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Putin decrees to send 1,960 peacekeepers to Karabakh, rotate personnel every six months

The Russian peacekeeping contingent will be deployed along the engagement line in Nagorno-Karabakh and along the Lachin corridor that connects Armenia with the enclave

MOSCOW, November 12. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on measures for maintaining peace in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict area that stipulates sending 1,960 peacekeepers and rotating them at least every six months, according to the information posted on the government’s legal information web portal on Thursday.

The decree was signed in compliance with Resolution No. 355 of the Federation Council (the upper house of Russia’s parliament) on using the Russian Armed Forces outside the country and for the purposes of maintaining the ceasefire and peace in Nagorno-Karabakh pursuant to a joint statement of November 9 by President of Russia Vladimir Putin, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan.

Pursuant to Putin’s decree, Russia will send military personnel with a numerical strength of 1,960 peacekeepers to Nagorno-Karabakh "for a term of five years that may be repeatedly prolonged for subsequent five-year periods," if neither Azerbaijan nor Armenia states, six months prior to the expiry of the relevant five-year period, its intention to terminate the observance of the peace accords.

The Russian peacekeeping contingent will be deployed along the engagement line in Nagorno-Karabakh and along the Lachin corridor that connects Armenia with the enclave.

The Russian president has also instructed the Defense Ministry to rotate the peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh no less than every six months and replace military hardware as and when it uses up its service life and in case of technical necessity.

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has been instructed to exercise control of Armenia’s guarantees of transport links between the western districts of Azerbaijan and the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic for the free movement of citizens, vehicles and cargoes in both directions.

Putin has also instructed the Russian government to finance expenditures on the peacekeepers’ activity and stipulate their provision with necessary supplies and the payment of money allowance along with additional guarantees and compensations, including for members of their families.

Karabakh peace deal

On November 9, Russian President Putin, President of Azerbaijan Aliyev and Prime Minister of Armenia Pashinyan signed a joint statement on a full ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh. As the Russian leader said, Azerbaijani and Armenian forces will remain at their current positions while Russian peacekeepers will be deployed to the region. Baku and Yerevan have also undertaken to exchange prisoners and the bodies of those killed.

On November 10, the Azerbaijani leader’s press service reported that Presidents of Azerbaijan and Turkey Ilham Aliyev and Recep Tayyip Erdogan had discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh situation and the creation of the "Turkish-Russian peacekeeping center" in the region.

On November 11, Russia and Turkey agreed to create the Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire monitoring center. The memorandum was signed following videoconference talks between Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar.