Final agreement close for joint monitoring in Nagorno-Karabakh – Russia

Russia and Turkey are finalizing an agreement on the joint monitoring of the ceasefire in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu said on Friday.

The two countries are working on the location of the monitoring centre, Shoygu said during a meeting chaired by Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the humanitarian mission, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu agency reported.

Agreement will soon be reached on the location and responsibilities of the centre, Shoygu said.

Deployments for the peace-keeping mission have been completed, and Russian contingents have begun to conduct missions, according to the minister.

After the meeting, Putin called on international organisations to join humanitarian efforts in the region which has seen large-scale destruction in the recent bout of fighting that erupted on Sept. 27 and continued until the ceasefire on Nov. 10 with Nagorno-Karabakh’s ethnic Armenian administration agreeing to cede some territory to Azerbaijan.

Putin also called on the UNHCR, UNICEF, UNESCO, and the U.N. development program to support efforts in the region.

Russia has also sent 188 servicemen and additional military equipment to reinforce its border guards in Armenia, Reuters reported citing Alexander Bortnikov, the head of Russia’s Federal Security Service. The border guard is a Russian force that stayed in Armenia after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The number of Russian peacekeepers in Karabakh has nearly reached 2,000, Reuters said.