In a major global development, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has admitted defeat by signing a deal with Azerbaijan and Russia to end conflict in occupied Karabakh.
Pashinyan announced on Facebook early Tuesday that he had signed what he called a “painful” agreement.
“I have signed a statement with the presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan on the termination of the Karabakh war,” Pashinyan said in a statement posted on his Facebook page, calling the move “unspeakably painful for me personally and for our people.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed the agreement and added that a ceasefire had commenced from 2100 GMT.
Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said the deal signed showed it was a clear defeat of Armenia.
“The liberation of around 300 settlements since September 27 has broken the back of the Armenian army,” he added.
Aliyev announced the end of the Karabakh conflict between Baku and Yerevan with the new agreement.
Aliyev said Pashinyan signed the agreement due to Baku’s “iron fist,” not Yerevan’s own will.
He said the liberation of around 300 settlements since Septembar 27 in the region has weakened the Armenian army.
Aliyev said Agdam District will be delivered to Baku as of November 20 while Kalbajar will be returned by November 15 and Lachin by December 1.
The Azerbaijani president said Russia will deploy 1,960 soldiers and 90 armoured vehicles of its peacekeeping forces on the Nagorno-Karabakh contact line and in the Lachin Corridor.
He also announced a Turkish and Russia joint peacekeeping mission in Karabakh.
Ruckus in Armenian parliament
Armenia erupted in protests early Tuesday after Pashinyan’s announcement.
Protesters gathered in front of a government building in the capital Yerevan, breaking windows and chanting slogans against Pashinyan.
Some of them entered his office and called for him to resign.
Local media reports said parliament speaker Ararat Mirzoyan had been attacked and beaten.
The crowds grew smaller as the night wore on but some protesters remained inside parliament.