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NORAVANK L E D RA

COLLEGE N I C O S I A

FOUNDATION


EURODIALOGUE Summer 2015 Volume 3

Frozen Conflict and Self-Determination Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies A Publication of LEDRA COLLEGE - VUZF UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF M.A. IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, GLOBAL ECONOMY AND STRATEGIC ANALYSIS

and NORAVANK FOUNDATION

in co-operation with Dr. Eleni THEOCHAROUS, MEMBER OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

This Publication is based on the International Conference “Conflicts and the right to Self-determination” organised in the European Parliament (Brussels - Belgium), by the Member of the European Parliament Dr. Eleni Theocharous, on the 3rd of June 2015, in cooperation with the Jagellonian University of Krakow, the Louvain-la-Neuve University and the American University of Beirut. It is a publication in collaboration with Ledra College – VUZF University, Department of M.A. in International Relations, Global Economy and Strategic Analysis and Noravank Foundation.

EDITORS: Yiannos CHARALAMBIDES

Doctor of International Relations and European Studies Head of the Department of M.A. in International Relations, Global Economy and Strategic Analysis, Ledra College - Vuzf University Gagik HARUTYUNYAN Executive Director of Noravank Foundation


CONTENTS FOREWORD ..............................................................................................................................................

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PREFACE

6

.........................................................................................................................................................

Kaspar KARAMPETIAN CONFLICTS AND THE RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION ..........................................................

8

Eleni THEOCHAROUS

PART I HISTORY, GLOBAL AND REGIONAL .................................................... TRANSFORMATION

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TRANSFORMATION OF THE REGION .....................................................................................................

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HISTORICAL ASPECT OF THE CONFLICT IN SOUTH CAUCASUS.............................................

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THE ARTSAKH PROBLEM AND THE IDEOLOGY OF PAN-TURKISM ......................................

30

Gagik HARUTYUNYAN Andrzej A. ZIĘBA David BABAYAN

PART II LEGAL ASPECTS ............................................................................................................................... THE LEGAL ASPECT OF THE CONFLICT OF NAGORNO-KARABAKH ...................................

Ohannes GEUKJIAN

63 64

ON THE PRINCIPLES OF SELF-DETERMINATION AND SO-CALLED ...................................... “TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY” IN PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW

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TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY AND SELF-DETERMINATION: ............................................................. CONTRADICTION OR EQUALITY?

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Ara PAPIAN

Edita GZOYAN, Lilit BANDURYAN

PART III CONFLICT AND SETTLEMENT

.......................................................................... 113

NAGORNO KARABAKH THE ANATOMY OF A CONFLICT ......................................................... 114

Yiannos CHARALAMBIDES

MILITARY AND POLITICAL DENOUEMENT OF THE FIVE-DAY WAR ................................... 123

Sergey MINASYAN

THE SETTLEMENT OF THE CONFLICT IN NAGORNO-KARABAKH ....................................... 147

Xavier FOLLEBOUCKT


FOREWORD Dear reader, This Journal is a collection of scientific articles on the issue of Nagorno Karabakh, in the context of the current international system. The aim of this work is to analyze historical, legal and political aspects of the conflict. It is of utmost importance for the readers to thoroughly deal with the issue of Nagorno Karabakh, in order to better understand how significant the solution of this problem is, on the basis of the International Law and particularly on the right to self – determination - article 1 paragraph 2 of the UN Charter. Through the conflict of Nagorno Karabakh, one can clearly realise the various geopolitical and geostrategic power games developed in the regional and global chessboard as well as the significance of the balance of power as a political and strategic philosophy, resulting to stability. A possible solution would be fairly grounded on such a formula. Nagorno Karabakh is in a permanent conflict, remaining outstanding and frozen, while in fact it constitutes a permanent source of friction and of instability in the geopolitical arena. This work is a profound anatomy of the issue of Nagorno Karabakh and an opportunity to understand the functioning of the international system and to adequately analyze the structure of regional and global conflicts. This is a political recipe to produce policies and define strategies in order to prevent the escalation of already existing conflicts or averting new ones with the hope of finding effective formulas which would lead to solutions. These solutions should stem from constructive negotiations, based on good will and mutual respect.

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EDITORIAL SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD Members of the Board Savvas KATSIKIDES

Professor of Social and Political Sciences/University of Cyprus Dr Gagik HARUTYUNYAN Executive Director of Noravank Foundation

Christodoulos PELAGHIAS Doctor in Law Chairman of European Rim Policy and Investment Council (ERPIC) Vahagn R. AGLYAN Ph.D., Noravank Foundation, Advisor, Deputy Director, Center for Political Studies

SUPPORTING EDITORIAL TEAM Mary PANOUSSI DES in Translation-Conference Interpretation, Université de Mons-Hainaut (UMH) Executive Masters in Public Relations, Marketing and Advertising, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) PhD Candidate in Environmental Communications, Frei Universität Berlin Thalia LIVADIOTOU MA in Public Sector, Panteion University, MBA general, Leicester University Marios PETROU Law degree (LLB), University of Essex Charis KYRIAKOU BSc Business Management-University of East-Anglia MSc Advanced Business Management-University of East-Anglia Lecturer of Digital Marketing TARAMA DESIGNS - Nicosia Marios CHARALAMBOUS Cover Design, Layout Design and Type Setting Zafiria STEFANOPOULOU Proof Reading and Corrections

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ISSN 1986-4698


Copyright:

Dr Eleni Theocharous Dr Yiannos Charalambides

Legal responsibility:

Dr Yiannos Charalambides

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be copied, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or means, without the prior expressed permission in writing of the publisher of the journal. Any article already published by Noravank Foundation and included in this journal have the authorization of Noravank Foundation upon agreement. PUBLICATION ADDRESS LEDRA College, Department of M.A. in International Relations, Global Economy and Strategic Analysis, 13 Langada str., 2023 Strovolos, Nicosia, Cyprus VUZF University, Gousla Str. 1, Sofia 1618, Bulgaria NORAVANK Foundation 23/1 Garegin Nzhde St., Yerevan, 0026, Republic of Armenia

Eurodialogue is a periodic journal. Articles and book reviews may be sent to the address below: Dr Eleni Theocharous, MEP ASP 08E246 - European Parliament 60 rue Wiertz, 1047 Brussels, Belgium The journal can be acquired by contacting the editors. The full responsibility regarding the content of the articles belongs exclusively to the authors. This Journal has no commercial purpose and it is distributed for free. 5


PREFACE On behalf of the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD) I would like to express my gratitude to the publishers for this scientific work on the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh. Distinguished scientist from various universities present the conflict, its structure from the historical and legal perspective, thus providing an essential comprehensive view of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the context of the right to self-determination. In July 1921 following the logic of “divide and conquer” the Caucasus Bureau of the Russian Communist Party adopted a political decision to annex Nagorno-Karabakh to Soviet Azerbaijan, despite the fact that 95 percent of the population was Armenian. Throughout the whole Soviet era the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh, who were forcibly put under Azerbaijani administrative rule never came to terms with this injustice. The petition signed in 1987 by 80 thousand people became the foundation for the Council of People’s Deputies in Nagorno-Karabakh to appeal to the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan SSR with the request to secede from its structure to Soviet Armenia. Despite Soviet and other applicable international laws, the appeal of Nagorno-Karabakh people to legitimately exercise their right to self-determination was arbitrarily denied. EAFJD firmly believes that a peaceful settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be based on the democratic values and principles and particularly on the right to self-determination.

Kaspar KARAMPETIAN President EUROPEAN ARMENIAN FEDERATION FOR JUSTICE AND DEMOCRACY

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FROZEN CONFLICT AND SELF – DETERMINATION

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CONFLICTS AND THE RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION Dr Eleni THEOCHAROUS* SELF DETERMINATION: These two enchanting and magic words have haunted my life, from the very early stage of two years. My people were fighting for self-determination against the British Empire, since Cyprus was a Colony of Her Majesty the Queen of the UK. The Right of Self Determination was never given to my people and we are still fighting for it. It is a great honour for me to stand before you and deliver a speech on self-determination and how it can be used as a legal and political instrument through which conflicts can cease and peace can prevail. The topic of this Conference is of utmost importance, because SD constitutes the basis of Fundamental rights of all people. As I said, I come from a Greek island which unfortunately remains outside the borders of the State of Greece, my Motherland, and where the people fought for self-determination for decades. Self Determination means the Union of Cyprus to Greece. Our struggle has never been justified. Currently, we are experiencing and living a similar struggle through the Armenian people of Nagorno Karabagh who are fighting to exercise their right to self-determination in order to achieve their freedom and thereby, define their own future and their destiny. The right to self-determination is enshrined within Article 1, Paragraph 2 of the UN Charter; it is the corner stone for freedom and the symbol by which people all over the world, are inspired and encouraged to take their lives into their own hands. It is the right which has been obtained by struggles and blood and should be respected by all. I strongly believe that the right to self-determination of the Armenian population living for centuries in Nagorno Karabagh has never been put into question. The main issue is to find the legal and political formula through the actions of the Minsk group, so that a solution is achieved and accepted by all the parties involved in the conflict. The Armenians of Nagorno Karabagh have been living in their mountainous region for centuries and have developed a vast civilisation. They constitute *

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Member of the European Parliament Chair of the EU-Armenia Friendship Group in the European Parliament


EURODIALOGUE Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies

an indigenous population who never accepted the “legal status� imposed by the Soviet Union, once the region had been taken from Armenia along with Nakhichevan and other regions in order to form the artificial state of Azerbaijan. In fact, the Armenian population of NK, fell victim to the political and power games of the Soviet Empire. The consequences of the illusions and power games of the Soviet era are obvious in the current period and are reflected in the conflict of Nagorno Karabagh. I could add the cases of Crimea, Ossetia, Abkhazia, Azaria and many others. The Armenian people of Nagorno Karabagh are still fighting for their Freedom. When referring to the right of self-determination for the Artsakhi people, we consider it as a self-evident cause, since the Armenians of Nagorno Karabagh meet all the criteria set out by International law regarding, those eligible for claiming the right of self-determination. They have developed a magnificent civilization in their own land, lasting for centuries and eventually regained control over their country after bloody Revolutions, building their own administration. In fact, they are in a position to exercise sovereign rights and legal power in the context of their own institutions. What is important to underline, is that the Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh enjoy a primordial power, which is inherent in their sovereign rights. They constitute an indigenous population and they did not come in the region as conquerors. Even the conflict which erupted between 1988 and 1994 was a Revolution of slaves against their conquerors. It was based on Article 51 of the UN Charter regarding the right of any nation and individual for self-defence. In fact, it was a Revolution by the people of Artsakh against the authoritarian regime of Azerbaijan; it was an Epos for Liberty. The Armenians did not invade Azerbaijan, did not attack its population. They just exercised their lawful right for Freedom. Therefore, we cannot consider the Armenian troops still stationed in the region as occupying forces but only as a military corps which still protects the Armenian population from a new Azerbaijani attack. Since the ceasefire, we are witnessing bloody incidents along the borders occurring on a daily basis. Our aim of course is not to deprive the Azeri people from any of their legal rights;

Frozen Conflict and Self-Determination

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Conflicts & the Right to Self-Determination

we sympathise with all those innocent who might be suffering from the conflict, and that is why we are seeking a peaceful and fair solution as soon as possible. However, Nagorno Karabagh has never been a part of Azerbaijan neither historically, nor legally. It is irrational, and against the democratic values and principles of the civilised international community to force the Armenian population of Nagorno Karabakh to fall again into slavery, under the authorities of Baku. The inclusion of Nagorno Karabagh within the administrative boundaries of the artificial State of Azerbaijan was the result of a non-justified decision taken by the Supreme Soviet of the Communist Party, of the Southern Regions. A number of documents and correspondence between the Armenians of Nagorno Karabagh and the Authorities of the Soviet era prove that the inclusion of the region into Azerbaijan, during the formation of this artificial state was against the will of the legal inhabitants of the Nagorno Karabagh. In addition the decision was taken by the Soviet institutions suffering from a democratic deficit, and the procedures followed were illegal, since the decision had never reached the required absolute majority of the participants. When the Soviet Union collapsed, the government of Baku put in practice a pogrom against the Armenians all over the territory and especially in the areas of Sumgait and Baku. They forced many people to flee from their own houses and properties. At the same time the Azeris attempted to cease the continuous uprising in the region of Nagorno Karabagh. As negotiations soon failed, there was no alternative for Armenians than to continue the resistance. Armenians gained their Freedom by sword and fire, fighting bravely in a struggle of self-defence. Their aim was the protection of the population who was facing the risk of a new massacre and thus extermination. We must take into consideration that the Armenian Nation had experienced genocide in the past, a tragedy which should never be repeated and should never be forgotten. Armenians will, therefore, never allow genocide to be a threat to their Nation again. It is a matter of self-respect and self-sufficiency. They never challenged the Azeri people. Their only demand was for their right to freedom, dignity and self-determination to be fully respected. Having said that, the following question is raised: is the right to self-determination a source of conflict or an instrument of resolving a conflict? In the case of Nagorno Karabakh, both occur. We are currently experiencing another frozen conflict in Caucasus. It is a ticking time bomb and it is the international community’s responsibility to defuse it. Therefore,

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ELENI THEOCHAROUS


EURODIALOGUE Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies

the formula for a viable and sustainable solution to the Armenian - Azeri conflict should be based on the UN Charter whereas the grounds for such solution should be laid through the right to self-determination. The government of Baku cannot hold the Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh within its administrative boundaries against their will. Armenians’ will, can be expressed through a referendum among the whole population of NK, Armenians and Azeris, organised by the international community and more precisely by the Minsk group, under the auspices of OSCE and the UN. And the EU as well. As it is well known the population of NK in 1988 was consisting of 88% by Armenians, 10% by Azeris from the Administrative stuff and 2% others, Russians etc. Within this context, other arrangements could be done in order to comply with the international legal order. These arrangements should include the return of territories legally belonging to Azeris but seized by Armenian troops during the conflict and the return of Azeri refugees to their homes and properties; similarly, this right should also be extended to the Armenians who wish to return to the regions now belonging to the artificial state of Azerbaijan, where they were living before the conflict. For example, in Nakhichevan. A key issue, inherent to the viability of the solution, is security and to that respect the role of the UN Peacekeeping Forces or observers is of utmost importance. However, no peacekeeping force can bring peace and stability unless the parties involved wish to cooperate and establish a new state of affairs. Therefore, in terms of a fair and legal settlement, both parties should be entitled to something. On the one hand Armenians are entitled of their right to self-determination, which would lead to Nagorno Karabagh Annexation to Armenia or to its Independence. On the other hand, Azeris are entitled of taking back some territories in the plain Karabagh, which for the moment are kept by the Armenians as a security zone due to the aggressive behaviour of Baku. If the international law is never respected, and fully implemented, the conflict of Nagorno Karabakh will never be resolved. We want peace because both the Armenian and the Azeri people, who currently live under the fascist regime of the notorious dictator Aliev, deserve a better life. History has led them to live next to each other, but perhaps, should the conflict is resolved, they will be able to live peacefully as neighbours within the context of stability, prosperity, democracy and mutual respect.

Frozen Conflict and Self-Determination

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PART I HISTORY, GLOBAL AND REGIONAL TRANSFORMATION

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TRANSFORMATION OF THE REGION Gagik HARUTYUNYAN* The overall trend of current changes occurring in the world is transition from the monopole system to a multi-polar one, or in another wording, a non-polar world. Obviously, without consideration of this global trend it would be hard to understand what is actually going on in our region of South Caucasus. This is especially true, since in the most evident fashion the world order transformation takes place in the Greater Middle East (GME), however conditional this name is, along with the names of other regions. Hence, we shall first present Middle Eastern processes in broad brush-strokes, and following the logic of these developments, only then turn to a more local space of South Caucasus. The Basic Geopolitical Instinct In interpreting the Greater Middle Eastern processes the analysts refer to the specifics of political regimes in the region, economy and demographics, social tensions and information political technologies, sectarian conflicts, factor of Israel, “controlled chaos” aimed against Russia, China and Iran, as well as other factors that do indeed exist and play an important role. Yet sometimes it appears that these specific developments are dominated by some geopolitical/geo-ideological instinct to grab as much as possible, and better if everything. Perhaps, this is the reason why the collapse of the Soviet Union did not end the war against the “Yalta-Potsdam” world, and the fighting the “old world” continued with a truly revolutionary fervour. Yugoslavia was “effectively” disintegrated, and then it was the turn of Asian and African countries that to one or another extent were the offshoots of the previous world order. First it was Afghanistan, and with Iraq the affairs started in 1991 were brought to a logical finale in 2003. Another phase for elimination of the “old order” came to fruition in the recent years. The infamous “Arab spring” started, *

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Director, Noravank Scientifi c Educational Foundation


EURODIALOGUE Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies

easily bringing an end to the regimes of Mubarak, Gaddafi, and there was little doubt that the same fate awaited Assad, after which Iran would inevitably follow the suit. However, the “end of history” never arrived. What happened was just the opposite, something that usually is referred to as “the revenge of history.” In the theory of chain branching processes there is concept of critical conditions, occurrence of which leads to a drastic change of system characteristics and its transformation into another state. During the proxy war in Syria something like that happened in the GME during the war in Syria. Some analytical sources of this country contend that the USA has declared war on Syria in 2003, immediately after occupation of Iraq, while with the Arab revolutions of 2011 the rhetoric and sanctions turned into real actions [1]. Some members of NATO (among which Turkey was especially active), and a few well-known Arab regimes pitched a whole “Terrorist International” against Syria, comprised of militants from 70 countries, which prompted to call it a proxy war[2]. The war in Syria, along with the events in Iraq and Libya resulted in a humanitarian and cultural catastrophe with millions of victims and refugees, a proxy genocide of sorts, which can also be called “news ticker genocide”[3]. The Christian population of the region flees en masse. For example, in Iraq the number of Christians has fallen from 1.2 million in 1990 to 200,000 today. Interestingly, this fact is accepted by the governments of the countries that contribute to such processes. As Baroness Warsi, UK Minister for Faith and Communities, has stated, with the “violence against Christians by militant groups … Christian presence in Syria is now in peril.”1 A cultural genocide is occurring in the Middle East as well. Historical and cultural monuments are destroyed and plundered as vandalism thrives... Terrorist attacks and chaotic situation, breakdown of government, social and economic institutions lead to degradation of societies in the regional countries2. 1 2

Charity backs Baroness Warsi’s warning of Christian exodus. http://www.christiantoday.com article/charity.backs.baroness.warsis.warning.of.christian.exodus/34706.htm. Situation is similar in Central Asia, where drug dealing thrives as well (see for example the article by Peter Dale Scott, Professor, University of California, Berkeley [4]).

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Transformation of the Region

Destruction of the region’s Armenian communities is another distinct issue, which poses a direct challenge to the national security of Armenia [5]. One of the military/political effects of these initiated processes was creation of a new network-like geopolitical actor, i.e. the mentioned “Terrorist International” comprised of motley terrorist groups. Meanwhile, the developments in Syria kicked off drastic changes in the system characteristics, as the theory of chain branching processes predicts. The “rest of the world” “rebelled” and started to resist in an organized manner. It can be safely stated that the war in Syria is the First Multi-Polar War, where unlike Iraq, Egypt and Libya, great geopolitical powers are involved on both sides. Immediate involvement of Iran in this war, as well as Russian and Chinese military and political support to Syria allowed the latter to preserve its statehood despite the tremendous losses and to avoid becoming just a “territory”, as it happened with Libya. Below some critical characteristics of the warring powers are briefly reviewed, with somewhat more thorough focus on the USA as the main ideologist of the processes underway. Resources and positions of the geopolitical actors The United States. The USA experiences a deficit of resources both in financial terms – problems with the debt and the dollar system in general, budget reductions including for Pentagon – and in intellectual/ ideological terms. It seems that some members of the American elite realize this and among them are not only former politicians, such as Paul C. Roberts, one of the fathers of Reaganomics, but also some renowned professors and scientists. As Francis Fukuyama wrote: “Many political institutions in the United States are decaying… This is the result of intellectual rigidity and the growing power of entrenched political actors that prevent reform and rebalancing.”3 3

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Francis Fukuyama, The Decay of American Political Institutions, Тhе American Interest, http://www.the-american-interest.com/articles/2013/12/08/the-decay-of-american-politicalinstitutions/.

GAGIK HARUTYUNYAN


EURODIALOGUE Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies

Georgi M. Derluguian, professor at the University of Chicago expresses thoughts along the same lines, as he does not rule out collapse of the USA [6] and draws subtle parallels between the USA and USSR, noting that some American business schools in essence are almost no different than Soviet Communist Party schools [7]. Another issue the American society faces is the inconsistencies between the national and corporate interests caused by the so-called deep state4 and hence, perhaps, the revelatory memoirs of some high-ranking officials [8, 9]. This is a context in which one has to consider the GME transformation scheme; a grandiose, all in all politically faulty and anti-human project. These circumstances, among other things, tainted the reputation of the superpower: according to the annual Gallup polls, as of the end of 2013 “the USA is considered the greatest threat to peace in the world” (see the Figure below5). Interestingly, the USA has won this dubious distinction by a land- slide, well ahead of runner-up Pakistan. Another alarming sign is the emergence and persecution of dissidents like J. Assange, E. Snowden and like-minded persons, who made stands against the total informational control. As George Washington University Professors H. Farrell and M. Finnemore have correctly noted in their article, such people as E. Snowden and “prisoner of conscience” US Army Private B. Manning are even called “high-tech 4

5

terrorists”

by

The Deep State, the Permanent Campaign, and the Frayed Fabric of American Democracy, http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/07/the-deep-state-the-permanent-campaignand-the-frayed-fabric-of-american-democracy/277828/ Biggest Threat to World Peace: The United States,http://www.commondreams.org/healine/ 2013/12/31-6.

