Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said his country is in talks with Armenia and Azerbaijan on a mechanism to monitor a cease-fire that has already failed twice to halt fighting over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
“I hope that we will reach an agreement on such a mechanism in the nearest future,” Lavrov told a news conference in Moscow on Monday. “We need also to substantially speed up efforts for a political resolution.”
The worst violence in decades over Nagorno-Karabakh is in its fourth week with no sign of easing, amid reports of intense fighting close to Azerbaijan’s border with Iran. The leaders of
Russia, France and the US have appealed to both sides
to observe a humanitarian
truce agreement brokered in Moscow on October 10. Russia has offered to deploy military observers to oversee a cessation of hostilities and negotiations are continuing, Lavrov said.
Hundreds of people have been killed since the conflict erupted on September 27. Russia has struggled to rein in the fighting in an area it views as its sphere of influence.
Armenians took control of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts of Azerbaijan in a 1990s war amid the collapse of the Soviet Union. Azerbaijan says it’s fighting to recover its internationally-recognised territory, while Armenia says it’s defending Nagorno-Karabakh’s right to self-determination.