Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan have reached an agreement to end the armed conflict between the last two countries to end the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region on Tuesday, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian, the Kremlin and Azerbaijani President Ilham Alieev have reported.
Pasjinian said in a statement that he would address the Armenian nation “in the coming days,” but gave no further details. Russian President Putin told Interfax news agency that the treaty provides for a Russian peacekeeping force stationed along the front line in Nagorno-Karabakh.
According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, this peacekeeping force of about 2,000 soldiers will be deployed immediately. The soldiers are transported by airlift from Russia to the enclave.
Putin said he hoped the agreement “will provide the necessary conditions for a lasting and complete resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis”. Azerbaijani President Alieev said in a statement on TV that the agreement between the three countries will become “a crucial point in the resolution of the conflict.” According to him, Turkey will also provide troops for the peacekeeping force.
On Facebook, Armenian Prime Minister Pasjinian says it is “a very difficult decision” based on “a thorough analysis of our military situation.”
On Monday, another Russian army helicopter was shot down in Armenia, near the border with Azerbaijan. Two crew members died. Azerbaijan acknowledged shooting down the helicopter and apologized.
Armenia was losing
Fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave flared up in late September and is expected to have killed several thousands. The region, with about 145,000 inhabitants, is controlled by Armenian armed forces, but according to the United Nations belongs to predominantly Muslim Azerbaijan.
Russia, the protective force of Armenia, has a military base there. Azerbaijan can count on the support of Turkey. Russia also supplies weapons to Azerbaijan.
According to correspondent David Jan Godfroid, it is not unexpected that Armenia is now giving up the fight, although it is “faster than expected.” Azerbaijani forces had taken the city of Shushi on Monday, and were already close to the regional capital of Stepanakert.