History of Artsakh
Artsakh (Karabakh) is an integral part of historical Armenia. In the era of Urartu (9-6 centuries BC.) Artsakh was known as Urtekhe-Urtekhini. On Artsakh as part of Armenia, there is mention in the works of Strabo, Pliny the Elder, Claudius Ptolemy, Plutarch, Dio Cassius, and other ancient authors. A clear evidence of this is also to preserve the rich cultural and historical heritage.
After the division of the kingdom of Great Armenia (387g.), Artsakh became part of the Eastern Armenian kingdom, which soon fell under the domination of Persia. At this time, Artsakh was a part of the Armenian province in the north, then the period of Arab rule, part of the vicariate of Armenia. Artsakh was a part of the Armenian kingdom of Bagratuni (9-11vv.), And then the Armenian kingdom Zaharidov (12-13vv.).
In subsequent centuries, Artsakh fell under the sway of various conquerors, remaining Armenian and having a semi-independent status. Since the mid-18th century began the penetration of Turkic nomadic tribes in the north of Artsakh, which led to clashes with local Armenians. In this period reached a certain memorable self five Armenian principalities (principalities of Khamsa), which reached a peak of prosperity and power in the late 18th century. At the end of the Russian-Persian war 1804-1813gg., In 1813. at Gulistan Artsakh-Karabakh peace treaty came under the domination of Russia.
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict began in 1917 as a result of the collapse of the Russian Empire, during the formation of three national republics of the South Caucasus – Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Nagorno-Karabakh’s population, 95 percent of which were Armenians, convened its first congress, which in 1918 proclaimed Nagorno Karabakh an independent administrative and political unit, and selected the National Council of Government.
Since May, 1918. to April 1920. Azerbaijan and its military units supporting Turkey’s history of violence and massacres against the Armenian population (in March 1920. Only in Shusha were killed and deported about 40 thousand Armenians) to subjugate Karabakh.
After the Sovietization of the region’s identity as a problem of Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia or Azerbaijan disappeared.
Nagorno-Karabakh during the Soviet period (1920-1990)
The establishment of Soviet power in the Caucasus was accompanied by the creation of a new political order. Soviet Russia also recognized Nagorno-Karabakh as a disputed territory between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Immediately after the establishment of Soviet power in Armenia, November 30th, 1920. Azerbaijan declared territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, Zangezur and Nakhichevan an integral part of Armenia.
July 4th, 1921. Caucasian Bureau of the Communist Party of Russia convened a plenary meeting in the Georgian capital Tbilisi, in which once again confirmed the fact of belonging of Nagorno Karabakh, the Armenian SSR. However, under the dictation of Moscow and with the direct intervention of Stalin on the night of July 5 decision taken the previous day, it was revised and made compulsory to include Nagorno Karabakh in Azerbaijan.
July 7, 1923., by the decision of the Central Executive Revolutionary Committee of Azerbaijan SSR, was formed the Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Region within Azerbaijan SSR, than, in fact, the Karabakh conflict has not been resolved, but temporarily shelved. Moreover, everything was done to the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region had no common border with Armenia.
But we never put up for the entire Soviet period Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh with this decision, and for decades consistently fought for the reunification with the motherland.
During the stay of the Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous region within Soviet Azerbaijan leadership of this republic are regularly and consistently violate the rights and interests of the Armenian population. Discriminatory policy of Azerbaijan against Nagorno-Karabakh has had an impact on the population of Karabakh, becoming the main reason for his emigration. As a result, the ethnic ratio of the population of Nagorno-Karabakh has changed. If in 1923 Armenians constituted 94.4 percent, according to the 1989 percentage of Armenians fell to 76.9. Policy extrude Armenians was a great success in another Armenian region – Nakhichevan.
The people of Nagorno-Karabakh and the Armenian SSR authorities have repeatedly appealed to the central authorities of the USSR with a request to reconsider the decision to transfer Karabakh to Azerbaijan, but these requests were either ignored or were refused, becoming a cause of persecution to the authors.
The current stage of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
The current stage of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict started in 1988, when in response to the Karabakh people for self-determination, Azerbaijani authorities organized massacres and ethnic cleansing against Armenians throughout the territory of Azerbaijan, in particular, in Sumgait, Baku and Kirovabad.
10th December 1991, the population of Nagorno-Karabakh in a referendum confirmed the declaration of independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, which is fully consistent with both international law and the spirit and letter of force at the time of the laws of the USSR. Thus, on the territory of the former Azerbaijani SSR two legally equal state entities – the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan Republic.
Ethnic cleansing of the Azerbaijani authorities in the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent regions populated by Armenians resulted in an open and full-scale war of aggression on the part of Azerbaijan, which has led to tens of thousands of casualties and serious material losses.
Azerbaijan has never listened to the calls of the international community: to stop military actions and go to peace talks.
As a result of the war Azerbaijan fully occupied Shahumyan region NR and the eastern parts of Martakert and Martuni regions. In May 1994, Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia signed an agreement on a truce, which continues to be violated on a regular basis (April 2-5, 2016 – a four-day war).
Negotiations to resolve the conflict are held under the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group (Russia, USA, France). Over the past decade several options for conflict settlement proposed by the Co-Chairmen, were rejected by Azerbaijan.
Although the negotiations on the settlement of the conflict within the OSCE Minsk Group, Azerbaijan, distorting the true causes of the consequences of the conflict, attempts to involve in the process of settlement of other international organizations. Militaristic policy confirms the reluctance of Azerbaijan to resolve the conflict situation. Azerbaijan continues to guide from the sale of the oil revenues to increase its military budget and the acquisition of offensive weapons in large quantities, in flagrant violation of a number of agreements and commitments in the field of security and arms control. Azerbaijan refuses to accept the proposal of the Armenian side on the establishment of regional co-operation and the co-chairs of the Minsk Group on withdrawal of snipers from the contact line.
The Republic of Armenia’s position on Nagorno-Karabakh
Armenia believes that the settlement of the conflict should be based on the following principles:
The basis of settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be the recognition of the Nagorno-Karabakh people’s right to self-determination,
Nagorno-Karabakh must be controlled by the Armenian side secure a land connection with Armenia,
NKR Security must be guaranteed on an international basis.
The adoption and contract consolidation of these principles will create the opportunity to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the conflict.
Armenia is committed to resolving the conflict peacefully.
Nagorno-Karabakh has no future within Azerbaijan and, whatever the decision, it must come from the will of the people of Karabakh itself. This is the basis of the right of nations to self-determination.
Azerbaijan has no grounds for claims to Nagorno-Karabakh – neither legal nor political nor moral.