ARMENIA-AZERBAIJAN CONFLICT: Russia Offers To Host Nagorno-Karabakh Peace Talks

Russia has offered to host talks on ending the fighting over the future of the decades-long disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made the offer to the governments of the two countries claiming the area, Azerbaijan and Armenia. His office said he had urged a halt to “warlike rhetoric”.

More than 100 people have died since Sunday – the worst flare-up in years. Officially part of Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh is run by ethnic Armenians.

Armenia and Azerbaijan – two former Soviet republics – fought a war in 1988-1994 over the region. There are growing fears that international powers could be dragged into the conflict.

On Wednesday, Mr Lavrov’s office said he had called the foreign ministers of both Armenia and Azerbaijan to say Russia was willing to host talks.

Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the fighting with French President Emmanuel Macron in a separate telephone call. Both leaders reiterated calls by world powers for an immediate ceasefire.

Russia is part of a military alliance with Armenia and has a military base in the country.

However, it also has close ties to the government of Azerbaijan.

Armenia backs the self-declared republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, but has never officially recognized it.

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