Moscow and Ankara have agreed to end the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, Turkey said
ANKARA, (BM) – Tensions in the unrecognized republic of Nagorno-Karabakh continue and hostilities are far from over, despite Azerbaijani and Armenian media reports that there is “moderate peace” in the region’s less populated areas.
BulgarianMiliotri.com closely monitors what is happening between Armenia and Azerbaijan, but also monitors what is happening between the two countries involved in one way or another in the conflict – Russia and Turkey. According to Turkish media, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan held telephone conversations on Saturday [November 7th], agreeing to end hostilities in the area.
According to Michael Tanchum, a professor and senior fellow at the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy, Moscow and Ankara are considering the Sochi option, or in other words, withdrawing Armenian troops from the seven regions of Nagorno-Karabakh, and Turkey and Russia to set up joint patrols between Turkish and Russian troops. So far, however, there are no details of such a deal, as well as confirmation, but he quoted a CNN Turk correspondent as saying that Moscow and Ankara are on track to set up a joint working group.
However, no such agreement has been announced on the Russian side, although telephone conversations between the two leaders have been confirmed. According to Russian sources, Erdogan and Putin have only discussed the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, the ongoing hostilities, and the search for a diplomatic path through which the two leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia can talk about ending hostilities. Russian media claim that Putin and Erdogan have agreed to co-operate in such a situation, but not to build joint patrols and withdraw Armenian forces.
BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that on November 8th, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev issued a statement broadcast on national television and radio that the country’s military had captured and already controlled a key city in the unrecognized republic of Negorno Karabakh. It is about the city of Shushi [in Azerbaijani Shusha – ed.], which is the second largest city in the region.
The information was also disseminated by the Russian news agency TASS, although, according to the Minister of Defense of Armenia, it is not true and fighting in this city is still in full swing. According to the Armenian Ministry of Defense, there is a “relative peace” between the warring parties in the smaller settlements in the region, but the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, Stepanakert, has been bombed in recent hours. It is a night artillery and missile attack, according to local sources.
Armenia’s defense minister said in a statement that Shushi remained an “inaccessible dream” for the enemy, but confirmed that the city had been severely bombed and was severely damaged.
As already mentioned, the conflict has been going on for months and the bad news is that there are a large number of civilians killed on both sides of the shelling. So far, Baku has not provided the media with information about Azerbaijani soldiers killed during the conflict, while Yerevan claims that thousands of Armenian soldiers have been killed in recent months.
As we have repeatedly written in recent months, various foreign intelligence services claim that mercenaries from third countries are involved in the area and are fighting on the side of Azerbaijan. Similar information was provided to the media nearly a month ago by France, Russia and the United States, but so far Azerbaijan has denied the allegations. Last week, Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, said in an interview that Russian intelligence said nearly 2,000 mercenaries, including jihadists and terrorists from Syria, were currently active in the conflict and fighting on Azerbaijan’s side.
The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh escalated on September 27, active clashes are taking place in the disputed territory. Martial law was introduced in Azerbaijan and Armenia, and mobilization was announced. Both sides reported killed and wounded, including civilians. In Baku, they announced the control of several Karabakh villages and strategic heights. Yerevan also reports about the shelling of the territory of Armenia.
Azerbaijan and Armenia have been in conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh since February 1988, when the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan SSR.
During the armed conflict in 1992-1994, the Azerbaijani side lost control of Nagorno-Karabakh and the seven areas adjacent to it. Since 1992, negotiations have been conducted within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group on a peaceful settlement of the conflict. The group is led by co-chairs – Russia, USA and France.
In 1994, Azerbaijan, Armenia and the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, through the mediation of Russia, signed the Bishkek Armistice Protocol. At the same time, military operations did not stop there, which periodically renewed. The most significant exacerbation of the conflict was the four-day war of 2016. Then hundreds of soldiers on both sides became victims.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, during a meeting with the President of Azerbaijan last year, called for a rhetoric that would go against the fundamental principles endorsed by both sides and enshrined in the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act when resolving the situation around Nagorno-Karabakh. At the same time, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry admitted that much more needs to be done to achieve a long-term political settlement.
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