06:27 GMT05 December 2020
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    Nagorno-Karabakh: Flare-Up Between Armenia, Azerbaijan (104)
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    Earlier, Yerevan and Baku agreed to a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh, putting an end to the six-week war in the region.

    Mass opposition rallies have erupted in the Armenian capital of Yerevan following the announcement of a ceasefire agreement with Azerbaijan, with protesters demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who agreed to sign the deal and withdraw Armenian forces from Nagorno-Karabakh as well as hand over a number of territories to Azerbaijan.

    About 10 leaders of the Armenian opposition have since been detained for staging protests amid martial law introduced in wake of the Nagorno-Karabakh flare-up in late September.

    The ceasefire deal reached by Yerevan, Baku and Russia on Tuesday resulted in the loss of most territories controlled by the Armenian-majority self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh, as Azerbaijan and Armenia agreed to stop at their current positions.

    The agreement envisages, among other things, the deployment of Russian peacekeepers along the contact line in Nagorno-Karabakh to ensure stability in the region, stop the flow of refugees, and facilitate their return to their places of residence with the assistance of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the relevant UN agencies.

    Pashinyan has described the agreement as a very difficult decision for him but said that it was made based on the assessments of people who were most aware of the military situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.

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    • 00:47

      Russia Sent 20 Jets With Peacekeepers to Nagorno-Karabakh Over Past Day – Defence Ministry

      "Within the past 24 hours, 20 Il-76 military transport planes of the Russian Aerospace Forces have been sent from the Ulyanovsk Vostochny Airport. The planes will deliver to an airfield on Armenia more than 20 cross-country heavy trucks with trailers, logistics means, and more than 170 officers of a peacekeeping unit", the statement said.

      On Friday, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said that more than 1,100 peacekeepers had been already deployed to Nagorno-Karabakh.

    • 18:38

      Pashinyan Says Main Reason for Signing Karabakh Truce Was That Stepanakert Was Unprotected, Up to 30,000 Soldiers Could Be Encircled

    • 17:34

      Group of Uniformed Men Joins Protests in Armenian Capital

      A group of uniformed men has joined the protesters in the Armenian capital of Yerevan to demand country's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan resignation after he signed the agreement on cessation of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh mediated by Russia on November 9, a Sputnik correspondent reported on Friday.

      While the men in camouflage uniforms were marching in formation, one of them told reporters that they had returned from the Karabakh front.

      "We have been replaced by our comrades, but we are ready to return there," a protester said.

      Several thousand protesters gathered on the Freedom Square in the Armenian capital. A representative from opposition nationalist party Dashnaktsutyun, Armen Rustamyan, told reporters that several leaders of the protests had been invited to the Special Investigation Service to participate in legal proceedings. But Rustamyan believes that the aim of this action is to prevent them from participating in the protests.

      On November 9, the leaders of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan adopted a joint statement on the cessation of hostilities in unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh. The agreement on Nagorno-Karabakh resulted in the loss of some territories controlled by the Armenian-majority self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh and the deployment of Russian peacekeepers to the region.

    • 17:22

      Karabakh Leader Says Exchange of Bodies of Those Killed in Hostilities Started

      Arayik Harutyunyan, the president of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, announced the beginning of the exchange of bodies of those killed during the hostilities in Karabakh under the coordination of the Russian peacekeeping forces.

      "Today, in accordance with the agreements reached in advance, the process of exchanging the bodies of the dead has started. The exchange is carried out under the coordination of the Russian peacekeeping mission, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Artsakh [Karabakh's self-name] State Emergency Service," Harutyunyan said on Facebook.

      He expressed gratitude to the Russian peacekeeping contingent for ensuring all-round security of the important humanitarian mission, and to the ICRC and the state emergency service for their effective participation in the process.

