07:15 GMT05 December 2020
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    Nagorno-Karabakh: Flare-Up Between Armenia, Azerbaijan (104)
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    According to a statement voiced by Russian President Vladimir Putin, a complete ceasefire begins in Nagorno-Karabakh on 10 November, Azerbaijan and Armenia have agreed to stop in their current positions, and must also exchange prisoners of war.

    Around 130 people were arrested in Yerevan earlier on Wednesday after protests against Prime Minister Pashinyan's decision to sign a ceasefire deal with Azerbaijan. 

    Previously, a Sputnik correspondent reported that Armenian opposition had clashed with police in central Yerevan during the protest.

    On 10 November, the leaders of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan adopted a joint statement on the cessation of hostilities in the unrecognised Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, also known as the Republic of Artsakh. According to a statement voiced by Russian President Vladimir Putin, a complete ceasefire begins in Nagorno-Karabakh on November 10, Azerbaijan and Armenia have agreed to stop in their current positions, and must also exchange prisoners of war.

    Twelve Il-76 aircraft with Russian peacekeepers have landed in Armenia, the Russian Defence Ministry said earlier in a statement.

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    • 01:59

      Meeting of Armenian Parliament's Council Canceled Due to Lack of Quorum - Lawmaker

      The meeting of the Armenian parliament's council, which was scheduled to discuss the extraordinary session of the legislative body, did not take place due to the lack of a quorum, Naira Zohrabyan, a lawmaker from the Prosperous Armenia opposition faction, head of the standing parliamentary commission for the protection of human rights and public affairs, told Sputnik.

    • 01:51

      Armenian Opposition Plans to Hold Rally Against Pashinyan in Yerevan on Thursday

    • 20:06

      Russia Informs UN Security Council About Content of Karabakh Ceasefire Deal, Source Says

      "Russia discussed the content of the recent ceasefire agreement reached by Russia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia under UN Security Council's 'Any Other Business' agenda", a diplomatic source at the United Nations told Sputnik on Wednesday.

    • 19:08

      Russian, Turkish Defence Ministers Sign Memorandum on Creation of Joint Centre in Karabakh

      A view shows a settlement in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, November 10, 2020.

      Russia, Turkey Sign Memorandum on Creation of Joint Centre to Control Ceasefire in Karabakh

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar, signed a memorandum on the establishment of a joint centre to control the ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh, the Russian Defence Ministry said on Wednesday.
      Read more
    • 17:56

      Russian-Turkish Centre Will Provide Technical Control Over Karabakh Agreement, Baku Says

      The Russian-Turkish centre will conduct technical control over the ceasefire agreement in Karabakh, there will be no Turkish military contingent there, Azerbaijani Ambassador to Russia Polad Bulbuloglu said.

      "This will be a mutual Russian-Turkish centre, the conversation is about technical control over the implementation of the peacekeeping statement by the parties. The conversation is not about the deployment of Turkish soldiers," Bulbuloglu told the RBC broadcaster.

      To the clarifying question whether the Turkish contingent would be at the centre, the ambassador replied that "no, there is no need for this."

      According to the Azerbaijani diplomat, "there is a lot of speculation around this centre."

      "I want to clarify the situation: this centre will be on the territory of Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijani authorities will determine its location, but according to an agreement between Russia and Turkey," he said.

    • 17:35

      Armenian Parliament's Council Must Meet to Convene Extraordinary Session, Lawmaker Says

      The meeting of the Armenian Parliament's Council should be held to convene an extraordinary session, but there is no necessary quorum for this so far, Vahe Enfiajyan, the parliament's vice speaker from opposition faction Prosperous Armenia, told reporters.

      A mass opposition rally was held in Yerevan on Wednesday, its participants demanded the resignation of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan due to the agreement on a ceasefire in Karabakh signed by him. Among the demands of the demonstrators was the convening of an extraordinary session of parliament to discuss the resignation of the prime minister.

      "According to the regulations, within two hours, the parliamentarians can appear to hold the council of the National Assembly. Now, seven out of ten members of the council are present," Enfiajyan said.

      Later, Lena Nazaryan, the vice-speaker from the ruling faction, arrived to take part in the meeting of the council, but still three more members are needed to hold the meeting.

    • 17:18

      UN Rights Experts Call for Immediate Withdrawal of Mercenaries in Karabakh

      UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) experts on Wednesday called on all sides and countries involved in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to urgently withdraw all mercenaries and halt further recruitment.

      "We call strongly on the sides, and the states supporting them, to immediately withdraw any mercenaries and related actors and not to engage in further recruitment, funding and deployment," the experts said in a statement.

