Armenia, Azerbaijan agree to end fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh
Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to halt fighting over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh early on Tuesday in a pact signed with Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a statement that 1,960 Russian peacekeepers will be deployed along the front line.
The agreement cements some of the territorial gains made by Azerbaijan in the conflict that began in late September.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian said on Facebook that calling an end to the fight was “extremely painful for me personally and for our people", but the agreement followed “an in-depth analysis of the military situation” that has seen Azeri forces closing in on Stepanakert, the region’s main city.
Սիրելի հայրենակիցներ, քույրեր եւ եղբայրներ. անձամբ իմ եւ բոլորիս համար ծանր, չափազանց ծանր որոշում եմ կայացրել:...Nikol Pashinyan / Նիկոլ Փաշինյան paylaştı: 9 Kasım 2020 Pazartesi
Turkey has thrown its firm support behind Azerbaijan in the conflict, saying it was ready to do whatever was necessary to eject Armenian forces from the region.
The agreement calls for Armenian forces to turn over control of some areas it held outside the borders of Nagorno-Karabakh, including the eastern district of Agdam.
Armenians will also cede the Lachin region, where a main road leading from Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia is located. The agreement calls for the road, the so-called Lachin corridor, to remain open and be protected by the Russian peacekeepers.
Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev said Turkey will take part in the peacekeeping process.
Nagorno-Karabakh has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces since a 1994 truce ended a separatist war in which an estimated 30,000 people died. Sporadic clashes occurred since then, and the latest full-scale fighting began on Sept. 27.
Several ceasefires had been agreed in October but were almost immediately violated. The agreement announced early Tuesday appeared more likely to take hold because Azerbaijan has made significant military advances, including taking control of the strategically key city of Shusha on Sunday.