ of the Soviet Union.