During the video conference that was broadcast by the AzTV, Russian President Vladimir Putin said “Today we are signing with you a trilateral statement of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia and the President of the Russian Federation. I hope that this agreement will not only put an end to the long-standing confrontation between Armenia and Azerbaijan and the bloodshed in these lands but also create a reliable mechanism for monitoring the agreements that we have outlined in today’s statement”.
On November 10, the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a statement on the complete cessation of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh. They agreed to bring Russian peacekeepers in the conflict zone. The peacekeeping force will protect the entire border of Karabakh and the Lachin corridor. The Armenian military will leave Karabakh. Yerevan will return to Baku the seven regions which Armenia seized during the 1988-94 conflict, as well as the culturally-important city of Shusha.
Armenia will retain control over most of Nagorno-Karabakh itself (called as Artsakh in Armenia) located within Azerbaijan’s borders. According to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Azeri refugees from the 1988-94 war — hundreds of thousands of whom live in Azerbaijan — will be permitted to return to Nagorno-Karabakh (We are not at all sure if they have places to return).
A 2,000-strong Russian peacekeeping force will be deployed to protect the Lachin corridor that connects Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Azerbaijan will also gain passage to its Nakhchivan exclave which is detached from Azerbaijan by a strip of Armenian land close to the border with Turkey and Iran. Russian forces will protect the roads connecting Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan, too.
Overall, this is the victory for Turkish President Recep Erdoğan, as Turkey increased the sphere of its influence and secured direct routes to Baku via Nakhchivan. Armenia lost, big time. Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has come in for harsh criticism at home. We are not sure if he can keep his position as a prime minister. For Iran, this is simply set back in this region as Turkey holds the upper hand. For President Putin, well, he should be in an awkward position.