Armenia surrendered and ended the six week fierce war in Nagorno-Karabakh by signing the deal with Azerbaijan and Russia. The full ceasefire will be implemented midnight Moscow time on November 10.
The Russian Peacekeeping troops are deployed on early hours of Tuesday in the war-raged region. Russian President Vladimir Putin said this deal should pave the way for the lasting political settlement.
In a recent Facebook post, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan described as “unspeakably painful”. The deal was also confirmed by the Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said in a televised online meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, “The signed trilateral statement will become a (crucial) point in the settlement of the conflict.”
The territory is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but populated and, until recently, fully controlled by ethnic Armenians who have been relentlessly pushed back by the armed forces of Azerbaijan in six weeks of heavy fighting.
Putin ordered that displaced people can now return to the disputed region (Nagorno-Karabakh), and prisoners of war and the war dead also be exchanged, while all economic and transport links in the area would be reopened with the help of Russian border guards.
“We are operating on the premise that the agreements will create the necessary conditions for a long-term and fully-fledged settlement of the crisis around Nagorno-Karabakh on a fair basis and in the interests of the Armenian and Azeri peoples,” Putin said.
Turkey has fiercely supported Azerbaijan whereas, Russia played his role as a mediator between the two countries.
Russia’s defence ministry had deployed 1,960 soldiers to act as peacekeepers for the next five years. Putin said they would be positioned along the frontline in Nagorno-Karabakh and in the corridor between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.
Azerbaijan’s Aliyev regarded the deal as ‘historic’ and the Armenian forces surrendered in front of Azerbaijan. “This statement has historic significance,” he wrote on Twitter. “This statement constitutes Armenia’s capitulation. This statement puts an end to the years-long occupation. This statement is our Glorious Victory!”
Aliyev said that Turkish peacekeepers would also be deployed.
“This is not a victory, but there is not defeat until you consider yourself defeated,” Armenia’s Pashinyan said in announcing the agreement. “We will never consider ourselves defeated and this shall become a new start of an era of our national unity and rebirth.”
An estimated 30,000 people died in that war.
“The reaction to this declaration of an end to the war in Armenia has been greeted with what appears to be absolute disgust and despair,” said Robin Forestier-Walker, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Tbilisi, in neighbouring Georgia.
“There is just a sense of disbelief that somehow this was the only option for Armenia, to effectively admit defeat, and to sign this agreement, with Azerbaijan, brokered by Russia, that brings this war to an end, but effectively allows Azerbaijan to claim almost complete victory.”
In the past six weeks, three ceasefires in Nagorno-Karabakh have failed.