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Russia deploys peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh after ceasefire

Russia deploys peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh after ceasefire
November 10
13:43 2020

MOSCOW: Russia has deployed peacekeepers in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region as a “complete ceasefire” which came into effect on Tuesday midnight was agreed by the two warring countries of Azerbaijan and Armenia, President Vladimir Putin said.

In a televised address on Monday night, Putin said that he signed an agreement with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan declaring a “complete cessation of fire and all hostilities” in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, reports Xinhua news agency.

Azerbaijan and Armeniaalso agreed to stop at their positions they have held, Putin said. Moscow has started deploying 1,960 peacekeepers to Nagorno-Karabakh, the Russian Defence Ministry said on Tuesday. A Russian peacekeeping contingent is being deployed consisting of 1,960 military personnel, 90 armoured personnel carriers, 380 vehicles and pieces of special equipment, the Ministry said.

Meanwhile, Azerbaijan and Armenia will exchange war prisoners, other detained persons and bodies of the dead, while all economic and transport links of the region will be unblocked, according to the Russian leader.

Internally displaced persons and refugees will return to the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and its surrounding areas under the care of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Putin said.

“We presume that the agreements will create the necessary conditions for a long-term and full-format settlement of the crisis around Nagorno-Karabakh on a just basis and in the interests of the Armenian and Azerbaijani peoples,” the President added. This is the fourth ceasefire since last month.

The three others — two brokered by Russia (October 10, 17) and one by the US (October 26) — collapsed after Armenia and Azerbaijan traded accusations and attacks. A new round of armed conflict broke out on September 27 along the contact line of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but mostly governed by the Republic of Artsakh, a de facto independent state with an Armenian ethnic majority.

The area experienced flare-ups of violence in the summer of 2014, April 2016 and in July this year. Armenia and Azerbaijan went to war over the region in 1988-94, eventually declaring a ceasefire.

However, a settlement was never reached.

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