‘Armenia, Russia, Azerbaijan sign deal to end Karabakh war’


After suffering military losses, Armenia has agreed to a deal to give up certain current territories:

Armenia, Azerbaijan Agree to End Fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh

November 10, 2020

YEREVAN, ARMENIA – Armenia and Azerbaijan announced a cease-fire deal Tuesday after six weeks of fighting in the Nagorno-Karabakh region that left at least 1,300 people dead.

Under the terms of the agreement, Russia said Tuesday it had begun deploying the nearly 2,000 peacekeepers it is sending to the region for a period of five years.

Previous cease-fires have faltered, but the latest comes after major gains by Azerbaijan’s forces in recent days, including their claimed capture Sunday of the strategic town of Shusha.

The new agreement calls for Azerbaijan to maintain control of the areas it gained during the fighting that began in late September. …

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said signing the peace deal was “unspeakably painful for me personally and for our people,” and that he made the move after “an in-depth analysis of the military situation.”

The announcement of the peace deal was met by anger in the Armenian capital of Yerevan, where hundreds of protesters gathered at government buildings and chanted they would not give up Nagorno-Karabakh.  Some stormed the parliament building and called for Pashinyan’s resignation. https://www.voanews.com/south-central-asia/armenia-azerbaijan-agree-end-fighting-nagorno-karabakh

Armenia, Russia, Azerbaijan sign deal to end Karabakh war

10 November 2020

Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia on Tuesday said they have signed a deal to end the military conflict over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

“I have signed a statement with the presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan on the termination of the Karabakh war,” Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in a statement posted to his Facebook page. He also called the move “unspeakably painful for me personally and for our people.”

“The signed trilateral statement will become a [crucial] point in the settlement of the conflict,” he said later in a televised online meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“We believe that the achieved agreements will create the necessary conditions for a long-term and full-fledged settlement of the crisis around Nagorno-Karabakh on a fair basis and in the interests of the Armenian and Azerbaijani people,” Putin said. …

Turkey said the deal meant its ally Azerbaijan had secured important gains.

“The brotherly Azerbaijan has achieved an important gain on the battleground and table. I sincerely congratulate this sacred success,” Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Twitter. “We will continue to be one nation, one spirit with our Azeri brothers.” …

Azerbaijan says it has retaken much of the land in and around Nagorno-Karabakh, which it lost in a 1991-94 war that killed an estimated 30,000 people and forced many more from their homes. Several thousand people are feared killed in the conflict, and three ceasefires have failed in the past six weeks. https://www.dw.com/en/armenia-russia-azerbaijan-sign-deal-to-end-karabakh-war/a-55550069

November 10, 2020

Azerbaijan pressed its offensive deeper into the region and took control of the city of Shushi, which is strategically positioned on heights overlooking the regional capital of Stepanakert.

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 on Tuesday he explained that he was left with no choice, saying the army had told him it was necessary.

“We found ourselves in a situation when there was no alternative to signing the agreement,” Pashinian was quoted by Russia’s Interfax news agency as saying.

Nagorno-Karabakh’s separatist leader Arayik Harutyunyan echoed Pashinian’s sentiment. He said: “Had the hostilities continued at the same pace, we would have lost all of Artsakh (an Armenian name for Nagorno-Karabakh) within days.”

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev referred to the agreement as a “glorious victory” on Twitter, and Azerbaijanis flooded their capital city to celebrate.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said that 15 planes carrying peacekeepers and military equipment departed for the region Tuesday. A total of 1,960 Russian peacekeepers are to be deployed in Nagorno-Karabakh under a five-year mandate.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who personally announced the agreement overnight, called the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh “a truly great tragedy” on Tuesday and expressed satisfaction over “agreements reached to end the bloodshed.”

The pact calls for Armenian forces to turn over control of some areas it held outside the borders of Nagorno-Karabakh, including the Lachin region, where the main road leading from Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia passes through. The agreement calls for the road, the so-called Lachin Corridor, to remain open and be protected by Russian peacekeepers.

The agreement also calls for transport links to be established through Armenia linking Azerbaijan and its western exclave of Nakhchivan, which is surrounded by Armenia, Iran and Turkey. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-54882564

Militarily, and particularly with help from Turkish forces, Azerbaijan was essentially conquering territory.

When I read that Azerbaijan “accidentally” shot down a Russian helicopter a day or so ago, I felt that Russia would pressure a deal that Azerbaijan might accept, but that the Armenians would not like.

Now there is one. Here is more about it:

10 November 2020

What has been agreed?

The peace deal, which was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenia’s prime minister, took effect on Tuesday from 01:00 local time (21:00 GMT Monday).

Under the deal, Azerbaijan will hold on to areas of Nagorno-Karabakh that it has taken during the conflict. Armenia has also agreed to withdraw from several other adjacent areas over the next few weeks.

The BBC’s Orla Guerin in Baku says that, overall, the deal should be read as a victory for Azerbaijan and a defeat for Armenia.

During a televised online address, President Putin said that Russian peacekeepers would be deployed to patrol the front line. … Part of their role will be to guard the “Lachin corridor”, which links the Karabakh capital, Stepanakert, to Armenia.

Turkey will also take part in the peacekeeping process, according to Azerbaijan’s president, who joined President Putin during the address. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-54882564

Armenians are passionate about keeping the land that they call Artsakh. Armenians are essentially in a state of shock and mourning.

So, it would not surprise me if they push to get rid of the Prime Minister they protested to get in a few years ago.

From a physical perspective, probably the two best things that could come out of this territorial loss for Armenia would be 1) a real end of military conflict and 2) a normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan and Turkey. And yes, I know that is remote. But as a landlocked country, being able to legally cross borders and trade with neighboring countries would be beneficial to Armenia.

But it is not clear that anything like that was in the “peace deal.”

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