Russia has called for an immediate halt to the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh, where Azerbaijan has launched a military operation against separatist forces after months of rising tensions.
Dozens have been reported killed and more than 200 wounded in the fighting which broke out on Tuesday when Azerbaijan sent troops backed by artillery against separatists in the Armenian- controlled Nagorno-Karabakh region in the South Caucasus.
Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognised as Azerbaijani territory but part of it is run by separatist Armenian Authorities who say it is their ancestral homeland.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that Russia’s 2,000-strong peacekeeping mission in Nagorno-Karabakh was evacuating civilians and providing medical assistance amid the clashes.
“We urge the conflicting parties to immediately stop the bloodshed, stop hostilities and eliminate civilian casualties,” the Ministry said in a statement.
The United States and France also called on Tuesday for Azerbaijan to halt its offensive against the Karabakh separatists who reported that 27 people, including two civilians, had been killed and more than 200 wounded.