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 Wednesday, February 7 2024 13:23
Marianna Mkrtchyan

"The world responded to Azerbaijan`s ethnic cleansing in Artsakh with  declarative statements and small humanitarian aid" - Samvel Babayan

"The world responded to Azerbaijan`s ethnic cleansing in Artsakh with  declarative statements and small humanitarian aid" - Samvel Babayan

ArmInfo.The world responded to Azerbaijan's ethnic cleansing of Artsakh with declarative statements and small humanitarian aid as compensation for the genocide. This is stated in a statement by the former Minister of Defense of Nagorno-Karabakh Samvel Babayan.

The full text of statement  is presented below:

" At the present stage of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, there were  many direct and indirect attempts to settlement the conflict, first  in the Nagorno-Karabakh - Azerbaijan format, later exclusively  Armenia-Azerbaijan, of which the longest, and with the only actual  mandate for a peaceful settlement, was the OSCE Minsk Group format,  represented by the co-chairing countries Russia, United States of  America and France. 

However, diplomats of the co-chairing countries, limiting themselves  to duty visits to the region, border observations and formal  recommendations for a settlement, essentially froze the conflict for  three decades and misled the Armenian people by their own ignorance  of the growing military imbalance in the region, until September  2020, when Azerbaijan, having neglected all the approaches of the  OSCE and the world communities on the non-use of force, decided to  solve the problem by military means, which ended with the events of  September 2023.

The world responded to all this with declarative statements and small  humanitarian aid as compensation for the genocide.

The former head of the Artsakh Ministry of Defense also notes: "The  UN, designed to maintain peace and security throughout the world,  prevent and eliminate threats to peace, suppress aggression or other  actions that disturb the peace, ignored the arguments of its  predecessor organization, the League of Nations, that Azerbaijan's  application for membership was rejected because of territorial  problems and illegitimacy of grounds proclamation of the Republic of  Azerbaijan, and in the context of disputed borders and ethnic  conflict, approved Azerbaijan's application for membership in the  international family. Meanwhile, the League of Nations at one time  documented Azerbaijan's territorial conflicts with neighboring  Georgia and Armenia. With the latter over Karabakh, Zangezur and  Nakhichevan."

Thus, the international community gave the green light to clear  violations by Azerbaijan of the principles and goals of the UN, other  international obligations, failure to comply with UN Security Council  resolutions regarding Nagorno-Karabakh and legally binding decisions  of the International Court of Justice and the European Court of Human  Rights, for carrying out ethnic cleansing in NK and other crimes  against humanity·

Azerbaijan should have long ago been subjected to international  economic and political sanctions for actions committed against the  Armenian population of NK and Armenians, who have ever lived on the  territory of Azerbaijan. Instead, the EU Commissioner for Human  Rights simply summarizes that leaving their homes was the only  logical option for the people of NK in the absence of reliable  guarantees of safety and protection from any side.

It is completely unacceptable that NK has become a bargaining chip in  the process of dragging Armenia into geopolitical chaos. Did the  ambassadors of the co- chairing countries of the OSCE Minsk Group,  officials of the EU and other countries who visited Stepanakert at  various times, who met with the President and Parliament of the  Republic, who were elected by the people of Artsakh, as well as those  who met with members of the government and civil society, returning  to their countries, be careful not to say Stepanakert, instead of  imposed now Khankendi, or the Nagorno- Karabakh Republic instead of  Karabakh? The people of Artsakh are not powerless stepchildren of the  worldú It, like other peoples, has the right to exercise its natural  rights.

Russia shows complete inaction, as follows:

-The assignee of the Russian Empire and the USSR, politically  responsible for the formation of the Karabakh problem in  Armenian-Azerbaijani relations, as well as for the restoration of  historical justice;

-Permanent member of the UN Security Council and co-chair of the OSCE  Minsk Group, as well as a mediator in the settlement of the  Nagorno-Karabakh conflict;

-Actual mediator and participant in the Tripartite Statement of  November 9/10, 2020, as well as the party implementing the  peacekeeping mission in NK, in accordance with this declaration.

Using the Karabakh problem and hiding behind peacekeeping activities,  Russia, in fact, settled in NK, inviting its Turkish ally to Agdam  and calling it "joint monitoring." With the connivance of Russia, in  2020 Azerbaijan established control over a territory of ÷5.000 sq.  km., and after hostilities another ÷ 4.400 sq. km (Lachin, Agdam,  Kelbajar) were transferred to Azerbaijan with the expectation of  receiving in return the 5-kilometer Lachin corridor under the control  of the RF. However, later the NK-Armenia road was transformed first  into the Lachin humanitarian corridor, and then into the  Stepanakert-Goris highway, which is under the jurisdiction of  Azerbaijan. This was followed by the installation of a checkpoint on  this only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia and the  outside world, and soon after this - the blockade of the Lachin  corridor, followed by an absolute blockade of NK, during which the  population of 120 thousand was doomed to starvation for nine months,  then literally within 24 hours the entire ethnic population was  deported through military and genocidal actions.

Today Russia demands facts of ethnic cleansing confirmed by an  authoritative international organization. Meanwhile, the genocide  took place in the authoritative presence of Russia, and the demand  for facts exposes devaluation of the no less authoritative Russian  peacekeeping, since the absolutely pro-Russian population of NK,  after the difficult realities of 2020, entrusted its continued  existence on the territory of NK to the Russian side.

