Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke with Azerbaijan’s President Aliyev today. The Secretary offered his condolences for the tragic gas explosion in Baku over the weekend. The Secretary condemned the Kremlin’s heinous war crimes in Ukraine and highlighted the continued commitment of the U.S. and its partners to hold the Russian Federation and its enablers accountable for the unprovoked and unjustified war against Ukraine. The Secretary called for restraint, de-escalation, and renewed diplomacy. The Secretary expressed his encouragement for peace negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, including President Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan’s planned meeting on April 6 with European Council President Michel. He reiterated the United States stood ready to help by engaging bilaterally and with like-minded partners, including through our role as an OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair, to help the countries find a long-term comprehensive peace.