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Armenia to hand over Aghdam and parts of Gazakh to Azerbaijan


Armenia to hand over Aghdam and parts of Gazakh to Azerbaijan

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Photo: AP Photo

Armenia will hand the disputed Agdam region and parts of Gazakh to Azerbaijan by today as part of the Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire agreement.

The Russia-brokered ceasefire represents a historic victory for Azerbaijan and its ally Turkey, while dealing a devastating loss to Armenia, which is to give up its de facto control over the Armenian-populated territories it captured in 1994 after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Azerbaijan has held the upper hand in the military conflict largely owing to Turkish and Israeli weaponry purchased through oil revenues. Meanwhile, Armenia has failed to summon significant support from its historical ally, Russia, which, having long benefited from the stalemate in Nagorno-Karabakh, has cautiously balanced the two post-Soviet states to maintain its influence with both. To the disappointment of Armenia’s pro-Western Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Europe and the US have remained largely uninvolved in the conflict, making way for increased Turkish and Russian influence.

Looking forward, expect the current ceasefire to hold for as long as the status quo benefits Russia, which will maintain peacekeeping forces on the border for at least five years, and Turkey, which will use Baku’s territorial gains to boost the governing party’s tarnished reputation at home. Meanwhile, Pashinyan’s humiliating concession to his Azeri counterpart will likely cost him his political career—as the nationwide calls for his resignation suggest—and deepen Armenia’s dependence on Russia.

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