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Transformation of the Region

some American officials6. However, we believe (and we are not alone in such opinion) that these people are dissidents in the classical sense of the word [3,10]. The point is not so much the wire-tapping, as many people have been well aware of the ECHELON system, but the fact that American citizens, who are usually loyal to their two-party politics and “united government”, began protesting against the “system”, and the Occupy Wall Street has to be viewed in this context, as well (see for example [11]). It is no surprise that Snowden was invited to join the Board of Directors for the Freedom of the Press Foundation of former RAND employee Daniel Ellsberg, who back in 1972 published the Pentagon secret documents on the Vietnam War. Expectedly, the recent actions against dissidents actualized the ingenious works of George Orwell. What is said above in no way means the USA is no longer the world leader; even a glimpse on various indicators makes it clear that America tops the whole planet (see, for instance[12] 7). However, in 2012 China first time ever surpassed the USA by trade turnover and became a world leader in international trade. The US imports and exports comprised $3.82 trillion, while for PRC this number totalled at $3.87 trillion. Nonetheless, the GDP of the USA is twice larger than that of China, $15 trillion and $7.3 trillion, respectively8. However, “something is rotten in the state of Denmark” already, and actually, this was one of the reasons to reject the idea of striking Syria and to start negotiations instead. Yet war and peace are collective matters, so other actors have to be reviewed, too.

6

7

8

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Henry Farrell, Martha Finnemore, The End of Hypocrisy: American Foreign Policy in the Age of Leaks, http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/140155/henry-farrell-and-martha-finnemore/teend-of-hypocrisy. Россия стала 1-ой в Европе и 5-ой в мире по ВВП (ППС) по данным WorldBank за 2012 год. http://oko-planet.su/finances/financesnews/197915-rossiya-stala-1oy-v-evrope-i-5oy-vmire-po-vvppps-po-dannym-worldbank-za-2012-god.html. http://lenta.ru/news/2013/02/11/trade.

GAGIK HARUTYUNYAN


EURODIALOGUE Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies

Iran: The Islamic Republic is a critical infrastructure for the region Almost for 35 years the country struggles against the USA in various formats. Vietnam analogies would be inadequate in this case, because Iran has been fighting alone, with no support from the USSR, and sometimes even against both superpowers, as it was the case in Iran-Iraq war. The reason for Iran’s success (including recent changes in Egypt), if not victory, is that they managed to establish in a sense a meritocratic or so-called “smart state” with a well-thought political system, which to some extent is close to the system of values and civilizational traditions of their people. This is not an artificially imposed system, and hence it is viable. It seems the years-long Western confrontation with Iran (still far away from end) was prompted not so much by political, military or economic factors, but rather by ideological considerations, because the Islamic Republic had put forward and is implementing a different model. Russia Having suffered an utter defeat in the Cold War, this country has entered into a recovery phase. An active stance and well-known initiatives with regard to the Syrian issue brought the country from the regional level back to the ranks of the global geopolitical actors. Currently Russia tries to implement some integration projects: the Eurasian Union will be based on CSTO and Customs Union, so it has a chance to become a full-fledged military/political/economic union. We believe such union does not necessarily mean another confrontation between “West and East”, as we support the concept of Greater Europe, where there is a place for South Caucasus countries as well (see for example [8, 139]). However, there are many socio-economic problems in Russia still to be resolved, despite being the 5th largest economy in the world10. Perhaps, these problems are related to the fact that on the ideological map of the world 9 10

Россия стала 1-ой в Европе и 5-ой в мире по ВВП (ППС) по данным WorldBank за 2012 год. http://oko-planet.su/finances/financesnews/197915-rossiya-stala-1oy-v-evrope-i-5oy-vmirepo-vvppps-po-dannym-worldbank-za-2012-god.html.

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Transformation of the Region

(prepared by RussRAND11), Russia is the only big country with no ideological system of its own that would generally serve its national security. China An optimal ideological triad [8] of socialism, liberalism and conservatism had been established in China, which means the country has chosen its own national (and hence, effective) way of development. As a result, in a foreseeable future China will overtake the USA not only economically, but possibly also in science and technology. China’s political activities are mostly focused on Asia Pacific region, but its position in the Middle East, though traditionally restrained, is still very important. Turkey This country attempts to carry out active neo-Ottoman policies, as it can be inferred from the ambitious projects of “Islamic NATO”, “Islamic Peacekeeping Force”, Turkish lira economic zone and even development of nuclear weapons [14]. However, in reality Ankara’s foreign policy failed both in Syria and Egypt12[3]. After Russia and the USA reached an agreement on destruction of Damascus’ chemical weapons, Turkey’s plans of invading Syria flunked. Turkey also lost its bid Egypt by supporting the former president Mohamed Morsi. Perhaps, these foreign policy failures also contributed to internal political destabilization. For whatever reasons, the combination of the above-mentioned and many unmentioned factors has led to a situation, where despite continuing military clashes in Syria and a number of other unresolved issues, some sort of a dynamic balance has been established in the GME. This made the conflicting sides sit down to talk, which with some reservations can be described as an enforced, relative peace. Such situation has been projected on South Caucasus to a considerable extent. 11 12

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http://rusrand.ru/important/predstavljaem-vashemu-vnimaniju-prezentatsiju-tsentra-nauchnoj -politicheskoj-mysli-i-ideologii Гагик Арутюнян. Провалы в Сирии и Египте натолкнули Турцию на «мягкое проникновение» на Кавказ. http://www.regnum.ru/news/armenia/1735575.html.

GAGIK HARUTYUNYAN


EURODIALOGUE Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies

Geopolitical Crystallization The assessments of situation in our region are usually dominated by alarm-ridden sentiments, but it appears, not everything is so bad and even some “good scenarios” are possible. Such optimism is based on the following considerations. The most important “external” factor is that a possible war between Iran on one side and Israel, the USA and in some scenarios even Azerbaijan on the other side, has become less likely. This circumstance has a generally positive influence on the situation in South Caucasus. However, changes occur also in the countries of the region and these processes can be described as geopolitical crystallization. Earlier the region was by and large in a somewhat amorphous situation, in spite of some of the known political orientations. Meanwhile, other trends are observed currently among the countries of the region. For example, CSTO member Armenia has announced an intention to join the Customs Union, and later the Eurasian Union. With such decision Armenia made a final geopolitical choice and introduced some clarity in the map of the South Caucasus. Under these circumstances, against the backdrop of diminishing energy interest of the West in Azerbaijan due to its depleting energy resources, further convergence between Azerbaijan and Turkey would be natural, as well as development of cooperation with Israel due to the problems with Iran. Israel may already claim a status of an active observer in the region, though perhaps, is not a full-fledged actor yet. As always, the role of Georgia is also important. Our neighbour is in a transition stage to a certain extent, and this condition seems a lot more constructive and adequate than it was previously. The Western orientation of Georgia that has already become customary, will apparently

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Transformation of the Region

re- main, but in the background of relative normalization of relations with Russia this circumstance is now a balancing factor, rather than a destabilizing one. Interestingly enough, the government of Georgia has changed the name of the Office of the State Minister for Reintegration to Office of the State Minister of Reconciliation and Civil Equality13. The military policy trend change from offensive to defensive shows that this not just a formal renaming, but rather, a transformation of strategy in relation to Abkhazia and South Ossetia [15]. In the current specific circumstances, the observed crystallization positively influences the state of the affairs in the region. Such interpretation of the situation implies that South Caucasus, much like GME as a whole, is in some sort of a dynamic balance. This is a precondition for constructive negotiations regarding the trouble spots, such as NKR, South Ossetia and Abkhazia. It is no coincidence that high-level Armenian-Azerbaijani negotiations over the NKR restarted in 2013. It cannot be ruled out that such negotiations may result in peace accords. The scenario that foreign policy failures and destabilization in Turkey, as well as Armenia’s membership to the Customs Union may have had a sobering effect on Azerbaijani leadership seems quite plausible. There is something that may also facilitate this process: the political leaderships in all three South Caucasus countries were elected in 2013, i.e. these governments do have the time resource to take unpopular actions, such as signing peace agreements, for that matter. January, 2014

13

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В Грузии утвердили создание министерства примирения,http://lenta.ru/news/2013/11/ 29/rename.

GAGIK HARUTYUNYAN


EURODIALOGUE Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies

References and Literature 1.

Бассам Абу-Абдаллах, Бахаа Аль-Рахмани, Сирия: римейк Ирака 10 лет спустя // Смерть демократии: операции ЦРУ и Пентагона в постсоветский период, М., Кучково поле, 2014, с. 410.

2.

Виктор Мясников, 10 главных военных событий 2013 года, НВО, #48(789), 28.12.2013.

3.

Gagik Harutyunyan, The Multipolar Realities, Middle East and News Ticker Genocide, 21st Century #2(14), p. 3, 2013.

4.

Peter Dale Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Indochina. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003, 227 p.

5.

Гагик Арутюнян, Вызовы Армении в глобализирующемся мире, 21 Век, #1, 2013, с. 3.

6.

Дерлугьян Г., Внезапны, но иногда предсказуемы, Эксперт, #29(859), 2013, с. 60.

7.

Дерлугьян Г., Адепт Бурдье на Кавказе. Эскизы к биографии в миросистемной перспективе, М.:,Издательский дом «Территория будущего», 2010.

8.

Гагик Арутюнян, Распад системы и формирование будущего, Ер., НОФ «Нораванк», 2011.

9.

Гейтс не смог молчать, Власть, #1(1056), с. 27, 2014.

10. Тома Гомар, Что скрывается за делом Сноудена?, Россия в глобальной политике, т. 11, #5, 2013, с. 86. 11. Гагик Арутюнян, Сергей Гриняев, Можно ли захватить Уолл-Стрит?, 21 Век, #1(21), 2012, с. 13. 12. Супян В.Б., США в мировой табели о рангах: экономические показатели, Международная жизнь, # 9, 2013. 13. Тимофей Бордачев, Новый стратегический союз. Россия и Европа перед вызовами ХХ1 века: озможность «большой сделки», М., Изд-во «Европа», 2009. 14. Արտաշես Տեր-Հարությունյան, Թուրքիայի միջուկային նկրտումների վերաբերյալ, Գլոբուս #4, էջ 17, 2012: 15. Вахтанг Майсая, Тбилиси переходит к круговой обороне, НВО, #48(789), 28.12.2013.

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HISTORICAL ASPECT OF THE CONFLICT IN SOUTH CAUCASUS Andrzej A. ZIĘBA* The topic I want to discuss has already been analysed multiple times. It is also so complicated and extensive that an in-depth lecture, even if formulated in an encyclopaedic manner, requires a separate monograph of over one volume, developed by at least several authors, specialising in various epochs, cultures and types of multi-lingual sources. The beginning of political and cultural process in this area, the effects of which we are observing today, is stretched to antique times. I have no knowledge of any other place in the world where such distant history would still be alive, almost literally, among the people. Therefore, I would rather formulate a few theses in the form of open questions, and propose some conservative answers which, I hope, will allow us understand at least the historical reasons for which pacification of the conflict in South Caucasus is such a difficult task for its inhabitants. Is the conflict in South Caucasus a legacy of history or only politics? I have already formulated the first and most important question when I mentioned the current processes that began in antique times. Analyses of political science often demonstrate assumptions which suggest that their authors do not see the roots of the current conflict in South Caucasus earlier than in the last century. They often associate them with the Soviet methods of ethnic politics and the virtual freezing of ethnic tensions by the Union. Such assumption brings the conflict down to the effects of collapse of that one specific imperial system at the beginning of 1990’s. It was a system which caused peculiar order in the discussed area and, *

24

Jagellonian University, Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Antropology. Chair of Ethnic Relations in Europe, Krakow, Poland


EURODIALOGUE Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies

whatever one may think of its fairness and justness, stopped the ethnic bloodshed. I think that this assumption is too optimistic, because if that were the case, it would be possible to expect a relatively quick diffusion of tension by forceful or peaceful settlement in the scope of territorial division. It seems, however, that the South Caucasian conflicts are not only related to contemporary politics, but are also of cultural origin. Therefore, they started when these cultures came into being as opposing systems of standards, customs, ways of thinking grounded in different religions. The origin of the cultural setting which is also currently fuelling the conflict in Caucasus is the time between the beginning of the IV (adoption of Christianity by Armenia and then Iberia/Georgia, and the Caucasian Albania) and the end of the XI centuries (settlement of Islamic Turkish people, the ancestors of today’s inhabitants of Azerbaijan). At that time, the South Caucasus became the borderland of two civilisation realms and, thus, a fragile area. I am not a supporter of cultural determinism and the thesis on the conflicts of civilisations. However, the tension undoubtedly deepens in the case of global conflicts, not related to local settings, but justified by cultural (religious) differences such as the current confrontation between the fundamentalist Islam and the Western civilisation, at the borderlands inhabited by the representatives of these cultures. Such diagnosis is not optimistic, but it means that stabilisation in Caucasus can’t be achieved by applying political means locally. It must be based on pacification of the global conflict which takes on a form of cultural confrontation. Secondly, military conflicts in Caucasus repeated so regularly and frequently throughout the centuries that they may be called a constant feature of not only the political situation, but of the local cultural situation. It features a disseminated normative system which may be referred to as the vendetta syndrome. Thus, the following question arises: are we dealing with a conflict of cultures or with conflict as a culture?

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Historical Aspect of the Conflict in South Caucasus

Conflict-triggering Caucasus or conflicts in Caucasus? We often face the opinion that the situation of Caucasus is strategic for political powers. It is based at the crossroads of migration of people from deep Asia and trade routes linking the most distant edges of Eurasia, i.e. an area, the control of which was important for the purpose of grounding the economic position and safety of the aforementioned powers. Outside inspiration of an imperial nature was to be the main reason for wars in South Caucasus; wars triggered by big outside powers which battled for domination. In such an assumption, Caucasus was not so much a conflict-triggering area, but we were rather dealing with a periodical conflict, or a series of conflicts for Caucasus, which included participation of exchanging neighboring powers: Rome, Persia, Mongolians, Arabs, Turkey, Russia – to mention at least the most important of them. This thesis requires careful revision. It is not a case of assigning the role of conflict instigators to local, regional or global actors in these processes. It would be difficult, because at some point in their existence, statehoods such as the Kingdom of Armenia had ambitions exceeding the borders of the area we today call South Caucasus or Transcaucasia. Aside from Armenia, the Kingdom of Georgia aimed at local hegemony at least. The most crucial question regards the structural causes of recurring bloody tension which were the most important in the past, and only then their localisation according to the inside or outside division. We can distinguish three main, potential sources of conflicts: ethnic diversification, control over resources of material goods, division of political power. Ethnic and national diversity Laboratory of ethnicity – this term seems to be the most reasonable when we discuss Caucasus. Such accumulation of languages is hard to find in other regions of the world. As fairly noted, history co-operated here with geography to create cultural diversity. Migration which lasted for centuries brought new tribes into the region. The policy of resettlements

26

ANDRZEJ A. ZIĘBA


EURODIALOGUE Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies

of entire ethnic groups or their considerable representations was used by the empires that ruled here: Persia, Russia, the Soviet Union. The specificity of mountain terrain and isolation of small settlement enclaves facilitated the creation and persistence of a linguistic mosaic on the one hand, but on the other – hindered spontaneous linguistic integration. The phenomenon of linguistic assimilation was not and is not unknown in Caucasus, but the region was dominated throughout centuries by a different method of communication of multilingual communities – common knowledge of each other’s language (bi- and multilingualism). In the middle-ages, only two statehoods were able to apply and implement nation-building projects, combining ethnicities in national culture framework – Armenia and Iberia/Georgia. Other states either did not undertake any trance-ethnic integration policy or lasted too briefly to stabilise the introduced integration processes. Broad cultural integration projects based on religious systems (Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Islam) were also being realised. None of the above was able to overcome the cultural divisions existing earlier among their believers. Zoroastrianism was ultimately rejected by the local ethnicities as culturally alien. Christianity took on various cultural forms from the beginning, which was confirmed by the development of three separate alphabets for Armenians, Albanians and Iberians by Merop Mashtots in the V century and consolidated the stand of the Churches of Armenia and Iberia/Georgia on two sides of the big theological controversy which divided Christianity during the Council of Chalcedon. Islam integrated tribe ethnicities in a limited degree and only in the scope of local statehoods. Ethnic and national divisions don’t seem to be the fundamental reason of conflicts in South Caucasus. We may notice many examples of political trance-ethnic and transnational alliances in the past. They formed especially in situations of threat from outside powers or international crises. An example from not so long ago is the attempt to build one trans-Caucasian statehood after the collapse of the tsarist Russia. We cannot also notice a strong tendency of justifying wars and hostility by referring to ethnic differences. Far from it, especially today we find many examples of seeking local arguments in the history of relations to justify political alliances or pacification of hostility between states. In fact, they may

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Historical Aspect of the Conflict in South Caucasus

be reasonably demonstrated in the relations between the Armenians, Georgians and Caucasus Tatars (known today as Azerbaijanis), especially before the eruption of mutual hostility at the turn of the XIX and XX centuries as well as between ancient middle-age states, to the traditions of which the currents statehoods relate. Sources and resources of material goods Battle for territory and natural resources is quite a common reason for conflicts in our history. The specificity of Caucasus comprised throughout the centuries in its role in transcontinental trade. People battled fiercely for control over trade routes, but long-term wars were detrimental to the trade procedures. Trade required pacification of relations between hostile neighbours. The interests of local, regional and global players required political stabilisation which was being achieved by the division and control of territory as well as extinguishing military activities. Thus, I can’t also see any substantial reason for higher severity of conflicts than in other regions of the world. Access to petroleum resources in contemporary times also hasn’t become such a reason. Political power and control Let us go on to the last set of potential reasons of conflicts in Caucasus. This includes the weakness, i.e. instability, of local state structures. Local monarchies were not able to save their sovereignty, they became dependent, sometimes preserving only their autonomy or territorial administrative local-government. Their temporary nature, the unsteadiness of borders and divisions were the result of constant outside pressure. On the other hand, pressuring empires also weren’t able to establish a single lasting political and cultural bond in the area, despite repeatedly using brutal techniques towards the local community. The resistance of natives and their political structures is not the only reason. It was also about the rivalry between empires, two or even three, as in the XVII and XIX centuries (Turkey, Persia, Russia). Therefore, the imperial powers were also unstable in this region. This caused further conflict-triggering phenomena: searching for outside patrons by particular Caucasus nations and ethnic-

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ANDRZEJ A. ZIĘBA


EURODIALOGUE Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies

ities, as well as local allies by the battling empires. At the turn of the XIX and XX centuries and during the Soviet period, we can find indications of attempts of declining empires to manipulate the nationalities and ethnicities to stabilise their influence. In this situation, introduction of own imperial order in the area only increased the tension. This was not only due to the fact that the conquered folk conducted political resistance. The reason was mainly that each collapse of an empire, whether sudden or gradual, caused abrupt increase of local conflicts. Such conflicts were sometimes accompanied by bloody extra-ethnic arguments, but in principle it was a struggle for territory and place in the newly recreated hierarchy of political structures. The goal was also to establish a local political order, corresponding to the economic power of particular communities bonded by a cultural link. After each crisis of outside imperialism, the case was not only that the earliest local state projects (Armenian and Georgian) were revived, but also new projects were born; projects which resulted from specific ethnic circumstances which took place during the domination of outside powers. The need to institutionalise the bonds between the territory and ethnicity (Azerbaijanis, Abkhazians) was recurring. It was not the ethnic sentiments or the resources of material goods, but the necessity to deal with the crisis of political setting was the main reason for conflict in the analysed area. Caucasus was a conflict-trigger itself, but so was the case for any other region in the world. The presence and simultaneous unsteadiness of outside powers in South Caucasus, which did not prevent the formation of ethnic and national identities, but impaired the effect of historical state-building processes and did not allow consolidation of the local hierarchy of political structures, was the historical aspect which renews the military rivalry for territory until this day.

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THE ARTSAKH PROBLEM AND THE IDEOLOGY OF PAN-TURKISM David BABAYAN* The Artsakh problem is a crucial issue not only for the Armenian people and Armenian statehood, but it also has been on agenda of global geopolitics since long ago, especially in the context of the strategically important location of Transcaucasia where the interests of global and regional actors intertwine and clash. The History of Emergence of Pan-Turkism Ideology and its Main Goals The main idea of Pan-Turkism is unification of all Turkic peoples or Turkic world in a single state, under the leadership of Turkey. It found fertile ground among the Turkic peoples of the Russian Empire. The ruling elites and intelligence services of Great Britain, France, Germany, Austria and other European powers have encouraged the ideas of Pan- Turkism out of their own interests1. Fig. 1 (The Ottoman Empire at its apogee in 17th Century) Their main objective was to redirect the potential Turkish expansion from Europe to the Russian Empire that ruled most of the Turkic peoples outside the Ottoman Empire. The logic of the *

Head of the Information Office of the NKR Presidential Administration, Ph. D. in History.

1

For more details about emergence of Pan-Turkism, its founders and major representative see e.g. Demirağ Yelda, “Pan-Ideologies in the Ottoman Empire Against the West: From Pan-Ottomanism to Pan-Turkism”, The Turkish Yearbook, Vol. XXXVI, 2005, p.150; Мартиросян А., Заговор маршалов. Британская развед- ка против СССР, Москва, Вече, 2003, с.31; Nadir Devlet, İsmail Bey (Gaspıralı), Ankara, Kültür ve Turizm Bakanlığı, 1988; Hakan Kırımlı, “İsmail Bey Gaspıralı, Türklük ve İslam”, Doğu-Batı, N31, April 2005, pp. 147-176; Мухамметдинов, Зарождение и эволюция тюркизма, Казань, 1995.

