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After twenty years...
Armenia continues to try to outsmart the world community and international law...

 

"The principle of territorial integrity
does not mean the inviolability of borders"
Serzh Sargsyan, president of Armenia


The president of Armenia made this statement during his interview with the influential newspaper Moskovskiye Novosti on 16 May 2011, and it was included in its headline.
Obviously, this quotation made a strong impression on the newspaper, since the headline usually includes the most important and memorable thought.
Like the entire interview, it made a no less impression on us.

Therefore, we decided to start our book precisely with this "masterpiece" created by the president of Armenia.

This statement by Sargsyan graphically demonstrates how far you can go in your arguments, if you spend 23 years trying to outsmart international law, prove the unprovable and change, divide and contrast unbreakable, solid principles with each other.
It is not surprising that after these long 23 years, official Yerevan is not going to change anything in its rhetoric.

For example, while celebrating the 20th anniversary of Armenia's independence in September 2011, Sargsyan repeatedly said in his remarks that Armenia will continue to seek the independence of Karabakh, i.e. we will continue to hear such gems.
It is clear that, firstly, neither Azerbaijan, nor the world community are going to wait another 20 years.

Secondly, you do not have to be so observant not to notice that during these long years, neither this nor any other so-called argument has been in a position to change the view of the international community and especially to shake the foundations of international law.

Top officials' quotations in this book leave no doubt that since the collapse of the Soviet Union -when the Nagornyy Karabakh conflict became the focus of international attention - the international community has been taking, and still takes, the same unwavering stance during all these 20 years of independence.
It recognizes the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and regards both mountaneous and lowland Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan.

Thus, the overall picture for today is as follows:
The whole world is in favour of territorial integrity in general and for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan in particular, while Armenia is against it.

This is especially clearly reflected both in the text of Resolution 1832 entitled "National sovereignty and statehood in contemporary international law: the need for clarification", adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on 21 October 2011, and in the process of its adoption.
It is noteworthy that the Armenian delegation in PACE tried to make many changes to the draft resolution (to the provisions concerning the principles of self-determination and recognition of de facto territories), however, they failed to outwit the Europeans and international law again, and as a result of the vote, those changes were rejected.

The resolution reads in part: "The Assembly considers that even if international law were to recognize a right of national or ethnic minorities or even, in some cases, national majorities to self-determination, such a right would not give rise to an automatic right to secession."
Below are similar quotes from official documents of the UN and others.

Strictly speaking, this is another expression of the unshakable position of international law that sets a kind of algorithm for the behaviour of the international community.
Following this algorithm, it supports the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
No country questions this fact, and it has been confirmed by dozens of quotations from top officials in the book.

But alas, this does not prevent representatives of the top political leadership of Armenia from continuing to make regular statements that the position of the international community is gradually "changing" in favour of Armenia through the active work of the "Armenian lobby", efforts in the "information war", diplomatic efforts, etc. and that very soon the world will allegedly openly and unequivocally support the "self-determination" of the Armenians of Nagornyy Karabakh the way they understand it in Armenia. In October 2010, such a statement was made by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan in an interview with reporters from Armenian diaspora newspapers. Previously, such statements were made by Armenia's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Shavarsh Kocharyan...
Thus, Armenia's top officials are talking about "growing support", "a new level" and the "growing international prestige" of an unrecognized quasi-state called "Nagornyy Karabakh republic".

It is clear that such statements are not in a position to influence the position of the international community. And Armenian leaders are hardly pursuing such a goal.
They have set themselves a different task - to convince their OWN ARMENIAN people that the Karabakh adventure, instigated by those who form the tip of the authorities and opposition in Armenia, still has a chance of success.

And they are simply misleading their own people, trying to convince Armenian voters that Azerbaijan can only count on support from Turkey and several other "Muslim" countries, while the other nations of the world, if not today, then next week, will definitely re-orient their foreign policy to Armenian aims and objectives. We just need to wait a little bit more, to help the lobbyists a little bit more and to be a little bit more forceful...

