By Dmitri Chirciu

MOSCOW

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced early Tuesday that Azerbaijan and Armenia have signed a deal to end the conflict in the Upper Karabakh region.

Putin announced a new cease-fire between the two countries in a televised address,.

He said that under the deal, Azerbaijan and Armenia will remain in the positions they control.

Putin also said that Russian peacekeepers will be deployed on the contact line in Nagorno-Karabakh and in the corridor where Karabakh connects with Armenia.

The displaced and refugees will return to Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions under the control of the UN Refugee Agency.

Transportation and communications control will be provided by the Russian Border Security Service, he said.

The deal will create the necessary conditions for a long-term and comprehensive solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis on a fair basis in line with the interests of the Armenian and Azerbaijani peoples, he added.

Relations between the two former Soviet republics over Upper Karabakh, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh, have remained tense since 1991, but fresh clashes broke out on Sept. 27.

Since then, Armenia has repeatedly attacked Azerbaijani civilians and forces, even violating three humanitarian cease-fire agreements.

In total, about 20% of Azerbaijan’s territory has been under illegal Armenian occupation for nearly three decades.

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