Russian President Vladimir Putin invited the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia to Moscow on Friday for peace talks over the flared conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
The Kremlin announced in a statement that fighting for the disputed enclave must be stopped for humanitarian reasons.
“The foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia will be invited to Moscow on October 9,” Putin said in the statement. The Kremlin also announced that the president called the leaders of both countries on Thursday evening.
“The Russian president calls for an end to fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh on humanitarian grounds so that dead bodies and prisoners can be exchanged.”
The Russian leader said his Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov would mediate in the talks. It is not yet clear whether the ministers of both countries have accepted the invitation.
Russia has good ties with both Armenia and Azerbaijan. The two countries have been fighting again for almost two weeks over the controversial Nagorno-Karabakh region, where mainly ethnic Armenians live. International leaders have called for an end to the fighting, but it doesn’t seem like it yet.
On Thursday, France, Russia and the US started planned consultations from the so-called Minsk group about a ceasefire in the area. Armenia, however, indicated that it would not participate as long as there was fighting.
A meeting is planned in Moscow on Monday between the Armenian minister Zohrab Mnatsakanian (Foreign Affairs) and his Russian counterpart Lavrov. Whether Putin’s invitation will affect that meeting has not been disclosed.