before 1920 (befre sovetisation) / 1920 - 1992. (as a member of USSR)
CHRONOLOGY OF MILITARY AND
(WITH AND WITHOUT COMMENTS)
AS COMMENT ON THE BACKGROUND OF THE CONFLICT
Karabagh: Problems and Solutions Today
POLITICAL SYNOPSIS OF THE YEAR: AZERBAIJAN’S WITHDRAWAL FROM THE USSR. REESTABLISHEMNT OF THE STATE SYSTEM OF THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN OF 1918-1920 AND REFUSAL TO BECOME THE LEGAL SUCCESSOR OF AzSSR. ESTABLISHMENT OF NKR IN TERRITORIES WHICH DID NOT BELONG TO THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN DUE TO THE FACT THAT AZERBAIJAN REFUSED TO BECOME THE LEGAL SUCCESSOR OF AzSSR (THIS IS ONE OF THE ARGUMENTS JUSTIFYING THE ABOVE STATEMENT). BREAKUP OF THE USSR.
April 30 - The start of Оperation ''Circle". The people of Martunashen, Getashen (Khanlar Region), Berdadzor and most of the settlements of Hadrut Region of MKAO were forcefully deported by the armed units of the Soviet Army and the Azerbaijani OMON.
Comment: Before the start of operation “Circle” the units of the 4th Soviet Army located in AzSSR were passed to the disposition of the Azerbaijani administration by Moscow. The 23rd division of the 4th Army participated in operation “Circle” from the direction of Shahumyan Region.
August 13 - A punitive group of Soviet soldiers which participated in operation “Circle” in the village of Aterk was taken hostage by “Parandzem”, women’s detachment of the Armenian home-guards.
August 18 - An attempt of coup d'etat was made in Moscow. The putsch of the State Committee of Emergency Regime (SCER).
August 28 - Azerbaijan declared about “Reestablishment of State Independence”.
Comment: The declaration promulgated the reestablishment of the Mousafat Republic of Azerbaijan which existed from 1918 to 1920 and de jure was not acknowledged.
September 2 - The establishment of the Republic of Mountainous Karabagh (NKR) was proclaimed at the joint session of the Council of People’s Delegates of MKAO, the Shahumyan Regional Council of People’s Delegates with the participation of the councils of the people’s delegates at all levels.
Comment: The Law of the USSR “On Procedures for Settling Issues Related to Withdrawal of Soviet Republics from the USSR” of April 3 served as the legal grounds for the declaration. The aforementioned law defined the right of autonomous territorial units and ethnic groups living jointly within a specific territory to determine independently their state-legal status in the event of breakup of the USSR.
September 21 - The referendum on independence was conducted in Armenia.
Comment: The referendum was conducted within the territory of the former ASSR. Thus, the political leaders of Armenia seemed to decline the joint resolution on merging of Mountainous Karabagh with Armenia of December 1, 1989.
September 20-23 - Russia and Kazakhstan launched a emissary mission. Yeltsin and Nazarbayev visited Stepanakert, Baku and Yerevan.
September 23 - The Joint Communique on the results of emissary mission of B. Yeltsin, the president of the Russian Federation and N. Nazarbayev, the president of Kazakhstan was announced in Zheleznovodsk.
October 16 – The presidential elections were held in the Republic of Armenia. Levon Ter-Petrossian was elected the first president. The elections were held exclusively within the territories of the former ASSR.
October 18 - The constitutional act “On State independence of the republic of Azerbaijan” was adopted.
Comment: By considering the establishment of the Soviet power in Azerbaijan (April, 1921) as the annexation of Azerbaijan with the Soviet Russia, the constitutional act confirmed the refusal of the Republic of Azerbaijan to become the legal successor of AzSSR. Such refusal assumed determination of the borders that were claimed by the Republic of Azerbaijan because the Mousafat Republic of Azerbaijan was devoid of any officially determined borders. However, the constitutional act was restricted to a legally senseless formulation. It was stated that Baku laid claim to “the historically formed borders”. Today’s Azerbaijan has not officially announced about its legitimate borders (they do not exist even now!). In essence, these borders are attributed to Azerbaijan from outside, by the “international community”. The refusal from accepting the legal succession meant termination by Azerbaijan of all legal relations with respect of the territories which were included in the AzSSR in 1921 on the basis of the agreements and covenants which still remain effective. This assumed that the promulgated NKR occupies the territories which did not belong to the Republic of Azerbaijan.
