Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia have agreed to sign a peace deal that will bring an end to the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh
This peace deal comes after 6 weeks of heavy conflict between Azerbaijan and the ethnic Armenians, coming into force at 01:00 local time, on Tuesday 10th November, (21:00 GMT Monday 9th).
The disputed region has been run by the Armenians since 1994 while being recognised internationally as belonging to Azerbaijan. A truce was actually declared in 1994 but without any peace deal.
Over the past 6 weeks, ceasefire deals had been brokered but never lasted.
Just this weekend, Azeri forces took Shushi, the second largest town in the region, and things were looking decidedly bleak for the defending Armenian forces.
This Monday 9th November, the Azerbaijan leaders had admitted to shooting down a Russian military helicopter by mistake, that was flying over Armenia, killing two Russian servicemen.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, in a live TV address to the nation, stated that a force of Russian peacekeepers would be deployed to patrol the frontlines of the area.
As a part of this new peace deal, the Armenian authorities have agreed to withdraw their forces over the next few weeks, from several other occupied areas, along with an exchange of prisoners-of-war and to unblock current economic and transport links that are in place.
Azerbaijan will be allowed to hold onto the areas of Nagorno-Karabakh that it has taken during the conflict, as a part of the peace agreement.
According to the Reuters news agency, Azeri President Ilham Aliyev, who joined President Putin in the TV broadcast, said the deal represented “a crucial point in the settlement of the conflict”, but the Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan, in a post on social media, said the agreement was “incredibly painful both for me and both for our people”, adding that his decision had been made after a “deep analysis of the combat situation and in discussion with best experts of the field. This is not a victory, but there is not defeat until you consider yourself defeated”.