Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Russian Peacekeepers Go to Nagorno-Karabakh to Bolster Truce
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 3 years ago on
November 10, 2020

Share

MOSCOW — More than a dozen planes carrying Russian peacekeepers headed for Nagorno-Karabakh on Tuesday, hours after Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to halt fighting over the separatist region and amid signs this cease-fire would hold where others hadn’t.

The truce came after significant advances by Azerbaijani forces that the Nagorno-Karabakh leader said made it impossible for their side to carry on — but angered many Armenians, who stormed government buildings overnight, demanding the Parliament invalidate the agreement. Dozens of protesters gathered again Tuesday morning in front of the parliament building in the Armenian capital of Yerevan.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked in a conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh for decades. The region lies within Azerbaijan but has been under control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a separatist war there ended in 1994. Heavy fighting erupted in late September — the biggest escalation of the conflict in a quarter-century — and has left hundreds, possibly thousands, dead.

Several cease-fires announced over the past six weeks crumbled almost immediately, but the current agreement appeared to be holding, with neither side reporting any more fighting since it came into force.

It came days after Azerbaijan pressed its offensive deeper into the region and took control of the city of Shushi, which is strategically positioned on heights overlooking the regional capital of Stepanakert.

Russia’s Defense Ministry Said That 15 Planes Carrying Peacekeepers and Military Equipment Departed for the Region

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian said on Facebook that calling an end to the fight was “extremely painful for me personally and for our people.”

But on Tuesday he explained that he was left with no choice, saying the army had told him it was necessary.

“We found ourselves in a situation when there was no alternative to signing the agreement,” Pashinian was quoted by Russia’s Interfax news agency as saying.

Nagorno-Karabakh’s separatist leader Arayik Harutyunyan echoed Pashinian’s sentiment. He said: “Had the hostilities continued at the same pace, we would have lost all of Artsakh (an Armenian name for Nagorno-Karabakh) within days.”

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev referred to the agreement as a “glorious victory” on Twitter, and Azerbaijanis flooded their capital city to celebrate.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said that 15 planes carrying peacekeepers and military equipment departed for the region Tuesday. A total of 1,960 Russian peacekeepers are to be deployed in Nagorno-Karabakh under a five-year mandate.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who personally announced the agreement overnight, called the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh “a truly great tragedy” on Tuesday and expressed satisfaction over “agreements reached to end the bloodshed.”

The pact calls for Armenian forces to turn over control of some areas it held outside the borders of Nagorno-Karabakh, including the Lachin region, where the main road leading from Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia passes through. The agreement calls for the road, the so-called Lachin Corridor, to remain open and be protected by Russian peacekeepers.

Nagorno-Karabakh Military Have Reported Some 1,300 Troops Killed

The agreement also calls for transport links to be established through Armenia linking Azerbaijan and its western exclave of Nakhchivan, which is surrounded by Armenia, Iran and Turkey.

Nagorno-Karabakh military have reported some 1,300 troops killed in the six weeks of fighting. Azerbaijan hasn’t disclosed its military losses. Scores of civilians have also been killed and wounded on both sides.

Russia, France and the U.S. — co-chairs of the Minsk Group, set up in the 1990s by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to mediate the conflict — have been trying to secure a cease-fire for weeks.

Moscow faced a particularly delicate balancing act: It has a military base in Armenia and a pact obliging it to protect the country in case of foreign aggression, but also has good ties with Azerbaijan.

Further complicating the matter, Turkey threw its weight behind Azerbaijan and sought to play a bigger role in the peace efforts — something Armenia has vehemently objected to.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who held a telephone call with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday, suggested a possible Turkish role in the monitoring of the cease-fire, saying talks were ongoing.

“We will stand alongside Azerbaijan. This is a great success, a victory for Azerbaijan. Territories that were under occupation for 30 years are being taken back,” Cavusoglu told a news conference.