    • 16:25

      President of Karabakh Announces Start of Exchange of Bodies of Soldiers Killed in Hostilities, Process Coordinated by Russian Peacekeeping Mission

    • 15:59

      Russian Emergencies Ministry Ready to Send 150 Rescuers to Karabakh Within 8 Hours

      The Russian Emergencies Ministry (EMERCOM) is ready to send a group of 150 rescuers and 17 pieces of equipment to Karabakh within eight hours, Emergencies Minister Yevgeny Zinichev said at a meeting on resolving humanitarian issues in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

      "If necessary, within eight hours [we are ready] to send there a grouping as part of the headquarters' operational group, as well as 150 personnel with units of rescue centers, as well as 17 pieces of equipment," Zinichev said.

    • 15:46

      Russian Delegation Discusses Karabakh Ceasefire in Ankara, Talks to Continue on Saturday, Report Says

      A military delegation from Russia discussed in Ankara a truce in Nagorno-Karabakh, negotiations will continue on Saturday, Turkish broadcaster TRT Haber reported on Friday.

      Earlier, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that the Russian delegation would discuss in Ankara on Friday the details of an agreement on a joint observation center on Karabakh.

      According to the broadcaster's sources, the parties discussed the work that will be carried out after the signing of the ceasefire agreement in Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as the situation in Syria, primarily in Idlib. The Russian delegation held talks at the Turkish Foreign Ministry, and then at the Turkish Defense Ministry. The parties will continue their discussion on Saturday.

    • 15:30

      Russian Defenсe Minister Says Problems With Transport, Refugee Return in Karabakh Grow

      Nagorno-Karabakh is experiencing more and more problems with transportation and return of refugees, Russian Defenсe Minister Sergei Shoigu said Friday.

      "More and more humanitarian problems are appearing every day. It means transportation and return of refugees, and, of course, other humanitarian issues," Shoigu said Friday at the meeting on the situation in Karabakh.

    • 15:00

      Russian Peacekeepers Arrive in Stepanakert

    • 14:57

      Karabakh Facing Difficult Humanitarian Situation, Putin Says

      Nagorno-Karabakh is in a very difficult humanitarian situation, with its death toll, the number of injured and severe damage to infrastructure, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday.

      "The military operation resulted in more than 4,000 victims, including civilians, more than 8,000 people were injured, there were tens of thousands of refugees, the data varies... Civilian infrastructure and many landmarks have been destroyed," the president said at a meeting, which was focused on the humanitarian situation in the embattled region.

      The president said he was hoping the issue would be resolved and there would be no need to use the very phrase 'the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh' again.

    • 14:39

      Russia Already Deployed Over 1,100 Peacekeepers to Karabakh of 1,960 Planned, Defence Minister Says

      More than 1,100 Russian peacekeepers have already been deployed to Nagorno-Karabakh with 73 flights made, Russian Defenсe Minister Sergei Shoigu said during a video meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

      Russia sends 25 peacekeeping contingent flights to Karabakh every day.

      "Over three days, 73 flights were made, 1,103 servicemen and 1,168 pieces of equipment were transported," Shoigu said.

    • 14:38

      Putin: A Special Centre Will Be Set Up to Help Karabakh Residents, Bring Refugees Home

    • 14:33

      Moscow in Talks With Armenia, Azerbaijan to Ensure That International Humanitarian Organisations Could Work in Karabakh, Lavrov Says

      Moscow is in talks with Baku and Yerevan to ensure that humanitarian organizations can begin work in Nagorno-Karabakh, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday.

      "We are now in contact with our colleagues in Armenia and Azerbaijan at the request of UN agencies, we are in talks for them to be able to begin their work in Karabakh itself," Lavrov said at a meeting on the humanitarian situation in the region.

      According to the minister, the UN agencies would like to coordinate their potential work in Karabakh with Russian peacekeepers and border agents as well as any humanitarian mission from Russia.

      The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) used to work in the region but had to stop during the military conflict. The ICRC has now returned to Karabakh and the president of the organization, Peter Maurer, is expected in Russia next week, where he will have meetings at the foreign ministry as well as with the border services, military and emergency workers, Lavrov said.