      According to the UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries, Turkey is engaged in large-scale recruitment and transfer of Syrian fighters to Azerbaijan through armed factions, some of which are affiliated with the Syrian National Army.

      The fighters appear to be driven by the dire economic situation in Syria, and in case of death, their relatives were reportedly promised financial compensation and Turkish nationality, the UN experts said.

      The group also received and is currently looking into reports indicating that Armenia has been involved in deploying foreign nationals to fight in the conflict.

      The experts said they have conveyed concerns about the use of mercenaries to the governments of Azerbaijan, Turkey, and informed Syria about the issue.

    • 17:13

      Urgent Session in Parliament Failed to Take Place Due to Lack of Quorum, Opposition MP Says

    • 16:06

      Police Reportedly Start Dispersing Rally Outside Parliament Building in Yerevan

    • 15:19

      Urgent Parliamentary Session Scheduled For 20:00, Head of 'Enlightened Armenia' Says

      The agenda of the meeting is ready, it focuses on the demand to denounce the agreement on Nagorno-Karabakh, the head of the "Enlightened Armenia", Edmon Marukyan, said. 

    • 14:26

      Protesters in Yerevan Give PM Pashinyan Until Midnight to Step Down

      Protesters who gathered outside of the Armenian parliament in Yerevan are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan not later than midnight (20:00 GMT) after he signed a controversial ceasefire in the breakaway republic of Nagorno-Karabakh with Azerbaijan.

      Earlier in the week, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that on Monday, he had signed a joint declaration with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Pashinyan on a new ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh. The Armenian prime minister described the agreement as a very hard decision to make, which nonetheless did not appease his domestic critics. The fact that Aliyev called the deal a capitulation of Armenia also did not make it easy for Pashinyan to sell the agreement to his compatriots.

      "We are giving Pashinyan time to resign and also demand to call a special session of the parliament on the same issue," Ishkhan Saghatelyan, a representative of the supreme council of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, one of the oldest political parties in the country, said.

      Otherwise, the protesters will hold a press conference at 20:30 GMT where they will present further steps and try to resolve the issue before evening on Thursday.

      Saghatelyan added that the opposition would like to avoid an upheaval but was sure that the citizens would respond to its call for a nationwide protest. He also cautioned the authorities against mass arrests, saying that it would be a serious mistake on their part.

    • 13:19

      Even If Pashinyan Resigns, Agreement on Karabakh Cannot Be Changed, Spokeswoman for Azeri Foreign Ministry Tells DHA

    • 13:02

      Protesters Gather Outside Parliament Building in Yerevan, Demanding Urgent Session

    • 12:59

      Kazakh Foreign Ministry Praises Russia's Role in Facilitating Nagorno-Karabakh Ceasefire

      The Kazakh Foreign Ministry on Wednesday has said it welcomes the recent signing of a ceasefire agreement to end the conflict in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, adding that Kazakhstan also recognizes the constructive role Russia played in facilitating the negotiations.

      In a statement published online, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry said that the deal can serve as the foundation for a more comprehensive agreement on Nagorno-Karabakh's future, adding that officials in Kazakhstan recognize the work done by Russian, Armenian, and Azerbaijani leaders.

      "We especially note the constructive role Russia played in achieving this agreement and its peacekeeping efforts aimed at the practical implementation of the agreement," the Kazakh Foreign Ministry wrote.

      The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh flared up in late September, and Russia played a leading role in trying to stop the clashes between the armed forces of Armenia and Azerbaijan. Yerevan and Baku agreed to a Moscow-brokered ceasefire first on October 9, although the agreement only held for a matter of hours, as was the case for a US-brokered truce agreed several weeks later.

      On Monday evening, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he had signed an agreement with both Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, to end the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. The ceasefire entered into force at 00:00 Moscow time on Tuesday (21:00 GMT on Monday).

      The agreement also paved the way for the deployment of 1,960 Russian peacekeepers to the region.

    • 12:53

      Protesters are Approaching Parliament Building in Yerevan

    • 12:08

      Aliev Says Karabakh War is Over, Azerbaijan Won

      "Dear servicemen, the people's war is over. Azerbaijan has secured a landslide victory, we have liberated our lands from the occupation, we have kicked the occupant away from our lands," Aliyev told the Azerbaijani military, as aired by the national television.

      He added that Baku will evaluate the damage done by Armenia in Karabakh with the help of international experts. 

    • 11:40

      Police Forces are on Alert Outside Parliament Building in Yerevan as Protesters Expected to Arrive Soon

    • 11:14

      Protesters March Towards Armenia's Parliament Building, Demanding a Session to Discuss Pashinyan's Resignation

    • 11:10

      Georgia Allows Russian Aircraft to Use Its Airspace For Karabakh Mission, Abashidze Says

      Georgia has allowed Russia to use its airspace to transport peacekeepers to Nagorno-Karabakh, special representative for relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze said.

