00:22 GMT17 April 2021
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    In the early hours of Tuesday, the leaders of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan adopted a joint statement on a ceasefire in Karabakh. Under the new deal, Azerbaijan and Armenia will stop at their current positions and exchange prisoners.

    The meeting of the Armenian parliament's council, which was scheduled to discuss the extraordinary session of the legislative body, did not take place due to the lack of a quorum, Naira Zohrabyan, a lawmaker from the Prosperous Armenia opposition faction, head of the standing parliamentary commission for the protection of human rights and public affairs, said.

    A massive opposition rally was held in Yerevan on Wednesday, its participants demanded the resignation of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan due to his signing of an agreement on a ceasefire in the unrecognised republic of Nagorno-Karabakh. Among the demands of the demonstrators was the convening of an extraordinary session of parliament to discuss the resignation of the prime minister.

    Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a statement that he had signed a joint declaration with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on a new ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh, which goes into effect starting Tuesday. Under the new deal, Azerbaijan and Armenia will stop at their current positions, exchange prisoners and allow for Russian peacekeepers to be deployed in the region.

    A new round of hostilities started on 27 September when Yerevan and Baku both accused the other side of provocations on the line of contact. While most countries have called for restraint on both sides, Turkey declared it would provide Azerbaijan with any support it requires.

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    • 22:45

      Macron Tells Pashinyan in Phone Call About His Availability to Help Build Lasting Solution to Karabakh Conflict

      “The president has expressed satisfaction with the cessation of hostilities, he reminded about his friendly feelings toward Armenia and its people, as well as reaffirmed his readiness to look for a political settlement [of the conflict] that will be fair, long-lasting and acceptable for all parties in Nagorno-Karabakh, Elysee said in a statement.

      The French leader also told Pashinyan about the Thursday meeting aimed at coordinating efforts on the French humanitarian assistance to the conflict-hit region.

    • 22:05

      Azerbaijan President's Aide Calls Ambassador Remarks on Downed Russian Mi-24 Inappropriate

      At a press conference at the Rossiya Segodnya international news agency, Azerbaijan's Ambassador to Russia Polad Bulbuloglu commented on the incident with the Mi-24 helicopter, saying that "anything can happen - a la guerre comme a la guerre". The Russian Foreign Ministry called the statement a "big mistake", stressing that Azerbaijan would have faced a crushing response from Russia if the latter had followed this principle.

      "The comment by the Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Russian Federation on this issue is inappropriate. Such a case cannot undermine the Azerbaijani-Russian relations", Hajiyev told the Azertac news outlet.

    • 19:08

      Baku Guarantees Keeping Armenian Historical, Cultural Monuments in Karabakh - Ambassador

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Baku guarantees that no historical and cultural monuments located in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region will be harmed after Azerbaijan will take control of the territories mentioned in the recent ceasefire, Azerbaijani Ambassador to Russia Polad Bulbuloglu said on Thursday.

      "In Azerbaijan, in general, we have a very attentive attitude towards monuments. We work very closely with UNESCO, which is called upon to protect monuments on this topic. I am not a military man and I am not there, but I can guarantee on my own level that no monument of history, let alone of spirituality, will be harmed", Bulbuloglu said at a press conference.

    • 17:50

      Azerbaijan Ambassador Says No Credible Evidence Exists of Mercenaries Fighting in Karabakh

      Speculations on the presence of mercenaries in Nagorno-Karabakh fighting on the Azerbaijani side are groundless and no country has presented credible evidence of this, Azerbaijani Ambassador to Russia Polad Bulbuloglu said on Thursday at a press conference.

      Since the eruption of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh, multiple media outlets reported on the redeployment of militants from Syria to Azerbaijan via Turkey. Last week, the Russian Foreign Ministry expressed its concern over the transfer of militants from the Middle East to Nagorno-Karabakh. On Wednesday, the UN called on all sides and countries involved in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to urgently withdraw all mercenaries and halt further recruitment.

