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Stepanakert: At the time of signing the Alma-Ata Declaration, Artsakh was not part of Azerbaijan

Artsakh was not part of Azerbaijan when the Alma-Ata Declaration was signed, Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh Republic) Foreign Minister David Babayan told NEWS.am.

Today, at a press conference, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that "the Alma-Ata Declaration on the creation of the CIS clearly states that the borders between the new states will be based on the borders between the union republics of the former Soviet Union, where the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast is clearly part of the Azerbaijani SSR.

"When we talk about the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict and mention the Alma-Ata Declaration, many people for some reason think that it recognizes the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan within the borders of the Azerbaijan SSR or with mention of Nagorno-Karabakh. This is not true. The declaration says "recognizing and respecting each other's territorial integrity and the inviolability of existing borders. At the time of signing the Alma-Ata Declaration - December 21, 1991 - Artsakh was not part of Azerbaijan. On September 2, 1991, the Republic of Artsakh, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, was proclaimed. Through the reunification of the former NKAO, Shahumian region and Getashen sub-region. On December 10, 1991 in strict compliance with the norms of international law and Soviet legislation the referendum was held, where the overwhelming majority of NKR citizens voted for the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. By the way, the Azerbaijanis living in the republic at that time also took part in this process. They were given ballots, the ballots were in Armenian, Russian and Azerbaijani languages. True, they did not vote, but it did not change the result. Non-participation in voting is the right of citizens.

Therefore, when we talk about the Alma-Ata Declaration, we need to present the whole picture. At that time Artsakh was not a part of Azerbaijan. Since 1988, it was de facto outside the control of Azerbaijan. In 1991 it was already de jure.

By the way, the NKAO was the only administrative-territorial formation in the USSR, an autonomous entity, which was removed from the Union republic and subordinated to the center. I am talking about the Volsky Committee. In addition, the USSR Constitutional Supervision Committee considered the decision of the Supreme Soviet of the Azerbaijan SSR on the dissolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast illegitimate and actually annulled it. The same committee didn't consider the proclamation of the NKR and the referendum as illegitimate. Correct interpretation of the documents is very important in the international law.

In addition, it must be remembered that Azerbaijan joined the Alma-Ata Declaration late. At the time of Azerbaijan's accession to the declaration in 1993, the war was in full swing. At that time the borders were somewhat different. By and large, if you project the declaration in 1993, de facto Azerbaijan did not control a number of other areas," David Babayan concluded.


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