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EURODIALOGUE Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies

Pan-Turkism’s formation was very simple. This policy allowed achieving two important objectives simultaneously. This policy allowed achieving two important objectives simultaneously. First, Turkey that sought revenge against European pow- ers for the loss of its possessions in Europe, would no longer consider re- turn of these territories as a primary goal, and thus would no longer be a threat to the European countries. Second, Turkey would cast an interested look on Russian territories and a clash of these two empires would weaken both, whereas the great European powers would stand to gain, having the chance to bring immense territories under their influence. Fig. 2 (The Ottoman Empire before the World War I) The

idea

of

creating

a

pan-Turanian empire was put forward by Arminius Vambery, a Hungarian professor (1832-1913). His first name brings an ironic connotation, given that the Armenian people paid the highest price for the ideology of Pan-Turkism. This man was Turkish sultan’s adviser in 1857-1863 and it was in this period that he intro- duced the idea of pan-Turanian superpower to the sultan. Vambery also worked for Lord Palmerston, the British Foreign Secretary who later became Prime Minister. The Hungarian professor’s idea was quite nimbly utilized by the British. Vambery’s main objective was to create an anti-Slavic movement in order to weaken Russia’s positions and eventu- ally lead this country away from the struggle for influence on Persia, Central Asia and the Indian direction.

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The Artsakh Problem and the Ideology of Pan-Turkism

Fig. 3 ( The proposed Pan-Turkic Empire) Wilfred Blunt, a British intelligence agent who is often called the founding father of Pan-Arabism, was another European who

played

a

pioneering

role for Pan-Turkism. This very person conceived the idea of Young Turks movement. The activities of Emmanuel Carasso, an Italian national, still remain under veil of secrecy. He founded the Young Turks Society in Thessalonica, the first and main office of the Young Turks Party in the Ottoman Empire. Another European, Vladimir Jabotinski was the editor of the “Young Turks” newspaper. Representatives of Turkic peoples of the former Russian Empire contributed greatly to the development of the Pan-Turanism idea, including Russian Tatars Ahmed Agaev, Yusuf Akçura, Ali Hussein Zade, Ismail Gasprin- ski and others. The idea of Turkic peoples’ unification was first heralded by “Terciman” (“Translator”), a newspaper featuring the slogan “Unity in thoughts, words and deeds,” which was published by Ismail Gasprin- ski in Bakhchisaray, Crimea since 1883. However even these figures ac- quired their knowledge and inspiration with Pan-Turkism ideas in European educational institutions. In the 19th century, Turkic studies began to develop as one of the disciplines of the Oriental studies in such European countries as France, Germany, Great Britain and Denmark. In this context we should mention the book by Léon Cahun on Turkic race, the dictionary of Turkic languages by Radloff and other works. In the Ottoman Empire such statesman as Suleiman Pasha, who used to be the Minister of Military Academies, was among the first ideologists of Turkism. He disseminated the ideas of Turkism and Pan-Turkism among the cadets of military schools, which was conditioned by the influential

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DAVID BABAYAN


EURODIALOGUE Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies

position of the army in the Turkish society. Suleiman Pasha was the first person in the Ottoman Empire to write the history of Turks in his book History of the World (1874). He also argued against using the term “Ottoman language,” as he contended that Ottoman language is just a mix of Arabic, Persian and Turkish languages, and so he proposed using the epithet “Turkish language”2. The story of Pan-Turkism development in the Ottoman Empire would be incomplete without mentioning Mustafa Celaleddin Pasha (1826-1876). His true name was Konstantin Borzecki and he descended from a Polish noble family. At the age of 22 he took part in the Polish rebellion against the Russian Empire and after the uprising was quelled, he immigrated to Istanbul. He then enlisted in the Ottoman Army and converted to Islam, as well as assumed a new name. Celaleddin Pasha proposed the idea of “Touro-Aryanism”, claiming that the European and Turkic peoples compose a single race, and that the Western culture is a product of “Touro- Aryan” intellectual activities. He argued that part of the Turkic people who converted to Islam converged with the Semitic culture. He also pro- posed to connect the Christian peoples of Ottoman Empire with the Turkic element through cultural and linguistic bonds, or simply to assimilate them. In the 19th century the ideology of Ottomanism also began to develop in the Ottoman Empire, the essence of which was a common supranational identity for all peoples of the empire regardless of their ethnicity and religion. The Ottoman identity was viewed as such. How- ever, this ideology did not pay off and failed to halt the Christian peoples’ aspirations for independence. In this situation Islamism began to develop in the Ottoman Empire, championed by bloodthirsty sultan Abdul Hamid II. To some extent Islamism was of advantage to the European powers, as it divided the Ottoman society in two camps – Muslims and Christians. On the one hand, this allowed encouraging secessionist aspirations of Christian peoples in the Ottoman Empire, and on the other hand it helped direct the Ottomans against the Russian Empire. 2

Мухамметдинов, Зарождение и эволюция тюркизма, указ. соч., с.32.

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The Artsakh Problem and the Ideology of Pan-Turkism

In 1908 the Young Turks swept to power after a revolution. The national liberation war of Balkan Christian peoples and subsequent loss of most of the Ottoman Empire’s possessions in Balkans in 1912 put a decisive end to the idea of Ottomanism. At some point the Young Turks attempted to return to the idea of Islamism. This time it was thwarted by the rebellion of Muslim peoples, in particular Arabs and Albanians. This gave a strong boost to the development of Pan-Turkism ideology in the Ottoman Empire. Turkism was implanted in parallel with active propaganda of Pan- Turkism. It actually it was quite a difficult process. Suffice it to say, the word “Turk” was one of the most derogatory expressions in the Ottoman Empire3. Implementation of these plans first of all required establishment of a common “ethnic” border between Turkomen of the Ottoman Empire and those of Transcaucasia and Iran. This was a key precondition for successful accomplishment of Pan-Turkist plans. The main obstacle on this route was the Armenian people, whose native mono- ethnic area divided the Turkic peoples of the Ottoman Empire from their brethren in Iran and Transcaucasia, through which an access to Central Asian Turkomen could be gained. One of the first attempts to materialize Pan-Turkist ideas was made in Xinjiang, China, in late 1860 – early 1870s. In the second half of the 19th century a series of large-scale uprisings swept through Xinjiang, which culminated in establishment and existence of a theocratic Islamic state of Yettishar (“country of seven cities”) in 1865-1878 with capital in Kashgar city. The emissaries of the Ottoman Empire were the first ones to visit Kashgar. In 1869 Said Yakupkhan, the special envoy of Yettishar’s ruler Yaqub Beg, was personally received in audience by the Ottoman sultan Abdülaziz, who formally recognized Yettishar and its ruler. Abdülaziz 3

34

История человечества, под общей редакцией Г.Гельмольта, том V, Юго-Восточная и Восточная Европа, С-Петербург, типо-литография книгоиздательского товарищества «Просвещение», 1905, сс.117, 122. История человечества, под общей редакцией Г.Гельмольта, том V, Юго-Восточная и Восточная Европа,С-Петербург, типолитография книгоиздательского товарищества «Просвещение», 1905, сс.117, 122.

DAVID BABAYAN


EURODIALOGUE Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies

gave the envoy a gift for Yaqub Beg as a sign of Yettishar’s recognition and sent high-ranking officers to Kashgar to assist in establishing the armed forces of the new state. The symbols of the state were similar to those of Ottoman Empire, with its flag being just a copy of the Ottoman flag, which later became that of Turkey. In 1874 Yaqub Beg officially declared about a new political status: Turkish protectorate over Yettihar. Coins depicting Abdülaziz were minted in his honor in Kashgar4. Nevertheless, China managed to eliminate this state in 1878. The Heavenly Empire always attributed much importance to maintaining control over Xinjiang, assuming that its loss may threaten other regions of the country as well. It was in 19th century when Chinese strategists first pointed out that if Xinjiang is detached from China, then Mongolia may follow suit and the security of Gansu and Zhili (pre-1928 name of Hebei province – D.B.) provinces would become uncertain5. It is absolutely obvious that Turks needed to exterminate the Armenian people for accomplishment of Pan-Turkist plans. The Armenian Genocide of 1915 was the first and to date the most outrageous manifestation of Pan-Turkism ideas in practice. The Russian Empire and Pan-Turkism It is also clear that the Russian Empire was the largest barrier for Pan- Turkists. It has to be noted that the Russian Empire did take a number of important steps to mitigate the threat of Pan-Turkism. Conspicuously, there were no large-scale ethnically-inspired uprisings of non- Christian peoples in the Russian Empire. The most mass-scale unrests of Caucasian highlanders were more of a religious movement, rather than an ethnic one. Moreover, the Russian Empire saw itself as the one that subdued the Turkic khan-ates, as well as the inheritress of the subdued Turkic countries. No wonder that the coat of arms of the Russian 4 5

See: Хожамберди Кахарман, Уйгуры. Этнополитическая история с древнейших времен до наших дней, Алматы, 2010, с.189. Ходжаев А., Цинская империя, Джунгария и Восточный Туркестан, Москва, 1979, с.70.

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The Artsakh Problem and the Ideology of Pan-Turkism

Empire incorporated symbols of Kazan (Fig. 5), Astrakhan (Fig. 6) and Siberian (Fig. 7) khan-ates as in-escutcheons6.

Fig. 5

Fig. 6

Fig. 7

One of the methods to confront the consolidation of national liberation movement was the corresponding administrative-territorial policy. The borders of the Russian Empire’s governor ates, especially at the national peripheries, did not match the ethnic areas of the peoples that inhabited them. They had mixed populations. Also, the national component was gradually removed from the names of the governor-ates. For instance, after the Russian Empire annexed Transcaucasia, such units as the Armenian Oblast, Georgian-Imereti Governor-ate were created, but later these governorates were named after their administrative centres. 6

36

See more details on the Russian Imperial heraldry in Дворянские роды Российской империи, СПб., 1993; www.geraldika.ru; П.П. фон Винклер, Гербы городов Российской империи, СПб. 1900 (переиз-дано: Москва, 1991).

DAVID BABAYAN


EURODIALOGUE Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies

Incidentally, there never existed an administrative formation under the name of “Azerbaijan” in Transcaucasia. There was a Caspian Oblast, but no “Azerbaijan”. Pan-Turkism during the World War I The World War I and the October Revolution in Russia provided the most real opportunity to implement the ideology of Pan-Turkism in practice. The prospect of unifying the Turkic peoples of Transcaucasia, Caucasus, Iran and Central Asia through conquest of these territories by the Turkish army came into sight at this very time7. For instance, Ahmed Kemal, a high ranking representative of the Committee of Union and Progress party, was sent to Artux city of Kashgaria in 1914 to organize studies of pan-Turkic “legacy” in secular schools. Together with the local clergy and intelligentsia he opened a school and taught Pan- Turkism concepts there. Soon after, hundreds of volunteers arrived in Xinjiang to spread the ideas of pan-Turkic unity, and by the 1920s the extensive activities of the emissaries led to creation of a network of schools, training courses and groups8. These institutions studied the common history of Turkic peoples, preached ideas of their cultural, linguistic and religious unity, and advocated the need for a common struggle for liberation and establishment of a federal Turkic state which would also include the territories and population of Central Asia, Kazakhstan, the whole Xinjiang and Western Mongolia. Yet the Caucasus was the primary target for Pan-Turkist plans. A country named “Azerbaijan”, that had no relation whatsoever to the Iranian Azerbaijan – historical Atrpatakan – was created in Eastern Transcaucasia exactly in this context. There was one objective: if there were Caucasian and Iranian “Azerbaijans”, then they should have been united and Turkey intended to annex this “unified” formation, reach Central Asia and thus establish a united Pan-Turkic state. Naturally, 7

8

See for example: Pomiankowsky I., Der Zusammenbruch des Ottomanischen Reiches, (The Total Collapse of the Ottoman Empire), Wien, 1928, pp..29-30; Hostler Ch., Turkism and the Soviets, London, 1957, pp.146-148. Хожамберди Кахарман, Уйгуры. Этнополитическая история с древнейших времен до наших дней, указ. соч., с.340.

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Turkey’s plans and actions caused negative feelings in the neighbouring countries, particularly in Iran. In his report to the German Reichskanzler, the head of the German Delegation in the Caucasus wrote the following: “In Persia, the fact that Turkey has selected the name “Azerbaijan” for the most eastern of the three Transcaucasian republics in order to be able to construct a claim to the Persian Azerbaijan has caused very strong ill-feelings in Persia. Agitation in Persia is even greater, because the Persians are by no means friends of the Tartars9 (that is how Turkic population of “Azerbaijan” was called prior to the second half of 1930s – D.B.)”. In addition to establishment of a Pan-Turkic power, creation of “Azerbaijan” in Transcaucasia aimed at incorporating Iran in it. The point is that for quite a long period the historical Atrpatakan had been the spiritual and political center of Iran Azerbaijan. Since the Sassanid times Atrpatakan was a Zoroastrian center. One of the most important Zoroastrian fire temples, Adur Gushnasp (Takht-i Soleymān archaeological site), was located in Atropatene10. It was considered to be one of the three main Zoroastrian temples; actually the greatest of all, as it belonged to the royal family and the warriors’ caste, whereas the other two, Adur Farnbag in Fars and Adur Burzen-Mihr in Khorasan belonged to the caste of priests and caste of commoners, respectively. Also, Iranian Azerbaijan had been the center of some states established in Iran and Western Asia by nomadic Mongol and Turkic tribes, including the states of Hulaguids, Chobanids, Kara Koyunlu, Ak Koyunlu and Safavids.The latter state became the core of Iranian statehood revival in the Safavid era. Understandably, control over the historic Azerbaijan would increase the potential of controlling the whole Iran by an order of magnitude, not only in political, but also in historic-psychological terms. In this case Pan-Turkists would have gained an opportunity to “legitimize” their claims over the entire Iran, portraying the history of all mentioned states as a continuous Turkic 9 10

38

Central register: 1918-A-48749, Embassy/consular serial number: J. Nr. D. 1629. Р.Фрай, Наследие Ирана, М., 1972, с. 197, 253.

DAVID BABAYAN


EURODIALOGUE Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies

“legacy”, whereas in fact, ethnicity played no role in these states and they feuded with each other, as well as with Ottomans. This was the exact reason why dictated by Ottomans the new formation in eastern Transcaucasia took the name “Azerbaijan”, and not e.g. something like Caucasian or Trans-Caspian Turkestan or Tatarstan. In the latter case encroachments on Iran would have been a lot more difficult. Besides, for many centuries the territory of Iran was a bridge (connecting Turkomen invaded into Asia Minor (Anatolia) and Caucasus with Central Asia), which was feeding the territories conquered by Turks with new waves of immigrants from Central Asia that has become the historic homeland for Turkic peoples. In September 1918, the Turkish troops captured Baku. It seemed that the goal is attained. However, the defeat in the World War I ruined their plans. Nonetheless, the first phase –Turkism– was successfully implemented in practice and a separate “Turkish nation” emerged in Turkey. Still the idea of Pan-Turkism was given up neither in Turkey, nor outside. Given that Turkism triumphed in Turkey, a new and rather intensive phase of development for the Turkic peoples began in the Soviet state, where the religious component was completely excluded from the national identity establishment process. For the external forces Pan-Turkism became a quite suitable leverage against communism and the Soviet regime. Having been defeated in the WWI and having sustained extensive territorial losses, Turkey viewed Pan-Turkism as an opportunity to revive its erstwhile grandeur. In order to exploit this opportunity Turkey needed an “ethnic” border with Turkic peoples of Transcaucasia and Iran. In this context the Armenian question was a major obstacle, as the great powers of the time were not interested in detaching the historically Armenian lands from Turkey. For this very reason the provisions of the Treaty of Sèvres and the US President’s arbitrating decision that conferred large portions of Van, Bitlis, Erzurum and Trebizond vilayets remained on paper. The great European powers (France, Great Britain and Italy) not only failed to

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effectuate those, but even opposed to Armenia’s admission to the League of Nations, stating that had Armenia been admitted to the League, they could have not guaranteed the borders as required by the famous Article X of the Covenant. As a result of this policy the Soviets and Kemalists simply crushed Armenia in a joint effort and divided it between themselves. As for the fate of the Western Armenians, at the Conference of London in 1921 the Allies still talked about establishing a “nationalhome” at the eastern border of Turkey, but at the Paris Conference in 1922 the location of such home at the eastern border was already absent, and at Lausanne Conference the great powers dropped the idea of Armenian home altogether. Hence, the larger portion of the Armenian Highland, a strategically important area in Western Asia, ended up in the hands of Turks whom the Allies intended to use against the Bolsheviks. Thus, Pan-Turkism was perceived as one of the political and ideological forefronts of struggle against Bolshevism. The Soviet Union and the Ideology of Pan-Turkism The Bolsheviks did not let the grass grow under their feet either. If the Turks planned to use the newly created Azerbaijan for attaining PanTurkist goals, the Bolsheviks saw Azerbaijan as a good opportunity to disseminate Bolshevism in Iran and the whole Middle East. It has to be noted that Bolsheviks did not arrive at this conclusion immediately, and this was reflected on the approaches of the Azerbaijan’s Bolsheviks. For instance, foreseeing the imminent Sovietization and trying to determine the political future of this newly created state, they decided to join the Soviet Russia in the form of Baku and Elisabethpol Governor ates, as it used to be in the times of the Russian Empire. Meanwhile, the Armenian and Georgian communists chose to form Soviet states of Armenia and Georgia. The Centre initially did not have any objections to such scenario. Incidentally, this showed how artificial Azerbaijan was as a state and that the name had not struck root during the 1.5 years of the state’s existence. A major role in creating Soviet Azerbaijan was played by Anastas Mikoyan,

40

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who convinced Ordzhonikidze and Stalin that specifically this approach was appropriate, and through them eventually persuaded Lenin, too11. After the Sovietization and establishment of Azerbaijani SSR, this republic was turned into an outpost for spreading Bolshevism in the Middle East12. Virtually all Bolshevik leaders talked about this. Baku was chosen as the venue for the Congress of the Peoples of the East, representatives of various subjugated countries and peoples of the East were trained there, etc. Against this backdrop a key foreign policy role was reserved for Azerbaijan and this formation was supposed to become an exemplary model of a Muslim socialist state for the colonial countries. In addition, by the time of the creation of the USSR, Azerbaijan was the only Muslim Soviet republic and because of this Moscow satisfied virtually all its demands, especially in terms of territorial claims. A number of historically Armenian lands (Artsakh (Karabakh), Nakhijevan, Utik), some Georgian lands and part of Dagestan (Quba uyezd, Zaqatala district, etc.) were given away to Azerbaijan. However, initially the Soviet authorities conducted a very interesting policy. For example, the ethnic diversity and national self- consciousness were supported in Azerbaijan in every possible way13. For one thing, every ethnic group was entitled to using own language in paperwork at the local and republican state institutions. Moreover, two Armenian autonomous state entities were established in Azerbaijan: Nakhichevan ASSR and Nagorno-Karabakh AO. 11

12

13

See for details e.g.: ПААФ ИМЛ, ф.1, оп.48, ед.хр.265а, л.5; ПААФ ИМЛ, коп.фонд. д. 164, л.248; Мико- ян А., «Бакинское подполье при английской оккупации (1919 год)», журнал «Юность», N10, 1968, с.87; Киров С., Статьи, речи, документы, т.1, Москва, 1936, с.144; Орджоникидзе З., Путь большевика, Мо-сква, 1967, с.267; Гулиев Дж., Борьба коммунистической партии за осуществление ленинской нацио-нальной политики в Азербайджане, Азербайджанское государственное издательство, Баку,1970,сс.278-290; Борьба за победу Сосветкой власти в Азербайджане 1918-1920 гг., Документы и материалы, Баку, 1967, с.138. Ленин В., Полное собрание сочинений, т.51, Издательство политической литературы, Москва, 1970, с.227; Первый съезд народов Востока. Стенографические отчеты, Петроград, 1920, с.8; ПААФ ИМЛ, ф.7, оп.1, ед.хр.5, л.3. See: Собрание узаконений и распоряжений рабоче-крестьянского правительства Азербайданской ССР, Баку, N1, 1920, с.5; Собрание узаконений и распоряжений рабочекрестьянского правительства Азербайданской ССР, Баку, N2, 1921, сс.24-25; Резолюции 2-го съезда АКП(б), Баку, 1920, с.6; Орджо- никидзе Г., Статьи и речи,

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Of course, presently the Azerbaijani authorities and historians attempt to deny the Armenian origins of Nakhichevan (Nakhijevan) ASSR, but its state symbols, particularly the coat of arms and flag, bear evidence that this was an Armenian entity. As it is known, the coats of arms and flags of the former USSR’s autonomous republics were identical to those of the Union-level republics that they were incorporated in. The only difference was that in addition to inscriptions in the Union-level republic’s language, there were also writings in the language of the main ethnic group of the given autonomous republic. Article 112 of the Nakhichevan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic Constitution adopted on September 18, 1937 by the 10th Extraordinary Congress of the Nakhichevan ASSR Soviets contained the following description of this autonomous entity’s flag: “The state flag of the Nakhichevan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic is that of the Azerbaijani SSR, comprised of red field with gold hammer and sickle on the upper hoist left canton and inscription in Azerbaijani and Armenian languages “AzSSR”, with an additional smaller writing “Nakichevan ASSR” in Azerbaijani and Armenian languages underneath the “AzSSR”14. The flag of Nakhichevan ASSR before 1937

14

42

See: «Нахичевань», Russian Centre of Vexillology and Heraldry, http://www.vexillographia. ru/azerbaij/nahic.htm.

