Russian President Vladimir Putin said that around 5,000 people have been killed in clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan forces over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
This figure is higher than the death toll revealed by the two sides, the official death toll at under 1,000.
Russia is in a military alliance with Armenia and has an army base in the country. But it also has good ties with Azerbaijan.
In a televised meeting, Putin said,“There are a lot of casualties from both sides, more than 2,000 from each side.” He added that the number was “nearing 5,000”.
He also said that he was in “constant” communication with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev and would not be taking sides.
“I talk to them on the phone several times a day,” he said.
Nagorno-Karabakh’s governing authorities said 874 of its military personnel and 37 civilians have lost their lives since 27 September. Azerbaijan says 61 Azeri civilians have been killed but has not announced its military casualties.
Mr. Putin said he disagreed with Turkey over the conflict, adding that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan “might seem tough, but is a flexible politician and reliable partner for Russia”.
Mr. Putin also called on the US to “work in unison” with Russia to end the fighting.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have blamed each other for violating humanitarian ceasefires in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Turkey has pledged to send troops and offer support for Azerbaijan if requested.