Putin, Macron call for Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire as deaths were mount Asia


Russian President Vladimir Putin and France’s Emmanuel Macron have called for an immediate cease-fire between ethnic Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karbakh and Azerbaijan, as official deaths exceeded 100 and both sides said they would continue fighting.

“Vladimir Putin and Emanuel Macron called on the parties to stop the fire altogether and, as soon as possible, reduce tensions and show maximum restraint,” the Kremlin said in a statement on Thursday.

In a telephone conversation on Macron’s initiative, the two leaders discussed “concrete parameters of further cooperation, within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group, and first,” Kasenlin said in a statement.

The Kremlin said the leaders expressed “readiness” to see a statement made on behalf of the co-presidents of the Minsk group, Russia, France and the United States – to fight for an “immediate” end and to begin negotiations Will ask for .

The two sides have been engaged in heavy fighting over the Qarabakhs for years, an ethnic Armenian province that seceded from Azerbaijan in the 1990s when the Soviet Union collapsed.

So far, Armenia and Azerbaijan have rejected international calls for negotiations.

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev promised that his army would continue fighting until Armenian troops withdrew from Karabakh completely.

If “the Armenian government meets the demand, the fighting and bloodshed will cease, and peace will be established in the area,” he said while visiting the wounded soldiers on Wednesday.

‘Ready for long term war’

For his part, Armenian Prime Minister Nicholas Pashinian said that “at a time of intense hostility” was not “very suitable” for negotiations.

In the Armenian capital Yerevan, dozens of men gathered outside a recruitment office to join the fight.

“We need to prepare for a long-term war,” Karabakh leader Araiq Harututian said Wednesday.

In the capital of Brexit province, Steffenart, two explosions occurred as soon as the siren sounded at midnight on Thursday.

Residents told AFP news agency that the city was attacked by a drone.

The streets were dark due to the closure of public lighting, although some shops in the city were open, which local officials said when the explosion first erupted on Sunday.

The official death toll, including civilians, has crossed 100, with both sides claiming heavy losses on each other.

Armenia has 104 military deaths and 23 civilian casualties.

It claimed that Azerbaijan had lost 130 soldiers while 200 others were wounded.

Armenia has reported 104 military deaths and 23 civilian casualties, and claimed that Azerbaijan had lost 130 soldiers, while 200 others were wounded. [Aziz Karimov/AP]

Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Defense said its forces destroyed 2,300 Karabakh troops and “130 tanks, 200 artillery units, 25 anti-aircraft units, five ammunition depots, 50 anti-tank units, 55 military vehicles”.

With Baku and Yerevan rejecting the talks, there have been apprehensions that the conflict may escalate into an all-out war, which may also draw in regional powers such as Turkey and Russia.

Moscow, which has a military agreement with Armenia and also has good relations with Azerbaijan, has repeatedly called for an end to the fighting and offered host talks.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov confirmed Moscow’s “readiness” to hold a meeting.

But neither leader gave any indication of being ready for talks.

“We are certainly close to seeing a large-scale war, possibly even on a regional scale,” said Olesa Vartanyan of the International Crisis Group.

The declaration of independence of Karabakh from Azerbaijan sparked a war in the early 1990s, claiming the lives of 30,000 people, but the region is not recognized by any country, including Armenia.

Negotiations to resolve the conflict have stalled to a large extent since the 1994 ceasefire agreement.

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