DAVID BABAYAN


EURODIALOGUE Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies

Similarly, Article 111 of the Nakhichevan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic Constitution adopted on September 18, 1937 by the 10th Extraordinary Congress of the Nakhichevan ASSR Soviets (approved on April 7, 1941 by the VI Session of the Azerbaijan SSR Supreme Soviet) contained the following description: “The coat of arms of the Nakhichevan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic is that of the Azerbaijani SSR, featuring the hammer and sickle and a drilling rig on a background of sunrise, rimmed with cotton and wheat, with inscriptions in Azerbaijani and Armenian languages ‘Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic’, ‘Workers of the world, unite!’ and ‘Na- khichevan ASSR.’ A five-pointed star sits at the top of the emblem”15. At the same time during the first years the Soviet government supported the Pan-Turkic unity of the Turkic peoples living in the USSR. For example, this unity was manifested in the cultural and linguistic aspect, again vividly displayed on the state symbols of the Soviet Union. According to the Article 11 of the 1924 Constitution of the USSR, the State Emblem of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was composed of a sickle and a hammer on a globe depicted in the rays of the sun and rimmed with ears of wheat, with the inscription “Proletariat of the world, unite!” in six languages (mentioned in the Article 34). There was a five-pointed star atop the Emblem. The six languages used for the motto were Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Georgian, Armenian, and Turko-Tatar (in Arabic script). After creation of Tajik SSR a seventh ribbon was added with inscription in Tajik language, the writing system of which was changed to Latin alphabet by that time. This was not the only modification. The March 17, 1931 Resolution of the 6th Congress of Soviets of the USSR on the Report Regarding Constitutional Issues introduced very interesting amendments in the USSR Constitution, as fol- lows: “In Article 70 of the Constitution of the USSR replace the words “inscribed in six languages” by “inscribed in languages commonly used in the Union-level republics.” 15

See for example: «Нахичеванская автономная республика», http://www.heraldicum. ru/azerbaij/index.htm; Поцелуев В., Гербы Союза ССР: Из истории разработки, Издательство политической литературы, Москва, 1987.

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The same resolution changed the list of the languages commonly used in the Union-level republics, which was given in Article 34 of the USSR Constitution (Fundamental Law). Now it included “Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Georgian, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Uzbek, Turkmen and Tajik (Farsi)”. Azerbaijani, Uzbek and Turkmen languages were represented on a single ribbon with an inscription on Turkic (Turko-Tatar) language in Arabic script. The motto in Russian moved to the central portion of the ribbon16. Later on, the Arabic script of Turko-Tatar language was changed to Latin alphabet. The emerging dilemma between the support and shattering of Turkic solidarity is clearly manifested here. First, new names of separate Turkic languages appeared: Azerbaijani, Uzbek and Turkmen. Yet in representing these peoples on the state emblem of the USSR they all remained part of the single Turko-Tatar mass. So what was the reason for such policy of the Soviet state? The system of checks and balances in the context of the Pan-Turkism ideology is clearly exhibited in this case. As paradoxical as it may seem, the Soviet Union was a proponent of Pan-Turkist ideology from 1920s to early 1930s. However, the Soviet Pan-Turkism was different from the “classical” one by its ideological focus. It was a Communist Pan-Turkism of sorts. The majority of Turkic peoples and their “historical, ancestral home” “Turan” were part of the USSR. Moreover, through proliferation of the “World Revolution” the Soviet Union could in principle incorporate all Turkic peoples and thus materialize the Pan-Turkist dreams about creating a single state. Such state would not be Turkic alone, but would not be national either. This would allow Turkic peoples develop using not only their own resources, but also the resources and potential of other peoples. Eventually they could grow strong enough to secede from this country in future.

16

44

For more details on the state emblem of the USSR, Union-level and Autonomous republics see e.g.: Сборник законов СССР 1938-1967, Москва, изд. «Известия», 1968; Поцелуев В., Гербы Союза ССР: Из истории разработки, указ. соч.; Болотина C., «Как создавался наш герб», Наука и жизнь, N11, 1983.

DAVID BABAYAN


EURODIALOGUE Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies

At the same time, the Soviet strategists apparently felt that it would not be possible to rapidly fulfil the main dreams and ideas of Bolshevism, such as non-violent extirpation of nationalism, instilling the ideas of communism, etc., and they began introducing a system of checks and balances among which the most effective one appeared to be division of the Turkic masses in different ethnicities and administrative units. The further global geopolitical trends turned this scenario into the most suitable and in some sense the only possible alternative. In the global power struggle Pan-Turkism was again ascribed an important role as one of the effective instruments against the USSR. Many countries promoted the idea of Pan-Turkism, primarily in the context of struggle against the USSR. For instance, in 1920s Japan was one of its main proponents. In this period Tokyo actively developed plans for establishing a “Turan Empire” under auspices of Japan, which would in- corporate Xinjiang, Mongolia, Middle Asia and Kazakhstan. In addition to the Turan Society founded by the Japanese in 1918, a school was opened to prepare Uyghur national personnel, a special magazine was issued about Xinjiang, and an Ottoman Dynasty offspring Abdul Kerim then residing in Tokyo was groomed for the throne17. It was not for nothing that after the end of the World War I the Chinese authorities imposed a strict ban on import of religious literature to Xinjiang from abroad, which had been brought before from Tashkent, Kazan and Turkey18. The first half of 1930s was marked by a new active phase in materialization of Pan-Turkist ideas. On November 12, 1933 the Turkish Islamic Republic of East Turkestan (TIRET) was proclaimed, also known as East Turkestan Islamic Republic. Kashgar became the capital of this formation. Turkey played an instrumental role in creation of this state. Leaders of this republic, Sabit Damulla and Muhammad Bughra used to covertly send their 17 18

Петров В., Мятежное сердце Азии. Синьцзян: краткая история народных движений и воспоминания, Москва, Крафт+, 2003, с. 345. See: Жизнь национальностей, N14, 1922, с. 2.

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envoys to Turkey in early 1933, whereas a group of political, military and other experts travelled from Ankara to Kashgar. There were some politicians among them, such as Mustafa Kentli, Ali Bey and Harbiyaddin Mahmud. Some Uyghur scientists and researchers contend that the Turkish emissaries wielded serious influence on organization and naming of this state19. The leaders of Turkish Islamic Republic of East Turkestan believed that the Kemalist government of Turkey would take steps in the international arena to protect the fledgling state from external aggression and at the same time anticipated substantial military and economic assistance from it. However, emergence of an independent state with Pan-Turkism and Pan-Islamism as underlying ideologies was obviously perceived in a negative light not only by China, but also the USSR. TIRET was eventually abolished owing mainly to the interference of the USSR. This issue became even a higher priority when the Nazis swept to power in 1933, making it obvious that a new world war was imminent. The scenario of 1918, when Pan-Turkist plans had been fully underway, could possibly recur. It is a widely known fact that both Germany and Turkey really intended to employ Pan-Turkism again. For example, on November 24, 1941, officials of the German embassy in Turkey sent a message to Berlin regarding the efforts made by Azerbaijani Turks for liberation of Caucasus from the Soviet rule, and in this case Turkey would become the actual master of the region20. Some documents of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs concerning the activities of the Musavatist émigrés during the World War II are especially interesting. For instance, Von Papen, German ambassador to Turkey, in a letter dated August 5, 1941 reported to the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs that: “Considering the German successes in Russia, Turkish government circles were showing increasing interest in the fate of their kins- men across the Turkish-Russian border, particularly the Azerbaijan Turks.” He then continued: 19 20

46

Хожамберди Кахарман, Уйгуры. Этнополитическая история с древнейших времен до наших дней,указ. соч., с.342. «Руководитель азербайджанских тюрков об освобождении Кавказа», transl. from German, Copy, German Embassy in Ankara, document No.А6032, November 24, 1941, http://9may. ru/unsecret/m10011709.

DAVID BABAYAN


EURODIALOGUE Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies

“These circles recollect 1918 events: their wish is to annex the above area, especially the rich Baku oil fields”21. Under these circumstances the USSR launched large-scale ethnopolitical projects at the Turkic “front line.” New Turkic state entities popped up. The total number of Turkic Union-level republics increased to five: Turkmenistan,Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. The Russian SFSR also incorporated Turkic autonomous entities: Tatarstan, Bashkiria, Chuvashia and Yakutia (the last two ones are Turkic Christians). To counter Pan-Turkism in Caucasus, the Soviet authorities “diluted” the Turkic masses in a number of administrative units, among which were Dagestan, Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay- Cherkessia. Naturally, creation of the new administrative/territorial units was not an end in itself. The peoples who acquired their Union- level and autonomous republics entered a qualitatively new stage of nation building: rethinking of history, new impetus to cultural development and other things ensued. Thus the Soviet Union shattered both the unity of Turkic masses and their Islamic solidarity, as previously unseen political, economic, ethnocultural and other serious antagonisms often appeared among the various Muslim peoples that found them- selves in one administrative/territorial unit. Such antagonisms still exist in all above-mentioned former Soviet Union and autonomous republics. After establishment of the new Union-level republics, relevant changes were introduced in the state emblem of the country. In the Constitution of the USSR approved by the 8th Extraordinary Congress of Soviets of the USSR on December 5, 1936, the number of ribbons on the coat of arms increased to 11 and it took the pattern commonly known thereafter.

21

Документы министерства иностранных дел Германии. Выпуск II. Германская политика в Турции (1941-1943 гг.), Москва, Огиз, Политиздат, 1946, с.34.

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The role and place of Azerbaijan in the context of the global panturkism geopolitics The Geopolitical “Imperatives” for Creation of “Azerbaijani People” The shifts in international situation occurring in 1930s and related changes in the USSR’s tactics and strategy with regards to Pan-Turkism somewhat peculiarly reflected on Azerbaijan. The Soviet Union utilized an exceptional approach in this case by developing and implementing a historically unprecedented project of creating a new people made of various ethnonational groups. It has to be noted that the Soviet state has conducted similar experiments before, again on Turkic peoples. For instance, in Central Asia formation of the Uzbek nation was given a thrust, which encompassed also Sarts22, a rather populous settled group that was a symbiosis of Turkic and Iranian ethnicities. In 1921 a conference of united Uyghur intelligentsia of Turkeys-tan ASSR and Xinjiang was organized in Tashkent by the initiative of Abdulla Rozybakiyev, a statesman, public figure, educator and publicist, as well as with active participation of Sergey Malov, a Turkic studies expert. In this conference a decision was made on officially restoring the “Uyghur” self-designation as an ethnic-wide naming23. In 1923 an extraordinary session of the RCP(b) Central Committee Bureau for Central Asia adopted a special resolution on “Uyghur” ethnonym. It also has to be mentioned that till 1930s the national identities of Xinjiang Muslims were manifested in quite a peculiar manner. Academician Aziz Narynbekov, a renowned Central Asian philosopher, wrote about Xinjiang of that period: “The locals had a vague idea about belonging to a single nation. When asked about their ethnicity many of them would answer: Kashgarian, Hotani, Yarkandi, Kuqarian, etc., i.e. they would

22

23

48

For more details on Sarts and their merger with Uzbeks see for example: Бартольд В., «О преподавании тузем- ных наречий», газета «Окраина», N19, 1894; Бартольд В., Сочинения. том. II, часть 2, Mосква, 1964, сс.303- 305; Bregel Y., “The Sarts in the Khanate of Khiva”, Journal of Asian History, Vol.12, N2, 1978; Ильхамов А Хожамберди Кахарман, Уйгуры. Этнополитическая история с древнейших времен до наших дней, указ. соч., с.354

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EURODIALOGUE Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies

name the place they were from”24. In this situation Pan- Turkists were very active to avail themselves of such opportunity and turn the location -based system of identities into a supranational system of Pan-Turkism. One of the already mentioned Pan-Turkist leaders, Muhammad Bughra used to say: “Our motherland is Turkestan, our ethnicity is Turkic, and our religion is Islam.”25 However, Azerbaijan’s case was a lot more complicated. The main reason for this was the ethic specificity of this state unit. Azerbaijan was the only republic of the Soviet Union the name of which did not derive from the name of an ethnic group. For example, Armenia is a derivative from Armenians, Ukraine – from Ukrainians, etc. Unlike the other Soviet republics, “Azerbaijan” was inhabited by ethnic groups of Turkic, Caucasian, Iranian origin, as well as by Armenians, Georgians, Russians and Jews. About 55 percent of population was Turkic-speaking peoples combined under a common name “Turks of the Soviet Azerbaijan.” Interestingly enough, in the census data of 1920s the Turkic population of Persia who lived in Azerbaijan is even mentioned as a separate ethnic group: Turkic population of Persia26. The Soviet authorities acted quite decisively and quickly. In 1936 all Muslim peoples of Azerbaijan SSR were united in a single people called “Azerbaijani”27. The logic was rather simple. The new nation not only unified the Turkic and indigenous Caucasian and Iranian peoples, but also became the “successor” of the rich cultural, historical and sociopolitical heritage of the peoples who lived and continue to live in the region. Many ethnicities officially disappeared in Azerbaijan SSR, including the native Tats, newcomer Kurds, a number of other Iranian and Dagestan peoples. 24 25 26 27

See: Нарынбаев Азиз, Избранные произведения, Бишкек, 2004, с.513 Хожамберди Кахарман, Уйгуры. Этнополитическая история с древнейших времен до наших дней, указ. соч., с.343. For example, see: Большая советская энциклопедия, том 1, раздел «Азерб. ССР», Акционерное общест- во «Советская энциклопедия», Москва, 1926, с.641. See: Алекперов А., Исследования по археологии и этнографии Азербайджана, Издательство Акаде-мии наук Азербайджанской ССР, Баку, 1960, с.71.

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The number of Talyshis, Lezgins and people of some other ethnic groups drastically diminished. The case of “Meskhetian Turks” is especially remarkable. As stated earlier, in 1920-1930 censuses they were mentioned as Turkic. Later Turkish schools were opened in the regions where they lived, and subsequently those became Azerbaijani Turkic schools28, and this ethnicity was deemed part of the newly created “Azerbaijani” people29. However, the further events showed that it was impossible to incorporate this segment of the Turkic mass in the new “Azerbaijani” ethnicity and in 1944 they were deported having been charged with treason, i.e. due to concerns about Pan-Turkism. The new name and identity did not stick to the Turks from Meskheti and in exile they began to solidify as a new ethnic group “Meskhetians”, and in 1950-60s they started to officially refer to themselves as “Meskhetian Turks”30. After the official establishment of the “Azerbaijani nation”, Moscow promoted their unity and supported instilling the new “Azerbaijani” identity in every possible way. The one-time tolerance to ethnic minorities disappeared and any disobedience was brutally punished. The Armenian Factor in the Process of Shaping the Azerbaijani People and in Restraining Pan-Turkism The Armenian factor had a special significance in “shaping” the new “Azerbaijani people”. Unlike other peoples compactly residing in Azerbaijan SSR, Armenians could not become part of the newly created Azerbaijani people. First, Armenians are Christians, and second, Armenian people have millenniums-long history of statehood. Unlike the Muslim peoples who at least had a common religion that although 28 29 30

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«Турки-месхетинцы», Энциклопедия Народы России, Москва, Научное издательство «Большая Рос-сийская Энциклопедия», 1994, сс.342-344. “Meskhetians” in Minahan James, Encyclopedia of the Stateless Nations, Vol.3, Greenwood Press, West- port, Connecticut, London, 2002, p.1239 Meskhetians in Minahan James, Encyclopedia of the Stateless Nations, Vol.3, указ.соч., с.1237, 1240

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inwardly, but still played an important role, there was no way Armenians could be incorporated in a new ethnicity. The Soviet state developed a twofold approach to the Armenian factor. In the context of shaping a new, Azerbaijani people, the Armenian factor was both a serious barrier and a leverage to effectively control the planned processes. The barrier was that there were two Armenian administrative/territorial units in Azerbaijan SSR: Nakhichevan ASSR and Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast, both of which at that time had common borders with Armenian SSR31. Moreover, there was dense ethnic Armenian population in Northern Artsakh and other regions of Azerbaijan SSR and thus quite a delicate situation arose for this newly established nation. It turned out that virtually the whole western part of the republic was not a natural part of the ethno-cultural area of this “newly created ethnicity” that was supposed to gain “autochthony” on the whole territory of their republic. Considering that these territories have always been the organic part of the Armenian Motherland - ethnic, political and cultural space and played a crucial role in the history of the Armenian nation, a real risk of discontent of both the Armenian population forcibly incorporated in Azerbaijan SSR and the newly created “Azerbaijani population”. Under these circumstances, out their own geopolitical considerations the Bolsheviks preferred the option to “legitimize” Azerbaijani autochthony, which resulted in a powerful blow to the Armenian people and statehood in Nakhijevan. The main course was the consistent destruction of Armenian statehood in Nakhijevan. By the end of 1938 or according to other information, late July of 1939, changes were introduced in state symbols (coat of arms and flag) of Nakhichevan ASSR. Inscriptions in Armenian language were removed leaving only those in Azerbaijani, and later inscriptions in Russian were added32. 31 32

See for example the maps in sections «Азерб. ССР» and «Арм. ССР» in Большой советской энциклопе- дии 1926 года издания, том 1 и том 3, указ. док. «Нахичевань», Russian Centre of Vexillology and Heraldry, http://www.vexillographia.ru/ azerbaij/ nahic.htm, указ.док; «Нахичеванская автономная республика», http://www.heraldicum.ru/azerbaij/index.htm, указ.док.

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Naturally, relevant changes were also introduced in the Constitution of Nakhiche-van ASSR. As it is known, subsequently a “white genocide” was carried out in Nakhijevan resulting in total depopulation of Armenians in the region. Even now, after not a single Armenian is left in Nakhichevan, the Azeri authorities continue the policy of genocide, this time against the Armenian cultural heritage, barbarically destroying churches, khachkars and other monuments. The stance of Soviet authorities in Nakhijevan actually brings ore questions than answers. For example, in 1930s Turkey actively took steps for having a common border with Nakhijevan. In 1932 and 1937 Turkey and Iran signed two treaties by which Turkey ceded a number of territories to Iran and instead gained a common border with Nakhijevan33. This political move clearly demonstrated Turkey’s intentions. Despite this the USSR carried out total and rapid Turkification of Nakhijevan instead of maintaining the bi-ethnic composition in order to support the leverage for directing Azerbaijan in the needed geopolitical course. It is difficult to explain this decision. This was not the best mechanism to appease Turkey, especially given that Turkey’s potential involvement in war hardly depended on that. A casus belli could have been found without that. On the other hand, Iran exchanged the territories based on a deep geopolitical analysis. Before the border change Turkey had no political and demographic boundary with the Turkic masses of Transcaucasia, and the only bridge demographically connecting Turkey with Turkic masses in Transcaucasia and Central Asia was Iran. This circumstance made Iran the main target of Pan-Turkism and was a reason for concerns for this country. Thus an effective solution was found in affording Turkey an access to Nakhijevan and hence opening an alternative path. This was a very attractive solution for Turkey, which was separated from 33

52

See: International Boundary Study, Iran – Turkey Boundary, The Geographer Office of the Geographer Bureau of Intelligence and Research, US Department of State, N28, February 3, 1964, pp.6,7

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Azerbaijan only by a narrow strip of Armenian territory. Even if this barrier would have not been effectively removed in the political terms given the international character of the Soviet state and its evident support to creation of Azerbaijani ethnicity, yet in the demographic dimension having a common border was quite realistic. A trans- formation to a political dimension could have been only a matter of time. In this perspective the words of Ataturk are pertinent, as he said in 1933 that the Soviet empire will collapse and fraternal Azerbaijan will become free34. Artsakh (NK) resisted Azerbaijan’s encroachments for seven decades. Azerbaijan used the most sophisticated methods of struggle against Artsakh Armenians, anything from economic and demographic pressure to hydro-terrorism35. During the whole period of Azerbaijan’s rule over Karabakh 85 Armenian villages (about 30%) disappeared, but none of the Azeri ones did. Between the population censuses of 1970 and 1979 the Armenian population in NKAO increased by 1.7% (2,000 people), whereas the Azerbaijani population grew by 37% (10,000 people). Discriminatory policies particularly gained momentum after Heydar Aliyev was brought to power. Ramil Usubov, Azerbaijan’s Minister of Internal Affairs, presented Aliyev’s policies in Nagorno-Karabakh in the following manner: “It can be stated without any exaggeration that Azerbaijanis of Karabakh started to feel themselves masters of the region only after Heydar Aliyev’s rise to power in Azerbaijan. A lot of work was done in 1970s. This created favorable conditions for an inflow of Azerbaijani population to Nagorno-Karabakh from neighbouring regions: La-chin, Agdam, Jebrail, Fizuli, Agjabedi, and others. All these measures taken thanks to the far-sighted policy of Azerbaijan’s First Secretary of CP CC helped strengthen increase the inflow of Azerbaijanis”36.

