Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have signed a joint statement, to end more than a month of bloody military clashes in the Nagorno-Karabak region. The agreement took effect at 21:00 GMT on 9 November.
In addition to the ceasefire, the statement contains a number of provisions that will determine the further activities of the three nations in the region, and is directed at maintaining the hard-won peace. Here are the main points from the document:
- The ceasefire will be observed by a 1,960 person-strong contingent of Russian peacekeeping forces and a dedicated centre for ceasefire control. Russian peacekeepers will be deployed along the line of contact in the Nagorno-Karabakh region and along the Lachin corridor.
- The statement does not suggest the participation of any other country's peacekeeping forces.
- The deployment of Russian peacekeepers will take place alongside the withdrawal of Armenian forces from the disputed region.
- Russian peacekeepers are to stay in their positions in Nagorno-Karabakh for five years with automatic five-year extensions should neither of the sides decide otherwise.
- Both sides remain in the positions they currently hold, but Armenia has to hand over the territories of Agdam and the Calbajar District in eastern Karabakh, and the Lachin District in the region's west by certain deadlines. The last district must be handed over by 1 December 2020.
- In order to prevent the capital of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic being cut off from Armenia as a result of the territorial concessions, Russian peacekeeper forces will be in control of the Lachin corridor connecting the two territories.
- The Russian peacekeepers will not be in charge of the Azerbaijan-controlled city of Shushi (Shusha), located in the corridor towards Stepanakert, and the sides are to agree on the construction of an alternative road connecting Armenia and the capital of the self-proclaimed republic over the next three years.
Transport Infrastructure and Humanitarian Issues
- Armenia pledges to organise a safe transport corridor for civilians and civilian transport between Azerbaijan and its exclave, the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic. The transport corridor will be monitored by the Russian border forces deployed there.
- In turn, Baku pledges to ensure the safety of a corridor for civilians and civilian transport in the Lachin corridor.
- The UN High Commissioner for Refugees will oversee the return of internally displaced people and refugees to their homes in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
- Armenia and Azerbaijan will conduct an exchange of prisoners of war, hostages, and the bodies of fallen soldiers.