November 20 - A military helicopter with the key persons of the Azerbaijani president’s team on board crashed near Aghdam.
Comment: Baku immediately announced that the helicopter was shot down by the Karabaghers. However, it was concluded by the special commission that the helicopter crashed because fire was opened inside the aircraft.
November 23 - The law on annihilation of MKAO was passed in Baku.
Comment: In the context of the Soviet legislation on state governance the issue of MKAO was never regarded as the internal affair of AzSSR. Neither could the issue of MKAO be the internal affair of the Republic of Azerbaijan which refused to be the legal successor of AzSSR and lost its rights to both Mountainous Karabagh and Nakhichevan defined in agreements and covenants. Moreover, MKAO did not exist as such because on its basis the Republic of Mountainous Karabagh was promulgated.
November 27 - The resolution of the USSR State Council acknowledged that the Directive of the Republic of Azerbaijan of November 23 was anti-constitutional.
December 10 - The referendum on independence with the participation of independent observers was held in NKR.
December 8 -11 – A new union of states, CIS (Cooperation of Independent States) was founded by three Soviet republics, Russia, Belorussia and the Ukraine in a place in Belorussia called ‘Belovezhskaya’ Forest.
December 12 – The parliament of the Russian Federation took a decision on nullifying the Covenant on Establishment of USSR of December 21, 1922.
December 15 – The referendum on independence was conducted in Azerbaijan.
December 21 – The establishment of CIS was approved in Alma-Ata by all former Soviet republics, excluding the Baltic states and Georgia.
December 25 – The president of the USSR M. Gorbachov resigned.
December 28 – The first parliamentary elections of independent NKR were held.
December 30 - The leaders of the CIS countries appealed to Azerbaijan and Armenia to restart the process of negotiations.
POLITICAL SYNOPSIS OF THE YEAR: BEFORE 1991 THE WEST WAS FOR THE FAIR AND DEMOCRATIC SETTLEMENT OF THE ISSUE “WHICH WOULD IN FACT REFLECT THE VIEW OF THE PEOPLE OF MOUNTAINOUS KARABAGH” (citation from the Resolution of the US Senate) AND CRITICIZED THE ACTIONS OF MASS VIOLENCE AGAINST THE ARMENIAN POPULACE OF AZERBAIJAN. HOWEVER, AFTER THE BREAKUP OF THE SOVIET UNION THE WEST MADE AN ABRUPT SHIFT IN ITS POSITION AND SUPPORTED THE IDEA OF THE “BREAKUP BY REPUBLICS”, AND, THEREFORE, THE IDEA OF INTACTNESS OF THE BORDERS OF AzSSR. THE PRINCIPLE OF TERRITORIAL INTACNESS WAS ALSO APPLIED WITH RESPECT OF THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN AND THE FORMER BORDERS OF AzSSR WERE INVOLUNTARILY ASSIGNED TO IT DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN WAS THE ONLY FORMER SOVIET REPUBLIC TO WHICH THE SAID PRINCIPLE WAS INAPPLICABLE IN LIGHT OF THE EXISTING INTERNATIONA AGREEMENTS. THESE DOCUMENTS LIMITED THE SOVEREIGNITY OF BAKU IN MOUNTAINOUS KARABAGH AND NAKHICHEVAN. IN ADDITION, THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN REFUSED TO BE THE LEGAL SUCCESSOR OF AzSSR. THE LEGAL GROUNDS WERE IGNORED AND THE ISSUE WAS GIVEN A POLITICAL COLORING. THE FORMULA “BREAKUP BY REPUBLICS” WAS BENEFITIAL FOR RUSSIA AS WELL. THUS, AZERBAIJAN RECEIVED A “PERMISSION” TO START A WAR AGAINST NKR AND AT THE SAME TIME SHIELD ITSELF WITH THE PRINCIPLE OF THE INTACTNESS OF BORDERS WHICH WAS NOT APPLICABLE IN ITS CASE. THE CONFLICT WHICH USED TO BE THE INTERNAL AFFIAR OF THE SOVIET UNION GREW INTO AN INTERNATIONAL ARMED CONFLICT BETWEEN NKR AND THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN AFTER THE BREAKUP OF THE USSR. THE PEOPLE OF KARABAGH WITHSTOOD AND BROKE THE CIRCLE OF BLOCKAGE. BSCE, USA, RUSSIA, TURKEY AND IRAN BEGAN COMPETING FOR HOLDING A LEAD POSITION IN THE GAP.
