Russia calls for withdrawal of foreign mercenaries from Nagorno-Karabakh

Russia said it had information about the involvement of foreign mercenaries in the armed conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh and called for their immediate withdrawal from the region. "According to the information that we received, the militants of illegal armed groups, in particular from Syria and Libya, are being transferred to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone in order to directly participate in the fighting," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a commentary posted on the ministry's website on Wednesday, September 30.

The Ministry expresses deep concern about this situation, which, as the commentary points out, not only leads "to an even greater escalation of tensions in the conflict zone, but also poses long-term threats to the security of all countries in the region. The Russian Foreign Ministry called on the leadership of the affected countries to "take effective measures to prevent the use of foreign terrorists and mercenaries in the conflict and their immediate withdrawal from the region."

Armenia and Azerbaijan accuse each other of attracting foreign mercenaries to the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia claims that Turkey has moved 4,000 radical Islamists from northern Syria to the South Caucasus. For its part, Azerbaijan accused Armenia of involving ethnic Armenians from Syria and other Countries in the Middle East. Both sides reject the accusations against them. Russia promised to verify this information and its Foreign Ministry has now issued a statement.

Turkey officially promised military assistance to Azerbaijan on September 30. Earlier, Armenia reported that an Armenian fighter jet was shot down by the Turkish Air Force.

French and Russian Presidents Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to exercise maximum restraint and achieve an early ceasefire. During a telephone conversation on September 30, they stressed that the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh can only be resolved through diplomacy.

  Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia, Azerbaijan