This disinformation campaign, addressed to the Armenian people, has been going on, as noted above, for more than 20 years. Also, Armenian political wheeler-dealers tried to convince their countrymen in the same way that it was still possible to revive the Treaty of Sevres and annex the six Eastern Anatolian vilayets of Turkey - they just need to help their own "lobbyists" a little bit more. Armenian voters are advised to ignore the fact that Caspian oil, the main economic engine of the region, by-passed Armenia both literally and figuratively and that the country is in fact unable to build an adequate economic model, and especially not to ask how much the Karabakh adventure, which, as shown by quotations in this book, has no chance of success, cost and continues to cost Armenia.

In short, statements such as the one Sargsyan made in Moskovskiye Novosti are meant primarily for domestic consumption and leave Armenia out of the international community and beyond the legal field.

Therefore, the target audience for this book is, above all, the people of Armenia. This is an attempt to convey the true and undistorted view of the world community to them.
This book can be read from any page.
Quations by presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers and parliament speakers of various countries, as well as reputable international organizations that govern relations between states, collected in it, are repeated like a refrain in recognition of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.

All these statements are made by politicians responsible for the policies of their countries, and therefore, those who are responsible for their words, and together they reproduce the general political and legal worldview and create a coherent and robust system of judgments that prove the steadfastness of the axiom about the priority of the territorial integrity of a country.

It is one of those axioms, which are beyond the greedy ambitions of certain extremist forces and are the backbone of the universally recognized norms of international law.
The publication of this book is a good reason to turn to the Armenian people, political forces and extremist groups in the Armenian lobby with a single sentence.

Please try to find a single remark by authorized representatives of any country in the world or the international community that runs counter to the principle of territorial integrity.
We mean precisely world leaders and the neglect of this principle, for example, "we do not recognize the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan", or "it is necessary to violate the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan", "we do not recognize the principle of inviolability of borders", "the borders of Azerbaijan should be changed" and so on.

But it does not exist and cannot exist a priori, since no serious politician would want to embarrass himself by publicly contradicting international law.
As you can see, no one did this even under pressure from the strong Armenian lobby. Many persons in this book are true friends of Armenia.
But this did not give them a reason to support extremism and the aggressive aspirations of this country.
Each of them said precisely what complies with international law.
And this whole semantic frame gives special strength and solidity to our book.

The principle of the inviolability of borders between states was confirmed at the Potsdam Peace Conference in 1945, confirmed in the Final Act of the Helsinki Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe in 1975, and later the Madrid meeting and the 1991 Charter of Paris.

These legal tenets are enough to recognize that Azerbaijan is right and to put an end to the illegal occupation, enabling hundreds of thousands of displaced people to return to their ancestral lands and live in peace. Speaking of that, we turn not to cynical politicians, but to Armenian intellectuals, youth and constructive forces capable of soberly and objectively assessing the situation.

During more than 20 years that have passed since the capture of Azerbaijani lands by Armenia, a lot has changed in the world. First of all, the nature of time has changed, the Soviet Union has collapsed, the former Soviet republics have gained sovereignty, Soviet President Gorbachev, who promised the Armenians to hand over Karabakh to Soviet Armenia, has sunk into oblivion, the world has been shaken and changed by tsunamis, wars, earthquakes and acts of terrorism such as 9/11, new entities have emerged in the geopolitical area and presidents and political systems have changed. But during all this time, the principle of territorial integrity remained an unchanging constant.

International organizations remain committed to their position on the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. From year to year, this dominant has been voiced from the high rostrums of the UN, OSCE, EU and various international forums. For example, in January 2011, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso reiterated that the European Union fully recognizes the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and said that Europe clearly stands for the resolution of the conflict within the framework of this legal norm. The same was also repeated by the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus Peter Semneby, as well as the chairman of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek.

During this period, the Armenian aggression has been documented by the international community and the four UN Security Council resolutions: ¹ 822 of 30 April 1993, ¹ 853 of 29 July 1993, ¹ 874 of 14 October 1993 and ¹ 884 of 12 November 1993. The final resolution noted with alarm the escalation in "armed hostilities as consequence of the violations of the cease-fire and excesses in the use of force in response to those violations, in particular the occupation of the Zangilan District and the city of Horadiz in Azerbaijan", reaffirmed the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and "the inviolability of international borders and the inadmissibility of the use of force for the acquisition of territory..."

The OSCE, the Lisbon summit and other international organizations have also adopted resolutions. The number of international organizations calling on Armenia to respect international law is growing, and each time it is a serious indication that the world community has decided to "see" the aggressive policy against Azerbaijan. In May 2010, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) adopted three resolutions on the Nagornyy Karabakh conflict at the 37th meeting of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers. According to these resolutions, Armenia was openly recognized as an aggressor. And just this week, the European Parliament adopted a resolution condemning the Armenian aggression against Azerbaijani territories and calling for the withdrawal of Armenian forces from all the occupied territories.

Political experts regard the Moscow joint declaration of the presidents of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia as an important lever for action. The Russian political scientist, professor, head of the Centre for Mediterranean-Black Sea Problems at the Europe Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Alla Yazkova, has made interesting constructive remarks: "The presidents of Russia, the United States and France openly talk about the occupied territories" in search of a compromise ... and why not focus on this? It should be noted that Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan also mentioned the Madrid principles at the OSCE summit in Astana in 2010, actually recognizing them. And they directly talk about the liberation of the occupied territories. So maybe then, it is worth continuing this line? This question is likely addressed to the followers of militant Armenians who deliberately restrict their political vision to the right of self-determination.

In any case, there is no conflict here, as there is no contradiction between these principles. These principles do not contradict each other either in the UN Charter, or in the 10 principles of the Helsinki Final Act, which speak not about self-determination, but about "equality and peoples' right to determine their fate".
Another basic document - the Declaration of Principles of International Law, adopted by the UN General Assembly on 24 October 1970, clearly states that "nothing in the foregoing paragraphs shall be construed as authorizing or encouraging any action which would dismember or impair, totally or in part, the territorial integrity or political unity of sovereign and independent states". A different approach threatens to degrade the essence of self-determination to the level of separatism, which is what happened in Nagornyy Karabakh.

It is worth reminding the separatists here that originally, they placed territorial claims to Nagornyy Karabakh at the heart of the issue. In 1988, when, according to the Armenian side, "the deputies of the Regional Council of Nagornyy Karabakh passed a resolution" (in fact, the meeting was illegal because the deputies of Azerbaijani nationality - 30 per cent of the total composition - were not informed about it), it mentioned precisely "the merger of Nagornyy Karabakh with Armenia". Two years later, the Armenian parliament adopted a Constitutional Act on the incorporation of Nagornyy Karabakh into Armenia.

However, with the help of eminent Russian scientists and politicians, they realized that their actions are an overt territorial claim and turned the discourse towards nations' right to self-determination, i.e. secession from Azerbaijan and security guarantees for the Armenian population of Nagornyy Karabakh. In the same way, the Armenians of the North Caucasus (and their number is approximately equal to the population of Armenia) may demand secession from Russia, etc.
Curiously, it was Russia that resettled the Armenians to the North Caucasus and the South Caucasus from Turkey. One hundred years after Griboyedov, it was done by Chicherin, the People's Commissar of Foreign Affairs of Soviet Russia.

Meanwhile, official Baku has repeatedly stated at the highest level that it will provide proper security guarantees for the population of Nagornyy Karabakh and consent to back up these assurances with international guarantees up to the deployment of peacekeepers. The Armenians do not need "guarantees", they only need the territory even at the cost of the lives of Karabakh residents themselves.

The assertion that Baku allegedly rejects the right of peoples to self-determination is extremely misleading. The position of Azerbaijan is that the realization of the right to self-determination must take place strictly within the framework of international law rather than break it.
The conflict can be resolved only on the basis of the principles of territorial integrity and inviolability of borders enshrined in the Helsinki Final Act of 1975.

At the same time, territorial integrity means not the territory controlled by the Azerbaijani government de facto today, but what is internationally recognized de jure, in other words, Azerbaijan within the borders of the former Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic - within which the country was admitted to the UN, the Council of Europe, the OSCE and other international organizations by the principle of uti possidetis juris, i.e. along with Nagornyy Karabakh and the seven surrounding Azerbaijani districts currently occupied by Armenia.