      "There are a lot of speculations about mercenaries, but I ask you to pay attention ... esteemed [Foreign Minister] Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov, speaking about the figures of mercenaries, never said on whose side they are fighting," Bulbuloglu said.

      The ambassador added that he had filed a document to the relevant Russian agencies, which contained "the names, call signs of mercenaries who were on the Armenian side."

      Bulbuloglu stressed that no country presented credible evidence of the fact that Azerbaijan had recruited mercenaries from the Middle East.

      "So far, not a single real paper with names, specifications and so on has been presented by either side," the ambassador said.

      On Tuesday, the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia signed a joint declaration that put an end to the six-week conflict in the disputed region. The agreement envisages, among other things, the deployment of Russian peacekeepers along the contact line to ensure stability in the region, stop the flow of refugees, and facilitate their return to their places of residence with the assistance of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the relevant UN agencies.

    • 17:32

      Turkish Defence Minister Says Ankara is at Centre of Karabakh Settlement, Both on Ground and at Negotiating Table

    • 17:25

      Russian Peacekeeping Battalion Enters Stepanakert, Defence Ministry Says

      Russian peacekeeping battalion entered the city of Stepanakert, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said at a briefing on Thursday.

      "The peacekeeping battalion of the 15th separate motorized rifle brigade, having marched, entered the city of Stepanakert at 5 p.m.," he said.

      He added that 10 observation posts had been deployed along the line of contact in Nagorno-Karabakh and the Lachin corridor.

      Peacekeepers in Karabakh have begun to deploy four observation posts in the South zone of responsibility, Konashenkov also said.

    • 17:01

      Armenian FM Had Phone Conversations on Karabakh With Russian, French FMs, US Deputy Secretary of State, Yerevan Says

       Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan discussed the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and the fate of the Armenian cultural heritage in the region with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun, the Armenian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

      "Mnatsakanyan stressed that the [joint] statement [by the leaders of Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan] aimed at establishing a ceasefire regime and deploying peacekeepers cannot be considered a comprehensive solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," the ministry said.

      "The key role of Turkey in planning, provoking and waging the war unleashed by Azerbaijan against Artsakh [self-name of Karabakh] was noted, which was expressed both in direct participation in hostilities and in the involvement of foreign militants into the conflict zone," it said.

      The minister ruled out any role of Turkey in the peacekeeping operations in Artsakh, despite the steps taken by Ankara in this direction, it said.

      Mnatsakanyan stressed that the international community should immediately take steps to resolve the humanitarian crisis in Karabakh, "which arose as a result of the Turkish-Azerbaijani aggression."

      "The Armenian foreign minister expressed deep concern over the fate of Armenian historical and cultural heritage in the territories occupied by Azerbaijan in Artsakh. He stressed that the international community is well aware of Azerbaijan's barbaric attitude towards the Armenian heritage, as a result of which Armenian monuments were destroyed in Nakhichevan, on the territory of Azerbaijan, as well as on the territories of Artsakh, which were under Azerbaijani occupation during the first Artsakh war," the statement says.

      "The interlocutors stressed the importance of continuing the activities of the OSCE Minsk Group as the only format with an international mediation mandate," the ministry noted.

      According to the ministry, in this regard, Mnatsakanyan stressed that all issues related to the peace process in Nagorno-Karabakh must be discussed exclusively within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group, and the interests of the Armenians in Karabakh will be represented in this format. The minister stressed the need to guarantee the status of Karabakh and full security of the Armenians living there.

    • 16:54

      Russian Foreign Ministry Expects Earliest Implementation of Azeri President's Assurances to Probe Downing of Mi-24, Punish Those Responsible

    • 15:40

      Ceasefire Between Yerevan, Baku Gives Hope for End of Long-Standing Refugee Crisis, UNHCR Says

      The ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan gives hope that the long-standing displacement crisis in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh will end, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said on Thursday.