34

35 36

See for example: «Посольство Турции: Турция, сближаясь с Арменией, хочет ускорить развязку кара- бахского конфликта», http://www.aze.az/news_posolstvo_turcii_turciya_27331.html, 6 ноября 2009 See in particular: Бабаян Д., Проблема воды в контексте урегулирования нагорнокарабахского кон-фликта, Степанакерт, «Дизак Плюс», 2007 Усубов Рамиль, «Нагорный Карабах, миссия спасения начиналась в 70-е годы», «Панорама», 12 мая 1999

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Aliyev himself characterized the strategic objectives that he pursued in Nagorno-Karabakh at the time of being the communist leader of Azerbaijan: “When I governed Azerbaijan… we paid much attention to Karabakh. Some amateurs used to blame me for that. I did that because firstly, it was necessary to populate Nagorno-Karabakh with Azerbaijanis, and secondly, we could not let the Armenian raise the issue”37. It is well known what all of this ended up with. The dissolution of the USSR gave a new thrust to Pan-Turkism. A new wave of Pan-Turkism swept through both Turkey and Azerbaijan. Immediately after the Belavezha Accords Turgut Ozal, Prime Minister of Turkey, issued the slogan “Great Turkestan from Mediterranean to Great Wall of China” (of course, under auspices of Ankara). It was supported by other Turkish politicians such as S. Demirel, B. Ecevit, N. Erbakan, etc. They all agreed on the idea of creating “Great Turan”, or “Turanian Belt”, i.e. a geopolitical alliance of Turkic peoples under patronage of Turkey38. Suleyman Demirel, then president of Turkey, addressed the Azerbaijani people during the grand opening of Baku airport in October 1999 with the following words: “Your sorrow is our sorrow. If you get pricked by a needle we would feel a prick of awl”39. During his official visit to Moldova in 1994, he declared: “Turkey creates a strip of peace around it throughout Balkans, Black Sea, Caucasus and Middle East”40. The Azerbaijani leaders did not lag behind their Turkish colleagues in this matter. After the Popular Front led by Abulfaz Elchibey came to power in 1992, the new elite adopted an openly pro-Turkish stance. Turkish was declared the state language, the Cyrillic script was changed to Latin alphabet, and the Turkish generals began building the Azerbaijani army. Heydar Aliyev’s second rise to power in 1993 hardly changed anything in the orientation of the political elite. Aliyev took the course of pro-Turkish self-determination for the Azerbaijani people. The slogan “One nation, 37 38 39 40

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Azerbaijan’s Milli Mejlis session on Nagorno-Karabakh regulation, First Channel of the Azerbaijani television AzTV1, February 23, 2001. Ульченко Н., Турция – история и современность, Москва, 2002, p. 21 Istanbul Milliyet (Ankara Edition) in Turkish, October 19, 1999 Московские новости, N23, 5-12 июня 1994 года

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EURODIALOGUE Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies

two states” became especially popular. In 1997 alone, the President of Azerbaijan Aliyev was awarded 19 high decorations of Turkey241. As his predecessor, Aliyev relied primarily on Turkish generals in creating the Azerbaijani army. For instance, Turkish brigadier general Yasar Demirbulak, who used to be Elchibey’s adviser, was asked by Ali- yev to build the Azerbaijani army. Demirbulak also became a member of Azerbaijan’s Security Council42. Ilham Aliyev too chose Pan-Turkism as the main foreign policy doctrine for Azerbaijan. Many of his speeches and expressions come to prove this. In his speech at the ceremony to UN veil the monument to the founder of the Republic of Turkey Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Ilham Aliyev said: “It has so happened that at certain stages in history we were separated from each other. However, although Azerbaijan has been independent for only about 20 years, our hearts and souls were always together in previous years as well. Our relations of friendship and brotherhood are not be undermined by any political structure or initiatives. It is not by chance that fraternal Turkey was the first country to recognize Azerbaijan’s state independence. Since then we have been together at all times and worked together in all directions… We must do our best to continue to be together in the future, too. This is what the great leaders of the Turkic world wanted us to do”43. However, admittedly the idea of Pan-Turkism did not gain the expected support among most of the Turkic-speaking peoples of ex-USSR, especially those in Central Asia. These countries do not like the role of younger brothers assigned to them by Ankara. Although in recent years Ankara somewhat changed the rhetoric and began presenting itself as an equal, rather than senior among the Turkic nations, no considerable results have been observed. This is a clear indication that the given idea can materialize only in case of an external support. As of today Turkey is able to do it 41 42 43

See: «Бакинский Рабочий», 8 сентября 1998, p.3 Sapmaz Ifran, “Aliev is Having a Turkish General Establish an Army,” Hurriet, October 13, 1993, p.13 «Речь Президента Ильхама Алиева на церемонии открытия памятника основателю Турецкой Респуб- лики Мустафе Кемалю Ататюрку», http://ru.president.az/articles/55/ print, 17 мая 2010

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alone neither economically, nor ideologically, nor militarily. Moreover, Turkic-speaking countries of Central Asia are independent and have rich natural resources, so they often challenge Turkey’s primacy in the Turkic world and even compete with it. Such position was often demonstrated by Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. For example, one of the streets in Tashkent, Uzbekistan was renamed after Ataturk. Now this street is called Zarafshan, which according to the official explanation was brought in line with the name of a nearby complex44. Apparently this was a purely political move that fits well in the above mentioned concept. Pan-Turkism is more popular among Turkic peoples that strive for independence, as well as in Azerbaijan. In case of Azerbaijan this is related to a number of factors, the most important one of which is that the process of the new Azerbaijani nation building has not completed yet. Despite assimilation of entire peoples, there are still ethnic minorities in Azerbaijan who reside compactly and preserve their national identities. These include Caucasian-speaking Lezgins and Avars in the north of Azerbaijan, near the border with Dagestan, as well as Iranian-speaking Talyshis in southern part of Azerbaijan near the Iranian border. These ethnicities occupy about 22 percent of the total territory of Azerbaijan, and their number amounts to one-quarter of the country’s population. Azerbaijan is constantly under threat of self-determination of these peoples, which may potentially lead to disintegration of the state. In the 20th century Talyshis twice proclaimed independence, in 1919 and 1993. In September 1991 Lezgins announced about establishment of united Lezgistan. However, these attempts were not successful. Talyshis were able to preserve their state only for a few months, and the Lezgins’ decision remained on paper. Nevertheless, these facts are not enough to comprehend the true ethnopolitical situation in Azerbaijan. The ethnic minorities continue the struggle for recognition of their rights. For example, Talyshis periodically appeal to various countries and the 44

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«В столице Узбекистана переименовали улицу Ататюрка», http://www.regnum.ru/ news/fd-abroad/1406283.html, 19 мая 2011.

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EURODIALOGUE Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies

international community as a whole, inviting the attention of reputable organizations to the constant pressure from Azerbaijanis. In 2008 they appealed to the European countries45, and in 2009 – to the international community46. Other ethnic minorities have made such appeals, too. In 2008 Avars appealed to the President of Dagestan with a request to protect them from forcible Azerbaijanization carried out by the authorities in Baku47. These are the reasons why racist statements about ethnic minorities can often be heard in Azerbaijan. In this regard it is worth citing the statements of Isfendiyar Vahabzadeh, which he made during his tenure as Azerbaijan’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations Office in Geneva. He explained that the reason for various problems official Baku had to face in the international arena was that “non- genuine” Azerbaijanis have penetrated into the national diplomacy. In an official letter written in summer 2001 to Murtuz Aleskerov, Speaker of the National Assembly of Azerbaijan, Mr. Vahabzade stated that among the Azerbaijani diplomats there are many individuals who have foreign blood in their veins. Vahabzade believed it was unacceptable, because the diplomats whose mothers are Armenians, Jews, Russians, not to mention the smaller ethnicities, cannot decently and loyally serve Azerbaijan in foreign countries48. These are the words of Vahab- zade, who is a representative of not only political elite, but in some sense also of intellectual elite, since he is the son of Bakhtiyar Vahab- zade, People’s Poet of Azerbaijan. Incompleteness of the Azerbaijani ethnicity formation process is also reflected on the regulation of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict. Azerbaijanis perceive Nagorno-Karabakh as a major threat to the very existence of their state. Azerbaijan cannot recognize the independence of 45 46

47

48

«Европа, ты должна услышать наш правый голос!», http://tolishpress.org/news/364.html «Заявление Талышского национального движения, адресованное всем международным организаци- ям, всем правозащитным организациям и правозащитникам мира», http:// tolishpress.org/news/671.html,15 апреля 2009 «Аварцы Азербайджана просят президента Дагестана защитить их от азербайджанизации», http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/newstext/news/id/1223420.html, 18 июня 2008 See for example: Усейнов Ариф, «Чужая кровь», Время МН, Баку, 5 июня 2001 года; Аббасов Ш., «Отозван поспред Азербайджана в ООН Эльдар Гусейнов», интернет-газета «Эхо» от 5 июня 2001 года

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Nagorno-Karabakh because the other ethnic groups may follow the suit. Azerbaijan would not grant autonomy to Karabakh either, even though it is absolutely unacceptable for the Republic of Artsakh and the Republic of Armenia. Incidentally, the military and political balance established and maintained between Azerbaijan and Artsakh is in interests of the global actors. It is known that Transcaucasia is of great importance both for the West and Russia, as well as for Iran. This region is the only access point for the West to Central Asia circumventing Russia and Iran. Transcaucasia also borders North Caucasus and north-western part of Iran. These regions are ethnopolitically vulnerable both for Russian Federation and Iran, and any serious instability there may result in unpredictable consequences. Considering the existence of a number of quite populous ethnic groups living in the region, as well as in North Caucasus and northwestern Iran, instability in Transcaucasia may easily proliferate to the neighbouring countries. Therefore, maintaining stability in Transcaucasia is a critical imperative both for Russia and Iran. Support of the existing balance of powers in the region appears to be the most effective mechanism for maintaining actual stability, in the perspective of both the influence of great powers and interrelations of the regional states, including in the zone of Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict. The military, political and territorial balance established since the May 1994 between Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Republic of Azerbaijan is one of the components in maintaining the geopolitical neutrality in eastern Caucasus between the Republic of Armenia and Nagorno- Karabakh Republic on one hand and Azerbaijan on the other hand. If this established configuration changes, a totally different situation may arise in Transcaucasia, leading to high degree of instability and unpredictability. Actually, a change of this configuration, i.e. simply return to the 1988 situation when Nagorno-Karabakh was an enclave surrounded by Azerbaijan, will virtually eliminate the significance of not only Nagorno- Karabakh Republic, but also the Republic of Armenia and thus the dominance in eastern Transcaucasia would pass to Azerbaijan, which

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is geopolitically too ambitious of a state. These ambitions are manifested particularly, in propaganda of Pan-Turkism, in turn reflected in claims on the northwestern Iran regions populated by Turkic-speaking ethnic groups. The political elite of Azerbaijan frequently touches upon this topic. For instance, in September 2008 Gudrat Hasanguliyev, leader of the Whole Azerbaijan Popular Front Party and presidential candidate, proposed in his electoral program to change the name of the country from “Azerbaijan” to “North Azerbaijan.” In his words, changing the name would mean that North implies existence of also South49.Clearly, if the balance in the zone of Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict breaks down, then Azerbaijan will dangerously veer in one geopolitical direction or another, which may bring instability inside the state, particularly among the already mentioned Lezgins, Avars and Talyshis. The first two are major ethnic groups in Dagestan, i.e. any serious problems with Lezgins and Avars in Azerbaijan may agitate their fellow people in Dagestan, which is fraught with Russia’s direct involvement in these processes. The same applies to Talyshis. About 2.5-3 million Talyshis live in Iran, and they are not indifferent to the fate of their fellow people living in Azerbaijan who are under a constant pressure of Baku. Evidently, the Talyshi factor may lead to a direct involvement of Iran. Immediate involvement of such powers as Russia and Iran would bring about a totally different situation with unpredictable effects. Considering this, support of the existing military and political balance in the zone of Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict is the most effective guarantee for maintaining the geopolitical balance and neutrality in eastern Transcaucasia. The USA’s interests are almost the same. In this phase Washington needs stability in Caucasus, especially in the milieu of the Iranian vector’s growing importance in the American politics. As noted above, since the collapse of the Soviet Union the West always saw Transcaucasia as a pathway to Central Asia that circumvents Russia and Iran. However, 49

Сенджаплы Тамилла, «Гудрат Гасангулиев: «Азербайджан должен изменить название», http://www.day.az/news/politics/130533.html, 15 сентября 2008.

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this corridor is too vulnerable and cannot be the only reliable access way to the Central Asian region. Therefore, the West needs a more reliable route. Only Iran can serve this purpose, and if the USA could bring Iran in its sphere of influence, whether forcibly or otherwise, then Washington would drastically change the balance of powers in its favor not only in the region, but perhaps also in the world, and could hold the strategic initiative for decades ahead. Of course, a temptation like that is hard to resist. In such situation the USA is extremely interested in maintaining stability in Caucasus to secure the rearguard in the process of AmericanIranian relations. Even if such initiative on Iran succeeds, the Turkish/ Azerbaijani factor may drastically strengthen especially in north-western regions of the Islamic Republic, and Washington would need an effective counterbalance to the Turkish-Azerbaijani tandem. One of the key intrinsic elements of this balance is the Armenian factor consisting of three components: the Republic of Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Armenian Diaspora. However, if the 1988 situation recurs, the Armenian factor would be totally eliminated. The Republic of Armenia and Diaspora, let alone Artsakh, would be struck with a political and military shock that they would never be able to recover from. Naturally, such developments are not in the USA’s interest regardless of the Iranian geopolitics, especially in the light of Turkey’s inclination towards Islam and Turkism, as well as the related concerns about some of the key US allies, such as Israel. Apparently maintaining the current configuration in the zone of Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict is in the interests of the USA and their allies, as well.

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DAVID BABAYAN


EURODIALOGUE Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies

Conclusion Pan-Turkism is one of the most active ideologies in the global politics. This ideology was developed and implemented since the Ottoman Empire times,based on global geopolitical objectives, which continue to be of current interest, although in a som what modified forms. Despite the significant difference between= the times of Pan-Turkism emergence/introduction and the current geopolitical situation, the strategic imperatives of Turkey have hardly changed. For Turkey this ideology remains to be a major vision to be accomplished in every possible manner. Pan-Turkism has found the most fertile ground in the Republic of Azerbaijan, a state that actually emerged as the offshoot of Pan-Turkism. Тhe Artsakh statehood is one of the key components of the Armenian statehood and the Armenian factor, simultaneously being one of the major barriers on the path of materialization of the Pan-Turkism ideology. The Armenian factor, including in this context, is in the strategic interests of the global and a number of regional powers. The main function in supporting the Armenian factor in the current phase is maintaining the strategic balance between Artsakh and Azerbaijan. The geopolitical balance in whole Transcaucasia also depends on this, and given its importance in the global politics, the balance in world arena does as well. All of this creates additional opportunities for strengthening the Armenian statehood and its significance in the global politics. August, 2011.

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PART II LEGAL ASPECTS

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THE LEGAL ASPECT OF THE CONFLICT OF NAGORNO-KARABAKH Ohannes GEUKJIAN* The end of the cold war and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 exposed the lack of theoretical work on secession and self determination as an embarrassing lacuna in political theory. Most political theorists who comment on state breaking belong to either of two camps, which we might label “statist” and “nationalist”. I would like to associate Azerbaijan’s position on the legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh with the statists view and Armenia’s and Karabakh authorities’ position on the legal status of N-K with the nationalist’s view. Statists deny that there can be any unilateral rights to secede grounded in self-determination because secession necessarily involves taking territory from the existing state, and legitimate states enjoy a privileged position of moral domination over their territory. According to Christopher William ‘most people are willing to concede that a state may forfeit a portion of its territory if it treats its citizens sufficiently unjustly, but statists are quick to point out that this implies only a remedial right to secede, a secondary right to escape injustice’.1 Allen Buchanan argues that the right to secede is understood to be, like the right to revolution, a remedial right only, a right which groups come to have if seceding is the remedy of last resort for serious injustices perpetuated against them by the state’.2 Within this context, it is worth noting that during the Soviet period the government of Soviet Azerbaijan treated Karabakh Armenians unjustly and discriminated against them politically, economically and culturally. Statists conclude that since (1) legitimate states are morally entitled to their territory and (2) states retain this claim unless their citizens become the victims of injustice, there can be no primary right to secede grounded in self-determination.3 *

Dr. Ohannes Geukjian/ Peace Studies and International Relations. He has been teaching for 14 years Peace building and international conflict resolution at American University of Beirut.

1

Chistopher William, “The Morality of Secession”, in Don H. Doyle, Secession as an International Phenomenon: from America’s Civil War to Contemporary Separatist Movements (Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 2010), p. 20. Allen Buchanan, “Democracy and Secession”, in Margaret Moore (ed.), National Self-Determination and Secession (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 15. Willaim, “The Morality of Secession”, p. 20.

2 3

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I would like to elaborate more on the remedial right only theory that Buchanan developed. This theory holds that the right to secede, as a general right, rather than a special right established by negotiation or by explicit constitutional provisions, arises only in response to serious and persisting grievances. (In this respect the right to secede is like the right to revolution as John Locke explains).4 Right to the point, a group has the right to secede (in the absence of any negotiations or constitutional provisions that establish a right) only as a remedy of last resort to escape serious injustices. Injustices capable of generating a right to secede consist of persistent violations of human rights, including the right to participate in democratic governance, and the unjust taking of the territory in question, if that territory previously was a legitimate state or a portion of one (in which case secession is simply the taking back of what was unjustly taken).5 I believe this explanation applies to the case of Nagorno-Karabakh. We would like to carefully examine how Nagorno-Karabakh was attached to Azerbaijan in the 1920s. Nationalists tend to differ from statists not only because they place more of a premium on group self-determination but also because they deny that states retain a valid claim to their territorial integrity as long as they do not act unjustly. Nationalists have a special interest in group self-determination because they believe that individuals are best positioned to pursue rewarding projects and develop meaningful interpersonal relationships within the context of a healthy culture, and, they argue, a nation’s chances of supplying such a healthy cultural context depend largely on its being free to order its own affairs.6 Nationalists often point out not only that territorial boundaries are human constructions that can be redrawn but that they owe their current configuration to a series of violent conquests and morally dubious treaties (within this context see chapter 3 of my first book, the impact of world war I, the Turkish invasion of Transcaucasia, and the impact of British policy in Transcaucasia)7. As William argues ‘if 4 5 6 7

Buchanan, “Democracy and Secession,” p. 25. Buchanan, “Democracy and Secession,” p. 25. William, “The Morality of Secession,” p. 20. Ohannes Geukjian, Ethnicity, Nationalism and Conflict in the South Caucasus: Nagorno-Karabakh and the Legacy of Soviet Nationalities Policy (London: Ashgate, 2012), pp. 37-77.

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one agrees both that political states can be geographically realigned and that existing countries typically have no unimpeachable historical claim to the particular piece of land they occupy, one is unlikely to regard the statist argument as insuperable’.8 Hence, nationalists tend to be among the most enthusiastic about self-determination because they view existing political boundaries as negotiable, and they believe that giving each nation its own state makes for healthier nations. Territory is the crucial issue in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The conflict is essentially over who is entitled to exercise political jurisdiction over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. It seems clear that we cannot have a principled and systematic theory of secession without first uncovering what justifies Azerbaijan’s claim to the region. To put this another way, states are functionally justified just in case they perform the requisite political function of adequately protecting the human rights of their constituents. Had Soviet Azerbaijan protected the human rights of Karabakh Armenians, Karabakh Armenians would have not thought about secession and independence in 1991. In 1991, Karabakh Armenians insisted that they had a democratic right to decide their fate and they chose to solve the secessionist dispute with Azerbaijan through the ballot box. Azerbaijan’s denial of that right made the Karabakh movement more popular. Resorting to the ballot box was one of Buchanan’s most insightful remarks about secession in his early writings. In my view, a state can rightfully impose itself on a separatist territory if and only if this imposition is required to secure the benefits of political society, that is, if it is necessary to the state’s performance of requisite political functions. Thus, whether or not Nagorno-Karabakh has a unilateral right to secede depends on whether Nagorno-Karabakh would be able to secure the benefits of political society on its own. Were Nagorno-Karabakh able and willing to do so (and if the remainder state of Azerbaijan would also be left politically viable), then Azerbaijan’s political coercion over Karabakh would not be necessary, and thus Azerbaijan as 8

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William, “The Morality of Secession,” p. 20.

Dr. OHANNES GEOKJIAN


EURODIALOGUE Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies

a whole would not be justified in forcibly denying Karabakh’s right to political self-determination. To stress: ‘the right to political self-determination is not absolute, but a group’s right to secede is ordinarily outweighed only if the separatist group is either unable or unwilling to procure the benefits afforded by political society. Thus, while states are right that a legitimate state has a claim to its territory, they are wrong to suppose that this claim necessarily prevails over all others. As the preceding analysis indicates, a legitimate state can invoke self-determination to justify its territorial sovereignty over all external parties, but such a state must equally recognize the rights to self-determination of politically viable groups within its territory’.9 I argued that legitimate states should avoid injustice in order to retain an absolute right to territorial integrity. My view supports the nationalist’s claim that nations may have a primary right to secede even from perfectly legitimate states. In particular, my argument maintains that if a separatist nation can perform the requisite political functions, the existing state has no justification for its non consensual coercion. In other words, when a nation is sufficiently large, economically sustainable, politically organized and territorially contiguous (like Nagorno-Karabakh), it can secede and thereby enhance its national self-determination without jeopardizing political stability. But, while all of this is true, it is important to acknowledge that even if politically viable nations have a right to secede, those nations lacking the necessary political capabilities will not have a legitimate claim to independence. The crucial variable will be the separatists’ ability to govern the contested territory in a safe and just manner. A state may initially restrict the right to secede to groups of a specific size and then further require that interested parties demonstrate their ability and willingness to govern in a capable and just manner. This is a principled and systematic theory of secession that appropriately values self-determination without implausibly denying the crucial benefits of political stability.10 9 10

William, “The Morality of Secession,” p. 22 William, “The Morality of Secession,” p. 23.

