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DECEMBER 2020

Chaos In Yerevan After Russian-backed Peace Agreement Signed Between Azerbaijan And Armenia

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Chaos In Yerevan After Russian-backed Peace Agreement Signed Between Azerbaijan And Armenia

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On November 9th, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said that Armenia signed an agreement to end the war with Azerbaijan.

It is a three-way agreement between Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

“I signed a statement with the presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan on ending the Karabakh war since 01:00 (00:00 Moscow Time). The text of the published statement is inexpressibly sensitive for me personally and for our people. I made the decision after a deep analysis of the military situation and the assessment by people who know it better than anyone,” Pashinyan said, noting that he made “a very and very hard decision”.

According to Pashinyan, “this step is based on a conviction that this is the best possible solution in the current situation.”

“I will speak in detail about all this in the coming days. This is not victory, but there won’t be a defeat unless you recognize yourself as a loser. We will never recognize ourselves as losers and this should usher in our era of national unification and revival,” he said.

As per the agreement, approximately 2,000 Russian peacekeepers will be deployed in the region in order to ensure that the clashes will cease. Some of them were immediately deployed via 4 IL-76 transport aircraft flights.

As specified by the Russian Ministry of Defense, 1,970 servicemen, 90 armored personnel carriers and 380 units of other equipment will arrive in the region. The core of the peacekeeping contingent will be subdivisions of the 15th separate motorized rifle brigade of the Central Military District.

Immediately after the de fact surrender was signed by Armenia, after Shusha was captured, unrest began in the Armenian capital of Yerevan after a new ceasefire statement was adopted. Protesters stormed the government headquarters early on November 10th, smashing windows and furniture inside and demanding the Armenian prime minister to resign.

There was also chaos in Armenian parliament, and this is likely only the beginning.

Media reports said thousands of people gathered in the centre of the city, while other protesters forced their way into the government headquarters, smashing windows and damaging the furniture inside.

There are even reports (and a vide) showing the President of National Assembly of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan was beaten up by protesters, who demanded Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s resignation.

The agreement includes the following:

  • A complete ceasefire is announced from midnight Moscow time on November 10th. The Azerbaijani and Armenian military stops at their positions.
  • The parties undertook to exchange prisoners of war.
  • Yerevan must return the Kelbajar region to Baku by November 15, and the Lachin region by December 1, 2020, a five-kilometer wide opening will be left, under Armenian control in the Lachin corridor, which will ensure the connection of Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia. At the same time, this doesn’t apply to the city of Shusha, which was just captured by Azerbaijan’s forces. In addition, by November 20, Armenia must transfer the Agdam region and part of the Gazakh region held by it to Azerbaijan.
  • A Russian peacekeeping contingent of 1,970 servicemen with small arms, 90 armored personnel carriers and 380 units of automotive and special equipment is deployed along the contact line in Nagorno-Karabakh and along the Lachin corridor.
  • The peacekeepers were deployed in parallel with the withdrawal of the Armenian military. Their term of stay will be limited to five years with automatic renewal for additional five-year periods, if none of the parties to the agreement decides to withdraw from it.
  • A peacekeeping center will be deployed to monitor the implementation of the agreements.
  • In the next three years, a plan for the construction of a new traffic route along the Lachin corridor is to be determined, providing communication between Stepanakert and Armenia, with the subsequent redeployment of the Russian peacekeeping contingent to protect this route. At the same time, Azerbaijan guarantees the safety of transport links along the Lachin corridor.
  • Internally displaced persons and refugees should return to Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas under the supervision of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
  • All economic and transport links in the region should be unblocked, while Armenia pledged to provide transport links between the western regions of Azerbaijan and the Nakhichevan autonomy. Russian border guards will control the message. In addition, it is planned to ensure the construction of new transport communications, which will connect the main territory of Azerbaijan with the Nakhichevan autonomy.

Russian President Vladimir Putin made a statement on the matter:

“Today, on November 9, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Aliyev, Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Pashinyan and the President of the Russian Federation signed a statement declaring a complete ceasefire and all hostilities in the zone of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict from 00:00 hours Moscow time on November 10, 2020 …

We proceed from the premise that the agreements reached will create the necessary conditions for a long-term and full-format settlement of the crisis around Nagorno-Karabakh on a just basis and in the interests of the Armenian and Azerbaijani peoples.”

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said that the peacekeeping would be carried out jointly by Russia and Turkey.

Currently, the situation is such, the Armenian leadership is unhappy that they lost, the Artsakh president began blaming previous leaders for the loss now.

The President of Artsakh Arayik Harutyunyan gave a speech that covered the following points:

  • On November 7, we completely lost control of Shushа.
  • I don’t know what assessment history will give to this decision, but we did it forcibly.
  • The fighting took place 2-3 kilometers from Stepanakert. If not for this decision, we would have lost the whole of Artsakh, we would have had much more losses.
  • Recently, we managed to solve the problem of drones, but on the last day, the opponent again managed to use their UAVs and deliver heavy blows. All of us, all the leaders, must answer for the fact that we had such a problem.
  • We were forced (to make this decision) so that there would be no more losses. We fought against the forces of 8 countries.
  • Our most important problems were internal discord and panic.
  • I have spoken with representatives of the elite, including Bako Sahakyan, Arkady Ghukasyan, Vitaly Balasanyan and others, and they are all ready to cooperate and work with us. We are consulting with them.
  • Everyone said that a temporary or final truce was inevitable. Otherwise, we would have lost all of Artsakh in a matter of days. There were no resources to continue fighting.
  • We don’t need a civil war. I call for calm and joint work.
  • All the leaders of the last decades should answer for the fact that we had such problems in the army.

A likely development is even more animosity towards Russia for “losing Armenia’s conflict” for them, by not taking a more assertive part in it.

Even before the actual hostilities began, media was almost entirely blaming Moscow for the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, in order to find an excuse as to why the situation was managed so poorly.

And accusations have also began immediately after the agreement was signed on November 9th.

The signed trilateral agreement on the cessation of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh is a defeat for Russia and a betrayal of Armenia. This opinion was expressed by a political observer from Yerevan Hayk Khalatyan on the air of the radio station “Echo of Moscow”

“The agreement is a betrayal of Armenia. Most of the society is confident that the agreement signed by Pashinyan is a betrayal of the national interests of Armenia. Russia wants to extract at least something from the situation, but this was its actual defeat in the South Caucasus, because Moscow can be said to admit its defeat to Ankara and Baku, or did not want to compete with them. All over the world it will be assessed in this way – that Russia has shown its weakness, ” Khalatyan said.

According to him, the reaction may spread to other regions, where “Russia’s interests will come into contact with Turkey.” “I think that Azerbaijan is completely lost for Russia. Aliyev has repeatedly stated that a new geopolitical reality is now being created with Turkey. Now it is not clear how events will develop in other regions, because conclusions will be drawn on Russia’s policy,” he said.

In the next months, and likely years, pro-Armenian media will continue pushing the narrative that Russia lost this piece of history for Armenia, and this is likely to be strongly pushed by Pashinyan and the current Armenian leadership, in order to shift responsibility.

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