      On Tuesday, the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia signed a joint declaration that put an end to the six-week conflict in the disputed region. The agreement envisages, among other things, the deployment of Russian peacekeepers along the contact line to ensure stability in the region, stop the flow of refugees, and facilitate their return to their places of residence with the assistance of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the relevant UN agencies.

      "We have to see how this ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan plays out. It has very complex challenges for the Armenians, in particular, but it could have some promise for getting out of one of the longest displacement crises we have been dealing with," Grandi said during the MED Virtual Dialogue organized by the Italian Institute for International Political Studies.

      The UN official also said that the agency had been operating in both countries since 1992, "permanently waiting for some solution to happen."

      The war that erupted in the breakaway region in the 1990s led to the displacement of 492,000 people, including 420,000 refugees and 72,000 internally displaced persons, according to the International Organization for Migration. Since a fresh escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in late September, over 90,000 people who once lived in the region have become refugees.

    • 15:21

      Situation in Nagorno-Karabakh Shows Danger of Frozen Conflicts, Serbian President Says

      The armed conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh has exposed the danger inherent in frozen conflicts, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Thursday.

      "The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh is an example of how a frozen conflict, if someone unfreezes it, can turn into a real catastrophe. I will not talk about the political consequences and what it resembles, and who has not learned the lesson from our defeats in the 1990s. But we must draw the right conclusions from the events of the 1990s and from what happened," Vucic said at a press conference.

      According to the Serbian president, the most important lesson is that frozen conflicts should not be left to future generations and that compromise solution should be found.

      Vucic also talked about the fact that everyone had to rely on their own powers and that Serbia would continue strengthening its economy and military capabilities to be able to defend its territories if needed.

      The long-lasting Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which dates back to 1988, escalated afresh on September 27. Armenia and Azerbaijan have accused each other of starting the military action.

      Earlier this week, the leaders of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan adopted a joint statement on cessation of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh. The ceasefire entered into force at 00:00 Moscow time on Tuesday (21:00 GMT on Monday). The agreement resulted in the loss of most territories controlled by the Armenian-majority self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh and envisions the deployment of Russian peacekeepers to the region.

    • 15:06

      Azeri Defence Minister Meets With Commander of Russian Peacekeeping Mission in Karabakh

      Azeri Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov met with Gen. Lt. Rustam Muradov, who leads the Russian peacekeeper mission in Karabakh, and discussed organizational matters, the defence ministry said Thursday.

      "The organization and implementation of the peacekeeping mission were discussed at the meeting," the press service of the ministry said.

    • 14:29

      Police Encircle National Security Service Headquarters

    • 14:18

      Protesters March Towards National Security Service Headquarters, Demanding PM Pashinyan's Resignation

    • 13:48

      Participants of Opposition Rally in Yerevan Heading to National Security Service Headquarters

      Opposition protesters in Yerevan, who demand the resignation of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan due to the signing of a trilateral ceasefire agreement on Karabakh, are heading to the headquarters of the National Security Service, a Sputnik correspondent reported from the scene.

      Protesters gathered on Thursday outside the building of the Matenadaran Institute of Ancient Manuscripts. A short rally took place, during which there were calls for Pashinyan's resignation.

      "This incapacitated government must leave so that it would be possible to create new conditions and opportunities to get out of the current situation," Vahe Enfiajyan, the parliament's vice speaker from opposition party Prosperous Armenia, said at the rally.

      Then the protesters went to the building of the National Security Service, where ten opposition leaders are being held.

    • 13:26

      Armenian Police are Dispersing a Rally in Central Yerevan, Detaining Participants

      Armenian police are dispersing the crowd of protesters in the center of Yerevan, who are demanding that Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan resign, a Sputnik correspondent reported Thursday.

      There have been some detentions already.

    • 13:20

      Video of Russian Peacekeepers Deploying in Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Zone Released

      Russian peacekeepers are deployed to Nagorno-Karabakh

      Video of Russian Peacekeepers Deploying in Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Zone Released

      Under the deal, which was signed by Azerbaijani President Aliev, Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan and Russian President Putin on Tuesday, Russian peacekeepers will be deployed in the Nagorno-Karabakh region and will remain there for the next five years.
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    • 12:21

      Azerbaijani Ambassador Says Nagorno-Karabakh Crisis Can Be Considered Resolved

    • 12:08

      No Final Conclusions About Causes of Incident With Russian Helicopter, Azerbaijan Ambassador Says

      The compensation that Baku will pay to Russia for downing its plane is yet to be calculated, Azerbaijani Ambassador to Russia Polad Bulbuloglu said on Thursday.

      "The Azerbaijani side is ready for any compensation it will have to pay to families, the government or the military agency," Bulbuloglu said at a press conference.

    • 12:08

      Armenian Defenсe Ministry Ready to Support Russian Peacekeepers in Karabakh

      The Armenian Defenсe Ministry confirmed on Thursday its commitment to provide comprehensive support to the Russian peacekeepers deployed to Karabakh under the new agreement.

      "The trilateral deal on stopping the war in Artsakh [unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic] and the deployment of Russia's peacekeeping contingent ... makes it possible to learn what happened to war prisoners and to exchange the bodies. The Armenian Defenсe Ministry is ready to provide comprehensive assistance to the Russian peacekeeping contingent in the implementation of is mission," the Armenian Defenсe Ministry said in a statement.

      The ministry added it was actively cooperating with the Russian peacekeepers and representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross on mechanisms for exchanging prisoners and bodies with Azerbaijan.

    • 10:44

      Russia to Rotate Peacekeepers in Karabakh Every 6 Months

      Russia will replace peacekeepers in Karabakh with new troops at least twice a year, a presidential decree, which was published Thursday, said.

      The Defenсe Ministry is expected to replace equipment based on the technical needs and the items' condition.

      Russia will have 1,960 troops, 90 armored trucks, 380 cars and other equipment in Karabakh.

    • 10:25

      Over 20,000 Armenian Troops Could Be Trapped Unless Yerevan Signed Truce Deal, Pashinyan Says

      More than 20,000 Armenian troops could have been surrounded by the enemy unless Yerevan signed a ceasefire agreement on Karabakh, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in an address to the people on Thursday.

      According to the prime minister, the military commandment told him that the campaign had to be stopped and the president of the unrecognized Republic of Karabakh that its capital of Stepanakert could be lost.

      "If Stepanakert was lost, then Askeran and Martakert would fall. In that case, seven defending districts would have been surrounded, more than 20,000 soldiers and officers would be under siege and facing death or captivity," the prime minister said.

      Pashinyan said he signed the ceasefire agreement with Azerbaijan to save the lives of soldiers.

      The prime minister added, however, that the issue of Karabakh had remained unresolved.

    • 09:59

      Russia Sees No Evidence of Anyone Trying to Violate Karabakh Agreements, Lavrov Says

      Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed the belief on Thursday that the Karabakh ceasefire agreement would be implemented.

      "I am sure that the integrity of this agreement will be preserved and it will be implemented. At least, I see that multiple political forces in Armenia understand what happens and make proper conclusions," Lavrov said at a press conference, noting that Russia sees no evidence of anyone trying to violate the agreements.

      The status of Nagorno-Karabakh will depend on the ethnic and confessional composition of the region, Russia is against any "artificial deadlines," minister stressed.

      "We assume that the status will be determined depending on what actions we should implement to restore the ethnic and confessional harmony in Nagorno-Karabakh," Lavrov said at a press conference, stressing that Russia "sets no artificial deadlines."

      The Russian-Turkish joint center for monitoring the Karabakh ceasefire will be operating remotely, and no Turkish peacekeepers will be deployed to Karabakh, Lavrov.

