Armenia and Azerbaijan have declared a temporary ceasefire in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced the agreement after 10 hours of talks in Moscow. He said that after this, formal talks between the two countries would begin.
Tensions between the two countries, which began on September 27, have so far killed more than 300 people and displaced thousands.
According to the agreement, a ceasefire will take effect between the two countries on Saturday at 12 noon local time so that prisoners and bodies can be exchanged between the two sides.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed to a ceasefire in their conflict over the enclave of Nagorno Karabakh, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry https://t.co/ZvwFM4Mpgg
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) October 10, 2020
“A ceasefire is announced from 12 hours 00 minutes on October 10 on humanitarian grounds,” Sergey Lavrov said, reading from a statement.
It should be noted that Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but since the end of the war between the two countries in 1994, it has been governed by locals of Armenian descent.
This is the fiercest battle between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh in recent years, with both countries accusing each other of violence.
The two countries were under the administration of the Soviet Union before its collapse, and they have blamed each other for the recent tensions.
Russia has a military base in Armenia, and both countries are members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). However, Moscow also has good relations with Azerbaijan.
The latest situation in the region
Clashes continued throughout the day despite talks in Moscow, according to a statement issued by the Armenian Defense Ministry on Friday.
On Thursday, Armenia accused Azerbaijan of shelling a historic church during fighting in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Azerbaijan, meanwhile, has accused the Armenian army of shelling the area of Ganja and Goranboy, its second-largest cities, in which at least one civilian has been killed.
In 1994, before the ceasefire, both sides had to bear the loss of at least 30,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands.