Middle East

Russian peacekeepers deploy to Nagorno-Karabakh region

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – Russia deployed peacekeepers in the Nagorno-Karabakh region on Tuesday after a ceasefire agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint declaration on a ceasefire in Karabakh on Tuesday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said “The agreement will create a long-term and full-fledged settlement of the crisis around Nagorno-Karabakh.”

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced that he signed an “unspeakably painful” agreement with Russia and Azerbaijan to end the war.

“The decision is made based on the deep analyses of the combat situation and in discussion with best experts of the field,” Prime Minister Pashinyan said.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said on Tuesday that the agreement was surrender document that Yerevan was forced to sign after six weeks of fighting.

Since late September, the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region has witnessed a military escalation between Azerbaijan and Armenia, which has led to hundreds of deaths and thousands of displaced.

Nagorno-Karabakh is a mountainous region officially recognized as part of Azerbaijan, though it has a predominately Armenian population and is a de facto independent country which calls itself the Republic of Artsakh. It has witnessed clashes and tension since the collapse of the Soviet Union, when it declared its independence from Azerbaijan.

The recent escalation between Azerbaijan and Armenia is the most violent since the 1990s, against the backdrop of the dispute over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Since the start of the escalation, three ceasefires have failed in the past six weeks, amid mutual accusations on both sides of responsibility for the collapse of the truce.

The agreement that was signed by Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia on Monday provides a complete ceasefire on the tenth of November.

More than 1,400 people have been confirmed killed, including dozens of civilians, but the actual number is believed to be significantly higher.

According to the agreement, Azerbaijan will keep all its territorial gains, including Shusha. Armenian forces must hand over a number of other lands from now to the first December. Russian peacekeepers will stay for at least five years.

Putin said that the forces would be deployed along the front line and in a corridor between the region and Armenia. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said that Turkey would also participate in peacekeeping efforts.

The Russian Ministry of Defense began sending soldiers to an air base, which the ministry did not name, to be transported with their equipment and vehicles.

Turkey supported its ally Azerbaijan, while Russia has a defense pact with Armenia and a military base there.

Putin said that now the displaced would be able to return to Nagorno-Karabakh, and war prisoners and dead would be exchanged.

All economic and transport links in the region will also be reopened with the help of Russian border guards, according to Putin.

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