Russian foreign minister spoke about Karabakh, while meeting a European official on Oct. 19, 2020

While the pause in shelling of population centers continued for a second day, there was continued shelling on the frontlines of Artsakh. According to the Defense Army, fighting remained focused in the north and the south of Karabakh, but its intensity appeared to be decreasing somewhat.

Speaking at a press conference in Moscow, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov acknowledged that the ceasefire he brokered on October 10 was not holding.

“Fighting is continuing, there was shelling of civilian infrastructure, population centers,” he noted. “This is unacceptable.”

Lavrov added that the Russian defense ministry has reached out to its Azerbaijani and Armenian counterparts, to work out a mechanism to control the cease-fire regime.

In their interviews with Russia’s state news agency Tass, Nikol Pashinyan and Ilham Aliyev broadly expressed readiness to resume negotiations, while stressing their diverging priorities.

France, Russia and the United States convened a UN Security Council meeting to discuss Karabakh, and according to media reports the Council was working on a statement calling for a firm cease-fire and resumed negotiations.

Finally, the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will meet with Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers on October 23.