The US administration is very concerned with the upcoming elections on May 3 in Azerbaijan’s occupied territories of Nagorno-Karabakh and declared that it will not accept results of the election since the self-proclaimed republic is not recognised by the international law.
“We will not accept the results of the elections on May 3 as affecting the legal status of Nagorno- Karabakh,” US State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke told reporters.
“In the context of a comprehensive settlement of the conflict, we recognize that the people of Nagorno-Karabakh will play a role in deciding their future,” Rathke added.
Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region and some adjacent territory have been under the control of Armenian soldiers and local Armenian forces since a 1994 Russian-mediated cease-fire that ended the six-year war between the parties.
Since then Azerbaijan and Armenia have been hostile to one another due to the occupation of the Nagorno-Karabakh oblast.
Once, the area consisted of ethnically cleansed Azerbaijani population and inhabited now by Armenians, but was also a part of Azerbaijani Socialist Republic during the reign of the Soviet Union in which both countries were constituent states.
The de facto independent Nagorno-Karabakh declared itself a republic via a plebiscite in 1992 to which only local Armenian population attended, but it was never recognised as a state even by Armenia.
Baku demands Yerevan the return of a quarter of its territory which is illegally occupied and recognised as being part of post-Soviet independent Azerbaijan according to international law.
Russia's military and political support has so far kept Armenia defiant against Azerbaijan, despite the fact that Azerbaijan’s military capacity has developed rapidly through the use of its substantial oil and gas revenues.
Armenia is the only South Caucasian member of Russia’s Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) which is regarded as Moscow’s new Warsaw Pact. Yerevan’s membership in the CSTO enables Russia to deploy its 102nd military base in Gymru near the Turkish border.
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group, consisting of Russia, France and the US, is the peace-broker regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, but the bloc could not have succeeded in resolving the dispute due to clashing interests of the parties in the South Caucasus.