Russia comments on Nagorno-Karabakh escalation — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union

Armenia and Azerbaijan should return to the negotiating table, Moscow insists, amid flare-up in disputed region

The recent outbreak in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region has already claimed casualties, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday, expressing sympathy to relatives of those killed in the latest spike in tensions between local militias backed by Armenia. or Azerbaijan.

The ministry also expressed its “deep concern” on the developments and said that the Russian peacekeeping force is “make every effort” to stabilize the situation on the ground. Russia is also engaged in “asset” diplomatic work with Armenia and Azerbaijan “at all levels,” including heads of state, the ministry said in a statement. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is currently in “close contacts with his Azerbaijani and Armenian colleagues”, he added.

Moscow called on Baku and Yerevan to “exercise restraint” and urged them to resolve all their differences through “political and diplomatic means” in accordance with the 2020 ceasefire agreement, which at the time was also negotiated by Russia. Both parties to the conflict should focus on “form a positive agenda” while using existing trilateral negotiation formats, the ministry added.

The statement came amid the latest outbreak in the disputed region. Tensions in Nagorno-Karabakh have been high since the start of the week, with Baku and Yerevan accusing each other of military provocations. On Wednesday, Azerbaijan carried out what it called a military operation launched in response to the “raw” ceasefire violations by local militias. Baku also demanded “demilitarization” of the region.

Armenia has accused Azerbaijan of demanding that Yerevan stop using the so-called Lachin Corridor linking it to Nagorno-Karabakh and choose a different route – which it says violates the agreement of the 2020 ceasefire. Each side has also confirmed casualties resulting from the clashes and shelling that have taken place since the beginning of the week.

Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan. Yet the region has a majority Armenian population and sought independence from Baku in the 1990s. It is de facto self-governing and has enjoyed Armenian support ever since.

In 2020, Baku and Yerevan waged a 44-day war over the disputed region, which ended with a Russian-brokered ceasefire that saw Russian peacekeepers deploy to Nagorno-Karabakh.

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