January 6 - The declaration of independence was promulgated by the parliament of NKR. Artur NKRtchyan was elected the first president of NKR.
January 16 - The officers of 366th Regiment distributed in Stepanakert refused to obey to Azerbaijan in the war against NKR.
January 25-26 - The Azeri troops led by the minister of defense Mekhtiyev attacked the village of Karintak.
Comment: It was the first major armed operation of Azerbaijan against NKR after the declaration of independence by Mountainous Karabagh. In the course of the two-day battle the home-guards completely defeated the Azeri troops which attacked from Shushi. It was the first major military victory of the newly established NKR.
January 30 - The CIS countries were admitted to BSCE.
Comment: After the breakup of the USSR Europe expanded its political borders and hastily tried to take under its auspice the settlement of the Karabagh conflict, and, naturally, other conflicts in the post-Soviet terriroty.
February 10-11 – The village of Mallibeili from where Stepanakert was regularly bombarded by the artillery was liberated.
February 23 - The presidium of the Supreme Council of NKR adopted a resolution “On Legal Status of Armed Formations of NKR”. The dispensed detachments were united into the army of self-defense of NKR. Arkadi Ter-Tadevosian was designated as the commander of the headquarters of the army.
February 25-26 – Liberation of Khojalu, one of the key fulcra of the Azerbaijani Army. Details in: "Khojalu".
Comment: The army of self-defense of NKR notified the Azeri authorities in advance about the forthcoming operation and left a corridor for the evacuation of the peaceful people. Nevertheless, at the end of the corridor, which was under the control of the National Front of Azerbaijan, a storm of fire was opened on the peaceful people. Even today official Baku continues blaming Karabagh for the murder of peaceful people. Nevertheless, some time after the tragedy the president of Azerbaijan Moutalibov charged NFA (National front of Azerbaijan) with the fault for the massacre. Actually, the slaughter was organized by NFA in order to overthrow the president and come to power. This was proven by the events following the tragedy, as well as the testimony of independent witnesses.
March 24 - The BSCE resolution was adopted in Helsinki on convening the Minsk International Conference on Mountainous Karabagh. In the resolution Mountainous Karabagh is identified as part of the Republic of Azerbaijan. At the BSCE session it was decided to invite “the elected and other representatives of Mountainous Karabagh” to the conference. BSCE established the institution of co-chairmen of the Minsk Group.
Comment: Since then the Armenian diplomacy became the hostage of the misinterpreted principle of the territorial unity which cannot be applied to today’s Azerbaijan in light of the existing agreements and covenants on Nakhichevan and Mountainous Karabagh, and, therefore, the international law. Meanwhile, from its very beginning the process of settling the conflict was impeded by the efforts to overcome a illusory contradiction which allegedly existed between the principles of territorial unity and the right of the nation to self-determination. The phrase “elected and other representatives of Mountainous Karabagh” given in the resolution of BSCE, formally allowed the representative of the so-called Azerbaijani community of Mountainous Karabagh to participate, even if nominally, in the talks (despite the efforts of Baku the aforementioned party has not been acknowledged as an independent side of the conflict or participant of the negotiations process). The issue of the main victims of the Karabagh conflict, i.e., the Armenians of the former AzSSR, remained beyond the negotiation process due to the incompetence of the Armenian diplomacy. The non-critical attitude of the Armenian diplomacy to the aforementioned document of BSCE pre-determined the outline of the Minsk process and resulted in the fact that the legal grounds of the problem were disregarded. The institution of co-chairmen of the Minsk Group (MG) of BSCE was established. The special role and status of Russia in the settlement of the Karabagh conflict was accepted, and therefore, Russia was assigned to be the permanent co-chairman of MG. This step aimed at mitigating the competition between Russia and Europe in the region.
March 26 – The UN Special Bureau decided on the form of its participation in the settlement of the Karabagh conflict, i.e., support to peace-keeping efforts of BSCE. Thus, the United Nations abstained from the direct involvement in the settlement process.
April 10 - The Azerbaijani army occupied the village of Maraga (Martakert Region) and massacred the peaceful population of the village. Details in: "Мaraga".
