Following negotiations in Moscow, Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to a ceasefire starting on October 10, midday local time, for humanitarian purposes: for the exchange of prisoners, as well as the bodies of the dead.
The first diplomatic contact between Armenian and Azerbaijani officials took place in Moscow on October 9.
The negotiations between Armenia’s Foreign Minister, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, and his Azeri counterpart, Jeyhun Bayramov, were mediated by Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov. Armenia said it was open to a ceasefire, while Azerbaijan, supported by Turkey, has made a conditional on the Armenian forces’ withdrawal from Nagorno-Karabakh.
After more than 10 hours of negotiations, the two sides signed a ceasefire agreement:
“A ceasefire is declared from 12:00 on October 10, 2020 for humanitarian purposes for the exchange of prisoners of war and other detained persons and the bodies of the dead, mediated and in accordance with the criteria of the International Committee of the Red Cross,” Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, stated.
Concrete parameters of the ceasefire have not been provided yet.
According to Russia’s Foreign Minister, Azerbaijan and Armenia agreed to begin substantive negotiations of a peaceful settlement of a military conflict over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh that erupted on September 27. The talks will be mediated by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s (OSCE) Minsk Group of international negotiators.
The signing of ceasefire agreement is an important step towards the lasting solution to the territorial dispute. However, a political solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is unlikely to be reached in the near future. Azerbaijan, which receives large political and military support from Turkey, announced new captured territories North of Jebrayil, at a time when negotiations continued in Moscow. Recent military successes as well as great Turkish support make today’s ceasefire unfavorable for Baku. The pause will likely be used for troops redeployment and reinforcement of the military equipment supply.