The separatists' attempts to impose the term "the people of Nagornyy Karabakh" in the ethnic sense on the world look quite primitive. Moreover, these attempts are ridiculous, because there is no separate international political entity called "Nagornyy Karabakh". Instead, there is the Nagornyy Karabakh region of Azerbaijan with a population comprised of two ethnic communities. And if we speak of self-determination only for the Armenian part, it is not clear why the completely equivalent Azerbaijani community should be deprived of such a right.

Thus, behind the term "the people of Nagornyy Karabakh" imposed by Armenia, the simple word Armenians, which Yerevan does not tend to pronounce very often for obvious reasons, is cunningly concealed.
The self-determination of the Armenian community of Karabakh cannot go beyond the framework of the Azerbaijani state. It is no accident that the preamble of the Madrid principles published last year contains a reference to the Helsinki Act, not to UN conventions and declarations on decolonization. Article 8 of the Helsinki Final Act is known to limit self-determination to the territorial integrity of states.

Responsible politicians and diplomats have always been aware of the dangers of an expanded interpretation of the right to self-determination. The UN Charter, which is the underlying document of international law, does not contain formulations that would consider the right to self-determination sufficient grounds for the infinite "fragmentation" of states, the notorious "self-determination of streets" and "sovereignty of courtyards".

You can trace the evolution of the principle of self-determination in the formation of the UN Charter. In the proposals considered at the Dumbarton Oaks Conference, there were no provisions of Article 1 relating to self-determination - they were included in the Charter of the San Francisco Conference as amendments by the great powers. At the same time, the materials that summarized the consideration of the amendments stated that the principles of equality of peoples and their right to self-determination "are two constituent elements of a unified norm".

The conference proceedings also recorded that the principle of equality and self-determination is consistent with the goals of the United Nations as it includes only the right of peoples to self-government, "not a right to secede". Thus, the origin and content of the principle of equal rights and self-determination clearly show that this principle originally ruled out secession as a form of its implementation. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights did not provide a people with the right to self-determination either.

The principle of nations' self-determination evolved during the collapse of the world colonial system. Huge colonies and overseas territories, previously known as British Tanzania, Belgian Congo, etc. freed themselves from colonial oppression. Governments thousands of miles away in European capitals could no longer effectively carry out the powers in the lands they once controlled. Vast areas with impressive populations remained without state control mechanisms in general, and for this unique process, it was required to "create" a legislative framework. The principle of nations' self-determination was the sole legal basis here.

However, during the African "resource wars" (e.g. riots in the province of Katanga in the former Belgian Congo and bloody civil strife in Nigeria's Biafra), it became clear what consequences making a reference to the right of nations to self-determination had after distant European capitals lost all their power here. The result was a series of bloody wars to annihilate and dismember states, establish the rule of princes, tribal chiefs, etc.

Anyway, as a result of brutal "anti-colonial" and, more importantly, post-colonial experience, UN agencies confirmed the following again.
Firstly, we should not confuse a people's right to self-determination with the rights of minorities, since the authors of the UN Charter did not intend to grant this right to minorities.

Secondly, a people's right to self-determination should not be exercised in order to undermine national unity or create obstacles for the realization of this unity in violation of national sovereignty.

Finally, the study "The right to self-determination", prepared in 1981 within the framework of the UN, stresses that "the principle of equal rights and self-determination, as laid down in the Charter of the United Nations, does not grant an unlimited right of secession to populations living in the territory of an independent sovereign State, and such a right cannot be regarded as a provision of lex lata. (published legislation - Ed.). A right of secession supported or encouraged by foreign States would clearly be in glaring contradiction with the respect for territorial integrity on which the principle of sovereign equality of States is based."

And further: "It would be dangerous to recognize in international law a general and unlimited right of secession, for the rights of a population living in the territory of a given State are governed by the national constitutional law of that State."