April 14 - Artur NKRtchyan, the first president of NKR was assassinated in his apartment.
April 30 - Armenia ceased to supply electric energy to Nakhichevan.
May 2 – The electricity supply was restored.
Comment: Since January 1, 1991 Mountainous Karabagh was entirely blocked. Meanwhile Armenia continued supplying energy to Nakhichevan regularly.
May 8 - 9 – The army of self-defense of NKR liberated Shushi, the historical capital of Mountainous Karabagh. Details in: Shushi
May 15 - The National Front discharged Moutalibov as the “placeman of Moscow”.
May 18 - Lachin was defeated and the “Lachin Corridor” was laid.
June 1 - The government of NKR refused to participate in the forthcoming session of BSCE in Rome where it was invited in the status of the “Armenian community of Karabagh”.
June 1-6 – The extraordinary preparation meeting of the states participating in the conference on Mountainous Karabagh was held in Rome (the future Minsk Group).
June 12-18 – The Azeri army attacked along the entire battle-front. The 23rd Division of the 4th Army (no longer Soviet but Russian Army!) located in Azerbaijan participated in the offensive. Forty thousand refugees fled from the central regions of Karabagh to Stepanakert and Yerevan.
June 15 – The political discussions about acknowledgement of NKR were started by the Supreme Council of Armenia.
Comment: In essence, a political crisis spread at the top level with respect of the political solution of the Karabagh problem. During the breakup of the USSR a referendum of independence was conducted in the territory of the former Soviet Armenia without regard of the joint resolution on reunion of December 1, 1989. Similarly, the presidential elections were held. Armenia remained silent after Karabagh announced about its independence despite the fact that in light of the joint resolution this step meant cessation of Mountainous Karabagh from Armenia. At the same time Armenia did not acknowledge the territorial intactness of the Republic of Azerbaijan. In the opinion of the opposite parties which united in the bloc of “National Accord”, the responsibility for the indefiniteness and inconsistency in the political decisions on Mountainous Karabagh rested with the AANM, the party in power (Armenian All-National Movement). At the session the contradictions surfaced between AANM which was against acknowledging RKM and fraction “National Accord” which was for the immediate acknowledgement of NKR. With some interruptions the tough discussions continued till July 8.
July 5 - The representatives of NKR leave the session of BSCE as a sign of protest against BSCE which neither condemned the Azeri aggression nor decided on the status of Mountainous Karabagh in the course of the negotiation.
July 8 – After tough discussions the Supreme Council of Armenia passed a resolution which read: “any international … document shall be considered unacceptable in case it contains any implications that the Republic of Mountainous Karabagh is part of Azerbaijan”.
July 25 - The organization “Black Sea Economic Cooperation” (BSEC) was established. Armenia was one of the founders of the said organization.
July 29 - President of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrossian criticized Dashnakutyun Party in his speech by TV.
July 31 - The delegation of NKR was invited to the BSCE conference in Rome for participation in the 4th round of meetings of the Minsk Group in the status of “elected representatives of Mountainous Karabagh”.
August 11 – Resolution 907 “Act on Supporting Freedom” was adopted by the US House of Representatives where the aggression of Azerbaijan in Mountainous Karabagh was accused and the US administration was prohibited to provide any assistance to Azerbaijan.
August 13 – The Supreme Council of NKR announced about the general mobilization of men at the age from 18 to 45 and military regime was established throughout the republic.
August 15 – The State Committee of Defense (SCD) was established by the Supreme Council of NKR. Robert Kocharyan was assigned as the chairman of SCD.
September 7 - Margaret Thatcher, former prime minister of Great Britain, was received in Moscow as a representative of “British Petroleum” company. This marked the start of “oil diplomacy”.
September 15 – As part of the separate initiatives of Russia a confidential meeting was held in Moscow between the official representatives of Azerbaijan and Mountainous Karabagh.
September 19 - Upon the initiative of Pavel Grachov, the Minister of Defense of Russia, an agreement was signed between the defense ministers of the Transcaucasus republics in Sochi which included a covenant on armistice in Mountainous Karabagh.
September 30 – In Yerevan an inter-state agreement was signed between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Armenia on the status of the Russian frontier troops in the territory of Armenia.
November 17 – The anthem and coat-of-arms of NKR were officially approved.
December 6 – A wide-range offensive of the Azeri army on Askeran was embarked.
