The Kremlin issued a new appeal for an end to hostilities in and around Nagorno-Karabakh on Tuesday after Moscow’s foreign intelligence chief said the mountain enclave could become a launch pad for Islamist militants to enter Russia.
Moscow expressed alarm after the deadliest fighting in more than 25 years between ethnic Armenian and Azeri forces entered a 10th day, though the French news agency AFP later said Armenia had offered concessions only if Azerbaijan was ready to do so.
AFP gave no details of the offer it said had been made by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. Azerbaijan has said it will stop fighting only if Armenia sets a timetable to withdraw from Nagorno-Karabakh, which under international law belongs to Azerbaijan but is populated and governed by ethnic Armenians.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called for fighting to stop and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov voiced “serious concern about the unprecedented escalation” in a phone call with Iran’s foreign minister, Sergei Naryshkin, the head of Russia’s SVR Foreign Intelligence Service, said the conflict was attracting people he described as mercenaries and terrorists from the Middle East.
Read more: Reuters