Armenia will return a disputed region of Kalbajar to Azerbaijan today. The province is located in the northwest of Nagorno-Karabakh. While Nagorno-Karabakh
Armenia will return a disputed region of Kalbajar to Azerbaijan today.
The province is located in the northwest of Nagorno-Karabakh. While Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan, the region is currently controlled by ethnic Armenians. Armenia and Azerbaijan first fought for control over the region in the 1991 Nagorno-Karabakh War, and skirmishes have continued repeated despite ceasefires. Conflict sparked again in September 2020, and Armenian and Azerbaijani forces clashed for the past 44 days.
In order to avoid significant military defeat, Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan agreed to withdraw troops from several areas, including Kalbajar. Pashinyan also agreed to establish a transport corridor through Armenia to Azerbaijani regions and allow a Russian peacekeeping presence for the next five years. The peace deal came as a surprise to Armenians, who quickly took to the streets to protest Pahinyan’s decision.
Opposition leaders have issued ultimatums for Pashinyan to resign. Pashinyan is unlikely to heed these demands as he still enjoys public support and faces no strong contender from opposition parties. Still, as public anger shifts, it is possible that a successor will be elected by rallying anti-Azerbaijani sentiment and on calls to resume the conflict.
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