BAKU, April 8. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will visit Baku on Friday where he will meet with Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev and the country’s Prime Minister Artur Rasizade.
Medvedev is expected to discuss the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh with his Azerbaijani partners. The visit was not planned in advance, it became necessary after the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict escalated.
The Russian prime minister is travelling to Baku from Yerevan where he held talks with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan.
Talking to reporters after the meeting with the Armenian leaders, Medvedev noted that Moscow was willing to act as a mediator in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The main thing is to prevent it from escalating into "a hot phase, since this may have the most tragic consequences for the region," he said.
He expressed the hope that the ceasefire would be observed, and the political process would resume. Medvedev noted that Moscow was "ready to act as a mediator within the Minsk group in the future using our influence within the framework of the relevant procedures."
The Russian prime minister earlier discussed the issue with Armenian President Serzh Sargsayan who briefed Medvedev on the developments in the region expressing hope that the Minsk Group co-chairs will be able to provide mediation assistance in bringing the situation back to normal.
For his part, Medvedev offered his counterpart to discuss Russia’s suggestions on the steps aimed to resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that could be taken at an early date.
He again pointed out that there is no alternative to "peace talks and quiet discussions."
According to Medvedev, the Russian side proceeds from the assumption that "the main thing now is to preserve peace, return to the negotiating table despite the fact that the background for these negotiations is not the best, putting it mildly."
The situation along the line of contact in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone deteriorated dramatically overnight on April 2, fierce clashes began. The parties to the conflict accused each other of violating the truce.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said in its humanitarian report that at least 33 people, including three civilians, were killed in the fighting and over 200 more were injured. The Defense Ministries of Armenia and Azerbaijan earlier said that an agreement had been reached to end the fighting on April 5 at 11.00 Moscow Time.