Putin, Macron call for Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire as deaths mount

Russian President Vladimir Putin and France’s Emmanuel Macron have called for an immediate ceasefire between ethnic Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan, as the official death toll passed 100 and the two sides said they would continue fighting.

“Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron called on the warring sides to halt fire completely and as soon as possible, de-escalate tensions and show maximum restraint,” the Kremlin said in a statement early on Thursday.

In a telephone conversation that came at Macron’s initiative, the two leaders discussed “concrete parameters of further cooperation, first and foremost within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

The leaders expressed “readiness” to see a statement made on behalf of the co-chairs of the Minsk Group – Russia, France and the United States – that would call for an “immediate” end to fighting and start of talks, the Kremlin added.

On Thursday, Azerbaijan’s general prosecutor’s office said Armenian shelling killed a civilian in its town of Terter and badly damaged the train station there.

The two sides are engaged in the heaviest fighting in years over Karabakh, an ethnic Armenian province that broke away from Azerbaijan in the 1990s when the Soviet Union collapsed.

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