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27 Sep, 2020 12:15

Moscow reacts to Nagorno-Karabakh flare up: Vows to carry on mediation efforts, urges Armenia & Azerbaijan to cease fighting

Moscow reacts to Nagorno-Karabakh flare up: Vows to carry on mediation efforts, urges Armenia & Azerbaijan to cease fighting

Russia voiced deep concerns, on Sunday, about the sudden violent flare up of long-standing tensions lingering in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. Moscow stands ready to undertake mediation efforts, the Foreign Ministry said.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has reached out to his counterpart in Yerevan Zohrab Mnatsakanyan on the heels of renewed fighting between the two post-Soviet nations.

“Sergey Lavrov expressed serious concern about the ongoing large-scale hostilities on the line of contact, [and] reports of those killed and wounded,” read a Foreign Ministry statement. Russia’s chief diplomat said it is crucial for both sides to hold fire, and that Moscow is ready to play a role to resolve the conflict.

Russia, together with other co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, will continue to undertake mediation efforts aimed at stabilizing the situation.

Lavrov also held a telephone conversation with Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov later in the day, delivering a similarly-worded message.

Named after the capital of Belarus, the Minsk Group – co-chaired by France, Russia and the US – has been working on settling the decades-long conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, controlled and populated by ethnic Armenians but recognised internationally as part of Azerbaijan.

The Russian Foreign Minister has also talked to his Turkish colleague, Mevlut Cavusoglu, with “the need for an immediate ceasefire and stabilization of the situation” stressed during the conversation. Ankara earlier pledged full support to Baku, saying the South Caucasus nation “is not alone.” Russia has a shared defence treaty with Yerevan, via the CTSO, a Moscow-dominated alternative to NATO, but has also maintained good relations with Baku. 

Also on rt.com ‘Azerbaijan is not alone’: Turkey throws weight behind Baku against historical nemesis Armenia in struggle over Nagorno-Karabakh

Heavy border fighting broke out earlier on Sunday, with Armenia accusing Azerbaijan of launching aerial bombardments and shelling of Nagorno-Karabakh settlements, in which at least two civilians were killed and dozens injured. The Azeris, in turn, said they were responding to Armenian attacks, and also reported civilian casualties. 

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