Armenia and Azerbaijan announce “humanitarian truce” from October 18

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A soldier from Nagorno Karabakh, October 12, 2020 in Stepanakert. – ARIS MESSINIS / AFP

“The Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan have agreed on a humanitarian truce from October 18 at midnight,” the Armenian Foreign Ministry said, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry confirming in an identical statement. This is the second time the two sides have tried to reach a ceasefire after three weeks of fighting that left hundreds dead in Nagorno Karabakh.

The announcement comes as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke by telephone in the evening with his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts and insisted on “the need for strict compliance” with the ceasefire concluded last Saturday. in Moscow, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Avoid an internationalization of the conflict

Azerbaijan has achieved territorial gains over the past three weeks without winning a decisive battle. Baku has so far not revealed the cost of the conflict, releasing no military, material or human toll. The separatists claim to have killed thousands of men, admit having had to back down but claim to “control the situation”. Officially, they lost around 700 men, and half of the 140,000 inhabitants were displaced.

Besides a potential humanitarian crisis, the international community fears an internationalization of the conflict, Turkey supporting Azerbaijan. Armenia, which financially and militarily supports the separatists, is in a military alliance with Russia.

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