On Monday, the fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region halted with a ceasefire agreement brokered by Russia.
The deal ended the military conflicts that had been ongoing in the disputed region for over a month, and it set new terms that the Armenian side, represented by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, called “unspeakably painful.”
The agreement stipulates the end of all hostilities in the region starting November 10th, 00:00 Moscow time, upon which the warring sides stop at the positions they occupy.
As a result, Azerbaijan gains a significant portion of the territory it had claimed throughout the conflict, which dates back to the fall of the Soviet Union, namely the regions of Aghdam, Kelbajar, and Lachin.
A nearly 2000-strong Russian peacekeeping force will be deployed along the line of contact and in the Lachin corridor, replacing Armenian soldiers that will withdraw from the said regions gradually until the final withdrawal from Lachin by December 1st, according to the agreement.
The peacekeepers will remain for a minimum period of 5 years that will be automatically extended by another 5 years if none of the parties refuses the extension 6 months in advance.
To control the ceasefire and ensure its effectiveness, a peacekeeping center will also be deployed.
Furthermore, the agreement stipulates the construction of a road that will connect Armenia with Nagorno-Karabakh through the 5-kilometer Lachin corridor; the route will be guarded by Russian peacekeepers.
On its part, Azerbaijan guarantees the safety of citizens, vehicles, and goods that move along the corridor in both directions.
Moreover, as per the deal, an exchange of prisoners of war and bodies will take place between the two states, and Armenian and Azerbaijani refugees will return to the territories of Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent areas in a process that will be monitored by the United Nations.
That is not to mention that all economic and transport linked in the Nagorno-Karabakh region are to be unblocked.
Armenia guarantees the safety of transport links between western regions of Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan, which is separated from Azerbaijan by Armenia; these routes will also be guarded by Russian forces.
Finally, a new route that connects Nakhchivan to Azerbaijan will be constructed in accordance with the agreement.
While it prompted celebrations in Azerbaijan, the ceasefire caused outrage in Armenia, where thousands of protesters took to the streets and demanded the resignation of PM Pashinyan, chanting “Nikol is a traitor” in response to his acceptance of the deal.
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