Russia sending troops to border enclave as part of cease-fire between Azerbaijan, Armenia
Russia on Tuesday is sending troops to the mountain enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh as part of a cease-fire between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
The deal was made less than a day after Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced a peace deal with Azerbaijan, facilitated by Russia’s military presence.
The cease-fire agreement will allow Azerbaijan to maintain territorial gains made during fights with Armenia, which includes the enclave’s second city of Shusha, Reuters reported.
Celebrations were heard in the streets in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku, following the cease-fire announcement, and Turkey’s Minister of Foreign Affairs called the deal a “sacred success.”
“This [cease-fire] statement has historic significance. This statement constitutes Armenia’s capitulation. This statement puts an end to the years-long occupation,” Azeri President Ilham Aliyev said.
Russian peacekeepers deployed to Nagorno-Karabakh on Tuesday, sending nearly 2,000 service members, 90 armored personnel carriers and 380 vehicles and hardware for support.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the deal would establish a lasting political settlement of a conflict that has killed thousands and displaced many throughout the territory, adding the previous conflict threatened to send the region into further territorial war.
Some Azeris reportedly faced regrets about ending fighting before Azerbaijan controlled all of Nagorno-Karabakh, also voicing distrust for Russia, who dominated the region during the time of the Soviet Union.
Azeri officials said Monday its troops had dominated dozens of settlements in the region after declaring victory in the battle for Shusha, also called Shushi.
The officials added they had taken much of the land around Nagorno-Karabakh that it had previously lost in a 1991-94 war.
Armenia has disputed the degree that Azerbaijan has advanced in the territory.
Azerbaijan and Armenia’s conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh territory started on Sept. 27 and incited concerns about a broader war, with Russia supporting Armenia and Turkey defending Azerbaijan.