TVER, Russia – Armenian Prime Minister Nicole Pashinyan on Monday signed an agreement with Russian brokers to end the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, hand over disputed territory and submit to other demands while facing defeat on the battlefield.
Russian President Vladimir V The agreement, signed by Putin, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Mr Pashinyan, called on the Armenian army to withdraw from the Nagorno-Karabakh region and be replaced by Russian peacekeepers.
According to the agreement, the fighting parties must stop fighting and prepare for the arrival of peace. Three ceasefires negotiated by Russia, France and the United States have collapsed.
The agreement on Monday suggested a more permanent, redrawing of the security map of the South Caucasus, a volatile region between Turkey, Russia and Iran. The base closed a role for Turkey, which backed Azerbaijan in the war that began in September.
“I personally made a very tough decision for myself and all of us,” Pashinyan wrote Advertising Announced the contract. “It’s not victory, but defeat.”
True, the treaty marks the end of a quarter of a century of Armenian military control over a remote, mountainous region that is the touchstone of Armenian national identity. Russia now protects the borders.
The Nagorno-Karabakh region has a large Armenian population, but it falls within the Soviet-drawn Azerbaijan border. The enclave declared independence before the break-up of the Soviet Union.
For Azerbaijanis, the solution opens the door for at least some of the hundreds of internally displaced people who lost their homes in the 1994 separatist war to return to the region. That war ended with another foot shoe: destructive but inevitable for Azerbaijan after the Armenian military conquests.
Putin said that under the new agreement the Armenian and Azerbaijani armies would be suspended from their current occupied positions. That strategic town is on the outskirts of Azerbaijan on Sunday, known from Shusha to Azerbaijanis and Shushi to Armenians. It is the second largest town in the region and just 6 miles from the separatist capital Stephencourt.
Armenia has lost control of the access road needed for military equipment to reach the mountains, and its defenders are starving, hoping to be captured if fighting continues.
“I made this decision as a result of an in-depth analysis of the military situation,” Pashyanyan wrote. He said the deal was “the best solution in the situation”.
Within hours of the announcement, protests erupted in the Armenian capital, Yerevan. A mob stormed a government building and removed Mr. Pashinyan’s nameplate from the door of the prime minister’s office, Russian television news reported.
“Where is Nicole? Where is that traitor? ”The intruders shouted.
Putin said the agreement was “in the interests of the people of Armenia and Azerbaijan.”
Armenia has for decades supported the protection of the Nagorno-Karabakh region from the larger diaspora in southern California, France and Russia. Azerbaijan’s support for the Armenians was based on the fact that the Turks were never responsible for the atrocities of World War I and its aftermath. The United States, distracted by the presidential election, played only a limited role in the diplomacy. In the last month.
The separatist government in Nagorno-Karabakh presided over the seven occupied Azerbaijani districts outside the Soviet-era enclave borders. These are strange, desolate village populations and dilapidated stone houses. Defied UN resolutions calling for the return of Armenian residents; Military advantage, the country vehemently refused any solution that would allow them to return.
Now, the agreement, signed on Monday, will provide much of what the country has sought in negotiations over the years, including the return of internally displaced people to Azerbaijan.
In addition to withdrawing its army from the enclave, Armenia agreed to hand over control of the smaller ethnic Armenian territories within Azerbaijan but not in Nagorno-Karabakh; To open a transport corridor from Azerbaijan to the Azerbaijani region in Nakhichevan via Armenia; And allowing the United Nations to monitor the return of internally displaced people.
The capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, Stepenkert, was defended from what appeared to be a military attack, but relied on Russian security for its defense.
Under the agreement, peacekeepers will be deployed for five years and guard the access road over the mountain pass known as the Lachin Corridor and a buffer zone about three miles wide along its length. The agreement, which emphasized the loss of Shusha or Shushi, now calls for the construction of a new access road around the Azerbaijan-controlled town, which is a dramatic loss to the Armenian race in Nagorno-Karabakh.