Russia says negotiated ceasefire between Armenia, Azerbaijan

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Russia said Tuesday it had negotiated a ceasefire between ex-Soviet Armenia and Azerbaijan, after fresh border clashes between the historic rivals left dozens dead.

“We expect that an agreement reached as a result of Russian mediation on a ceasefire from 9:00 a.m. Moscow time (0600 GMT) on September 13 this year will be carried out in full,” the foreign ministry in Moscow said in a statement.

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“We express our extreme concern over the sharp aggravation of the situation in areas of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border,” the Russian foreign ministry said.

“We call on the sides to refrain from further escalation of the situation, exercise restraint and strictly observe the ceasefire.”

Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said earlier on Tuesday in a speech to parliament that the intensity of fighting had reduced, but was still active in some areas. Azerbaijani media said the ceasefire broke down within 15 minutes.

Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountainous region of the South Caucasus, is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but the local ethnic Armenian residents reject Baku’s sovereignty over the region. It has been the source of fierce tensions between the two countries for decades.

In its statement, Russia said the dispute should be resolved “exclusively through political and diplomatic means.”

Both sides blamed each other for the flare-up in hostilities overnight, which Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said left 49 Armenian soldiers dead.

Moscow, an ally of Yerevan through the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) military alliance, but which also retains close friendly relations with Baku, did not say who it saw as responsible for the latest escalation.

With AFP and Reuters

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