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Russia says first peacekeepers deployed to Karabakh region

Armenia and Azerbaijan ended their 30-year conflict early Tuesday

SAMAA | - Posted: Nov 11, 2020 | Last Updated: 2 months ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Nov 11, 2020 | Last Updated: 2 months ago
Russia says first peacekeepers deployed to Karabakh region

Photo: Russian Defense Ministry/TASS

Russian peacekeepers have deployed to the Nagorno-Karabakh region, the military said Wednesday, as part of a peace agreement to end weeks of fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed province.

The peacekeepers were now in control of the Lachin corridor, a key connection between Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh breakaway region, said the chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian General Staff, Sergei Rudskoy.

He said 414 servicemen, eight helicopters and dozens of vehicles and equipment had earlier arrived in Armenia.

“Twenty seven sorties have been made over the past 24 hours,” he told reporters.

Rudskoy said that nearly all the servicemen on the peacekeeping mission had previous experience on humanitarian deployments in Syria.

Under the Russian-brokered agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan, 16 observation points will be installed along the line of contact in the Nagorno-Karabakh region and along the Lachin corridor, Rudskoy said.

Military police will also be deployed, he added.

The Russian army were in “constant contact” with the military leadership in Azerbaijan and in Armenia to prevent any incidents from occurring and to ensure the safety of the Russian peacekeepers, Rudskoy said.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the deal in the early hours of Tuesday.

The agreement came after a string of Azerbaijani victories in its fight to retake the ethnic Armenian enclave that declared autonomy nearly 30 years ago.

A Russian force of 1,960 military personnel and 90 armoured personnel carriers will deploy to the region as peacekeepers, for a renewable five-year mission.

Aliyev said key ally Turkey would also be involved in peacekeeping efforts.

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