Russia Begins To Deploy Peacekeepers
Moscow says the war in Nagorno-Karabakh is over, with a ceasefire agreed to by both parties.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed a statement on ending the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, the Armenian leader wrote on his Facebook page on Tuesday, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
“I signed a statement with the presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan on ending the Karabakh war since 01:00 (00:00 Moscow Time). The text of the published statement is inexpressibly sensitive for me personally and for our people. I made the decision after a deep analysis of the military situation and the assessment by people who know it better than anyone,” Pashinyan said, noting that he made “a very and very hard decision”.
According to Pashinyan, “this step is based on a conviction that this is the best possible solution in the current situation.” “I will speak in detail about all this in the coming days. This is not victory, but there won’t be a defeat unless you recognize yourself as a loser. We will never recognize ourselves as losers and this should usher in our era of national unification and revival,” he said.
“Internally displaced persons and refugees are returning to Nagorno-Karabakh’s territory and adjacent areas under control of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees,” the Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Putin declared the agreement calls for a transfer of prisoners.
“All economic and transport ties of the region will be unblocked,” Putin said. “Control over transport services will be ensured also with the assistance of the Border Service [of the Federal Security Service] of Russia.”
Russia also begins to deploy peacekeepers to the Southern Caucasus.
“In accordance with the statement of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia and the President of the Russian Federation since 06:00 Moscow Time on November 10, 2020 Russia starts deploying a peacekeeping contingent to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone simultaneously with the withdrawal of Armenian Armed Forces,” the ministry said.
Both sides will maintain their current territorial positions as part of the deal — meaning Azerbaijan will keep hold of the military gains it has achieved since the start of the conflict — and Armenia will return other occupied territories which it currently controls in phases over the next month, reported The Moscow Times.
That effectively means the return to Azerbaijani control of seven districts surrounding the core Nagorno-Karabakh region which Armenia seized during the 1988-94 conflict, as well as the culturally-important city of Shusha, which Azerbaijani forces seized in recent days of the conflict.
Meanwhile, Armenia will retain control over most of Nagorno-Karabakh itself, the de facto state administered by Armenian-backed separatists and referred to as Artsakh in Armenia, but located within Azerbaijan’s international borders. Azeri refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the 1988-94 war — hundreds of thousands of which live in Azerbaijan — will be permitted to return to Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said.
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