POLITICAL SYNOPSIS OF THE YEAR: FOLLOWING THE WITHDRAWAL OF THE RUSSIAN TROOPS FROM AZERBAIJAN IT BECAME APPARENT THAT AZERBAIJAN WAS UNABLE TO LEAD THE WAR WITHOUT THE SUPPORT OF THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT. DURING THE FIERCE BATTLES THE ARMY OF SELF-DEFENSE OF NKR ENTIRELY OR PARTIALLY LIBERATED THE SOUTHERN AND WESTERN REGIONS OF MOUNTAINOUS KARABAGH (AGHDAM, FIZULI, JHEBRAIL, HORADIZ, KELBAJAR, LACHIN, KUBATLU) WHICH SHOULD HAVE BEEN CONNECTED TO THE AUTONOMOUS OBLAST OF MOUNTAINOUS KARABAGH UNDER THE RESOLUTION OF THE CAUCASUS BUREAU OF RUSSIAN COMMUNIST PARTY (OF BOLSHEVIKS). THE CENTRAL AND NORTHERN REGIONS OF MOUNTAINOUS KARABAGH, AS WELL AS NAKHICHEVAN STILL REMAINED OCCUPIED BY AZERBAIJAN. THE COMPETITION GREW BETWEEN BSCE AND THE SEPARATELY ACTING INTERESTED COUNTRIES, PARTICULARLY, THE UNITED STATES AND RUSSIA FOR PLAYING THE KEY ROLE IN THE SETTLEMENT OF THE CONFLICT. IN THIS ASPECT RUSSIA WAS MORE EFFECTIVE.
January 5-8 – A trilateral initiative was set forth by Russia, the United States and Turkey, in particular, a new matrix of discussing the issue – “Format 5+1, i.e., Russia, USA, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan plus Mountainous Karabagh”. NKR declined the mediation of Turkey which openly supported Azerbaijan.
January 21 – The resolution of the European Parliament on Armenia was taken which, in essence, emphasized that “more than 300 thousand Armenians were forcefully exiled from Azerbaijan”, supported the efforts of BSCE and criticized “the blockage of Armenia and Mountainous Karabagh by Azerbaijan”.
Febraury 22 -March 1 - The session of the Minsk Group in Rome approved the draft mandate of the lead group of observers. Russia made a proposal on creating a joint coordinating commission (JCC) of the Minsk Group.
March 12 – The last Russian detachment of frontier guards left the town of Prishib in Azerbaijan.
March 1 – The issue of settling the conflict according to the Moscow calendar in view of format “5+1” was discussed in Geneva.
March 31 - April 4 - Azerbaijan ceased the negotiations in the course of discussion of the Moscow timing of the settlement of the conflict.
March 31 – The counter-offensive of the army of self-defense of NKR. Liberation of Kelbajar.
April 21 – In Istanbul the Armenian president Levon Ter-Petrossian met with the Azerbaijani president Elchibey during the funeral of Ozal, the president of Turkey. An agreement was reached on the “package principle” of settling the problem.
April 30 - Resolution 822 was adopted by SB of the United Nations Organizations where it was claimed that the troops of NKR should be immediately withdrawn from Kelbajar although it was acknowledged that Kelbajar was taken by the “local Armenian forces”.
Comment: In essence, the agreement reached between the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents on the package solution of the problem was brought to naught by the UN Special Bureau. Moreover, Azerbaijan was incited for taking new military actions.
May 10 – The State University of NKR was opened.
May 4-15 – The revolt of Souret Huseinov, a colonel of the Azeri Army, in Gyanjhi (Gandzak) grew into a coup d'etat in Azerbaijan. G. Aliyev was elected chairman of Millie Mejlis.
June 3-4 - The discussion of the “nine” of the Minsk Group (Germany, USA, Bulgaria, France, Russia, Italy, Sweden, Czechoslovakia, Turkey) pertaining to the implementation of UN Resolution # 822 was held in Rome. At the discussion the Time-Schedule of Priority Actions with respect of implementing SB UN Resolution # 822 was approved.
June 11 - In the response of NKR to the initiative of BSCE it was stated that the people of Karabagh were seriously concerned that they “would be cheated again” and in view of the internal political crisis the idea of postponing the time-schedule was proposed.
June 14 - Armenian president Levon Ter-Petrossian made an announcement related to the negative response of NKR to the initiative of BSCE.
