Russian peacekeepers head to Nagorno-Karabakh after peace deal

Russian peacekeepers head to Nagorno-Karabakh after peace deal

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Yerevan:  Hundreds of Russian peacekeepers were heading to Nagorno-Karabakh on Tuesday after Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to a peace deal to end weeks of fierce fighting over the disputed region.

Moscow reached an agreement and the ceasefire took effect at 2100 GMT. Earlier, Azerbaijan had achieved a series of victories in the struggle to retake the Armenian settlements.

It sparked celebrations in Azerbaijan, but aroused anger in Armenia. Protesters took to the streets to denounce the loss of the country’s leaders on the territory, which was separated from Azerbaijan’s control during the war in the early 1990s.

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

Pashinyan described the agreement as “unspeakably painful for me and for our people”, while Aliyev said it amounted to a “capitulation” by Armenia.

The full text of the deal showed clear gains for Azerbaijan.

Its forces will continue to control areas captured during the fighting, including the key town of Shusha, while Armenia agreed to set a timetable to withdraw most of Nagorno-Karabakh.

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