Russian peacekeepers are on their way to the region, Pashinyan said.
“I made that decision as a result of an in-depth analysis of the military situation and the assessment of people who know the situation best. Also based on the belief that this is the best possible solution to the current situation,” Pashinyan’s statement said, according to an English translation published by Civilnet.
Armenia has been steadily losing territory for weeks. On November 8, Azerbaijan announced it had retaken Shusha, the city Azerbaijanis regard as their historical and cultural center in Nagorno-Karabakh.
The agreement, reportedly signed by Pashinyan, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, calls for Russian peacekeepers to patrol the Lachin Corridor connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia proper and for Armenia to withdraw from other contested territories outside Nagorno-Karabakh.
Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a years-long war over the region in the early 1990s that left tens of thousands dead and roughly 1 million displaced. The two sides never signed a peace treaty and on September 27 this year Azerbaijan, with Turkish support, began a campaign to retake the territories. Russia has estimated that the six-week-old war has killed thousands.
Protests broke out in Yerevan following the surrender, with crowds taking control of government buildings and beating up the speaker of parliament.
Questions immediately turned to the future of Armenia’s democracy.