In the same study, the authors suggest that "the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples should serve to unite peoples on a voluntary and democratic basis, not to break up existing national entities. It is necessary to avoid any formulation of the principle which might be interpreted as widening its scope and making it applicable to peoples who already form part of an independent sovereign State. To do otherwise would be to encourage secessionist movements in sovereign States, and might serve as a pretext for endangering the national unity and territorial integrity of sovereign States.". Also, according to scientists, the right of peoples to self-determination is written out in international instruments "not to encourage secessionist or nationalist movements".

The international community has achieved sufficient maturity to be able to distinguish between genuine self-determination and self-determination which is used to cover up territorial claims. The right to self-determination is interpreted in international law today as a right to cultural autonomy, i.e. a right to continue national life even within a state where another nation is dominant.

Analysis of international documents (rather than their pseudo-scientific interpretations) leaves no doubt: the thesis about the right of nations to self-determination does not apply to local conflicts in the former Soviet Union in general and the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict in particular. And it cannot serve as a justification for the secession of a part of a recognized sovereign state.

According to many analysts, the seizure of the city of Shusha on 9 May 1992, where the overwhelming majority of the population were Azerbaijanis, who did not want "self-determination through secession", and the city of Lachin, which was outside the former NKAO, proves: it is a war for territory. And it is impossible to recognize as "an act of self-determination" the capture of the areas adjacent to the former NKAO, whose population was completely expelled from their places of residence. That is to say unlike other conflicts, the main cause of the Nagornyy Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan is Armenia's territorial claims.

The "nkr" is not recognized as an independent and sovereign state by any of the three co-chair countries or any other country, including Yerevan. However, painful ambitions always stifle the sober voice of reason. We mean the so-called referendum on the status of Nagornyy Karabakh, which was not recognized by the international community, was decisively rejected by the EU and the OSCE and was very sarcastically commented on in the world press.

"Nagornyy Karabakh wants to be independent at all costs. The republic has a president, but no country in the world recognizes it ... this desire is ignored by the rest of the world," the German newspaper Berliner Zeitung wrote at the end of October 2009. "The world community would be turning a blind eye to Sahakyan's megalomania, if it were not for one fact: the republic is located in one of the most volatile regions of the world - the Caucasus. Here, the US, EU and Russia have started a race for energy reserves, while the Caucasian peoples are turning one another's lives into a hell."

"As part of the Soviet Union, Nagornyy Karabakh was part of Azerbaijan, representing a predominantly Armenian-populated autonomous region. After independence in 1991, a bloody civil war broke out in the region in which rebels from Nagornyy Karabakh ousted the Azerbaijani armed forces with the help of the Armenian army. After Armenia decided not to annex Karabakh, some people in Stepanakert got the idea that Nagornyy Karabakh can become an independent republic - they were not bothered by the fact that the international community will treat the new entity as a nationalist hallucination," Berliner Zeitung said with surprise.

In January 2010, the popular magazine Foreign Policy published an article entitled "Limbo World", in which the author describes such a "state attribute" of Nagornyy Karabakh as "the visa". "Nagornyy Karabakh, the Armenian separatist enclave within Azerbaijan, issues visas with fancy holograms and difficult-to-forge printing," the author writes.

"If present and past suggest the future, most such embryonic countries will end stillborn, but not for lack of trying. The totems of statehood are everywhere in these wannabe states: offices filled with functionaries in neckties, miniature desk flags, stationery with national logos, and, of course, piles of real bureaucratic paperwork -- all designed to convince foreign visitors like me that international recognition is deserved and inevitable."

As you can see, the international community's reaction to the so-called "referendum" in Nagornyy Karabakh demonstrated to would-be politicians that no changes have occurred in "the world's understanding" of the situation surrounding the Nagornyy Karabakh conflict: "All states and international organizations reiterated that they recognize the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and are not going to recognize the separatist regime. However, Armenian politicians stubbornly continue to mislead their society."

All this shows that any statements and actions that are not based on international law will always continue to be ridiculous and contradictory, since there is not, and cannot, be a reasonable explanation outside the legal field. The only way out for the Armenian side, if it wants to look constructive, is to search for a peaceful settlement of the conflict on the basis of international law.

