Meeting on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference on February 17, French, Russian and U.S. mediators spoke with Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers, separately and jointly, and issued a statement urging the sides to abstain from fresh military escalations.
Since February 9, following a break of eight months, Azerbaijani forces renewed artillery attacks in the Karabakh front line area and Armenian forces have been firing back. Co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group Ambassadors Igor Popov, Stephane Visconti and Richard Hoagland urged the sides to avoid such actions and “to adhere strictly to the 1994/95 ceasefire agreements that constitute the foundation of the cessation of hostilities.”
Further, “the Co-Chairs shared their views with the Sides on the steps which should be taken toward implementing decisions from the 2016 Summits in Vienna and St. Petersburg aimed at stabilizing the situation in the conflict zone.” The troika also announced plans to visit the region in March.
The subsequent hiatus in artillery fire lasted for less than a week, with artillery exchanges resuming February 22.