“Baku and Yerevan have confirmed their participation in the negotiations in Moscow. Preparations are underway, “said a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zaharova, quoted by the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatakanian and his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeihun Bairamova were summoned by the Kremlin on Thursday.
“Following a series of telephone talks with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian, Russian President Vladimir Putin is urging a ceasefire in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” the Russian presidency said in a statement.
So far, there has been no direct contact between the two sides since the resumption of armed clashes on September 27 in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh separatist region.
These armed clashes, of unprecedented intensity since the Civil War following the fall of the USSR in 1991, resulted in more than 400 deaths.
Azerbaijan’s close ties with Turkey, which accuses Paris of being militarily involved in the clashes, fuel fears of an internationalization of the conflict, as do Armenia’s defense agreements with Russia.
The Russian-dominated Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, threatened military intervention on Thursday if Armenian sovereignty is in jeopardy.
According to the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense, violent armed clashes took place on Thursday night through Friday, despite diplomatic efforts by the United States, France and Russia – which co-chair the Minsk Group within the OSCE, tasked with promoting a negotiated solution .
The Azerbaijani Foreign Minister agreed on Thursday to attend negotiations with the three major powers in Geneva, but no other information is publicly known.
His Armenian counterpart is set to meet on Monday with Russian, French and American diplomats in Moscow.
Stepanakert, a town that Armenian separatists in Nagorno-Karabakh consider the capital of their self-proclaimed republic, was bombed on Friday, according to the local “defense minister.”
Since the outbreak of the conflict, 31 civilians have been killed and another 154 injured, according to Baku authorities.
Nagorno-Karabakh separatists have announced a death toll of 375 soldiers and 22 civilians.