Nagorno-Karabakh peace deal provokes more protests in Armenia

Nagorno-Karabakh peace deal provokes more protests in Armenia


Peace deal that was signed in the evening of November 10 by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, and Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, took effect as of 01:00 local time November 11 (21:00 GMT November 10). Under the deal, Armenian forces will withdraw from Nagorno-Karabakh, and Russian peacekeepers will take control of the line of contact between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.

At the same time, Yerevan confirmed its agreement to transfer of several districts, as well as some in the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh republic over to Azerbaijan’s jurisdiction. But Armenian citizens disagree with such a decision.

As the media reported, Ilham Aliyev, Nikol Pashinyan, and Vladimir Putin signed a peace treaty on the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh on the night of November 10. According to this document, consisting of 9 points, Russian peacekeepers will be deployed, some parts of the territory belonging to Nagorno-Karabakh, including the territory of the city of Shushi will be transferred to Azebaijan.

The treaty also stipulates a complete ceasefire and end to all hostilities in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict from 00:00 Moscow time on 11 November 2020.

Azerbaijani and Armenian armed units should stop at the current territorial positions they occupy at present. The Republic of Armenia will return the Kelbajar and the Lachin districts to the Republic of Azerbaijan, reserving for itself only the Lachin corridor (5 km wide), which will ensure a passage between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia. A total of 1,960 Russian peacekeepers with small arms, who will have at their disposal 90 armored personnel carriers, as well as 380 units of automobile and special equipment, will be deployed along the line of contact between Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh in for five years. Possible five-year extensions are envisioned if none of the parties to the agreement declares termination of its provisions. The document also spells out the terms of exchange of prisoners of war and other detained persons and bodies of the dead.

Supported by Turkey, Azerbaijan is celebrating its victory. Recently Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has congratulated Azerbaijan on social media.

It`s worth mentioning that Ilham Aliyev announced the joint peacekeeping mission after publication of the document. He spoke of Turkey but the treaty doesn`t stipulate that Turkish soldiers and proxies will take part in the peacekeeping mission.

On the Armenian side, the decision was taken by Nikol Pashinyan, the Chief of the General Staff Onik Gasparyan and Araik Hovhannisyan, and the president of the Nagorno-Karabakh republic Arayik Harutyunyan.

In a statement on social media, Nikol Pashinyan called the deal "incredibly painful both for myself and for our people" but it`s "the best solution to the current situation," which will prevent further deadly clashes. At the same time, he urged the nation to stay united and wrote he was bowing his head to all the soldiers who had paid their lives while defending their homeland.

Shortly after the treaty was published and after Pashinyan`s statement on social media, disturbances erupted in Yerevan, as people flooded the capital’s streets shouting "We won`t give up our land!"

Angered protesters stormed government buildings. Armenian opposition parties called on the government to revoke the agreement. In the wake of the demand, the opposition demanded an extraordinary session of the country’s Parliament.

Simultaneously, the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff of Armenia issued a statement appealing to the people "to refrain from actions that could undermine the foundations of the state" and, learning from all possible mistakes, to build an incomparably strong and combat-ready army.

In the meantime, the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh remains tense after the signing of the document. According to media reports, citizens of Armenia call this treaty a complete capitulation to Azerbaijan. Protest rallies and speeches continue in the country.

The Russian Defense Ministry announced earlier that Russia had sent 20 planes with peacekeeping forces from Ulyanovsk to Goris (Armenia).

Recently, on October 8, Vladimir Putin called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to cease fire in Nagorno-Karabakh and to resolve this conflict peacefully, so that both sides could exchange POWs and bodies of the dead.

The new agreement, even if someone views it as Armenia’s capitulation, provides an opportunity for a peaceful settlement of this long-standing conflict. The most important thing is that people will not die, but will be able to improve their lives. After all, as the politician of ancient Rome Cicero said more than 2 thousand years ago, an unjust peace is better than a just war.

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