      "Based on the request of both the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides, as an exception, a part of the contingent of Russian peacekeepers will be transferred to the conflict zone via the Georgian airspace during a pre-agreed, specific and time-limited period. Our partners have been informed about this," Abashidze said.

      The leaders of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan adopted on Monday a joint statement on the cessation of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh, which had been ongoing since late September. The ceasefire came into force at 21:00 GMT on the same day.

      Under the deal, Azerbaijan and Armenia stop at their current positions, exchange prisoners and agree to the deployment of 1,960 Russian peacekeepers to the disputed region.

    • 11:04

      Turkey, Russia Sign Deal on Setting Up Centre for Karabakh Ceasefire Control, Erdogan Says

    • 10:57

      Shoigu Speaks With Turkish Counterpart About Karabakh 2nd Time in 24 Hours

      Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu spoke with his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar for the second time in 24 hours and discussed the settlement in the Karabakh region, the defence ministry said Wednesday.

      "During the talks, Gen. Sergei Shoigu discussed the settlement of the conflict in Karabakh with his Turkish colleague", the ministry said.

    • 10:56

      Around 130 People Detained at Opposition Rally in Yerevan, Police Say

      Police officers detain a demonstrator during a protest, which was organized by 17 opposition parties, against the prime minister's decision to sign a ceasefire deal with Baku , at Independance Square, in Yerevan, Armenia

      Around 130 Arrested After Clashes With Police in Armenia's Capital - Videos

      Earlier in the day, a Sputnik correspondent reported that several dozen people were detained in the Armenian capital, Yerevan, at a rally organised by 17 opposition parties protesting against the prime minister's decision to sign a ceasefire deal with Baku.
      Read more
    • 09:52

      Representative of Armenian Opposition Party Announces Creation of Committee of National Salvation

    • 09:49

      Opposition Clashes With Police in Yerevan, Correspondent Says

      Police officers detain a demonstrator during a protest, which was organized by 17 opposition parties, against the prime minister's decision to sign a ceasefire deal with Baku , at Independance Square, in Yerevan, Armenia

      Around 130 Arrested After Clashes With Police in Armenia's Capital - Videos

      Earlier in the day, a Sputnik correspondent reported that several dozen people were detained in the Armenian capital, Yerevan, at a rally organised by 17 opposition parties protesting against the prime minister's decision to sign a ceasefire deal with Baku.
      Read more
    • 09:19

      Russia and Turkey Will Cooperate on Karabakh via a Monitoring Centre in Azerbaijan, Kremlin Says

      "No, there was no talk about joint peacekeeping forces, this topic was never discussed", presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, when asked to comment on Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's statements.

      Russia and Turkey will cooperate on Karabakh via a monitoring centre in Azerbaijan, the Kremlin spokesman went on to say.

      "I am talking about a monitoring center that will be located on the Azerbaijani territory, not in Karabakh", Peskov explained.

      The Kremlin spokesman also stressed the centre would not be located on the territory of the unrecognised Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

      Russian peacekeepers in Karabakh will support the ceasefire but their exact duties have not been detailed yet, Peskov said.

      "Of course, the duties have to be determined, because they were not detailed in the joint statement of the two presdients [of Russia and Azerbaijan] and Armenian prime minister, but based on the main duty of peacekeepers, these forces will support the ceasefire and ensure that all military action has stopped", Peskov told reporters.

       

    • 09:17

      Russian Peacekeepers Take Control of Lachin Corridor Between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, General Staff Says

      Under the new agreement on Karabakh, Russia will deploy 1,960 peacekeepers there. Within the past day, as many as 414 peacekeepers entered Karabakh.

      "They will be located along the contact line in Nagorno-Karabakh and along the Lachin corridor", the chief of the Russian General Staff's Main Operational Directorate, Sergei Rudskoy said at a briefing.

    • 09:06

      Russia to Set Up 16 Observation Points With Peacekeepers Along the Contact Line in Nagorno-Karabakh, General Staff Says

      "To control the implementation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani agreements, 16 observation points will be set up in the North and South areas of responsibility", the chief of the Russian General Staff's Main Operational Directorate, Sergei Rudskoy said at a briefing.

      According to the Russian military chief, the observation posts will be in charge of gathering information on ceasefire violations, guaranteeing safe movement of transit transport and preventing illegal actions targeting civilians.

      "This will contribute to prompt restoration of peaceful life and refugee return", Rudskoy went on to say.

