Mr Putin will hold a crucial meeting today after calling for a ceasefire in the brutal conflict, which has left hundreds of people dead. The Russian President will hold showdown talks with the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Moscow following weeks of clashes between the former Soviet nations – which has claimed the lives of around 400 military personnel and civilians.
The latest battle between Baku and Yerevan has been raging since September 27 and is centred on the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh – a territory belonging to Azerbaijan before the break-up of the Soviet Union.
Mr Putin has already held preliminary talks with the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia to end the conflict.
To highlight the scale of the bloodshed, the Kremlin has insisted the suspension of fighting will enable a “swap of dead bodies and prisoners”.
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has confirmed the foreign ministers will attend talks later this afternoon in the Russian capital.
Earlier the Kremlin said in a statement: “After a series of phone conversations with Azerbaijani President Ilkham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, the president of the Russian Federation is making a call to cease the current hostilities in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone for humanitarian reasons, with the aim to carry out a swap of dead bodies and prisoners.
“In order to hold consultations on those issues, mediated by the Russian foreign minister, the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia are invited to Moscow on October 9.”
Ahead of the discussions, Azerbaijanis defence ministry confirmed clashes continued with ethnic Armenian forces on Thursday night.
President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, has called for Armenia to set a timetable for a withdrawal from Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding Azeri territories in order for a ceasefire to take place.
Armenia has ruled out a withdrawal from the territory it considers its historic homeland.
Azerbaijan says 31 Azeri civilians have been killed and 154 wounded since the conflict began.
Officials in Nagorno-Karabakh say 350 of its military personnel and 20 civilians have been killed.
Under international law, Nagorno-Karabakh belongs to Azerbaijan, but it is populated and governed by ethnic Armenians.
Russia, US and France are co-chairs of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Minsk Group that has led peace over Nagorno-Karabakh since 1992.
Washington has also called for an immediate end the fighting and a return to peace talks.
A US official said: “The position of the United States has been clear and has not changed.
“Both sides must cease hostilities immediately and work with the Minsk Group Co-Chairs to return to substantive negotiations as soon as possible.”