Russia and Turkey are approaching each other in finding a solution in the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute. While Putin demands mutual willingness to compromise, President Erdoğan underlines Turkey’s willingness to act as mediator.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has called on Turkey to find a common compromise in the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute. Russia and Turkey are not united in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, but a solution is possible, Putin said on Thursday in a video conference of the International Discussion Club “Waldai”. Also the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan signaled the desire for common peace negotiations.
“Erdoğan may seem tough, but he is a flexible politician and a reliable partner for Russia,” the Russian head of state declared.
President Erdoğan said in Istanbul on Friday that Turkey has the right to be as much a part of a solution for Nagorno-Karabakh as Russia. He hopes that the two countries can work together towards this goal.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev had last emphasized Turkey’s importance as a mediator on October 12, and criticized that the Minsk Group, which was formed to mediate in the conflict and is led by France, Russia and the USA, is biased in its current form.
Numerous losses in fighting
According to Moscow, some 5,000 people have already died in the fighting over the Armenian-occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region. “There are many victims on both sides, more than 2000 on each side,” Putin said.
Officially, the Armenian separatist administration in Nagorno-Karabakh admitted 874 killed soldiers and militias since September 27. Azerbaijan speaks of 61 killed civilians and 291 wounded people. The authorities in Azerbaijan provide no information about the military losses.
Russia has negotiated two ceasefires since September 27, when the new clashes first broke out. However, all initiatives proved to be fragile.
In two rocket attacks on Ganja, an Azerbaijani city far from the front line, Armenian troops killed about two dozen civilians, including children. Many others were injured.
Last Thursday Armenian troops targeted people at a cemetery in the western city of Tartar. Four civilians were killed and four others injured.
The Nagorno-Karabakh region controlled by Armenia is part of Azerbaijan under international law. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Armenia occupied the area and transferred troops there. A fragile ceasefire has been in effect since 1994. Armenia relies on Russia as a protective power. Moscow has thousands of soldiers and weapons stationed there. Azerbaijan, on the other hand, considers Turkey a close ally.