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Terrorists rush to Nagorno-Karabakh conflict area, says Russian intelligence head

Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) head Sergei Naryshkin underscored that there are hundreds or even thousands of extremists who seek to profit from the new Karabakh war

MOSCOW, October 6. /TASS/. Southern Caucasus may become a new foothold for militants from international terror groups, Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) head Sergei Naryshkin said in a statement, published by the SVR press service Tuesday.

"The escalating standoff in Karabakh attracts militants from various international terror groups like a magnet," Naryshkin underscored.

"We […] cannot stay unconcerned over the fact that southern Caucasus may become a new foothold for the international terror groups, which would allow the militants to infiltrate other states bordering Azerbaijan and Armenia, including Russia," he said.

"According to the SVR information, mercenaries from international terror group, such as the Nusra Front, the Firqat al-Hamza, the Sultan Murad Division, fighting in the Middle East, as well as Kurdish extremist groups actively converge in [Nagorno-Karabakh] conflict area," the SVR head said.

Naryshkin reminded that while clashes along the contact line in Nagorno-Karabakh happened before, current escalation causes particular concerns not only by its scale, but also by qualitatively different effect of external factors.

"It is the first time that Turkey acts in favor of Azerbaijan so openly and unambiguously," the intelligence head noted.

At the same time, he expressed his certainty that the sides of the conflict will be able to cease hostilities and return to negotiations.

"We have no doubts that, with assistance from the international community, the sides of the conflict will finally stop using force and sit down at the negotiations table," Naryshkin noted.

He underscored that a new war in the region is unacceptable for Russia as the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairman nation.

"We are also concerned that people of our friendly Armenian and Azerbaijani nations die in the hostilities," the SVR head said.