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Kremlin calls for immediate halt to fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh

Kremlin calls for immediate halt to fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh
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The Kremlin is calling for an immediate halt to the violent conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, making an appeal to Armenia and Azerbaijan to respect a delicate cease-fire and settle issues by diplomatic means.

Russia brokered a truce between Armenia and Azerbaijan Saturday, though the two sides have accused each other of violations such as attacks against citizens, Reuters reported.

However, the truce appears to be failing as the defense ministry in Nagorno-Karabakh a territory inside Azerbaijan though governed by ethnic Armenians is accusing Azeri forces of launching artillery and rocket attacks in several areas, The Guardian reported.

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The violence has led to more than 500 fatalities on both sides in the past 17 days.

Russian defense minister Sergey Shoygu appealed for peace in a phone call to the Azeri and Armenian defense ministers, pushing for the countries to "fully meet the commitments" made under the humanitarian cease-fire brokered by Moscow.

Both sides have denied violating the cease-fire, though the conflict has not been mutually exclusive. On Wednesday, Azerbaijan said it reserved the right to hit any military installations that targeted civilians and deflect movements into its territory.

The conflict has resulted in numerous international groups warning of a humanitarian crisis, with families displaced from their homes and the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic to make matters worse for residents.

The violence is the most serious since the 1991-94 war over Nagorno-Karabakh that resulted in nearly 30,000 fatalities. Fears are building over whether Russian or Turkey could be brought into the conflict, as the Kremlin maintains a defense pact with Armenia and Turkey is Azerbaijan's ally.

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The Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenCaitlyn Jenner says election was not 'stolen,' calls Biden 'our president' Manchin, Biden huddle amid talk of breaking up T package Overnight Energy: 5 takeaways from the Colonial Pipeline attack | Colonial aims to 'substantially' restore pipeline operations by end of week | Three questions about Biden's conservation goals MORE spoke on the issue, calling out the Trump administration for being "largely passive and disengaged" regarding the conflict.

"Rather than delegating the diplomacy to Moscow, the administration must get more involved, at the highest levels," Biden said in a statement.

President TrumpDonald TrumpCaitlyn Jenner says election was not 'stolen,' calls Biden 'our president' Overnight Health Care: FDA authorizes Pfizer vaccine for adolescents | Biden administration reverses limits on LGBTQ health protections Overnight Defense: US fires 30 warning shots at Iranian boats | Kabul attack heightens fears of Afghan women's fates | Democratic Party leaders push Biden on rejoining Iran deal MORE joined a statement with France and Russia to call for an end to the fighting, but he refrained from calling out Turkey for interfering in the conflict. Trump has cultivated a relationship with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoPompeo on CIA recruitment: We can't risk national security to appease 'liberal, woke agenda' DNC gathers opposition research on over 20 potential GOP presidential candidates Dozens of scientists call for deeper investigation into origins of COVID-19, including the lab theory MORE on Tuesday condemned both sides of the conflict and called on Azerbaijan and Armenia to respect the cease-fire agreement.

The Hill reached out to the White House for comment but did not immediately receive a reply.