BAKU - Russia wants to continue promoting direct dialogue between Azerbaijan and Armenia on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday at a meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

"We want to continue promoting direct dialogue between Baku and Yerevan on the settlement of the Karabakh conflict," Lavrov said as he arrived in Baku to attend a meeting of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC).

The BSEC is a regional organisation aimed at boosting political and economic cooperation in the Black Sea region, and also at promoting peace and stability. In May 1999, it acquired international legal identity as its Charter entered into force.

Nagorno-Karabakh, an Azerbaijani region with predominantly Armenian population, proclaimed its independence in 1991, prompting a military conflict, which still remains unsettled. In early April 2016, tensions between Azerbaijani and Nagorno-Karabakh forces escalated, resulting in multiple casualties. Sporadic clashes continue even though the sides promptly agreed to a ceasefire.