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Russian-Iranian Ultimatum For Ceasefire In Nagorno-Karabakh

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Russian-Iranian Ultimatum For Ceasefire In Nagorno-Karabakh

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On November 9, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan and the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin signed a statement declaring a complete ceasefire and armistice in Nagorno-Karabakh from midnight Moscow time.

According to Russian President V. Putin, the armed forces of Armenia and Azerbaijan were stopped at their current positions, and Russian peace-makers will be deployed along the contact line in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenia and Azerbaijan are obliged to exchange all prisoners, detained persons. Bodies of the dead will be transferred from the battlefield.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees will control the return of displaced people and refugees to the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. Border Service of the Russian Federation will also assure control over transport communications in the region.

Currently, Iran and Russia were keeping a close watch at the Azerbaijani-Turkish advance in Nagorno-Karabakh. Both countries have their own geopolitical interests in the region. Against the background of the Azerbaijani success, Iran and Russia have formed a joint vision of “red lines”, i.e. such a turn of events that will have no room to stand aside the conflict.

It is very likely that such “red lines” included the capture of Shusha, the seizure of the border-line between Nagorno-Karabakh and Iran by Azerbaijani forces, and the imminent threat of a fierce assault on Stepanakert that would cause a humanitarian catastrophe among the local population and a strong resonance in the international area.

Russian-Iranian Ultimatum For Ceasefire In Nagorno-Karabakh

Iranian reinforcement on Nagorno-Karabakh border.

Regional powers expected this to happen in the coming week. Apparently, they were ready to put forward an ultimatum to Azerbaijan. This may be a reason why Iran has concentrated significant striking forces along the border with Nagorno-Karabakh. The size of these forces and means exceeded the necessary and sufficient measures to suppress provocations and defend the border. In turn, Russia has significantly strengthened the capabilities of its 102nd division in Gyumri and Yerevan.

Thus, the whole region was in anticipation of some crucial events that would lead to a radical change in the parameters of the conflict. In the framework of this expectations, a surprise was the incident with a Russian helicopter. The Mi-24 provided cover for the Russian military convoy heading for Gyumri. The combat vehicle was in the airspace of Armenia. The crew did not expect an attack from the adjacent territory of Nakhichevan (autonomous territory of Azerbaijan). However, the helicopter was shot down by Azerbaijani MANPAD.

Immediately after the appearance of information about the incident, the Azerbaijani side at the official level admitted its guilt, expressed condolences and said that the helicopter was shot down by mistake. A few hours later, information appeared about the signing of a ceasefire agreement in Moscow.

Thus, this chain of events with a high probability indicates that the Russian-Iranian position has already been agreed, and the incident with the helicopter served as a trigger for this process.

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