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David Copp proposes incorporating secessionist rights into law. In addition to Harry Beran and Daniel Philpott, Copp’s name is also associated with the choice theory of secession and self-determination. Copp assumes that the commitment to democracy rests on ‘equal respect’ for persons, and claims that equal respect requires a plebiscitary right to secede’.11 The preceding argument illustrates the necessity of reforming the international legal system like Copp recommends. After all, if there is a moral right to secede, then international law should protect this right. If my defence of secession grounded in self-determination is compelling, it creates at least a presumptive case for reforming international law. The moral right to unilateral secession provides moral reason in favor of securing international legal rights to political divorce. William contends that ‘this presumptive case might be defeated by considerations of how institutional changes could affect (potentially non compliant) actors, but there is no reason why this argument in favor of the moral right to unilateral secession do not supply an ideal that international law, other things being equal, should approximate’.12 Buchanan insists that international law should not protect primary rights to secede in the fashion I have been proposing. Buchanan is not against all rights to political divorce (indeed he seeks to expand the list of grievances that can accord a group an international legal right to secede), but he is emphatically opposed to creating any international legal right to secede in the absence of injustice. Buchanan accurately describes the kind of incentives that could be attached to laws protecting remedial and primary rights to secede. However, for several reasons, I doubt that these considerations are sufficiently weighty to defeat the presumptive case created by the moral right to secede. William contends that ‘this presumptive case is vulnerable to defeat by competing considerations, but the burden of proof is on those who would restrict political self-determination, and this burden has not yet been met’.13 It is important to stress that 11 12 13

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Allen Buchanan, “Democracy and Secession”, in Margaret Moore (ed.), National Self-Determination and Secession (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 16. William, “The Morality of Secession,” p. 30. William, “The Morality of Secession,” p. 34.

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EURODIALOGUE Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies

the existing states are not the only entities able to perform the requisite political functions, some non-state entities, like Nagorno-Karabakh, may qualify for political self-determination. Additionally, there is no reason to underestimate the importance of the distinctive cultural characteristics of separatist groups. To conclude this part of my talk, my attitude toward secession mirrors that of Serbia’s president Boris Tadic, who responded to Montenegro’s vote to secede in the following way: “I supported the preservation of a joint state, but as a democratic president of a democratic republic, I recognize the expression of the free will of the Montenegrin citizens’.14 Concerning the ethics of secession and self-determination the discussion could be organized by classifying the arguments, either for or against the right to secede into three types, each of which articulates the conditions under which there might be a right (or justified claim) to secede. These theories are choice theories, just-cause theories, and national self-determination theories. I do not adopt the national self-determination theories and choice theories because they do not fit the case of Nagorno-Karabakh. For example, the national self-determination theories have virtually no defenders in the recent philosophical literature, and the lack of an ethnocultural dimension creates a problem for the choice theories of secession. I will focus on the just cause theories because they provide justification to secession and self-determination. In addition to Buchanan terminology alluded to above, different just-cause theorists focus on different kinds of injustices; some on prior occupation and seizure of territory; some on serious violations of human rights, including genocide; others view discriminatory injustice as sufficient to legitimate secession. Margaret Moore argues that ‘one advantage of this type of theory is that it suggests a strong internal connection between the right to resist tyranny (exploitation, genocide, wrongful seizure of territory) and the right to self-determination’.15 14 15

Quoted in William, “The Morality of Secession,” p. 35. Margaret Moore, “Introduction: The Self-Determination Principle and the Ethics of Secession,” in Margaret Moore (eds.), National Self-Determination and Secession (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 6.

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Thus, by suggesting a strong link between the right to self-determination and human rights, this king of argument grounds the right to self-determination within the generally accepted framework of human rights. Just-cause theorists insist that in addition to a majority (or super-majority) in favor of secession, a territorially concentrated group must be able to demonstrate one or more of the following: I.

that it has been the victim of systematic discrimination or exploitation, and that this situation will not end as long as the group remain in the state;

II. that the group and its territory were illegally incorporated into the state within recent-enough memory; III. that the group has a valid claim to the territory it wants to withdraw from the state; IV. that the group’s culture is imperilled unless it gains access to all of the powers of a sovereign state; V. that the group finds its constitutional rights grossly or systematically ignored by the central government or the supreme court.16 VI. Apparently, just-cause theories attempt to find room for legitimate secessions while trying to avoid the negative consequences that would follow from the divorce. Just-cause theories are criticized because secession itself involves alteration of international borders, the taking of territory from existing states and the forced changing of the citizenship of unionists in the seceding region. But these costs and potential costs of secession are high enough to warrant discouraging it in all but exceptional circumstances where these costs are in some sense outweighed by considerations of justice.17 Wayne Norman argues that we cannot discount the injustice of too restrictive a view of secession. For example, the fate of groups like the Iraqi and Turkish Kurds, are sufficient reminders of the injustice and violence that can befall minorities (now befalling) who are given no legal and peaceful means to exit a state that does not, to say the least, treat their interests equally. 16

17

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Wayne Norman, “The Ethics of Secession as the Regulation of Secessionist Politics,” in Margaret Moore (eds.), National Self-Determination and Secession (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 41. Norman, “The Ethics of Secession,” p. 42.

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EURODIALOGUE Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies

The international principle of territorial integrity is morally progressive in so far as it forbids aggressive interstate wars; but it cannot be treated as legitimating any possible action of a government within its internationally secured frontiers.18 Certainly secession should not be allowed to any group that thinks about leaving the state in which it has existed. Those supporting the just-cause theory must seek fair rules that will make it relatively easy for those with genuine just cause to secede, and relatively difficult for those without it to do so. I would also like to appeal to the principle of nationality to ground the case for self-determination. Even in the Soviet period, Soviet nationalities policy did not intend to destroy nations and that is why the nationality of the peoples was clearly indicated in the passports, although Russification policy was promoted too. Let us return to the case of Azerbaijan where there was a divided community and more than one nationality. The Armenian nationality of Nagorno-Karabakh wished to secede with the territory of Karabakh from Azerbaijan. Finally it seceded in the late 1980s. Can Azerbaijan make a valid claim to continued control of the territory in question (i.e. Nagorno-Karabakh)? The answer must depend on how the relationship between the two nations had developed historically. We have the extreme case where the Karabakh Armenians were always the unwilling subjects of Azerbaijan whom they regarded as an oppressing force. There was no real political community between the Karabakh Armenians and the Azerbaijanis, and if the Armenians did not revolt it was because of the iron hand of Communism. The ethnic cleavage between the Armenians and Azerbaijanis was very significant. There was no freely undertaken collective projects, and it was hard to see the Azerbaijanis having a legitimate claim to the territory although a minority of them were living with the majority Armenians in the region and that their ancestors once lived in the region in question. 18

Norman, “The Ethics of Secession,� p. 42.

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After twenty-four years of de facto independence Azerbaijan refuses to acknowledge the self-determination of Karabakh Armenians. It seems that no compromise is possible between the Armenians’ demand of de jure independent statehood and Azerbaijan’s demand of broad autonomy that falls short of independence. It is worth noting that the autonomous status of Nagorno-Karabakh during the Soviet period was not an encouraging experience. Azerbaijan also advocates a new referendum to be held at the national level after ten or fifteen years once an agreement is reached between the two sides. It is difficult to figure out how a territorially compact nation, like Nagorno-Karabakh, which is currently ruling itself by itself would accept to become subject to rule by outsiders. If we can appeal to the principle of nationality to ground the case for self-determination, then we shall want to apply two criteria to Karabakh Armenians. The first is that the group is a nation with an identity that is clearly separate from that of the Azerbaijani nation from which they wish to disengage. The second is that the group has been able to validate its claim to exercise authority over the territory it wishes to control. David Miller argues that ‘these criteria cannot be applied mechanically or by counting heads, their application requires judgment and a degree of historical understanding’.19 But if both criteria are met, as is the case in Nagorno-Karabakh, then Karabakh Armenians have a serious claim to de jure recognition. In conclusion, I would like to insist that a historical accident should not prevent us from thinking of the morality of secession in institutional terms. Secessionists and unionists are always likely to disagree about what kinds of incidents or events can give just cause to secede, about whether such events have occurred, about whether they have been or could be rectified by measures short of secession, about whether the particular violations were significant to justify secession or not. 19

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David Miller, “Secession and the Principle of Nationality,” in Margaret Moore (eds.), National Self-Determination and Secession (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 69.

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EURODIALOGUE Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies

We could never expect criteria for just cause to be spelled out in domestic and international law. Within this context I take the side of Norman who reiterates that ‘in the meantime, our moral, political, and diplomatic responses to secessionist demands should track the standards of reasonable domestic and international institutions if we had them. Secession where necessary, and even in some cases where, regrettably, it is not.20 In the absence of the proper institutions, the currency of a just-cause theory in the appropriate democratic setting is the best we can use.

20

Norman, “The Ethics of Secession,”, pp. 55-56.

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ON THE PRINCIPLES OF SELF-DETERMINATION AND SO-CALLED “TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY” IN PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW (THE CASE OF NAGORNO-KARABAKH) Ara PAPIAN* “We are not going to negotiate over the right of the people of Artsakh (Karabakh) to self-determination.” Serzh Sargsyan, President of the Republic of Armenia, 1 June 2010 “It is for the people to determine the destiny of the territory and not the territory the destiny of the people” Judge Hardy Dillard, International Court of Justice, 16 October 1975 The notions of “self-determination” and “territorial integrity” are often used with regard to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Unfortunately, these legal terms are largely misused mostly due to political motives. One of the grave misinterpretations of the said notions was by Ambassador-to-be (or not to be) Matthew Bryza when he declared: “There’s a legal principle of territorial integrity of states, there’s a political principle of self-determination of peoples.” As a matter of fact, it is just the opposite. There is a legal principle of self-determination and there is no such principle of territorial integrity. Article 2(4) of the UN Charter declares merely: “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the *

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Head of “Modus Vivendi” Center


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United Nations”. Thus, this has nothing to do with absolute “territorial integrity”, (i.e. preservation of the territory of a state in- tact) but, according to authoritative interpretation of the United States Foreign Relations Law, it is simply the rule against intervention, a “prohibition of use of force”1 and purely calls to refrain from “the use of force by one state to conquer another state or overthrow its government.”2. In order to have adequate understanding of the status, scope and content of the principles of “self-determination” and the so called “territorial integrity” in contemporary international law, we need to elaborate more on the issue. Self-determination, Historical Background Self-determination is an ancient political right that is cherished by every people. The word “self-determination” is derived from the German word “selbstbestim-mungsrecht” and was frequently used by German radical philosophers in the middle of the nineteenth century. The political origins of the concept of self-determination can be traced back to the American Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776. The American Revolution is considered to be “an outstanding example of the principle of self-determination.”3. The principle of self-determination was further shaped by the leaders of the French Revolution. During the nineteenth and in the beginning of the twentieth century, the principle of self-determination was interpreted by nationalist movements as meaning that each nation had the right to constitute an independent State and that only nationally -homogeneous States were legitimate.4 During World War I, President Wilson championed the principle of self-determination as it became crystallized in Wilson’s Fourteen Points (8 January 1918) and consequently 1 2 3 4

Restatement of the Law (Third), The Foreign Relations Law of the United States, The American Law Institute, Wash- ington, 1987, v. 2, § 905(7), p. 389. Ibid , p. 383. Umozurike O.U. Self-Determination in International Law, 1972, Connecticut, 1972, p. 8. Thurer D. Self-Determination, in R. Bernhardt (ed.), Encyclopaedia of Public International Law, vol. IV, Amsterdam, 2000, p. 364

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was discussed in the early days of the League of Nations. The Mandate system was a compromise to some degree between outright colonialism and principles of self- determination. While discussion of the political right and principle of self-determination has a long history, the process of establishing it as a principle of international law is of more recent origin. Since the codification of International Law today is mostly achieved through an international convention drawn up in a diplomatic conference or, occasionally, in the UN General Assembly or similar forum on the basis of a draft with commentary prepared by the International Law Commission or some other expert body5, we must follow the development of the discussed notions through international instruments. It must be stressed that if the rules, incorporated in the form of articles in the conventions, reflect the existing customary international law, they are binding for states regardless of their participation in the conventions6. Self-determination: Development under the Aegis of the United Nations Incorporation into the UN Charter The principle of self-determination was invoked on many occasions during World War II. It was proclaimed in the Atlantic Charter (14 August 1941). The pro- visions of the Atlantic Charter were restated in the Washington Declaration of 1942, in the Moscow Declaration of 1943 and in other important instruments of the time. Owing to these declarations already at the days of establishment of the United Nations, the notion of self-determinations was seen as a principle of international law. Ultimately, “the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples”was incorporated into the United Nations Charter. The Charter [Article 1(2)] clearly enunciated the principle of self-determination: “The 5 6

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Rosenne S. Codification of International Law, in R. Bernhardt (ed.), Encyclopaedia of Public International Law, v. I, Amsterdam, 1992, p. 633 Ibid.

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purposes of the United Nations are: To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determinations of peoples” and self-determination is conceived as one among several possible “measures to strengthen universal peace.”7 Chapter IX (International Economic and Social Co-operation, Article 55) lists several goals the organization should promote: “With a view to the creation of conditions of stability and well-being which are necessary for peaceful and friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples.” Under Article 56, all Members pledge themselves to take joint and separate action in cooperation with the Organization for the achievement of the purposes set forth in Article 55.” The principle of self-determination, as it follows from Article 55 of the UN Charter, is one of the fundamentals of peaceful and friendly international relations. In other words, there can be no such relations without the observance of this principle. The same article says it is the duty of the United Nations to promote respect for fundamental human rights (para. c) and, consequently, for the nations’ right to self- determination. And since the establishment of friendly relations between peoples and the promotion of respect for human rights figure among the United Nation’s most important tasks, it is obvious that this organization is entitled to raise the question of a people’s self-determination8. The Charter is dominant over all the other international documents. This pro- vision is set down in Article 103 of the Charter, and is accepted by all the members of the UN. It is clear that the UN considers the self-determination of peoples (self- determination, not just the right of people for self-determination, i.e. the application of this right) as not only one of its basic principles but also as a basis for friendly relations and universal peace. Hence, rejection of self-determination hinders friendship and 7 8

Thurer D. op. cit., p. 365. Starushenko G. The Principle of Self-determination in Soviet Foreign Policy, Moscow, 1963, p. 221

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universal peace. In addition, Article 24, Point 2 holds: “In discharging these duties [the maintenance of international peace and security] the Security Council shall act in accordance with the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations.” It means that, in the maintenance of international peace and security, the Security Council must be guided by self-determination of peoples because it is one of its principles. Development through UN Practice The concept of self-determination was further developed by the United Nations. Through its resolutions the United Nations has expounded and developed the principle of self-determination. In Resolution 637A(VII) of December 16, 1952 the General Assembly declared that: “the right of peoples and nations to self-determination is a prerequisite to the full enjoyment of all fundamental human rights.” The General Assembly recommended, inter Alia, that “the States Members of the United Nations shall up- hold the principle of self-determination of all peoples and nations.” In 1960, the General Assembly adopted Resolution 1514(XV) entitled Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples which declares that: [para.2]. “All peoples have the right to self-determination; by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.” The Declaration regards the principle of self-determination as a part of the obligations stemming from the Charter, and is not a “recommendation”, but is in the form of an authoritative interpretation of the Charter9.

9

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Recueil des cours de l’Academie de droit international, The Hague, 1962, II, p. 33. Annual Report of the Secretary-General , 1960, 2. Chief Judge Moreno Quintana, International Court of Justice Reports, 1960, pp. 95-96

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Later on, the principle was incorporated in a number of international instruments. In 1966 two conventions on human rights entered into force – the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The Covenants have a common Article 1 which states: “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.” Consequently the Declaration of Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among the States in accordance-with the Charter of the United Nations [General assembly Resolution 2625 (X XV), 1970] confirmed the principle that self-determination is a right belonging to all peoples and that its implementation is required by the UN Charter: “By virtue of the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, all peoples have the right freely to determine, without external interference , their political status and to pursue their economic, social and cultural development, and every state has the duty to respect this right in accordance with the provisions of the Charter.” M. Zahovic, rapporteur for the Special Committee on Principles of International Relations concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among the Nations, remarked: “Nearly all representatives who participated in the debate emphasised that the principle was no longer to be considered a mere moral or political postulate; it was rather settled principle of modern international law. Full recognition of the principle was a prerequisite for the maintenance of international peace and security, the development of friendly relations and cooperation among the States, and the promotion of economic, social and cultural progress throughout the world.”10 10

Umozurike O.U. op. cit., p. 192.

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Self-Determination: The Principle and Human Rights The principle of self-determination developed from a philosophical to political concept in international relations and has now matured into a fundamental principle of positive international law. It has developed recently as an aspect of human rights belonging to the group rather than to the individual11 and therefore rightly belongs to both Covenants of Human Rights, as it was mentioned. On 25 June 1993, representatives of 171 States adopted by consensus the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action of the World Conference on Human Rights (June 14-25, 1993). The final document agreed to in Vienna, which was-endorsed by the forty-eighth session of the General Assembly (resolution 48/121, of 1993), reaffirms the principles that have evolved during the past 45 years and further strengthens the foundation for additional progress in the area of human rights. The document recognizes interdependence between democracy, development and human rights, including the right to self-determination. The final document emphasizes that the Conference considers the denial of the right of self-determination as a violation of human rights and underlines the importance of the effective realization of this right12 [para.2]: “The World Conference on Human Rights considers the denial of the right of self-determination as a violation of human rights and underlines the importance of the effective realization of this right”.13 Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, and co-sponsors of the OSCE Minsk group as well (Russian Federation, USA, France) are parties to this convention. International organizations which are concerned with human rights and world peace have given full recognition to the fact that respect for self-determination is a condition for world peace. Fundamental human rights are meaningful in the context of a people enjoying self-determination.14 11 12 13 14

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Ibid., p. 271. Hillier T., Sourcebook on Public International Law, London-Sydney, 1998, p. 192. Documents, UN General Assembly, A/CONF.157/23; 12 July 1993. Umozurike O.U. op. cit., p. 188.

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EURODIALOGUE Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies

The raison d’être for the principle of self-determination is the enjoyment by all Peoples, regardless of race, religion, or sex, of full democratic rights within the law, free from internal or external domination. It seeks to provide the opportunities for the political, economic, social, and cultural development of all peoples. The basic objective of the principle is to guarantee that all peoples have a government to their choice that responds to their political, economic, and cultural needs15. Thus, denial of the right to self-determination is a human rights violation and constitutes a breach of international law. Self-determination: Development of the Principle through Other Organizations The International Commission of Jurists (affiliated to the International Court of Justice) has held numerous conferences on the rule of law attempting to provide a clear and comprehensive definition of rule of law and better measures of implementation in the context of protecting human rights. Its first congress was held in Athens in 1955, where the participants gave effect to the Act of Athens which resolved: “(9) The recognition of the right to self-determination being one of the great achievements of our era and one of the fundamental principles of international law, its non-application is emphatically condemned. (10) Justice demands that a people or an ethnic or political minority be not deprived of their natural rights and especially of the fundamental rights of man and citizens or of equal treatment for reasons of race, colour, class, political conviction, caste or creed”.16 The First World Conference of Lawyers on World Peace through Law, in their Declaration of General Principles for a World Rule of Law (Athens, July 6, 1963), adopted a resolution which stated: “In order to establish an effective international legal system under the rule of law which 15 16

Ibid., p. 273. Ibid., p. 185

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precludes resort to force, we declare that: (…) (6) A fundamental principle of the international rule of law is that of the right of self-determination of the peoples of the world, as proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations.”17 Self-determination: Development of the Principle Through the ICJ The principle of self-determination is exemplified in the decisions by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). For example, in the South-West Africa Cases (December 26, 1961, and July 18, 1966) Judge Nervo, dissenting, expressed the belief that the concept of equality and freedom “will inspire the vision and the conduct of peoples the world over until the goal of self-determination and independence is reached.”18 The Advisory Opinion of the International Court relating to the Western Sahara Case (October 16, 1975) reconfirmed as well “the validity of the principle of self-determination” in the context of international law.19 Also in the decision of June 30, 1995, concerning the East Timor Case(Portugal v. Australia) the International Court reaffirmed that the principle of self- determination of peoples is recognized by the UN Charter and by its own jurisprudence as being “one of the essential principles of contemporary international law.”[Para. 29]20 Self-Determination: Status, Scope and Content in Contemporary International Law Both the United Nations and the majority of authors are alike in maintaining that the principle of self-determination is part of modern international law. Due to developments in the United Nations since 1945, 17 18 19

20

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Declaration of General Principles for a World Rule of Law, American Journal of International Law, 58, (1964) pp. 138- 151, at 143. International Court of Justice, Reports, 1966, v. IV, p. 465. ICJ Reports (1975) 12 at 31-33. See also the Namibia Opinion, ibid. (1971), 16 at 31; Geog K. v. Ministry of Interior, ILR 71, at 284; and the Case Concerning East Timor, ICJ Reports (1995) at 102. Thurer D. op. cit., p. 370.