    • 14:29

      Putin Says He Instructed Lavrov to Notify OSCE Partners, International Organisations About Situation in Karabakh

      Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he had instructed Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to notify international organizations and partners in the OSCE Minsk Group about the situation with Nagorno-Karabakh.

      "Sergei Viktorovich, I asked you to inform your partners, primarily the partners in the OSCE Minsk Group, the co-chairs, about how the situation on this issue is developing now, and contact international organizations. At what stage is this work?" Putin said at a meeting on resolving humanitarian issues in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, addressing Lavrov.

      Russia has informed the United States and France about the agreements on Karabakh, Lavrov said.

      Putin also instructed the Russian Foreign Ministry to continue informing the UN agencies, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the OSCE and UNESCO about the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.

      "I express hope that the activities of the [interdepartmental humanitarian] center will receive comprehensive support from all these agencies," the Russian president added.

    • 14:24

      Putin Holds Meeting to Address Humanitarian Issues in Nagorno-Karabakh

      "I hope that the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh will be resolved", President Putin said. 

    • 14:23

      Karabakh President Holds Meeting With Commander of Russian Peacekeeping Force

      The president of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh), Arayik Harutyunyan, said on Friday he had a meeting with the commander of the recently-deployed Russian peacekeeping contingent, Rustam Muradov.

      "During the meeting, an exchange of opinions took place on concrete issues pertaining to the implementation by the peacekeeping contingent of its responsible mission," Harutyunyan said on Facebook.

      Earlier this week, the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia adopted a joint statement on the cessation of armed hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh. The ceasefire began on November 10, with the warring parties terminating within the already occupied territories. Russian peacekeepers have been deployed inside Nagorno-Karabakh and along its contact line as well as in the Lachin corridor connecting the region to Armenia proper. The sides have also agreed to exchange prisoners and bodies of killed soldiers.

    • 13:50

      Police Start Detaining Protesters in Yerevan

      Police detain a participant in an opposition rally in Yerevan
      © Sputnik / Maxim Blinov
      Police at an opposition rally in Yerevan
      © Sputnik / Maxim Blinov
    • 13:37

      Lavrov, Armenian Foreign Minister Discuss Implementation of Karabakh Ceasefire Agreement, Humanitarian Situation

      Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Armenian counterpart Zohrab Mnatsakanyan discussed implementation of the statement on Karabakh ceasefire, which was signed by leaders of Russia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday.

      "The ministers discussed the implementation of the ideas in the statement of the president of Azerbaijan, prime minister of Armenia, and president of Russia, dated November 9. There was a particular focus on the complicated humanitarian situation in the region and the challenges this poses," the ministry said after the phone conversation took place.

    • 12:29

      Protesters Gather in Central Yerevan, Demanding Prime Minister's Resignation

      Law enforcement officers stand guard in front of the building of the National Assembly during an opposition rally to demand the resignation of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan following the signing of a deal to end the military conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, in Yerevan, Armenia November 11, 2020

      Armenian Opposition Holds Rally Against Nagorno-Karabakh Ceasefire Deal in Yerevan

      Earlier, an opposition rally took place outside of the Armenian parliament in Yerevan, with protesters demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan over a ceasefire agreement he signed with Azerbaijan concerning the conflict in the unrecognised republic of Nagorno-Karabakh.
      Read more
    • 12:17

      Russia Awaits Information on Azerbaijan's Probe Into Helicopter Downing, Kremlin Says

      Russia expects Azerbaijan to provide more information about the probe into the incident with the downed Russian helicopter, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.

      Earlier this week, Russia's Mi-24 helicopter was accidentally downed by Azeri forces outside the Karabakh combat zone. Two crew members were killed.

      "You know that the Azerbaijani side has said quite promptly that a thorough investigation will be conducted. Those guilty will be established and punished. We will certainly wait for more information on the matter," Peskov told reporters.

