NEAR KORNIDZOR, Armenia - The ethnic Armenian leadership of breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh said on Saturday that the terms of their ceasefire with Azerbaijan were being implemented, with work proceeding on the delivery of humanitarian aid and evacuation of the wounded.
Earlier, the Karabakh Armenians held another round of talks with Azerbaijani officials in the town of Shusha, three days after the ceasefire that followed a lightning 24-hour offensive in which Baku retook control of the mountainous region.
Work is under way too to restore electricity supplies by Sept 24, the Karabakh Armenians said in a statement, which also referred to “political consultations” on the future of the region, which they call Artsakh, and its 120,000 Armenian residents.
Russia’s defence ministry said that, under the terms of the ceasefire, the Armenian separatists had begun handing over their weapons to Azerbaijan, including more than 800 guns and six armoured vehicles. Moscow has 2,000 peacekeepers in the area.
With Armenians suffering serious shortages of food and fuel after a months-long de facto Azerbaijani blockade, an aid convoy of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) headed into Karabakh on Saturday, the first since Baku’s offensive.
The ICRC said in a later statement that the convoy had transported nearly 70 metric tonnes of humanitarian supplies, including wheat flour, salt and sunflower oil, along the Lachin corridor, the only road link from Armenia to Karabakh.
An ICRC team also carried out the medical evacuation of 17 people wounded during the fighting, it said.
Separately, Russia said it had delivered more than 50 tonnes of food and other aid to Karabakh.
More than 20 other aid trucks, bearing Armenian number plates, have been lined up along a nearby roadside since July. Azerbaijan said at the time this convoy amounted to a “provocation” and an attack on its territorial integrity.