Official representatives of the Russian Federation, however, do not  accept accusations of inaction. They claim that with the responsible  and active participation of Russian peacekeepers, the safe withdrawal  of the Nagorno-Karabakh population from the territory of NK was  ensured. That is, the Russian peacekeeping mission, in essence,  achieved its goal: NK - without the Armenian population. And the  presence of Russian peacekeepers in NK after the deportation of the  Armenian people is nothing more than legitimization of the genocide  and division of responsibility.

A number of previous historical and political events that occurred in  NK under the responsibility of Russia are given without comment.

-In 1813 According to the Gulistan Treaty, Persia recognized  Karabakh, which had an autonomous status within it, as part of  Russia.

-After the establishment of the Soviet system, taking into account  the legal and political status of Karabakh, Russia recognized it as a  disputed territory between Azerbaijan and Armenia and in 1920  stationed its troops in Karabakh.

-In 1921 The Caucasian Bureau of the Central Committee of the  Communist (Bolshevik) Party of Russia took up the solution of the  Karabakh issue. This local party body of a third country, not having  the authority to resolve such issues, especially outside the  territory of Russia, annexes Karabakh to Azerbaijan, and then  instructs Azerbaijan to determine the boundaries of the autonomous  region. According to the logic of this decision, the territory of the  Karabakh autonomy should have been about 8.000 sq. km. However, in  1923- 24 Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region (NKAR) was formed only on  part of Nagorno-Karabakh, with an area of about 5ú000 sq. km. In  subsequent years, the authorities of Soviet Azerbaijan successively  separated another 600 sq. m.  from the NKAR, leaving areas of only  4ú400 sq. km area. Among other things, the autonomous region was  artificially isolated from Soviet Armenia through the "Lachin  Corridor". Already in 1924, the Constitution of the Nagorno- Karabakh  Autonomous Region was approved, where, as in an official document,  the territory and settlements of the region were clearly indicated.

-On August 30, 1991, the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan adopted the  Declaration on the restoration of state independence of Azerbaijan as  the legal successor of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, which  existed in 1918-1920.  On September 2, 1991, and in accordance with  the law of April 3, 1990 "On the procedure for resolving issues  arising in connection with the withdrawal of the Union Republic from  the USSR" within the borders of the NKAR and the adjacent Shaumyans  region, Nagorno-Karabakh Republic was proclaimed. In response,  Azerbaijan adopted the law "On the abolition of the Nagorno- Karabakh  Autonomous Region of the Azerbaijan Republic," according to which the  creation of autonomy in 1923 is defined as a factor contrary to the  national interests of the Azerbaijani people. However, this decision  was recognized by the USSR Constitutional Control Committee as  contrary to the USSR Constitution.

-In 1991 Azerbaijan launched military actions against the  self-determination of the people of NK. But in 1994, at the request  and direct guarantee of Russia, a ceasefire agreement was signed by  the military leadership of the NKR, Armenia and Azerbaijan until a  major political agreement, was concluded.  And this is the case when  the NKR Defense Army, which at that time liberated "the territories  around the former NKAR" (as the Russian side likes to say), by  continuing its victorious offensive, could force Azerbaijan to  capitulate in a short time.

It turns out that in Islamic Persia, Karabakh not only had an  autonomous status, but also experienced economic and demographic  growth, in contrast to the period of rule of Christian Russia.

Such active inaction of Russia led to unprecedented human (÷14  thousand victims on the Armenian side), humanitarian (÷6 thousand  disabled people on the Armenian side, ÷600 thousand forcibly  displaced persons and refugees) and material losses, impeding the  economic development of the parties to the conflict and sustainable  development of the region.

Now, on the one hand, we have the population of NK, who has taken the  path of emigration, with undisguised disappointment in human rights,  democracy, the international community, allies and peacemakers, on  the other hand, the international community and its interested  members who are trying to maintain an imaginary reputation. The  latter, after almost a hundred years of ongoing genocide of the  former, opened a new discourse; discussion with the Azerbaijani side  regarding dignified return and the rights of Armenians NK.

Armenia, of course, must avoid this trap. Artsakh is not a tool, it  is a decisive factor. It is this simple truth that Armenia must  comprehensively analyze and, as soon as possible, withdraw its  signature on the Tripartite Statement of November 9/10, 2020 (and  other derivative agreements). Otherwise, the geopolitical centers,  forgetting about paragraphs 1-8 of the same document and considering  the Nagorno- Karabakh issue closed, as we already see, refer only to  paragraph 9, demanding voluntary concessions of sovereignty from  Armenia. Azerbaijan simultaneously talks about the construction of a  new road through the Meghri region and transferring it to them in the  format corridor, forgetting that the entire regional infrastructure  is blocked by him and his ally Turkey. Therefore, steps to unblock  the regional infrastructure should be taken by Azerbaijan and Turkey,  not Armenia.  The fact that the Republic of Armenia did not recognize  the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic at one time was not right approach.  However, blaming Armenia for not recognizing the sovereignty of  Artsakh is the same as blaming the Armenian people for trusting the  Minsk Group and the co-chairing countries, the international  community and faith in international law. And the recent history of  independent Armenian statehood proves that international law works  when the army is combat- ready. Otherwise, the fate of Artsakh  threatens the Republic of Armenia ..."

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