Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia have signed an settlement to finish navy battle over the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan known as the deal “incredibly painful both for me and both for our people”.
It comes after six weeks of combating between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenians.
The area is internationally recognised as Azerbaijani, however has been run by ethnic Armenians since 1994.
In that 12 months, a truce was signed after combating however not a peace deal.
Plenty of ceasefire agreements have been brokered since combating broke out once more in September, however all of them have failed.
What has been agreed?
The peace deal takes impact on Tuesday from 01:00 native time (21:00 GMT Monday).
Under the brand new deal, Azerbaijan will maintain onto areas of Nagorno-Karabakh that it has taken throughout the battle. Armenia has additionally agreed to withdraw from a number of different adjoining areas over the following few weeks.
During a televised on-line deal with, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin mentioned that 1,960 Russian peacekeepers can be deployed to patrol frontlines.
Turkish may also participate within the peacekeeping course of, in keeping with Azeri President Ilham Aliyev, who joined President Putin throughout the deal with.
President Putin mentioned the settlement would come with an trade of conflict prisoners, with “all economical and transport contacts to be un-blocked.”
What response has there been?
President Aliyev mentioned the settlement was of “historic importance,” and amounted to a “capitulation” by Armenia.
Armenian PM Pashinyan mentioned that his choice was primarily based on “deep analyses of the combat situation and in discussion with best experts of the field”.
“This is not a victory but there is not defeat until you consider yourself defeated,” Mr Pashinyan mentioned.
The Armenian chief in Nagorno-Karabakh, Arayik Harutyunyan, mentioned he gave his settlement “to end the war as soon as possible”.
In the Armenian capital Yerevan, a big crowd has gathered to protest towards the settlement, in keeping with native media. They broke into parliament and authorities buildings, shouting “We will not give it up.”
What’s occurred throughout the battle?
The Armenians have steadily misplaced territory and over the weekend Azeri forces took over the area’s second largest city Shusha, often known as Shushi in Armenian.
Azerbaijan has additionally admitted to mistakenly capturing down a Russian navy helicopter over Armenia, killing two crew members and injuring a 3rd.
It is unclear precisely what number of have died. Both sides deny focusing on civilians however accuse the opposite of doing so.
Nagorno-Karabakh’s authorities say almost 1,200 of its defence forces have died within the combating, and civilians have additionally been killed or injured.
Azerbaijan has not launched its navy casualty figures however has mentioned greater than 80 civilians have been killed within the combating – together with 21 in a missile strike in town of Barda final month.
Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned final month that nearly 5,000 individuals had been killed within the combating.
What’s the geopolitical context in South Caucasus?
Russia has a navy base in Armenia, and the 2 international locations are members of the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization.
The treaty envisages Russia’s navy help if Armenia is attacked – however it doesn’t embody Nagorno-Karabakh or the opposite Azerbaijani areas round it seized by Armenian forces.
At the identical time, Moscow additionally has sturdy ties to Azerbaijan, which is being overtly backed by Turkey, a Nato member. Russia has been promoting weapons to each Armenia and Azerbaijan.