Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has announced he signed a peace deal with Azerbaijan and Russia to end the war over the disputed area of Nagorno-Karabakh.
"Dear compatriots, sisters and brothers. I have made an extremely difficult decision for personally me and all of us. I have signed a declaration with the Presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan on stopping the war starting from 01:00 (local time)," Pashinyan said in a statement posted on Facebook early Tuesday.
Pashinyan said he made the decision to sign the agreement based on a deep analysis of the military situation.
"The text of the declaration is unspeakably painful to me personally and to our people. I made this decision as a result of a deep analysis of the military situation and appreciation of the people who have the best possession of the situation. Also based on the belief that this is the best solution in the current situation. I'll write a message about it in the coming days," Pashinyan said.
"It's not a victory, but there's no defeat until you know yourself. We will never know ourselves and this should be the start of our national unity, rebirth era. We need to analyze our years of independence to plan our future and not repeat the mistakes of the past," he added.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russian peacekeeping forces would be deployed along the contact line in Nagorno-Karabakh and within the corridor that connects the region with Armenia, according to RIA News. The decision was made by the leaders of Russia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.
Putin noted that the Azerbaijani and Armenian forces in Karabakh would stop at the positions they had occupied. Baku and Yerevan should also exchange prisoners of war, and all transport hubs in Karabakh should be unblocked.
He said he expected that the agreements would create conditions for a long-term settlement of the conflict.
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, in turn, announced a joint peacekeeping mission of Russia and Turkey would be deployed in Nagorno-Karabakh after the end of the hostilities. This was stated by the president in his address to the nation, the Russian news agency TASS reports.
"Both Russian and Turkish servicemen will be represented in the peacekeeping center in Karabakh," he said in his address to the nation.
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: Background
- On September 27, fighting resumed between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. Both countries blamed each other for shelling as a result of which they suffered casualties.
- Armenia and the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic declared martial law and general mobilization.
- Azerbaijan, in turn, introduced martial law on September 28. Partial mobilization was announced in that country.
- The UN Security Council has called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to immediately stop the fighting.
Nagorno-Karabakh war: History
- The conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region began in 1988, when the predominantly Armenian-populated Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic.
- In 1991-1994, the bloodshed conflict continued in the region, which ended with the signing of a ceasefire protocol. Nagorno-Karabakh proclaimed itself an independent "republic." Azerbaijan did not recognize this, considering the territory to have been occupied by Armenia.
- In 1994, the Bishkek Protocol on the ceasefire was signed between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh on the one hand and Azerbaijan on the other. However, armed conflicts continued along the line of contact.
- In April 2016, the situation escalated when Azerbaijan and Armenia accused each other of violating the ceasefire. Then, as a result of the shooting at the border, at least several dozen people were killed.