France Is Demanding Details From Russia On The Nagorno-Karabakh Agreement

Russian soldier from the peacekeeping unit in Nagorno-Karabakh on November 18, 2020. (AFP)

 


France has called on the Russian government to remove ambiguities in the ceasefire agreement it brokered between Azerbaijan and Armenia.


Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian criticized, among other things, the lack of clarity regarding the status of refugees from the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. The ceasefire limit and Turkey's role in monitoring the ceasefire are also not clear. Before MPs in Paris, Le Drian also called for clarification on how the withdrawal of foreign fighters in Nagorno-Karabakh should take place. In addition, it must be clarified when negotiations on the status of the crisis region will begin. He wanted to talk about this at a meeting of the chairmen of the Minsk group in Moscow on Wednesday. The body was created in 1992 by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe to mediate in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.


Russian military monitors ceasefire Russia's head of state

Vladimir Putin defended the agreement. It lays the foundation for a "long-term normalization" in the region. However, he admitted that the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh's final status had not been resolved. On Russian state television, Putin described it as a success that "hostilities have stopped". How will proceed with Nagorno-Karabakh remains to be clarified.

At the beginning of November, Azerbaijan and Armenia surprisingly agreed on a ceasefire, while Russia mediated the issue. According to the agreement, Russian troops are responsible for controlling the ceasefire. Traffic between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia is also to be monitored by the Russian military. The agreement also provides for an exchange of prisoners and a return of refugees. In addition, several areas are being handed over to Azerbaijan, which has sparked intense protests in Armenia.

Azerbaijani soldiers in Nagorno-Karabakh as seen on November 16, 2020. (AFP)

 

However, Turkey had also announced that it would send soldiers, although the country's role is not explicitly mentioned in the agreement. Unlike Russia, Turkey had clearly positioned itself on the side of Azerbaijan at the beginning of the conflict. Armenia accused the country of sending officers to the Azerbaijani army and mobilizing Syrian terrorists for the conflict. France also joined the allegations, the Turkish government denied them.

According to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the ceasefire now being negotiated is only the "first step" on the way to a peaceful solution to the conflict. The US government urged all sides to resume talks within the Minsk Group "as soon as possible" in order to find a lasting and viable political solution.

The Nagorno-Karabakh region unilaterally declared its independence during the collapse of the Soviet Union, but is not internationally recognized as a sovereign state.

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