Nagorno-Karabakh: Russia urges Turkey to back ceasefire effort

Moscow names Turkey, which has thrown support behind Azerbaijan, in call for peace as deadly fighting rages.

Clashes broke out over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh on Sunday [Azerbaijani Defence Ministry/AFP]

Russia has urged Turkey to work on bringing an end to deadly clashes in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, as Ankara has thrown its support behind Azerbaijan.

Dozens have been reported killed and hundreds wounded since clashes between Azerbaijan and its ethnic Armenian mountain enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh broke out on Sunday in a new eruption of a decades-old conflict.

Armenia and Azerbaijan reported further bloodshed in the region on Tuesday, as the worst spate of violence there since the 1990s raged for a third day, and as heavy weaponry was moved to the front lines.

Moscow’s appeal came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday demanded Armenia put an end to its “occupation” of Nagorno-Karabakh and called for it to leave the territory, which is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan.

“We call on all sides, especially partner countries such as Turkey to do all they can for a ceasefire and get back to a peaceful settlement of this conflict using political and diplomatic means,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.

“Any statements about some kind of support and military activity undoubtedly add fuel to the flames. We are categorically against this.”

Armenia has accused Turkey of sending mercenaries to back Azerbaijan, its close ally, a charge Ankara denies.

Turkey and Armenia have extremely strained ties. Russia is part of a military alliance of former Soviet states that includes Armenia, and has a military base there.

However, Russia supplies weapons to both Yerevan and Baku.

Peskov said Russia was in “constant contact” with all three countries.

France, Russia and the United States have mediated peace efforts as the “Minsk Group”, but the last big push for a peace deal collapsed in 2010.

Source: News Agencies