On Wednesday, the Russian Kremlin dismissed the claims of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about Ankara and Moscow were collectively controlling the ceasefire agreement signed by Armenia and Azerbaijan to stop the conflict about the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Previously, Erdogan said that Turkey and Russia signed a deal to build a joint center for coordinating efforts to monitor the ceasefire and that Ankara would participate in the peacekeeping force. But, according to state news agency TASS, Russian Presidential Spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, stated that Turkey’s statement about establishing a monitoring center in Karabakh opposes Kremlin’s position. He said: This is not how we understand it, and he added that the presence of Turkish peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh was not agreed on.
Peskov had informed reporters on Tuesday that the creation of a center to monitor the Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire in Azerbaijan was not mentioned in the joint statement by the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia and was subject to a separate agreement, according to TASS.
On Tuesday, the ceasefire between Azerbaijan and Armenia was declared, stopping the region’s worst struggling in decades. It was celebrated as a victory in Azerbaijan and its ally Turkey.
Erdogan said when he spoke to members of his AK Party in parliament; Turkey would participate in the peacekeeping force. The deal stopped Armenia’s 28-year occupation of Azeri lands, indicating Nagorno Karabakh, which is a mountainous enclave within Azerbaijan controlled by ethnic Armenians.
He also said: Turkey will take part in the joint peace force to be formed to monitor the ceasefire along with Russia, adding: The relevant agreement on the formation of the Joint Turkish-Russian Centre to monitor the ceasefire was signed this morning. It will be formed on Azeri lands liberated from occupation.
Protests in Armenia
On Tuesday, thousands of Armenians took to the capital Yerevan streets for protesting the deal Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinian, signed with Azerbaijan and Russia to stop the war about the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. Pashinian announced that the deal was extremely painful for him and the Armenian people. He also posted on Facebook: The decision was the result of an in-depth analysis of the military situation and based on the assessment of the best experts in the field.
Pashinian added: I believe this is the best possible solution for the current situation, saying: This is not a victory but there is not defeat until you consider yourself defeated. We will never consider ourselves defeated and this shall become a new start of an era of our national unity and rebirth.
In fact, the deal appeals for Armenian forces to deliver control of certain areas that it held outside the borders of Nagorno-Karabakh, including the eastern district of Agdam. That area carries strong symbolic importance for Azerbaijan because its central city, also named Agdam, was completely destroyed, and the only building remaining intact is the city’s mosque.
Armenians will also deliver the Lachin region that holds the main road leading from Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia. The deal appeals for the road, the so-called Lachin Corridor, to remain open and be protected by Russian peacekeepers.
Just after the declaration, thousands of people got out to the main square in the Armenian capital Yerevan to protest the new deal, while many saying: We won’t give up our land!
Some of them broke into the main government building, and saying that they were searching for Pashinian, who apparently had already left. An AFP journalist declared that a few hundred entered the building, searching offices and breaking windows.
It should be noted that Armenian and Azerbaijani forces have been struggling for six weeks about the region of Nagorno-Karabakh; this region is located within Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a war there ended in 1994. The latest hostilities started September 27 and caused hundreds, perhaps thousands, of death, marking the worst escalation of fighting since the war’s end.
Azerbaijan has strong support from its ally Turkey that has trained Azerbaijani military and gave it strikes drones and long-range rocket systems. Whereas, Russia has a defense deal with Armenia and a military base there.