Serzh Sargsyan: Karabakh was never a part of independent Azerbaijan
“The truth is that Karabakh was never a part of independent Azerbaijan. It was forced into Azerbaijan by a decision of the Soviet Union party authority, which, defiant of the League of Nations decision and the popular referendum as a means of determining the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, decided in its Caucasus Bureau session in 1921, under Stalin’s direct pressure, and in violation of the procedure, to annex Mountainous Karabakh on the condition of forming a national autonomy on these Armenian territories within the Soviet Socialist Republic of Azerbaijan. Throughout the Soviet period, the people of Karabakh never reconciled to this decision. I will not dwell upon details of Azerbaijan’s state-level policy of cleansing Karabakh from Armenians and the periodic uprising of the Karabakhis during the Soviet period, as I believe you all are well-aware of them. However, I would like to reiterate that the Autonomous Province of Mountainous Karabakh seceded from the Soviet Union fully in line with the Soviet laws and all the applicable principles and rules of international law, exactly as the 15 Soviet Republics did,” President Serzh Sargsyan said.
The problem has many sensitive and delicate aspects. I urge everyone to exercise utmost caution when making public statements on the problem of Mountainous Karabakh, to take into account all the dimensions, possible consequences, and the perceptions of the sides, and always to rely on the positions of the organizations that are familiar with the details of the problem and specialize in its peaceful resolution: in this case, it would be the OSCE. The problem can only be resolved in the context of the international law principles of the self-determination of nations, territorial integrity, and the non-use of force. All the stakeholders now realize this truth. Whenever one refers to the Mountainous Karabakh conflict, the notion of territorial integrity should not be emphatically underlined, especially that even if that notion is perceived to be the only one applying in the case of the Mountainous Karabakh conflict, it would not lead to its application in the form envisioned by Azerbaijan, President highlighted.