Russian President Vladimir Putin Calls For End to Hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh
Daria Bedenko. Sputnik International
20:37 GMT 08.10.2020(updated 21:22 GMT 08.10.2020)
The Nagorno-Karabakh region saw an escalation of tension on 27 September, with both Armenia and Azerbaijan exchanging accusations of sparking the hostilities. The military actions in the region continue, despite repeated calls by the international community for a ceasefire and resumption of negotiations.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday urged the conflicting sides in the Nagorno-Karabakh military dispute to immediately cease hostilities and exchange prisoners and the bodies of those who have been killed, the Kremlin said.
"After a series of phone conversations with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, the Russian president calls for an end to hostilities in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone for humanitarian reasons in order to exchange prisoners and bodies of those killed," the statement said.
The Russian president invited the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers to arrive in Moscow for negotiations.
"The foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia are invited to Moscow on 9 October to hold consultations on these issues with the mediation of the Russian Foreign Minister", the statement added.
The statement followed multiple calls by Russia for a ceasefire in the region, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov outlining that a diplomatic settlement in Karabakh must begin with ceasefire without preconditions.
Calls to end hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh have been voiced by multiple members of international community, including Russia, France, Germany, the UN and the US. Turkey expressed its support to Azerbaijan, while Armenia accused Ankara of sending military advisors to the conflict - a move that Turkey has denied.
The Nagorno-Karabakh region saw an escalation of tension on 27 September, with both Yerevan and Baku accusing each other of sparking military hostilities. According to the Third Secretary of the Azerbaijan Mission to the UN, at least 30 Azeri civilians have been killed and 144 wounded in the conflict. Nagorno-Karabakh Ombudsman Artak Beglaryan said that at least 18 civilians were killed in the unrecognized republic after hostilities broke out.
Among the injured civilians are several journalists, including a Russian blogger, Yuri Kotenok, who was seriously injured in a strike on the Ghazanchetsots church. Doctors are said to be fighting for his life, according to reports.
According to Armenian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anna Naghdalyan, three Russians suffered injuries, among them two journalists and one local guide.
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