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jurists now generally admit that self-determination is a legal principle.21 The principle has been confirmed, developed and given more tangible form by a consistent body of State practice and has been embodied among “the basic principles of international law” in the Friendly Relations Resolutions.22 The generality and political aspect of the principle do not deprive it of legal content.23 Furthermore, having no doubts that the principle of the self- determination of peoples is a legal principle, currently many declare self- determination to be a juscogens (peremptory) norm of international law.24 Accordingly, no derogation is admissible from the principle of self-determination by means of a treaty or any similar international transaction.25 It must be underlined that the right of self-determination is the right to choose a form of political organization and relations with other groups. The choice may be: independence as a state, association with other groups in a federal state, or autonomy or assimilation in a unitary (non-federal) state.26 A situation involving the international legal principle of self-determination cannot be excluded from the jurisdiction of the United Nations by a claim of domestic jurisdiction. International customary law is binding on all states regardless of consent; and in any event, states have bound themselves under the Charter to respect the principle.27 The claims of the states that the implementation of the principle of self-determination infringes on their rights or is contrary to their “constitutional processes” cannot be made a pretext for depriving other peoples of their 21 22 23 24

25 26 27

Brownlie I. Principles of Public International Law, Oxford, 1998 (5th ed.), p. 600. Thurer D. op. cit., p. 366. Brownlie I. op. cit., p. 600. Hillier T. op. cit., p. 191. Supporters of the view that the right of self-determination is part of jus cogens include: I. Brownlie, op. cit., (4th ed.), Oxford, 1991, p. 513. A. Cassese, International Law in a Divided World, Oxford, 1989, p. 136; J. Craword, “The Rights of Peoples: Some Conclusions”, in J. Crawford, (ed.), The Rights of Peoples, Oxford, 1988, pp. 159-175, at p. 166; H. Gros Espiell, The Right to Self-Determination, Implementation of United Nations Resolutions (1978), para. 85; and the UK’s and Argentina’s statements in the context of the Falklands/ Malvinas dispute (1982) 53 British Yearbook of International Law, pp. 366-379. Cassese A. Self-determination of Peoples, Cambridge, 1995, p. 134-35. Brownlie I. op. cit., p. 599. Umozurike O.U. op. cit., p. 196.

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right to self-determination.28 Presently self-determination as a principle is truly universal in scope.29 It is also unconditional because most of the UN members also hold that realization of the right to self-determination should not have any strings attached to it.30 All these conceptions were summarized in the statement by Hans Brunhart, Head of Government and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Principality of Liechtenstein, during the Forty-Seventh Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations (September 23, 1992, UN Doc. A/47/ PV.9) [para. 6]: “The right to self- determination as principle is now universally accepted. I would recall not only that self-determination is one of the foundations of the Charter, but also that most States represented in this Assembly are already under certain specific legal obligations in this area by virtue of Article 1 of each of the great human rights conventions of 1966. [i. e. the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.] There it is formally and with legally binding effect acknowledged that: “All peoples have the right of self- determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.” 31 Despite all this, and with some notable exceptions, the practical and peaceful application of the principle of self-determination has often been lacking. Time and again have dominant powers hindered oppressed peoples from availing them- selves of their right to self-determination despite the obligations assumed in signing the UN Charter. So how is one to establish that a people wants to be the master of its own destiny? There are different ways of establishing the will of the people demanding self- determination. The will of the people may be determined by a plebiscite. A plebiscite or, what amounts to the same thing, a referendum 28 29 30 31

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Starushenko G. op. cit., p. 209. Thurer D. op. cit., p. 369. Starushenko G. op. cit., p. 210. Self-Determination and Self-Administration, A Sourcebook, (ed. W. Danspeckgruber and A. Watts), London, 1997, Appendix 2, The Liechtenstein Initiative at the UN, p. 405.

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means the right of the majority of the population to determine the political and legal status of the territory it inhabits.32 The will of people may be expressed by parliament or by any other representative institutions elected by the self-determining people.33 By and large there are plebiscites without a popular vote on the questions concerned. In such cases, the population of the self-determining territory elects a representative organ which then expresses the people’s will. If the elections to these organs and the vote in them are conducted on a democratic basis, this method of ex- pressing the people’s will is quite legitimate.34 This is the situation that we had lately (23 May 2010) in Nagorno-Karabakh during the elections of the Parliament of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh). The will of the people may also be expressed in the form of mass protests (civil disobedience, demonstrations, rallies, newspaper articles, etc.). Lastly, it may find expression in armed uprisings or wars for national liberation. The latter is an extreme measure and people resorts to it only if forced to do so. A rule of customary international law has emerged, according to which the principle of self-determination includes a right of secession and, as a consequence, the legality of wars of national liberation and third party interventions on behalf of the secessionist movements.351 The use of force to achieve self-determination and for the assistance of national liberation movements has increasingly been claimed as legitimate in recent years, on the ground that it furthers the principles of the UN Charter.36 There is no rule of international law forbidding revolutions within a state, and the United Nation’s Charter favors the self-determination of peoples. Self- determination may take the forms of rebellion to oust an unpopular government, of colonial revolt, of an irredentist movement to transfer 32 33 34 35 36

Starushenko G. op. cit., p. 214. Ibid., p. 213. Ibid., p. 215-6. Thurer D. op. cit., p. 368. Hillier T. op. cit., p. 612.

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territory, or of a movement for the unification or federation of independent states.37 It should be especially stressed that whatever way is chosen, no “central authority” or any other people can solve the problem for the self-determining people, for that would be contrary to the very principle of self-determination.38 While establishing the scope of self-determination, a question must be answered: Are the peoples and nations which have already implemented their right to self-determination subjects of this right? The answer is “Yes”, inasmuch as the UN Charter recognizes the right to self-determination of all peoples and nations, without distinguishing between those which have attained statehood and those which have not. The question is answered analogically in the General Assembly resolution on the inclusion of the clause on human rights in the International Covenant on Human Rights.39 It has been strongly advocated that a nation which has been divided into States by outside interference and without the clear consent of the population still possess the inherent right of self-determination including the right of reunification.40 Furthermore, infringement of the right to self-determination has been used by the European Community as a potential ground for withholding recognition of an entity as a State and hence to deny the legitimacy of a government or a State which does not protect the right of self-determination. In the EC Declaration on the Guidelines on the Recognition of New States in Eastern Europe and in the Soviet Union (December 16, 1991), there is the requirement that a potential new State has constitutional guarantees of democracy and of “the rights of ethnic and national groups and minorities” before recognition by the EC States would be granted. Moreover, a new rule of international law holds that a State established in violation of the right of self-determination is a nullity in international law.41 37 38 39 40 41

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Self-Determination, Digest of International Law (ed. M. Whiteman), Washington, 1974, v. 5, § 4, p. 39. Starushenko G. op. cit., p. 214. Resolution 545 (VI) of February 5, 1952. Thurer D. op. cit., p. 368. Ibid., p. 369.

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Another question which concerns the self-determination of peoples is: Can the right of self-determination be applied to non-colonial entities? Certainly the main objective of the right of self-determination was to bring a speedy end to colonialism. However, since codification of that principle in the UN Charter, not one of the major international instruments which have dealt with the right of self-determination, have limited the application of the right to colonial situations. For example, the common Article 1 of the two International Human Rights Conventions of 1966 (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights) applies the right to “all peoples” without any restriction as to their status, and the obligation rests on all States. Likewise, principle VIII of the Final Act of the Helsinki Conference 1975 includes: “by virtue of the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, all peoples have the right, in full freedom, to determine, when and as they wish, their internal and external political status, without external interference, and to pursue as they wish their political, economic, social and cultural development”. State practice also supports a broader application of the right of self-determination beyond strictly colonial con- fines. Indeed, the international Commission of Jurists, in its report on Bangladesh’s secession, stated that: “if one of the constituent peoples of a State is denied equal rights and is discriminated against, it is submitted that their full right of self- determination will revive”.42 In the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany (12 September 1990), which was signed by four of the five Permanent Members of the Security Council, it was expressly mentioned that the “German people, freely exercising their right of self-determination, have expressed their will to bring about the unity of Germany as a State”, [Preamble, para. 11], despite the fact that neither East nor West Germany was a colony. It was also been applied by States in the context of the break-up of the former Soviet Union and former Yugoslavia.43 42 43

The Secretariat of the International Commission of Jurists, Report on “Events in East Pakistan, (1971)”, Geneva, p. 69. McCorquodale R. Self-Determination: Human Rights Approach, The International and Comparative Law Quarterly, vol. 43, # 4 (Oct. 1994), p. 861.

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Territorial Integrity and Political Independence “Territorial Integrity”: Evaluation and Content The notion of “territorial integrity” has been employed only three times in international instruments. All other cases are only references to these said documents. The concepts of territorial integrity and political independence emerged during the years immediately following the end of World War I. Article 10 of the Covenant of the League of Nations stipulated that: “the Members of the League undertake to respect and preserve as against external aggression the territorial integrity and existing political independence of all Members of the League”.44 The same understanding of “territorial integrity” was reaffirmed in the UN Charter: “2(4). All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.” The other important international instrument which is often referred to is the Helsinki Final Act (adopted on August 1, 1975) which requires the following: “The participating States will refrain in their mutual relations, as well as in their international relations in general, from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State…”. It is obvious that the Helsinki Final Act, likewise the UN Charter and League of Nations Covenant earlier, condemns merely the use of force against territorial integrity and does not unconditionally advocate for the absolute maintenance of territorial integrity. It makes clear that use of external force or threat of use against territorial integrity and political independence is unacceptable. Meanwhile, the Helsinki Final Act (Chapter 1) specifically holds that: “ frontiers can be changed, in accordance with international law, by peaceful means and by agreement.” 44

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Rozakis Ch. Territorial Integrity and Political Independence, in R. Bernhardt (ed.), Encyclopaedia of Public International Law, v. IV, Amsterdam, 2000, p. 813.

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It is apparent that ever since the first time that the notion of “territorial integrity” appeared within the domain of international law, it has been closely intertwined with the question of the use of external force. In other words, the principle of “territorial integrity” is traditionally interwoven with the fundamental principle of the prohibition of the threat or use of force45 and not with the absolute preservation of the territory of a state intact. As it was mentioned above, it is just the “prohibition of use of [external] force”46 and the renunciation of “the use of force by one state to conquer another state or overthrow its government.”47 “Territorial Integrity”: Scope, Limitation and Status under International Law In modern political life there are repeated wrongful attempts to present “territorial integrity” as a general limitation on the right to self-determination. The basis for such limitation is false because the government of a State which does not represent the whole population on its territory without discrimination cannot succeed in limiting the right of self-determination on the basis that it would infringe that State’s territorial integrity.48 Moreover, state practice shows that territorial integrity limitations on the right of self-determination are often ignored, as seen in the recognition of the independence of Bangladesh (from Pakistan), Singapore (from Malaysia) and Belize, “despite the claims of Guatemala”.49 In addition, after the recognition by the international community of the disintegration of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, recognition of East Timor and Eritrea, recognition to a certain extent of Kosovo, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, it could now be the case that any government which is oppressive to peoples within its territory may no longer be able to rely on the general interest of territorial integrity as a limitation on the right of self-determination. 45 46 47 48 49

Ibid., pp. 812-13. Restatement of the Law (Third), op. cit., p. 389. Ibid., p. 383. McCorquodale R. op. cit., p. 880. Maguie J. “The Decolonization of Belize: Self-Determination v. Territorial Integrity” (1982) 22 Virginia Journal of International Law, p. 849.

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Therefore there is a clear-cut understanding: only a government of a State which allows all its peoples to decide their political status and economic, social and cultural development freely has an interest of territorial integrity which can possibly, only possibly, limit the exercise of a right of self-determination. So territorial integrity, as a limitation on the exercise of the right of self-determination, can apply only to those States in which the government represents the whole population in accordance with the exercise of internal self-determination.50 Thus, there is an apparent conceptual link between democracy and self-determination. Democracy is often viewed as internal self-determination, and secession as external self-determination, that is, as the right of a people to govern itself, rather than be governed by another people.51 Moreover, it is clear that those deprived of the right of self-determination can seek forcible international support to uphold their right of self-determination and no State can use force against such groups. As it was referred above, the Declaration on Principles of International Law provides that “every State has the duty to refrain from any forcible action which deprives peoples … of their right of self determination and freedom and independence”. The increase in actions by the international community which could be classed as humanitarian intervention, such as in Somalia and with the creation of “safe havens” for the Kurds North of the 36th parallel in Iraq52 (1991-2003), indicates the reduced importance given by the international community to the territorial integrity of a State when human rights, including the right of self-determination, are grossly and systematically violated.53 The right of self- determination applies to all situations where peoples are subject to oppression by subjugation, domination and exploitation by others. It is applicable to all territories, colonial or not, and to all peoples.54 Indeed, many of the claims for 50 51 52 53 54

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McCorquodale R. op. cit., p. 880. Moore M. National Self-Determination, Oxford, 1998, p. 10. Security Council Resolution 688 (April 5 1991). McCorquodale R. op. cit., p. 882. Ibid., p. 883.

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self-determination arose because of unjust, State-based policies of discrimination and when the international legal order failed to respond to the legitimate aspirations of peoples. Self-Determination: Human Rights and the Right to Secession One of the supposed dangers of self-determination is that it might encourage secession. First of all, there is no rule of international law that condemns all secessions under all circumstances. Self-determination includes the right to secede.55 In a situation when the principle of territorial integrity is clearly incompatible with that of self-determination, the former must, under present international law, give way to the latter.56 For instance, if a majority or minority insists on committing an international crime, such as genocide, or enforces a wholesale denial of human rights as a deliberate policy against the other part, it is submitted that the oppressed party, minority or majority, may have recourse to the right of self-determination up to the point of secession.57 As Azerbaijan used force in answer to the free and peaceful expression of the will of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh (rallies, referendums, claims, appeals), took inadequate means of punishment, perpetrated massacres of the Armenian citizens of Azerbaijan in Sumgait, Baku, Kirovabad, and waged a ruthless war with Ukrainian, Afghan, Russian mercenaries and sustained defeat, it cannot expect that the people of Nagorno-Karabakh will renounce their lawful right and will not exercise their right of self-determination. Actually, the world community is under legal and moral obligation to recognize the political self-determination of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, i.e. to recognize the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh; if a De facto state has crystallized, refusal to recognize it may be tantamount to 55 56 57

M. Moore, op. cit., p. 23. O.U. Umozurike, op. cit., p. 187. Ibid., p. 199.

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a denial of self-determination. Moreover, there is a clear understanding in international law: after the international requirements for the recognition of belligerency have been fulfilled (as it was done with regard to Nagorno-Karabakh by the Bishkek Protocol (May 5, 1994), and by the Cease-fire Agreement, (May 12, 1994), a duty of recognition of belligerency necessarily fol- lows, and refusal of recognition is interference with the right of political self- determination of the people of a State, and therefore constitutes illegal intervention.58 This obligation arises from the understanding that the principle and rules on self- determination are ergaomnes, that is, they belong to that class of international legal obligations which are not “bilateral” or reciprocal, but are in favor of all members of the international community.59 In the Loizidou v. Turkey Case, a 1996 judgment of the European Court of Human Rights, Judge Wildhaber identifies an emerging consensus that the right of self- determination, more specifically secession, should be interpreted as remedial for certain human rights abuses: “Until recently in international practice the right to self- determination was in practical terms identical to, and indeed restricted to, a right to decolonisation. In recent years a consensus has seemed to emerge that peoples may also exercise a right to self-determination if their human rights are consistently and flagrantly violated or if they are without representation at all or are massively under- represented in an undemocratic and discriminatory way. If this description is correct then the right to self-determination is a tool which may be used to re-establish international standards of human rights and democracy”.60 As Judge Wildhaber attests, there is increasing agreement among authors that the right of self-determination provides the remedy of secession to a group whose rights have been consistently and severely abused by the state.61 The self-determination of the people of Nagorno- Karabakh must certainly be assessed as an act of corrective justice as well. 58 59 60 61

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A.V.W. Thomas and A.J. Thomas, Non-Intervention: The Law and its Import in the Americas, Dallas, 1956, p. 220. A. Cassese, op. cit., p. 134. Loizidou v. Turkey (Merits), European Court of Human Rights, 18 December, 1996, (1997) 18 Human Rights Law Journal 50 at p. 59. K. Knop, Diversity and Self-Determination in International Law, Cambridge, 2002, p. 74

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So a minority’s entitlement to self-determination can and must be judged within a human rights framework. Self-determination postulates the right of a people organized in an established territory to determine its collective political destiny in a democratic fashion.62 It is legal nonsense to presume that self-determination should take place within previous administrative borders, without regard for the cultural, linguistic or ethnic identity of the people there. Internal boundaries in the former Soviet Union were often drawn in a way which ensured that many members of the titular nation were outside the boundaries of their (titular) republic, as it was with Nagorno- Karabakh.63 A politically dis empowered distinct group in a specific region has the right to independence,64 regardless of whether or not they are organized in an administrative unit. There is no doubt that the people of Nagorno-Karabakh (not only the people of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region) are entitled to independence as their choice of self-determination due to the extreme discrimination that they faced under Azerbaijan. Summary Self-determination is an ancient political right. Presently the right to selfdetermination is a well-established principle in public international law. The principle has been confirmed, developed and given more tangible form by a consistent body of State practice and has been embodied in various international instruments. The principle of self-determination is exemplified in the decisions by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The principle of self-determination is one of the fundamentals of peaceful and friendly international relations. Respect for self-determination is a condition for world peace. Those deprived of the right of 62 63 64

Ibid., p. 85. M. Moore, op. cit., p. 140. T.M. Frank, The Power of Legitimacy among the Nations, New York, 1990, p. 171.

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self-determination can seek forcible international support to uphold their right of self-determination. Self-determination as a principle of international law is universal in scope. The right of self-determination applies to all situations where peoples are subject to oppression by subjugation, domination and exploitation by others – all peoples and nations, without distinguishing between those which have attained statehood and those which have not. The principle of the self-determination of peoples is a legal principle and is a jus cogens (peremptory) norm of international law. The right of self-determination is the right to choose a form of political organization and relations with other groups. Denial of the right of to self-determination is a human rights violation and constitutes a breach of international law. The right of peoples and nations to self-determination is a prerequisite to the full enjoyment of all fundamental human rights. Therefore the General Assembly recommended that the member states of the United Nations uphold the principle of self-determination of all peoples and nations. Article 2(4) of the UN Charter has nothing to do with absolute “territorial integrity”, but is simply the rule against intervention, a “prohibition of use of force” and purely calls to refrain from “the use of force by one state to conquer another state or overthrow its government.” Self-determination includes the right to secede. The people of NagornoKarabakh (not only the people of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region) are entitled to independence as their choice of self-determination. Self-determination postulates the right of a people organized in an established territory to determine its collective political destiny in a democratic fashion. June, 2010. 94

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TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY AND SELF-DETERMINATION: CONTRADICTION OR EQUALITY? Edita GZOYAN*, Lilit BANDURYAN** Introduction The emergence of International Law is closely connected with the formation of independent states. It is intended to govern the conduct of independent states in their relationship with one another via norms and main principles [1]. The main documents on the contents of principles of modern International Law are the 1970 UN Declaration of Principles of International Law and the 1975 OSCE Declaration on Principles Guiding Relations between Participating States. Territorial integrity and self-determination of nations are two principles of the International Law, which raise a lot of debates because of a supposed contradiction. Territorial integrity refers to the protection of an independent state’s territory from aggression of other states. Self-determination is defined as a right of nations to freely decide their sovereignty and political status without external compulsion or outside interference [2, p. 94-97, 89-91]. Thus, territorial integrity is related to the relations among sovereign independent states, while self-determination refers to the relations between an independent state and a people. The objective of this article is to describe and explain the issue of self-determination, both as a right of nations and as a principle of International Law, as well as its relationship with the concept of territorial integrity of the states. The definite understanding of these principles is of vital importance for us, as we have the question of Nagorno-Karabakh, which by all means has to be solved by application of the self-determination concept. *

American University of Armenia, Department of Law, graduate student; post-graduate student at YSU.

**

American University of Armenia, Department of Law, graduate student.

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The article will consider the definitions of the two principles, their historical background, the relationship between them, as well as will bring a case study on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. The purpose of the work is to show that these principles do not contradict to each other; they are equal and merely should be applicable in different situations. The principle of self-determination is indisputably applicable in the case of Nagorno-Karabakh. International Law The roots of International Law go deep in history. A lot of evidences can be found in early writings, proving the existence of International Law in the relations of early states (peace treaties, alliances). International law can be defined as interstate law, as it regulates the relations among states. The procedure of the formation of international law is characterized by the fact that the norms of international law, regulating the intercourse between the states, were created on the basis of collaboration among states [3]. So, they should be respected and implemented by the whole international community. It is really difficult to under- mine the important role of International Law. Even the most passionate critics accept the effectiveness of the international rules. Nevertheless, some of them argued that if there was a sovereign to enforce the implementation of these rules, they would be much more effective [4]. However, such overeign does not and cannot exist, as it will violate one of the basic principles of International Law: the sovereign equality of states. The only sovereign to carry out the above- mentioned task is the international community, which unfortunately is not able to properly manage this task. The principles of territorial integrity and self-determination are integral parts of the International Law. The importance of these principles is enormous in the international community. The first is closely connected with a basic order in interstate relations, while the second is a fundamental human right. Although the principles have equal importance they should be implemented in different situations. Of course, the points of view to 96

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the issue are different, but the reality is indisputable, and no one can deny the facts. The principles have their historical backgrounds and their emergence has been necessitated. However, no matter what was the reason for their emergence, they exist in modern international law and should be followed and respected. The Criteria for Statehood The Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of the States was adopted on the 26 December 1933 in Montevideo, Uruguay1, at the international meeting of the American states. It dealt with the criteria of assessing an entity as a state. These criteria are nowadays considered as traditional for state building and are part of the customary international law. The Montevideo Convention stated four criteria: permanent population, a defined territory, a government and capacity to enter into relations with the other states. In ascertaining the meaning of population the notion of “Nation� should be considered. There was neither minimum number of population, nor the demand to be homogeneous. Population is defined as a group of people, who have a common history, culture, language, religion and the feeling of belonging together. Peoples are often indigenous to the territory they inhabit. Article 3 of the Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous people provides the opportunity for self-determination for indigenous people. There is no minimum size for the territory and the boundaries should not be absolutely fixed, as there are a lot of states with territorial disputes. It is a principle of International Law that when a frontier dispute arises between the states and territory claimed is claimed on the historical ground, it is important to consider the rules as they existed in that particular period of time. Government should exercise an effective control over the major part of the territory. The respect to human rights and self-determination are also important in evaluating the effectiveness of the Government. The 1

See www.taiwandocuments.org/montevideo01.htm

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Government should also have sovereignty, which is not equal to independence. The recognition is not necessarily a vital element in considering an entity a state; it’s rather a basis for legal interconnection with foreign states. Non– recognition does not imply that International Law is not applicable to that recognition seeking state. Non–recognition by the United Nations follows as a result of applying the following principles: •

The prohibition of aggression

The prohibition of the acquisition of the territory by means of force

The prohibition of suppression of human rights and systematic racial discrimination

The prohibition of the denial of self-determination.

