Nagorno-Karabakh: Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia sign peace agreement
On the night of 9-10 November, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia signed a joint peace agreement ending the conflict starting at midnight Moscow time on 10 November.
The peace agreement was signed via video conference. Pashinyan was not present at the video conference, for which Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev ridiculed him in his remarks following the signature.
As a result of the end of hostilities, control of further territories will be given back to Azerbaijan by Armenia. Meanwhile, Russian peacemakers would be - and are currently being - deployed to the region.
After signing, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev spoke to the nation. Calling it a "historical day", he read out the terms of the agreement. Aliyev then went on to ridicule Pashinyan, saying that "We forced him to sign this".
Aliyev also stated that Turkey will also play some sort of role with regard to peacekeeping, but this was not explicitly referenced in the treaty, and it remains to be seen how exactly that role will manifest itself.
What the next weeks and months hold for all parties is yet to be seen. Pashinyan will certainly experience a wave of disappointment at home, while Aliyev will celebrate what he calls the "end" of the conflict as a great victory. At the same time, Russia will gain more control over the region with the deployment of peacemakers for at least five years.
The main take-aways from the agreement are as follows:
- Aghdam region will be returned by November 20;
- One peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation with 1,960 riflemen, 90 armored vehicles, 380 vehicles and special equipment shall be deployed along the line of contact in Nagorno-Karabakh and along the Lachin corridor;
- The peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation is deployed in parallel with the withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces;
- The period of stay of the peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation is 5 years with automatic extension for the next 5 years, unless either party declares its intention to terminate this provision 6 months before the expiration of the term.
- In order to increase the effectiveness of control over the implementation of the agreements by the Parties to the conflict, a reconciliation center shall be established to monitor the ceasefire.
- The Republic of Armenia will ensure the connection of Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia and at the same time return the Kalbajar region to the Republic of Azerbaijan by 15 November 2020 and the Lachin region by 1 December 2020, leaving behind the Lachin corridor (5 km wide). With the consent of the parties, a plan for the construction of a new transport route between Khankendi and Armenia along the Lachin corridor in the next three years will be determined, and then the Russian peacekeeping contingent will be relocated to protect this route. The Republic of Azerbaijan guarantees road safety
- IDPs and refugees return to the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent territories under the supervision of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
- The exchange of prisoners of war and other prisoners and corpses shall be carried out.
- All economic and transport connections in the region will be unblocked. The Republic of Armenia provides transport links between the western regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic in order to organize the unimpeded movement of citizens, vehicles and goods in both directions. Traffic control is carried out by the Border Guard Service of the Russian FSB. With the consent of the parties, the construction of new transport communications connecting the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic with the western regions of Azerbaijan will be provided.
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