Six weeks of deadly fighting ends with Azerbaijan winning. This country and Armenia signed on Monday under the aegis of Russia an agreement to end hostilities in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Since the end of September, the bloodiest clashes in nearly 30 years have pitted the region’s Armenian separatists against the Azerbaijani army.
“On November 9, the President of Azerbaijan [Ilham] Aliev, Prime Minister of Armenia [Nikol] Pachinian and the President of the Russian Federation signed a declaration announcing a total ceasefire and the end of all military actions in the conflict zone, ”Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Monday night in Tuesday. According to him, the belligerents keep at the end of the agreement, “the positions they occupy”. Russia is also in the process of deploying 1,960 soldiers and 90 armored vehicles to ensure compliance with the text, which notably provides for Azerbaijan to regain control of several districts which escaped it, and the maintenance of a land corridor connecting the territories still under separatist control and Armenia.
The insults of the Azerbaijani president
If Putin wanted this agreement to lead “to the creation of the conditions necessary for a lasting settlement” of the conflict, it is not certain that resentment does not take hold. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliev, for example, welcomed Armenia’s “surrender”. “I said we would hunt [les Arméniens] of our land like dogs, and we did it, ”he said, also calling the Armenian prime minister a“ coward ”for not signing the joint declaration in front of cameras.
In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Nikol Pachinian for his part indicated that his decision had been “incredibly painful for me and for our people”. Soon after, a crowd of thousands of angry protesters gathered outside the Armenian government headquarters, with hundreds entering the premises, smashing windows and ransacking offices, including a cabinet chamber. The seat of Parliament suffered the same fate. “Nikol is a traitor”, chanted the demonstrators in particular.
The military defeat in Nagorno Karabakh is therefore likely to threaten the future of the Armenian Prime Minister, brought to power at the end of a popular revolt in 2018. Seventeen opposition parties, some of the most important, had moreover even before the agreement to end hostilities demanded his resignation.