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The presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan sign a joint statement declaring a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh

A changing truce The Kremlin’s version of the new settlement in Nagorno-Karabakh differs from the text originally published by the Russian media

Source: Meduza
The presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan sign a joint statement declaring a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh
The presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan sign a joint statement declaring a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh
Press services of the Republic of Azerbaijan’s Office of President

After midnight on November 10, Armenia’s prime minister and the presidents of Azerbaijan and Russia signed a joint declaration agreeing to end hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh and deploy Russian peacekeepers to the region. The Russian state news agency Sputnik Armenia was the first to publish a copy of the agreement “without changes or abridgments”; the Kremlin did not share its copy of the truce until midday. The two texts are different, however. Here’s what changed.

How to read this. The text that appeared in Sputnik Armenia’s copy of the truce but disappeared from the Kremlin’s version is stricken through, while the text that appears only in the Kremlin’s publication is highlighted.

We, the president of the Azerbaijani Republic, Ilham Aliyev, the prime minister of the Armenian Republic, Nikol Pashinyan, and the president of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, declare the following:

1. A complete ceasefire and cessation of all hostilities in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone is announced from midnight, Moscow time, November 10, 2020. The Azerbaijani Republic and the Armenian Republic, hereinafter referred to as the Parties, will stop at their current positions.

2. The Agdam District and territories held by the Armenian Party in the Gazakh District of the Azerbaijani Republic will return to the Azerbaijani Party will return to the Azerbaijani Republic before November 20, 2020.

3. A peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation numbering 1,960 soldiers with small arms, 90 armored personnel carriers, and 380 vehicles and other special equipment will be deployed along the contact line in Nagorno-Karabakh and along the Lachin Corridor.

4. The Russian Federation’s peacekeeping contingent will be deployed in parallel with the withdrawal of Armenian armed forces. The peacekeeping contingent’s duration of stay will be five years with automatic extension for another five-year period if neither of the Parties declares its intention to terminate this provision within six months of its expiration.

5. In order to raise the effectiveness of control over the Parties’ implementation of the settlement, a peacekeeping center will be deployed to monitor the ceasefire.

6. The Armenian Republic will return the Kalbajar District to the Azerbaijani Republic before November 15, 2020, and the Lachin District by December 1, 2020, while retaining control [of the Lachin Corridor]. The Lachin Corridor (5 kilometers [3.1 miles] wide), which will ensure Nagorno-Karabakh’s connection to Armenia and at the same time not affect the city of Shusha, will remain under the control of the Russian Federation’s peacekeeping contingent.

By the agreement of the Parties, a plan will be determined in the next three years to construct a new traffic route along the Lachin Corridor, providing a connection between Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Armenia, with the subsequent redeployment of the Russian peacekeeping contingent to protect this route.

The Azerbaijani Republic guarantees the safety of traffic along the Lachin Corridor of persons, vehicles, and freight in both directions. 

7. Internally displaced persons and refugees will return to the Nagorno-Karabakh territory and adjacent areas under the supervision of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

8. There will be an exchange of prisoners of war, hostages, other detained persons, and the bodies of the dead.

9. All economic and transportation links in the region will be unblocked. The Armenian Republic will provide transportation links guarantees the safety of transportation links between the western regions of the Azerbaijani Republic and the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic [Azerbaijan’s landlocked exclave] in order to organize the unimpeded movement of persons, vehicles, and freight in both directions. Units of the Russian Federal Security Service’s Border Service will monitor these transportation links.

The agreement of the Parties provides for the construction of new transportation links connecting the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic with western regions of Azerbaijan.

Story by Denis Dmitriev

Translation by Kevin Rothrock

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