On November 9, 2020, according to an official statement from Moscow, the Russian President Vladimir Putin, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan signed a ceasefire deal.
From the midnight of November 10, 2020, a complete ceasefire and termination of hostilities in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone is in place. On November 9, 2020, according to an official statement from Moscow, the Russian President Vladimir Putin, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan signed a ceasefire deal.
What does it mean?
While both Azerbaijan and Armenia will remain in their current positions, Russia will send a peacekeeping force of around 2000 federal guards for a period of five years which will be deployed along the contact line in Nagorno-Karabakh and the Lachin corridor connecting it to Armenia.
It also means that Azerbaijan has made a significant gain as it has almost reclaimed around 15-20 per cent of its territory which it had lost during the conflict.
Under the supervision of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, all the internally displaced persons and refugees will return to Nagorno-Karabakh and the adjacent regions.
Also, reports indicate that a new corridor under Russia’s control — from Nakhchivan to Azerbaijan, will be opened.
The blockade of the transport and economic ties will be lifted.
Both sides will exchange dead bodies, detainees and prisoners of war.
According to Moscow, with the involvement of the agencies of the Border Guard Service of Russia, the oversight of transport communications will be ensured.
The agreements reached between the two countries Armenia & Azerbaijan are expected to create the necessary conditions for a lasting and full-scale settlement of the crisis over Nagorno-Karabakh. This will be on a fair basis as well as in the interest of the people of both countries.
Who brokered the peace deal?
Russia. Its role in brokering the peace deal between the two warring countries is very important. The conflict between Armenia & Azerbaijan lasted almost six weeks and was over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the South Caucasus. While several hundreds of thousands were displaced internally, around 1200 lives were lost (the number of lives lost is based on the information in public domain shared by the authorities).
Russia sells arms and ammunition to both countries and always maintained a balanced position and enjoys traditionally good ties.
Though several deals had been signed between the two warring sides, none have been successful so far.
More about the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region
The region which straddles western Asia and Eastern Europe, Nagorno-Karabakh has been internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, since the Soviet era. However, the region is now mostly controlled by Armenian separatists. During the Soviet Union collapse in the late 80s, Armenia’s regional parliament had voted for the region’s transfer to them, and this was turned down then by the Soviet authorities.
This led to clashes between the forces of Azerbaijan and the separatists from Armenia leaving several thousand dead and displaced. Though Russia had managed to broker peace in 1994, but it was too late as the ethnic Armenians had taken control of the region.
Today, the region is governed by the Armenian separatists and has been declared as a republic — “Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast”. There is a catch – the government of Armenia does not recognize it as an independent Nagorno-Karabakh, but it has extended its support militarily and politically.
Previous Ceasefire Agreements
Since 1994, there has been exchange of fire regularly, and in 2016, the region witnessed a four-day war before Russia intervened again.
Over the years, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group, which is chaired by Russia, the US and France has attempted several times to reach a peace agreement.
Both countries agreed to t a ceasefire agreement in October which again was brokered by Russia, however, it did not happen.
Who are the ethnics?
The disputed region is actually of majority Armenian Christian population. It has however been recognized internationally as part of Muslim-majority Azerbaijan.
While the Azeris claim that the disputed region was under their control in known history, the Armenians maintain that Karabakh was a part of the Armenian kingdom. This time in the conflict both sides have imposed martial law.
The conflict according to reports is said to been started by Azerbaijan, whose military is trying to clear the territories which have been occupied by the enemy.