      "The centre will operate exclusively remotely, using technical means for objective control, including UAVs and other technologies that help assess the situation on the ground in Karabakh, first of all on the contact line, and determine which side complies with the ceasefire agreement and which one violates its conditions," Lavrov said in his interview for Russian and foreign media.

      Commenting on Turkish officials' statements, the Russian foreign minister stressed no Turkish peacekeepers would be present in Karabakh.

      "The mobility of the Turkish observers will be limited by the buildings [of the Russian-Turkish monitoring centre] on the Azerbaijani territory, not on the territory where the conflict was ongoing ... As for statements made in the [Turkish parliament] that they will be working on the same grounds as Russians, this only about the center that will be located on the Azerbaijani territory, without any visiting missions," Lavrov added.

      Delegations from France and the United States will pay a visit to Moscow in the coming days to hold consultations on Karabakh and discuss the recently reached agreements, Lavrov stressed.

      Russia has invited the United Nations Security Council to welcome the Karabakh ceasefire, pointing to the fact that the agreements are in line with the initiatives of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's Minsk Group, Lavrov noted at a press conference.

      "We certainly do not want to distance from our American and French colleagues. Moreover, we have invited them to Moscow, and they will be here in the coming days for detailed talks on how they can promote the implementation of the reached agreements," Lavrov said.

      According to Lavrov, Russia is already in talks with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and other UN bodies, and the ICRC, which "cooperates closely with all the countries on humanitarian problems."

      "We have communicated with the ICRC chiefs in Geneva, and we will receive the ICRC president in Moscow next week. We will discuss ways for the Red Cross to resume its operation in the current conditions, in particular, to promote the exchange of bodies and the return of refugees, hostages and other held people," Lavrov said at a press conference.

      Lavrov refuted on Thursday as "blatant lies" claims that his country is interested in the continuation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict in Karabakh.

      Some people are "euphoric" while others are "hysterical" after the new Karabakh ceasefire deal, claiming that Russia has "lost the Caucasus, and Crimea will be next", Lavrov noted. The minister noted that even some Russian liberal media outlets are accusing Moscow of "betrayal."

      "There were claims that Russia is more then any other country interested in the continuation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, that Russia used to delay [crisis settlement] for years. This is a blatant lie," Lavrov said at a press conference.

      Moscow will get UNESCO involved in the settlement in Karabakh region to preserve cultural heritage, he added.

      "We will of course involve UNESCO to restore the cultural heritage, to ensure that it is respected," Lavrov told an online press concerned.

      Russia is also planning to get the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) involved.

    • 09:03

      Kremlin Refutes Ankara's New Statement About Its Participation in Karabakh Peacekeeping Mission, This Was Not Discussed

      Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov refuted Ankara's latest statement about Turkey's participation in a peacekeeping mission in Karabakh and added that this topic had not been discussed.

      "Perhaps, there's some misunderstanding there. Our understanding is that Russian troops serve as peacekeepers and are deployed at the contact line, and the interaction with Turkish troops will happen through a monitoring center in Azerbaijan," Peskov said, when asked about Turkey's statement.

      "As we have said repeatedly, this cannot be decided between Moscow and Ankara, this has to be agreed ... by Armenia and Azerbaijan. This topic has not been discussed, there are no such agreements," Peskov told reporters.

    • 08:59

      Turkey Intends to Build Railroad Connection to Nakhchivan, Transport Minister Says

      Turkey intends to build a railroad connecting the country with Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Adil Karaismailoglu said on Thursday.

      "In light of the recent events in the Caucasus, we plan to construct a railroad to Nakhchivan. We will soon complete the preliminary survey," Karaismailoglu said, as quoted by the Anadolu news agency.

    • 08:35

      Turkish Defence Minister Insists Again Turkish Armed Forces to Be Part of Joint Peacekeeper Mission in Karabakh

      Ankara reiterated, despite statement to the contrary, that Turkish armed forcs would join the Rusian peacekeeping mission in Karabakh.