Armenian political constructions built to justify the legality of the seizure of Azerbaijani lands are crumbling like a house of cards under pressure from strong historical arguments. And it is not only about the facts of the history of Azerbaijan. We present the Armenian readers laden with the burdon of centuries-old fraud with an excerpt from a New York Times article dated 4 August 1920. Ninety years ago, this newspaper published a denial by the American humanitarian organization Near East Relief headquartered at 1 Madison Avenue of unverified reports of a Bolshevik invasion of Armenia from the Sovietized provinces of Karabakh and Zangezur. This alone negates the speculative assertions about these two regions being part of the independent Republic of Armenia in 1918-1920.

Indeed, how can you start an operation to invade the territory of Armenia from Sovietized Karabakh and Zangezur and simultaneously consider these two provinces part of Armenia? Since the Bolshevik invasion of Armenia began, as we know, from the territory of Soviet Azerbaijan, obviously, Karabakh and Zangezur were considered foreign territories for Armenia.

The following phrase from the press release of the American humanitarian agency put the final full stop to the recognition of Karabakh and Zangezur as part of Azerbaijan by the international community: "These two provinces in question are largely inhabited by Armenians, but have never been under the government of the Republic of Armenia. They consist of a mountainous region, which is said to be the richest mineral district of the Near East, known to possess gold, copper, sulphur, iron and zinc mines, but which is cut off from contact with the rest of the Armenian Republic by lack of roads and means of communication." (New York Times, 4 August 1920)

After the outbreak of the Nagornyy Karabakh conflict and the collapse of the USSR, Azerbaijan and Armenia started a sovereign life not as close neighbouring countries in the Caucasus region, but as warring parties with drastically unequal opportunities. Azerbaijan is deprived of its ancestral land - Karabakh, is covered with a wave of grief and suffering because of a million refugees and is torn by the threat of civil war. Armenia possesses occupied Karabakh, looted houses and farms in 20 per cent of the occupied Azerbaijani lands, military hardware inherited from the USSR and financial assistance from world Armenians.

However, the clear imbalance of power in favour of Armenia at the start did not strengthen the home front of the Republic of Armenia. The policy of aggression sidelines Armenia from all regional projects. Today it is a country with a low level of economic development, quality of life and high migration losses. The outflow of more than 1.5 million of people from the country says only one thing - no one wants to live in Armenia.

To avoid making unfounded statements, we refer to an opinion poll conducted among high school students in January 2010 by the Armenian branch of the Czech organization People in Need and the UN Headquarters in Armenia under the programme "Strengthening the management of migration flows in Armenia". Asked whether they would want to go to another country, 88 per cent of respondents gave a positive answer and only 6 per cent responded negatively. In 2010, Armenian economic experts sounded the alarm, saying that in the absence of remittances to Armenia, the poverty rate might increase from 23.5 to 31.3 per cent.

Other experts publicly voiced what was once carefully concealed. It became known that under the rule of Levon Ter-Petrosyan, 16,000 people were resettled to the occupied Azerbaijani territories in just three years after the cease-fire between the two countries, but in the more than 12 years of the rule of these authorities, this figure has fallen by half.

By contrast, Azerbaijan has risen to the level of a regional power, become a strategic energy security partner of major world powers, taken leading positions in terms of economic growth and increased its population by 1.26 times.

As you can see, the occupation of foreign lands did not yield political or economic dividends to Armenia or its people. Relapses of overwhelming greed for land caused the people of independent Armenia to be in economic isolation.

These sad observations certainly give food for thought to thousands of Armenians who feel doomed in the grips of the frenzied Karabakh clan. They are right in saying that even the clock of history has its own watchmakers. And it is absolutely clear that the watchmakers of Armenian history are not watchmakers, but artisans, time-servers and losers. They are losers because the invention of lies is always a refuge for losers. Their sick ambitions deprive them of a clear political vision and clear thinking. Pay attention to the algorythm of their political actions. Considering themselves flexible and resourceful, they tread on the same rake, spines and thorns with stubborn persistence, because they themselves have sown the seeds of evil, which are now giving hostile shoots.

