Moscow, Nov 5 (IANS) Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that his country was doing everything it could to end the ongoing conflict in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
“Russia is doing everything in its power to make sure that the conflict in the South Caucasus ends as soon as possible, as well as to protect the lives of people who are unfortunately looking at each other down the barrel of a gun and are using weapons against each other,” TAA News Agency quoted Putin as saying at a meeting with religious leaders on Wednesday.
The president emphasized that the goals of both opposing sides in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict can be achieved by peaceful means through negotiations.
“We maintain contact with both Armenia and Azerbaijan. I hope that we will manage to achieve results on a basis acceptable to all those living in the region,” Putin said, emphasizing on the need to use peaceful methods.
On October 31, the Russian Foreign Ministry had announced on Saturday that Russia will provide all the necessary assistance to Armenia in accordance with the 1997 treaty between the two countries if the clashes spill over into the latter’s territory, Xinhua news agency reported.
The Ministry further called for an immediate ceasefire and de-escalation of tensions, urging parties to return to negotiations in line with the basic agreements reached by the foreign ministers of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia in Moscow on October 10.
Putin’s remarks came almost a week after Armenia and Azerbaijan had agreed to avoid targeting civilians and residential areas amid the ongoing conflict between the two warring countries over the disputed region.
The decision came on October 30 after talks in Geneva between Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov, along with representatives from France, Russia and the US.
On October 26, the latest US-brokered ceasefire reached between Armenia and Azerbaijan collapsed after the two sides traded accusations and attacks.
This was the third agreement within weeks.
The two other Russia-brokered agreements were reached on October 10 and October 17, but both sides blamed each other for not observing them.
A new round of armed conflict broke out on September 27 along the contact line of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but mostly governed by the Republic of Artsakh, a de facto independent state with an Armenian ethnic majority.
The area experienced flare-ups of violence in the summer of 2014, April 2016 and in July this year.
Armenia and Azerbaijan went to war over the region in 1988-94, eventually declaring a ceasefire.
However, a settlement was never reached.