       

    • 08:44

      Police Units Gathering at Freedom Square in Yerevan Where Opposition Plans to Hold a Rally; Some People Detained, Correspondent Says

      Several dozen people were detained at a rally in Yerevan on Wednesday, which was organised by 17 opposition parties to protest against the prime minister's decision to sign a ceasefire deal with Baku, a Sputnik correspondent reported.

      Police and special operations units have gathered in the centre of the city.

    • 07:27

      Three More Planes With Russian Peacekeepers Depart for Nagorno-Karabakh, Defence Ministry Says

    • 06:39

      Russian Peacekeeping Forces in Armenia Prepare Equipment for Deployment, Defence Ministry Says

      "To carry out the deployment, equipment and weapons have undergone maintenance and an appraisal of technical readiness to move in mountainous areas. After coordinating the routes, Russian peacekeepers will start marching to areas where peacekeeping missions are to be carried out", according to a statement from the ministry.

      Altogether, 400 military personnel of the 15th Peacekeeping Brigade have been deployed with 20 Il-76 aircraft and ample armoured personnel carriers, armoured vehicles and communications equipment.

    • 06:31

      Armenian PM Pashinyan Says He Signed Karabakh Agreement to Avoid 'Collapse'

      "This would result in a full collapse, and the decision [to sign the join statement] was made taking exactly these estimates into consideration", Pashinyan said in a video address that he published on Facebook.

      Armenia's General Staff had complained about the depletion of resources, and political leaders shared these concerns, the prime minister added.

      Armenia had made two attempts to regain control over Shusha, Pashinyan recalled.

      "One of the attempts failed. In the second case, an Armenian unit managed to get into the city, and differences in opinions on Shusha's control were related exactly to the activities of this unit", Pashinyan explained.

    • 06:31

      Turkey Cannot Be Guarantor of Nagorno-Karabakh Settlement, Ex-US Special Envoy Says

      Azeri investigators load a fragment of an artillery shell in a street recently hit by shelling during a military conflict over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, in the town of Barda, Azerbaijan October 29, 2020

      Turkey Cannot Be Guarantor of Nagorno-Karabakh Settlement, Ex-US Special Envoy Says

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Turkey cannot be a guarantor of the Nagorno-Karabakh peace settlement, despite its deep engagement in the region, Carey Cavanaugh, a former US special negotiator for Nagorno-Karabakh and Eurasian conflicts, said.
      Read more
    • 06:31

      Pashinyan Says Peace Deal Helped Retain What Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Was Not Able to Save

      "The document secured what we could lose, according to military estimates and other assessments. In a situation when Stepanakert became unprotected, there was a big chance of losing Stepanakert, Martuni and Askeran if the fighting continued; after that, the defended areas and thousands of soldiers would be surrounded", Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said.

    • 06:12

      New Karabakh Ceasefire Deal Is Largely in Line With Minsk Group's Stand, Ex-US Envoy Says

      "This is not a humanitarian truce, ceasefire agreement that [Russian Foreign Minister Sergei] Lavrov and [Russian President Vladimir] Putin worked on, and [French President Emmanuel] Macron and Putin worked on, and [US Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo raised when the foreign ministers [of Armenia and Azerbaijan] were in the United States. This goes far beyond it. This is both a ceasefire, with main elements of a peace settlement. The elements were all things that in fact have been in the discussion in the Minsk Group for the past 20 years", ex-US Special Negotiator for Eurasian Conflicts Carey Cavanaugh, who served as Washington's negotiator for Karabakh for years, said.

      Among these elements, Cavanaugh mentioned territorial concessions, the peacekeeping mission, displaced people return, and a guarantee of transport corridors connecting Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh, and Azerbaijan's main territory and the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.

      "Politically, right now Russia has not moved far from where France and the United States were on this conflict. The only thing that's different from what has largely been agreed on is the Russian peacekeepers", Cavanaugh went on to say.

      According to the ex-diplomat, Russia had doubts about the need to deploy its peacekeepers to the crisis-torn region but still made this choice when the situation became critical for Armenia.

      "We saw it in the first month of the fighting, there was a reluctance from Russia to get militarily involved. Only when it reached this threshold ... point they felt it was necessary to act", Cavanaugh explained.

      The former US special negotiator expressed hope that many refugees from both sides would have a chance to return home, also pointing to the fact that "enormous rebuilding" is now required in the area.

    • 05:20

      UK Welcomes Nagorno-Karabakh Ceasefire Agreement

      The UK welcomes the Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire agreement, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in a statement.

      "The UK welcomes agreement by Azerbaijan & Armenia to end the #NagornoKarabakh conflict. They have made difficult decisions to prevent further loss of life. We encourage all sides to continue working together for a lasting peace settlement in the interests of their citizens," Raab said on Twitter.

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