      "Turkey will participate in monitoring and observation of the agreements on Karabakh. Turkish troops will act as part of a joint peacekeeping mission," defenсe minister Hulusi Akara said Thursday, as quoted by Turkish news agency Anadolu.

      Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier this week that a joint peacekeeping mission had not been discussd but Russia and Turkey would cooperate through a center in Azerbaijan.

    • 07:31

      Russian Mi-8 And Mi-24 Helicopters Taking Part in Peacekeeping Operation In Karabakh Reach Airbases

    • 07:30

      Armenia’s Ruling Faction Says Will Not Take Part in Meetings That Threaten Stability

      The ruling "My Step" alliance faction of Armenia says it will not participate in any parliamentary meetings that are aimed at undermining stability in the country.

      "The ‘My Step’ faction is confident that the society should get answers to all the questions it is concerned about. At the same time, the faction is not going to take part in any meetings aimed at undermining stability in Armenia, and threatening the front and the lives of people who defend it," the ruling party said on its Facebook page.

      "My Step" lawmakers said the opposition must "state very clearly" that they support the continuation of armed hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh before allowing themselves to cr

      Earlier, Naira Zohrabyan, a lawmaker from the "Prosperous Armenia" opposition faction, told Sputnik that a meeting of the Armenian parliament's council, dedicated to the discussion of an extraordinary session of the legislative body, did not take place because "My Step" members did not show up.

    • 07:23

      No-Fly Zone Announced in Armenia and Karabakh: Armenian Defence Ministry

      The Armenian Defence Ministry refuted on Thursday rumors about a Turkish unmanned aircraft flying over Yerevan, and noted that Armenian and Russian air defence forces were protecting the airspace of both Armenia and the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh).

      "Rumors about a Turkish Bayraktar in Yerevan's airspace are false. The Armenian Defence Ministry has already tasked the National Security Service with establishing the source of the rumors and finding out who was spreading them," the Armenian Defence Ministry's spokeswoman, Shushan Stepanyan, wrote on Twitter.

      According to the spokeswoman, air defense units of the Armenian armed forces and the Russian Aerospace Forces are "jointly covering the airspace of Armenia and Artsakh, it is closed for all flights except military aviation".

    • 07:15

      Ten Leaders of Armenian Opposition Detained After Rally in Yerevan, Investigators Say

      Ten leaders of the Armenian opposition were detained after the rallies in Yerevan, Sputnik Armenia reported on Thursday.

      They are accused of staging protests amid defense emergency. According to media reports, the detained persons include ex-chief of the National Security Service, Artur Vanetsyan.

      Protesters demand the resignation of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, as they strongly disfavor his decision to sign the deal on Karabakh ceasefire.

    • 06:45

      Head of Russian Peacekeepers in Karabakh Held Talks With Armenian Military Chiefs

      The head of the Russian peacekeeping contingent in Nagorno-Karabakh, Lt. Gen. Rustam Muradov, held negotiations with Armenian military chiefs on the details related to the work of the Russian mission, a source in the Russian peacekeeper force told Sputnik on Thursday.

      "Muradov held talks with Armenia's defense minister and chief of general staff yesterday," the source said.

      According to the source, Muradov and the Armenian military leaders discussed different aspects related to Russian peacekeepers deployment and the observation posts in the Lachin corridor and Nagorno-Karabakh.

    • 06:39

      Ankara to Receive Russian Delegation on Friday to Discuss Karabakh Monitoring Centre

      Stepanakert city in the morning of November 10, 2020

      Ankara to Receive Russian Delegation on Friday to Discuss Karabakh Monitoring Centre

      BAKU(Sputnik) - A Russian delegation will arrive in Turkey on Friday to discuss details related to the joint centre for monitoring the situation in Karabakh, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.
      Read more
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