June 14 - The joint session of the Supreme Council and the State Committee of Defense of NKR was convened. The acting chairman of the Supreme Council resigned and K. Baburyan was designated to this position.
June 17 – In Lenkoran the Talishes led by Colonel Ali-Akram Goumbatov announced about the establishment of the Talish Republic and claimed on uniting with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
June 13-23 – Some territories of Aghdam, Jhebrail and Fizuli Regions were liberated.
July 27 – August 8 – At the meeting of the Minsk Group held in Rome the Time-Schedule of Priority Actions was approved with respect of implementation of UN Resolutions 822 and 853”.
June 29 - UN Resolution # 853 was adopted.
August 22 - 31- Liberation of Koubatlin Region.
August 17 – In his letter to the chairman of the Supreme Council of NKR Geydar Aliyev set forth the proposal on initiating bilateral negotiations. Analogous messages were received from Abiyev, the Defense Minister and Gouliyev, the vice prime minister of Azerbaijan.
August 23 – The revolt of the Talishes led by Goumbatov was suppressed in Lenkoran.
August 31 - Immediately after the suppression of the revolt in Lenkoran the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azernaijan announced that Azerbaijan had nothing to agree with a “bunch of separatists and terrorists” from Mountainous Karabagh.
September 24 - The Republic of Azerbaijan became member of CIS.
October 3 – Geydar Aliyev was elected president of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
September 9 -11 - A session of the Minsk Group was convened in Moscow for revising the “Timing of Priority Actions”. At the session Mountainous Karabagh was acknowledged as a party involved in the conflict.
November 2 – G. Aliyev made a public statement where he called for “uniting and defeating the Armenians”.
November 12 - Resolution # 884 was adopted by the United Nations Organization which claimed that “the Armenian armed forces should be withdrawn from the occupied Azerbaijani territory”.
December 15 – The Republic of Azerbaijan launched a new wide-range offensive on NKR.
1994 to May 8
POLITICAL SYNOPSIS OF THE YEAR: AFTER THE NUMEROUS UNSUCCESSFUL ATTEMPTS TO SUBDUE MOUNTAINOUS KARABAGH, FACING THE THREAT OF COMPLETE MILITARY FIASCO AZERBAIJAN WAS OBLIGED TO AGREE TO CEASE-FIRE. RELYING MAINLY ON THE “OIL FACTOR” IT HOPED TO IMPLEMENT ITS EXPANSIVE PLANS AT THE TABLE OF NEGOTIATIONS.
January 10 – Fierce offensive initiated by the Azeri army along the entire battle-front.
February 18 – The defeat of the military campaign launched by Baku in winter. The Azeris were entirely forced out from Kelbajar Region by the army of self-defense of NKR which restored the control over its former positions.
February 18 – The peace agreement was signed in Moscow between the conflicting parties upon the mediation of Russia. However, on March 11 the agreement was broken by Azerbaijan.
May 4-5 – In the capital of Kirgizia, Bishkek, by the initiative of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the CIS countries, the Parliament of the Republic of Kirgizia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, negotiations were held between the sides involved in the conflict, i.e., the Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Mountainous Karabagh and Republic of Armenia.
May 5 - The “Bishkek Protocol” was adopted. On May 8 Azerbaijan joined the Protocol.
Comment: Jeopardized by the danger of the complete military fiasco, Baku agreed to the cease-fire. Azerbaijan which was backed by Turkey hoped that it could exhort pressure on Karabagh by means of negotiations and speculation of the “oil factor”.
CEASE-FIRE FOR SEVEN YEARS (FROM MAY, 1994 TO PRESENT)
CONFLICT IN COURSE OF INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENT FOLLOWING BISHKEK PROTOCOL
COMMENT ON MAIN POLITICAL ISSUE OF PERIOD:
TRANSCAUCASUS CONTINUES TO BE AN ARENA OF IDEOLOGICAL, ECONOMIC AND GEO-POLITICAL COMPETITION BETWEEN RUSSIA, USA, EUROPE, TURKEY AND IRAN. CO-RELATIONS BETWEEN EXTERNAL FORCES IN REGION ARE STILL CLEARED UP THROUGH OSCE. NUANCES OF DIPLOMATIC AND PEACEFUL INITIATIVES DEMONSTRATE TEMPORIZING TACTICS OF WORLD FORCES. AS A RESULT OF POLITIZATION OF THE SETTLEMENT OF THE KARABAGH CONFLICT, THE LEGAL GROUNDS OF THE CONFLICT FAVORABLE FOR ARMENIA AND NKR ARE IGNORED. THE PRESENT TENDENCY FOR CONSERVATION OF CONFLICTS IN TRANSCAUCASUS IS THE RESULT OF THE GEO-POLITICAL BALANCE OF FORCES.