      When asked if Russia trusts Azerbaijan in terms of thoroughness of the investigation, the Kremlin spokesman said he considered this question inappropriate.

    • 10:37

      Putin Held Online Talks With Aliyev, Pashinyan Before Signing Karabakh Deal - Kremlin

      Russian President Vladimir Putin communicated online with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev before adopting the joint statement on the Karabakh ceasefire, and contacts continue when need arises, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.

      "The press service does not report many conversations with Pashinyan and Aliyev. The president communicated directly online with Azerbaijani president and Armenian prime minister for many-many days before signing the joint statement. Quite intensive contacts continue now when need arises," Peskov told reporters.

    • 09:15

      Russia, Turkey Keep Cooperating Despite Differences on Karabakh, Kremlin Says

      Russia and Turkey maintain close contact and keep cooperating against regional crises regardless of the existing differences, including on Karabakh, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

      "Turkey pursued its consistent policy of supporting the military operation and the forceful scenario in the Karabakh conflict. We have serious differences on this with our Turkish colleagues. At the same time, this does not prevent our continuing close cooperation at all levels, including the highest level ... Thanks to the relations of the two presidents, we can pool effort to solve regional problems, when it is needed, despite the existing differences," Peskov said in an interview with RT Russia.

    • 07:36

      Putin Played Key Role in Stopping Nagorno-Karabakh Hostilities, Kremlin Says

      Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov refuted claims about Russia's failure to provide due assistance to Armenia, its partner at the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), in the Karabakh conflict, stressing that Russia complies with international laws and therefore could not deploy troops to the crisis-torn region.

      Russia values friendship with both Armenia and Azerbaijan, this is why it could play the role of an unbiased mediator, Peskov said in an interview with RT Russia.

      "The claims that Russia failed to provide due support to Armenia are absolutely unsound. Russian President [Vladimir Putin] said unambiguously that Russia does not forget its obligations of the CSTO member state. In case of an attack on the territory on Armenia, Russia will do everything to protect its ally, this is what the president said," Peskov added.

      Russia had no right to introduce troops to Karabakh and deployed peacekeepers there only after receiving consent of the warring parties, the Kremlin spokesman added.

      "Russia had no right to deploy troops to Karabakh under international laws," Peskov stressed.

      Putin played the key role in ending the bloodshed in Karabakh, Peskov noted, at the same time praising the "political wisdom" of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev who signed the ceasefire deal.

    • 05:44

      Russian Delegation to Visit Turkey to Discuss Joint Observation Centre in Karabakh

      A Russian delegation will arrive in Turkey on Friday to discuss the details of an agreement on creating a joint centre for monitoring the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.

      Cavusoglu also has said that Turkey will hold talks with Azerbaijan following the Russian delegation's visit to decide on the location of the joint Russian-Turkish monitoring centre.

      Turkish officials, including Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, have said that Turkish troops will join the Russian peacekeeping mission, while Moscow said that Ankara’s role will be limited to the joint centre for monitoring which will be located on the territory of Azerbaijan.

    • 04:55

      Macron Ready to Look for Fair, Long-Lasting Political Settlement in Nagorno-Karabakh

      French President Emmanuel Macron has held a phone conversation with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and expressed during the conversation satisfaction with the cessation of hostilities in Azerbaijan's conflict-torn region of Nagorno-Karabakh, the French presidential press service said.

      “The president has expressed satisfaction with the cessation of hostilities, he reminded about his friendly feelings toward Armenia and its people, as well as reaffirmed his readiness to look for a political settlement [of the conflict] that will be fair, long-lasting and acceptable for all parties in Nagorno-Karabakh,” the press service said in a statement on late Thursday.

      The French leader also told Pashinyan about the Thursday meeting aimed at coordinating efforts on the French humanitarian assistance to the conflict-hit region.

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