Armenia has signed an agreement with Russia and Azerbaijan to end the fighting in the Nagorno-Karabakh region after nearly one month of violent clashes.
“I have made a difficult, extremely difficult decision for personally me and all of us,” Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced in a Facebook post on Tuesday, addressing the Armenian people.
“I have signed a declaration with the Presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan on stopping the war starting from 01:00 (local time),” he added, describing the agreement as “unspeakably painful.”
Pashinyan said that he had made the decision to sign the agreement after a deep analysis of the military situation and on the conviction that in the existing situation, “this is the best possible outcome.”
The past month has seen fierce fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the long-disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
In light of the new agreement, all military operations have been stopped in the region and Russian peacekeeping forces will be deployed along the line of contact and within the Lachin corridor that connects the self-declared Republic of Artsakh with Armenia.
Additionally, all economic and transport links will be unblocked and an exchange of prisoners of war and bodies will take place between the two states, as per the agreement.
Russia failed several times since the conflict’s eruption to mediate a ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which have been technically at war since the ’90s.
Commenting on the new agreement, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that it creates the necessary conditions for a long-term and fully-fledged settlement of the crisis around Nagorno-Karabakh.
It does so, Putin explained, “on a fair basis and in the interests of the Armenian and Azerbaijani people.”
On his part, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said that the deal would “return our territories without any further bloodshed.”