CEASE-FIRE IN THE AREA OF MILITARY ARMED CONFRONTATION BETWEEN KARABAGH AND AZERBAIJAN WHICH LASTS SEVEN YEARS WITHOUT ANY ASSISTENCE FROM PEACEFUL FORCES PROVES THE EXISTENCE OF PEACE RESOURCES WITHOUT EXTERNAL INTERFERENCE.
The significant events of the period:
December 5-6, 1994 – At the summit of BSCE in Budapest a resolution was taken on consolidation of the efforts of BSCE as an emmisar and the institution of co-chairmen was established. Russia was assigned the status of the permanent co-chairman of the Minsk Group of BSCE. BSCE was reorganized into OSCE. 1995.
April 30 – The elections of the National Council of NKR. 1996.
November 24 – Presidential elections were held in NKR where Arkadi Ghoukasian won the elections.
Comment: These elections were held since Robert Kocharian was offered the position of the prime minister of Armenia and he accepted the offer. 1996.
December 3 – The OSCE summit takes place in Lisbon. Armenia is obliged to veto Point 20 of the resolution taken at the summit which states about the territorial entirety of Azerbaijani Republic, i.e., the intactness of its borders within the former AzSSR.
Comment: The institution of three co-chairmen of the Minsk Griup of OSCE was established. It comprised of Russia, the USA and France.
July, 1997 – The co-chairmen of the Minsk Group set forth the plan of gradual settlement of the conflict.
September 1 – The special presidential elections were held in NKR. Arkadi Ghoukasian was elected president of NKR.
Comment: The elections were assigned because Robert Kocharian had accepted the offer of president L. Ter-Petrossian to become the prime minister of RA.
December 1, 1997 – The president of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrossian makes an announcement in the press in an article “War and Peace: Time for Consideration”.
Comment: This was the first detailed presentation of the viewpoint of the first president of the post-Soviet Armenia. L. Ter-Petrossian’s position was assessed by the public as a surrender. Shortly after the publication of the article L. Ter-Petrossian resigned.
December, 1997 – New alternative of resolving the problem is proposed by the co-chairmen.
September 27 – December 20, 1998 – The elections of the self-governance bodies of NKR.
November 11 – New solution of the problem is set forth by the co-chairmen which is based on the package settlement of the issue and the idea of “common state”. This option is declined by Baku.
Comment: The idea of “common state” formulated as “the joint state union of the Armenians and Moslems” was initially used as a milestone for the establishment of the supranational – international state, the AzSSR. In essence, the Minsk Group of OSCE returned to the idea of creating the Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan only under different historical circumstances when the Armenian people of Azerbaijan had been exiled from their land and many nations, the authentic residents of the area, had disappeared from the ethnic map of the region.
November 18-19, 1999 – The summit of OSCE was held in Istanbul. The conclusive documents lack any direct reference to the principle of territorial entirety of the Republic of Azerbaijan in respect of settling the Karabagh conflict.
January 5, 2001 – Armenia and Azerbaijan became members of the European Council.
March 4-5, 2001 – Effort is made by France to settle the Karabagh conflict. A meeting is held between the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents in Paris.
April 3-6, 2001 – The USA attempts to take the initiative of resolving the problem. A meeting between the Armenian president R. Kocharyan and Aliyev, the president of Azerbaijan was held in Key West, Florida.
Comment: The numerous meetings between Aliyev and Kocharyan were fruitless. However, Aliyev uses these meetings as a tool for pushing NKR out from the political process of settling the Karabagh problem.
September 5, 2001 – The elections of the self-governance bodies of the Republic of Mountainous Karabagh.
October 24, 2001 – The US Senate suspends for a year Resolution # 907 of 1992 which prohibited the US government to provide any assistance to the Republic of Azerbaijan unless it stopped the blockage of Armenia and Mountainous Karabagh. Thus, for the implementation of a more aggressive anti-terrorist policy the US president could by-pass the embargo during a one-year period.