"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning," and this maxim of Churchill would be relevant, incidentally, to describe the current status of the Nagornyy Karabakh conflict. Unleashed by the Armenians in February 1988, the Karabakh war gave a powerful impetus to separatism throughout the former Soviet Union. As a result, Karabakh "detonated" Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transdniestria.

The influence of the conflict was also felt in the Balkans, whether it is Serbian Krajina in Croatia, Republika Srpska in Bosnia or Kosovo. In these countries, the situation evolved in one direction or another. Meanwhile, the Karabakh conflict has not moved off the dead centre for the past decade and has even fallen into a prolonged stagnation. Due to the lack of a legal framework, Karabakh extremists failed to get support from the international community. From April to November 1993, four resolutions of the UN Security Council were adopted, demanding that Armenia withdraw its armed forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.

Thus, the Armenian occupation of 20 per cent of Azerbaijani territory turned into nothing more than "the end of the beginning" of separatism in the South Caucasus - the separatism that is introduced in Nagornyy Karabakh with methods familiar from history. After 50 years, only names changed. Armenian extremists used the know-how of half a century ago such as the Blitzkrieg scenario and the Munich agreement. Thus, they confirmed that in reality, it is not about "self-determination" or "minority rights", but about Armenia's claims to Azerbaijani territory.
The background to the "Munich agreement" from spring to autumn 1938 includes land claims to the Sudetenland - Nazi Germany's provocative campaign against Czechoslovakia, mass protests organized by the nationalist-separatist Sudeten German Party against the Czechoslovak government, and finally, the Munich Agreement of 30 September 1938 on the handover of ancestral Czech regions bordering on Austria and the Sudetenland to Germany - all this, except for the agreement that was signed, is an exact copy of the Nagornyy Karabakh scenario.
Even the "arguments" of Hitler and the Armenian separatists sounded almost identical.

 

1938: Hitlers arguments

1988: Armenian separatists' arguments

1. Arter World War I, the border between Czechoslovakia, Austria and Germany was drawn improperly and has to be redrawn.

1. In 1923, the Caucasian Bureau drew the borders between Azerbaijan and Armenia incorrectly. So, the map needs to be "fixed"

2. Ethnic Germans of Czechoslovakia demant reunification with Germany.

2. Ethnic Armenians of Karabakh demand unification with Armenia.

3. "ANSCHLUSS!" - That was how Hitler called his idea of annexation of Austria to Germany in 1938.

3. "MIATSUM!" - That is Armenian separatists' slogan on the annexation of Karabakh to Armenia in 1988. This is Armenian translation of German Anschluss.

 

The lesson of the Munich deal is important when projected on the Karabakh conflict. The lesson is that you cannot appease an aggressor at the expense of his victim! The whole world realized it 50 years ago, since the sop in the form of the Sudetenland only whetted the appetite of Hitler's Reich, and if the international community does not condemn Armenia's aggression against Azerbaijan today, the Armenian communities will start mass protests for self-determination in the Stavropol region tomorrow. Armenia can declare war on Turkey over Eastern Anatolia, on Iran over Urmia and Tabriz (like in 1941-46), on other European countries (like the Armenian terrorist attacks in the 1970s and 80s.) and on Georgia over Javakheti and Borchali (like in 1918).

It is important to note that this is not an unfounded theoretical calculation, but a conclusion based on historical facts.

That has already happened in history. When Armenia became independent in 1918, its government declared war on both Azerbaijan and Georgia to annex Azerbaijan's Karabakh and Nakhchivan and Georgia's Akhalkalaki (now called Javakheti) and Borchali.

Today we can confidently say that the global community has indeed formed a strong opinion that an aggressor should not be appeased under any circumstances.

Citations given in this book allow us to say this with certainty.
It is time for the people of Armenia to heed the views of the world powers and international organizations than those of their own nationalists who are trying to convince people today, like 20 years ago, that a little bit more and the whole world will recognize the independence of Nagornyy Karabakh.

 

Fuad Akhundov

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