Russian President Putin brokered a deal to finish a 44-day war over the contested region of Nagorno-Karabakh after Armenians, facing defeat at the hands of the Azerbaijani army, agreed to prevent fighting and withdraw their forces.Russia began deploying nearly 2,000 troops as peacekeepers on Tuesday under the accord struck with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev which will create conditions “for a long-term and complete settlement of the crisis around Nagorno-Karabakh,” Putin said during a televised statement.
Though he’s not a signatory to the deal, the agreement also represents a strategic triumph for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose vocal support of Azerbaijan within the fighting has allowed him to push Russia’s Caucasus backyard. Aliyev said Turkish troops will join the Russian peacekeeping during a televised address to the state early Tuesday.
The peace accord also gives Erdogan potential land access across southern Armenia to Azerbaijan and therefore the resources-rich republics of central Asia for the primary time, whilst Turkey rejects diplomatic relations with its Armenian neighbor and keeps their joint border closed.
The pact effectively sidelines the US and France, enabling Putin and Erdogan to dominate talks on the terms of any future settlement between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Russia, France and therefore the US tried and failed for many years as international mediators to influence the 2 sides to succeed in a peace agreement after Moscow brokered a 1994 truce to halt a war that killed 30,000 and displaced 1 million amid the collapse of the Soviet Union .“We got what we wanted,” Aliyev said in his TV address, during which he mocked Pashinyan for accepting “capitulation” within the war. “We forced them” to peace, he said.
“For Putin it’s the simplest deal under the circumstances given our reluctance and inability to fight the war on Armenia’s side,” said Vladimir Frolov, a former Russian diplomat who’s now a far off policy analyst in Moscow. “It keeps a functioning relationship with Erdogan while avoiding a serious fight.”
The pact provides for Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh to possess secure access to Armenia across a land corridor through Azerbaijani territory which will be policed by Russian forces. It also allows people within the Azerbaijani exclave of Naxcivan bordering Turkey to travel across southern Armenia to Azerbaijan, again with Russian security on the bottom .
It was “an extremely difficult decision” to simply accept the deal to halt the war, Pashinyan said during a Facebook post. “I made that call as a results of a deep analysis of the military situation,” he said, after Armenian officials acknowledged they’d lost control of a key city just 10 kilometers (6 miles) from Nagorno-Karabakh’s capital, Stepanakert, to Azerbaijan.“It’s not a victory,” Pashinyan wrote. “But there’s no defeat unless you think about yourself to be the loser.”
Protests erupted within the streets of the Armenian capital, Yerevan, after news of the agreement emerged. Demonstrators broke into the parliament and angry crowds gathered outside the govt building and Pashinyan’s official residence, accusing him of betraying the country.
Armenian President Armen Sarkissian, who features a largely ceremonial role, signalled tensions with Pashinyan by saying that he’d only learned about the deal through media reports. There was no “discussion on this document with me,” Sarkissian said during a statement calling for immediate political consultations “at this significant moment of national preservation.”
The agreement to halt the fighting that broke out September 27 sets out a timetable for Armenian withdrawal from occupied Azerbaijani districts outside Nagorno-Karabakh piecemeal by December 1, effectively restoring Azerbaijan’s control of most of the territory it lost within the 1990s. It also provides for exchanges of prisoners and therefore the return of refugees, while saying nothing about the ultimate status of the disputed enclave.
The deal came after Azerbaijani forces took control of the town of Shusha, which is named Shushi by Armenians, on Sunday, putting them on the outskirts of Stepanakert. the govt there, backed by Armenia, had warned that the loss of Shushi would cause the autumn of the whole region.“I don’t know what assessment history will give to the present decision but we were forced to require it,” Nagorno-Karabakh President Arayik Harutyunyan said, adding that Azerbaijani troops were 2-3 kilometers from Stepanakert.
The two sides are fighting for quite six weeks over the enclave and 7 surrounding regions taken by Armenians within the 1990s, which are internationally recognized as a part of Azerbaijan. quite 5,000 people are killed within the latest conflict, consistent with Russian officials.Azerbaijan said it fought to revive control over its territory. Armenia said it had been defending Nagorno-Karabakh’s right to self-determination after its Armenian majority voted for independence.