Azerbaijan’s president announced Tuesday that the country would create a “peacekeeping center” that will host both Russian and Turkish military and monitor the cease-fire. Aliyev and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed the initiative in a phone call, Aliyev’s office said, and “expressed confidence that the center will contribute to a lasting peace in the region.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that setting up a center “for monitoring the conditions of the cease-fire” in Azerbaijan was discussed, but that it has to be outlined in separate agreements.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Whitey Herzog, Hall of Fame Manager Who Led Cardinals to 1980s Success, Dies at 92

DON'T MISS

Coalinga-Huron Teachers Say They’ll Strike Unless a Fair Contract Is Offered

DON'T MISS

Coalition: CA Lawmakers Need to Roll Back Proposed ‘Utility Tax’

DON'T MISS

CA’s High Construction Costs Limit Housing. A Supreme Court Decision Might Help

DON'T MISS

Now’s the Time to Register for FUSD’s Free Preschool and T-K

DON'T MISS

‘Hopeville’ Literacy Documentary Showing Tonight at Roosevelt High

DON'T MISS

Michigan Faces Probation for Football Recruiting Violations; Case vs. Jim Harbaugh Pending

DON'T MISS

What Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse Can Tell Us About the Public Domain and Remix Culture

DON'T MISS

Acquisition of Historic Fresno Real Estate Brand Creates Area’s Largest Brokerage

DON'T MISS

Wall Street’s Mixed Trading Day

UP NEXT

New Recruiting Programs Put Army, Air Force on Track to Meet Enlistment Goals. Navy Will Fall Short

UP NEXT

Justice Thomas Misses Supreme Court Session Monday With No Explanation

UP NEXT

‘Civil War’ Declares Victory at the Box Office, Toppling ‘Godzilla X Kong’

UP NEXT

Scheffler Turns the Masters Into Another Sunday Yawner With a Dominating Win

UP NEXT

Vegas, US Tour and More Signings: Wrexham Has Plenty of Fun and Work Ahead After Latest Promotion

UP NEXT

NBA Play-in Game Preview: West Games on Tuesday, East Games on Wednesday, Eliminations on Friday

UP NEXT

The Latest | World Leaders Urge Israel Not to Retaliate for the Iranian Drone and Missile Attack

UP NEXT

US Shoots Down Iran-Launched Attack Drones as Biden Team Pledges ‘Support’ for Israel

UP NEXT

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

UP NEXT

Reacher Star Alan Ritchson Calls Donald Trump a ‘Rapist’

CA’s High Construction Costs Limit Housing. A Supreme Court Decision Might Help

5 hours ago

Now’s the Time to Register for FUSD’s Free Preschool and T-K

Local Education /

6 hours ago

‘Hopeville’ Literacy Documentary Showing Tonight at Roosevelt High

Local Education /

6 hours ago

Michigan Faces Probation for Football Recruiting Violations; Case vs. Jim Harbaugh Pending

7 hours ago

What Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse Can Tell Us About the Public Domain and Remix Culture

7 hours ago

Acquisition of Historic Fresno Real Estate Brand Creates Area’s Largest Brokerage

Breaking News /

7 hours ago

Wall Street’s Mixed Trading Day

7 hours ago

It’s ‘Signing Day’ for These Clovis Unified Youngsters

Local Education /

7 hours ago

Clovis Armed Robbery and Pursuit Result in 3 Arrests, 1 Suspect Still at Large

7 hours ago

Charges Against Trump and Jan. 6 Rioters at Stake as Supreme Court Hears Debate Over Obstruction Law

8 hours ago

Whitey Herzog, Hall of Fame Manager Who Led Cardinals to 1980s Success, Dies at 92

NEW YORK — Whitey Herzog, the gruff and ingenious Hall of Fame manager who guided the St. Louis Cardinals to three pennants and a World Seri...

52 mins ago

52 mins ago

Whitey Herzog, Hall of Fame Manager Who Led Cardinals to 1980s Success, Dies at 92

1 hour ago

Coalinga-Huron Teachers Say They’ll Strike Unless a Fair Contract Is Offered

4 hours ago

Coalition: CA Lawmakers Need to Roll Back Proposed ‘Utility Tax’

5 hours ago

CA’s High Construction Costs Limit Housing. A Supreme Court Decision Might Help

Local Education /
6 hours ago

Now’s the Time to Register for FUSD’s Free Preschool and T-K

Local Education /
6 hours ago

‘Hopeville’ Literacy Documentary Showing Tonight at Roosevelt High

7 hours ago

Michigan Faces Probation for Football Recruiting Violations; Case vs. Jim Harbaugh Pending

7 hours ago

What Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse Can Tell Us About the Public Domain and Remix Culture

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend