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Russia's Putin tells Armenian PM Pashinyan that all military action in disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region should be halted

Russia's Putin tells Armenian PM Pashinyan that all military action in disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region should be halted
Vladimir Putin told Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, on Sunday, that all efforts should be undertaken to stop the further escalation of fighting in Yerevan's dispute with Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

The Russian president said Moscow was concerned about the sudden eruption of violence and that he believes the immediate goal is to cease hostilities, the Kremlin said in a statement. The phone call between Putin and Pashinyan was made on the latter's initiative.

Earlier in the day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called both his Azeri and Armenian counterparts to express Moscow's concerns and urge them to step back from the conflict.

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

Speaking to Putin, Pashinyan stressed that third parties from outside of the region should not get involved in the situation, according to the Armenian side.

Pashinyan himself had earlier rebuked Turkey, a long-time ally of Azerbaijan, for interfering in the situation. Ankara voiced support for Baku in the unfolding stand-off and blamed Yerevan for the violence.

Hostilities between Azerbaijan and the ethnic Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh erupted after Azeri forces launched an offensive on Sunday morning. Baku said it was responding to shelling of its forces, but Yerevan rejected this justification, accusing its opponent of breaking a ceasefire.

Also on rt.com 16 ethnic Armenian troops killed & 100+ injured in clashes with Azeri military – Yerevan citing Nagorno-Karabakh officials

The region, where the population is predominantly Armenian, broke away from Azerbaijan in the late 1980s, and relies on military and economic support from Yerevan. Amid the flareup, both Azerbaijan and Armenia imposed martial law and voiced their determination to fight on.

Russia is part of the mediation group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), working to tone down tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia and negotiate a peaceful resolution to their dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh. However, Moscow is also treaty bound to defend Yerevan via the CSTO, an Russian-led alternative to NATO. 

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