Article 4 of the UN Charter prescribes the condition for the state to become a UN member: membership to UN is open to all peace-loving states, which accept the obligations under the UN Charter and the ability and willingness to carry out these obligations2. During the second half of the 20th century the rights of minorities and individuals received more attention. James Crawford adds new criteria to the Monte video principles: independence, permanence, willingness and ability to observe international law, a certain degree of civilization, legal order. In order to face the new realities arisen after 1991 the European Commission established the Badinter Commission to analyze the requirements for the new states to be recognized by the European Union. The commission developed new criteria which are more in line with modern expectations with regard to the states. These additional requirements were: respect 2

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to the UN Charter, Helsinki Final Act and Charter of Paris; guarantee the rights of minorities; respecting all borders, which can be altered only by mutual agreement; acceptance of commitments of disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation, regional security and stability; commitment to resolve State succession and regional disputes by agreement or arbitration.3 However, these criteria concern state recognition and are not criteria for statehood. Self-determination To delve into the core of the principles of self-determination it is necessary to investigate the history of these principles, the cases where they have been implicated, and the documents where the principles are set. The roots of the self-determination concept go back to the political ideas of Aristotle, later John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The core philosophical meaning of the principle was that every human being has a right to control his/ her own destiny. Nevertheless, this idea was not accepted in the past. The concept was also included in Marxist doctrine as a right of working class to liberate from capitalism. The further development of the idea brought to its political implication. The rebirth of self-determination was related to the World War I. The greatest advocates of the principle in its political aspect were V. Lenin and W. Wilson. The US president W. Wilson believed that national self-determination was very important in maintaining peaceful relations among nations. According to Wilson, people should not be forced to live under the government they do not want to. These words sound attractive and democratic, although Wilson had some other goals in advocating the principle: to dissolve the Ottoman and Habsburg empires. The further implication of the concept was tied with the necessity to stop the proliferation of Bolshevik regimes in Eastern and Southern Europe. Another reason, why Wilson had employed the concept, was to weaken the European colonial states, by 3

Declaration on the ‘Guidelines on the Recognition of New States in Eastern Europe and in the Soviet Union’, 16 December 1991, ILM 31, (1992), pp. 1485-87.

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dissemination the principle of self-determination in the colonies of Great Britain, France and other colonial powers. Wilson in- tended to include the principle in the Covenant of the League of Nations (the first international organization, established after the World War I) as a guarantee of political stability. Nevertheless, other politicians assessed the principle as a source of instability, and it was not included in the League of Nations Covenant. The Soviet leader V. Lenin also advocated the principle, at least on the international level. He argued that peoples under colonial rule had the right to gain their independence [5]. The desire of both leaders to weaken the European colonial powers is obvious. They both had intentions to promote their ideas and disseminate them among other nations. The idea of self-determination can also be found in the United States Declaration of Independence (1776), which states the natural right of individuals to choose their own form of government. It was also stated that this right should gain more attention in case of oppression. The first written official document on the principle is the Joint Declaration of the US president and UK prime minister of August 14, 1941. Although the document did not explicitly call the principle as self-determination, the third point of the Atlantic Charter accepted the right of all peoples to choose their form of government [6, p. 7]. It derived from the principle that all peoples, without any exceptions, have the right to choose the form of their government. The term self-determination of people is mentioned officially for the first time in the Charter of the United Nations; in Article 1, paragraph 2 and Article 55 of the Charter. Article 1 states: “The purposes of the United Nations are: …2. To develop friendly relations among nations based on the respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace.” Article 55 points out the objectives the UN shall promote ‘with a view to the creation of conditions of stability and well-being which are necessary for peaceful and friendly relations among nations, based on the respect for the principles of equal rights and self- determination’ 100

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[7, pp.21-23]. According to Casesse (2005), the principle of self- determination is rather a goal than an obligation of the UN. However, there was a strong debate over the meaning of these Articles. The main point of hesitation was whether the right of self-determination refers to the states or peoples. UN nominated a special commission to investigate the issue. According to their explanations, the word ‘peoples’ refers to groups of human beings who may or may not comprise States or nations. The right of self-determination implies that a people have the right to establish any regime which they favor [6, pp. 37-39]. The principle of self-determination is also formulated in the UN General Assembly Resolutions, International Covenants on human rights, as well as in other documents. Every year, since 1980, the General Assembly of the UN has adopted a resolution on the right of self-determination [1, p. 10-12]. The Covenants, pro claiming self-determination as a universal human right, are ratified by the large majority of states. It is a juridical rule and should be respected by all the states. The historian Alfred Cobban has said that not every kind of national revolt can be included under the description of self-determination. The movement for national independence, or self-determination, falls into the same category as utilitarianism, communism, or Jeffersonian democracy. It is a theory, a principle, or an idea, and no simple, unconscious national movement can be identified with it. Struggles like the rising of the French under the inspiration of Joan of Arc or the Hussite Wars are fundamentally different from the national movements of the last two hundred years because of the absence of a theory of national self- determination, which could appear only in the presence of a democratic ideology. What is most widely implied in the term self-determination is the right to participate in the democratic process of governance and to influence one’s future – politically, socially and culturally [8]4.

4

http://www.iwgia.org/human-rights/self-determination

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Self-determination embodies the right for all peoples to determine their own economic, social and cultural development. Self-determination has thus been defined by the International Court of Justice (in the West-Saharan case) as: The need to pay regard to the freely expressed will of peoples [9]5. The right of self-determination of peoples is a fundamental principle in international law. It is embodied in the Charter of the United Nations and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Common Article 1, paragraph 1 of these Covenants provides that: „All peoples have the rights of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.” [10]6. The right of self-determination has also been recognized in other international and regional human rights instruments such as Part VII of the Helsinki Final Act 1975 and Article 20 of the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights, as well as the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Territories and Peoples. It has been endorsed by the International Court of Justice. Furthermore, the scope and content of the right of self- determination has been elaborated upon by the United Nations Human Rights Committee and Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination as well as international jurists and human rights experts. The international community fears that the increasing number of small states will destroy the existing basis of international community. Nevertheless, this fear appears to have no solid basis. The changes have occurred throughout the history. A lot of states have emerged and vanished. History is a continuing process and transformation of the 5 6

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existing international community is inevitable. A great number of states feel really alarmed about this principle, however the faults of the past should be corrected; otherwise the future of the international community will be under a great question. The principle of territorial integrity or uti possidetis The birth of the modern approach to the principle of territorial integrity dates back to 1648 Peace of Westphalia. The territory of state was considered to be the main factor, determining the security and wealth of the state; and the protection of territory was impetus of the state’s foreign policy. The principle was included in the Article 10 of the League of Nations Covenant: “The members of the League undertake to respect and preserve as against external aggression the territorial integrity and existing political independence of all Members of the League” [9 p. 263]. After World War I the principle was stated in several declarations and treaties. From the historical view, the emergence of the principle was connected with the necessity of great states to maintain status qvo in the world order. The importance of this principle is very great in interstate relations. It is worth emphasizing the word interstate, as the principle refers to the relations between independent states, not to the state and people. Its meaning implies to the protection of state territory against foreign aggression. This principle was formulated in the Charter of the UN (Article 2, item 4). The article prohibits the threat or use of force against the territorial sovereignty of states and its political independence [2, p.4]. The 1960 UN Declaration states: “any attempt aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity or territorial integrity of a country is incompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the UN” [9, p. 265]. In the 1970 declaration of International Law principles the territorial integrity was not wholly mentioned, but its several parts were explained. The 1975 Helsinki Final Act implies that frontiers can only be changed, in accordance with the International Law, by peaceful means

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and agreements [12]7. It should be mentioned that in the 1990s both the EU and NATO members concluded accords with adjacent states, concerning their borders, thus putting the end to territorial aspirations among the member-states. As it can be seen, all the documents on territorial integrity refer to the relations between states. The issue of Nagorno-Karabakh The issue of Nagorno-Karabakh is one of the most difficult and controversial issues in modern international relations. The clash of two international law principles in this case seems to be most vivid than ever. The people of Nagorno- Karabakh legally pursued their right of self-determination, while Azerbaijan without any legal and historical background insisted on its right of territorial integrity. Meanwhile Nagorno-Karabakh has neither legally, nor historically been within the Azerbaijani territorial integrity. Artsakh (Karabakh) is an integral part of historic Armenia. As a part of Armenia Karabakh is mentioned in the works of Strabo, Pliny the Elder, Claudius Ptolemy, Plutarch, Dio Cassius, and other ancient authors. The enduring rich historic-cultural heritage is the evident testimony of it. After the division of Greater Armenia (387 A.D.), Artsakh became part of the Eastern Armenian kingdom, which soon fell under the Persian rule. At that time, Artsakh was a part of the Armenian marzpanutyun (province), then, in the period of Arabic rule, it was part of Armenia kusakalutyun (region). It was part of the Armenian kingdom of Bagratids (9-11th centuries), then – part of Zakarid Armenia (12-13th centuries). When in 17-18th centuries Armenians fought against the Persian dominancy, the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh appealed to the Russian Empire to become a part of it [13]8. It coincided with the Russian expansion in the south leading to the First Russo-Persian War, which ended with the Treaty of Gulistan in 1813. Under the terms of this treaty Karabakh, along with the other north-eastern provinces of Armenia, 7 8

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was transferred from Persian to Russian dominion [14, p. 199]. In 1840, as a result of the administrative reform in the Caucasus, the region was divided into two administrative districts, and Karabakh was incorporated in the Caspian Oblast, then in 1867 - into the Elisabethpol Governorate, which remained undisturbed until the beginning of World War I [15]9. With the end of the Imperial Government in the October Revolution of 1917 three ethnic republics of Transcaucasia - Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia were formed in 1918 as a result of the collapse of the Russian Empire, which led to territorial disputes between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh. Nagorno-Karabakh in 1918-1920: After the formation of three Transcaucasia states, Nagorno-Karabakh (95 percent of population of which were Armenians) convened its first congress, which proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh as an in- dependent political unit, elected a National Council and Government [13]10. Consequently, during 1918-1920 Nagorno-Karabakh possessed the elements of state- hood, including an army and legitimate authorities. Starting this point, the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan, with the help and support of Turkey, made several attempts to annex the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. However, Karabakh rejected the encroachments of Turkey and Azerbaijan, referring to the fact that the British command had recognized Nagorno-Karabakh as a separate territory, the status of which would have to be decided at the Paris Peace Conference [15]11. Thus, from May 1918 until April 1920, when the soviet regime was established in Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh had never been an integral part of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan.

9 10

11

Avakian, Shahen. Nagorno-Karabakh Legal Aspects. mfa.am. 3rd edition. http://www.mfa. am/u_files/file/Legal%20Aspects_Nagorno Karabakh_en_2010.pdf “The Artsakh Question: an Analysis of Territorial Dispute Resolution in International Law�. Goliath Business knowledge on demand. 01-May-08,http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/ gi_0199-8139141/The-Artsakh-question-an-analysis.html Avakian, Shahen, http://www.mfa.am/u_files/file/Legal%20Aspects_Nagorno Karabakh_ en_2010.pdf

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Nagorno-Karabakh during Soviet Period: On November 30, 1920, immediately on the next day after establishing soviet rule in Armenia, the Government of Soviet Azerbaijan (soviet regime in Azerbaijan was installed earlier, on April 26, 1920) adopted a declaration on recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh, Zangezour and Nakhichevan as a part of Soviet Armenia, thus restoring the historical justice [16]. On July 4, 1921 the Central Committee of the Caucasian Bureau with the majority of votes decided to include Nagorno-Karabakh in the Armenian SSR, as well as to conduct a plebiscite in Nagorno-Karabakh, taking into consideration the ethnic factor [16]. However, during the night of July 4 to 5, a new decision was made by Moscow, which implied to incorporate Nagorno-Karabakh into the Azerbaijan SSR, granting it regional autonomy. This was done citing the economic ties and the need to establish peace between the Muslim and Christian populations [14, p. 201]. However, this decision is void, as it was made with prominent legal and procedural violations. Stalin failed to obtain the approval of the members of the Plenary Session. De jure, the previous decision about the reunification of NK with Armenia is the only adopted legal document. Thus, the status of the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh was decided at the will of a political party of a third country, with no legal power or jurisdiction. The decisions of Bolshevik Party of Soviet Russia were not binding to other Socialist States be- cause the Soviet Union came into existence only in December 1922, which clearly indicates that in 1921 Armenia and Azerbaijan were independent actors of international relations. On July 7, 1923 Soviet Azerbaijan’s Central Executive Revolutionary Committee established the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (NKAO). It was to- tally isolated from the Armenian SSR, where the Azeri authorities put into force re-population programs to further isolate NK Armenians from the Armenian SSR, and to implement assimilation policy. The Azerbaijani authorities carried out systematic policy of deportation, national discrimination and destruction of Armenian cultural heritage. Despite these deliberate policies, the Armenian population 106

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never went along the Azeri rules; petitions and protests continued during the 70 years of the Soviet authorities, culminating in 1980s, during Gorbachov’s Perestroyka. On February 20, 1988, a session of the Oblast Soviet of delegates of the NKAO adopted a resolution “making an appeal to the Supreme Soviets of the Azerbaijan SSR and the Armenian SSR to withdraw the NKAO from Azerbaijan and transfer it to Armenia” [17]. At the same time, an appeal was sent to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR for the approval of this resolution. On July 7, 1988 the European Parliament also supported the demand of NK to reunite with the Armenian SSR and called on the Supreme Soviet to study the proposals of the Armenian delegates that NK temporarily be governed by the central administration in Moscow, or temporarily be attached to the Russian Federation, or be temporarily placed under the authority of a ‘presidential regional government’ [18].12 Nagorno-Karabakh after the Collapse of the USSR: On September 2, 1991, Nagorno-Karabakh, in compliance with the internal Soviet law, initiated the process of independence through the adoption of the “Declaration of Independence of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh”. This act was in full conformity with the existing law. In response to this move, several days later ethnic cleansings and pogroms were perpetrated against the Armenian population in Baku, Kirovabad and other places in Azerbaijan, giving a start to Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. On December 10, 1991 the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh held its own referendum of independence, which was also in conformity with existing Soviet law. Ninety-nine percent of the votes were in favor of independence. Following the results of the referendum, an act “On the Results of the Referendum on Independence of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh” was adopted and signed by in- dependent international observers.

12

www.miak.am/pdf/NK_Long_Version.pdf

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On 18 October 1991, the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan adopted a Declaration of Independence which was affirmed by a nationwide referendum in December 1991, when the Soviet Union was officially dissolved. Hence, Nagorno- Karabakh was not a constituent part of Azerbaijan when the latter was recognized by the international community. Now Nagorno-Karabakh struggles for its legal right of self-determination, which sooner or later will be accepted by the international community. The latest developments in Kosovo (which has a lot of similarities with the Nagorno-Karabakh case) indicates that international community attaches great importance to the principle of self-determination. Conclusion Self-determination is a concept that can be traced back to the beginning of government. The right has always been cherished by all peoples, although history has a long record of its denial to the weak by the strong. Both the Greek city- states and the earlier Mesopotamian ones were jealous of their right to self- determination. The development of modern states in Europe and the rise of popular national consciousness enhanced the status of self-determination as a political principle, but it was not until the period of World War I that the right of national independence came to be known as the principle of national self-determination. In general terms, it was simply the belief that each nation had a right to constitute an independent state and to determine its own government. Nowadays, the principle of self-determination has an important place in modern International law. The principle has been and continues to be a powerful motivation in the international relations. Meanwhile, a declining importance of interstate territorial boundaries is observed, related to globalization and formation of the international community. The fundamental approach should be that all peoples have a full right of self-determination. This is a basic rule, which does not recognize international and domestic boundaries. 108

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For the Nagorno-Karabakh issue it is vital to understand the source of conflict and choose an effective approach. In order to move the question to the field of self-determination, the Republic of Armenia should withdraw from the negotiation process and insist on involving the Nagorno-Karabakh authorities in the resolution of the problem. If this happens, the issue will gain absolutely another character and will probably be resolved on the grounds of self-determination. There is no doubt that the Nagorno-Karabakh people fall under all categories of the principle. The following can be concluded: first, the principle of self-determination is applicable to all peoples, whether they are under ‘colonial, foreign or alien domination’ or under ‘alien subjugation, domination and exploitation’ [6 p. 78]. Second, all peoples have the equal right of self-determination, and should enjoy equal opportunities to exercise this right [19]. It follows that it is unjustified to implement this right on one people, while refusing to others (the modern case of Kosovo and Karabakh). Third, the principles of self-determination and territorial integrity do not contradict. The latter refers to the relationship between states, while the former implies to the relationship between the State and the people. According to Casesse (2005), a right to secession can be implemented if a racial group is forcibly refused to have equal access to government. If so, the latter has a legal basis to use force and is entitled to secede, choosing its political future: whether to integrate with another state or become an independent state. Even if the principle of self-determination is taken in this narrow definition, Nagorno- Karabakh’s right of secession is again undeniable. The followers of the territorial thesis (highlighting the principle of territorial integrity) argue that the issue of oppression can be resolved by other means of removing or reforming the oppressor, in extreme cases by revolutions, and it is not a must to establish a new state [20]. According to them, the main focus should be made on the historical aspect of the issue. Even taking into consideration the mentioned reasonings, the claims of Nagorno-Karabakh find solid ground. Thus, there are a lot of approaches

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to the question, nevertheless every theory or approach definitely demonstrates the right of Nagorno-Karabakh for self-determination. The principle of self-determination is closely tied with the political interests; that is why although the principle is applicable to all peoples, it has been and continues to be effectively applied only to certain peoples. There are a lot of approaches connected with the implications of the self-determination. Different documents and authors name and highlight only particular aspects of the principle. The case of Nagorno-Karabakh falls under all of them. The history is another solid argument in our claims. Although international community is reluctant to see new changes in the world political map, it has “survived� after Kosovo secession. The acceptance of another historical and legal reality is a harmless necessity. September, 2011.

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References and Literature 1.

Cassese, A., International law, (2nd Ed.). New York: Oxford University Press, 2005., p. 6.

2.

Khocharyan, V., Միջազգային իրավունք, ուսումնական ձեռնարկ, International law. Textbook], Erevan University Press, 2002.

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Kelsen, H., Principles of International Law, New Jersey: The Lawbookexchange LTD, 2003, p.12.

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Janis, M., An Introduction to International Law, (4th Ed.), New York: Aspen publishers, 2003.

5.

Janis, M & Noyes, J., International Law. Cases and commentary. 3rd Ed. American casebook series. Tomson West, 2006.

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Duursma, J., Fragmentation and the International Relations of Micro-States: self-determination and statehood, Cambridge University Press, 1996.

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Aust, A., Handbook of International Law. Cambridge University press, 2005.

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http://www.iwgia.org/human-rights/self-determination www.icj-cij.org/docket/index. php?sum=323&code=sa&p1=3&p2=4&case=61&k=69&p3=5

9.

treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/CTC/uncharter.pdf

10. Simmons, B. A. & Steinberg R. (Eds.), International Law and International Relations. Cambridge University Press, 2006. 11. www.hri.org/docs/Helsinki75.html 12. The Artsakh Question: an Analysis of Territorial Dispute Resolution in International Law. GOLIATH Business knowledge on demand, from http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/ gi_01998139141/The-Artsakh-question-an-analysis.html 13. Kotanjyan, Hayk. Political Problems of Security: Perestroyka in the USSR- Karabakh, Armenia, South Caucasus-Afghanistan, Yerevan, 2010. 14. Avakian, Shahen, Nagorno-Karabakh Legal Aspects, 3rd edition, from http://www.mfa. am/u_files/file/Legal%20Aspects_NagornoKarabakh_en_2010.pdf 15. Iskandaryan, G, Ghazaryan, H., Malkhasyan, M., Petrosyan, S., Kotanjyan, V. Հիմնական փաստեր Ղարաբաղյան հակամարտության մասին. [Main Facts on the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict], Yerevan 2006-2008. 16. Zolyan, Suren. Нагорный Карабах: Проблема и конфликт. Nagorno-Karabakh: Problem & Conflict], Yerevan, 2001. 17. www.miak.am/pdf/NK_Long_Version.pdf 18. Charlotte Hille, State Building and Conflict Resolution in the Caucasus, Brill 2010, pp.36-39. 19. Teson, F. R., A Philosophy of International Law, Westview press, 1998. 20. www.un.org/en/documents/charter/ 21. www.taiwandocuments.org/montevideo01.htm

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PART III CONFLICT AND SETTLEMENT

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NAGORNO KARABAKH: THE ANATOMY OF A CONFLICT Yiannos CHARALAMBIDES*1 Introduction War is not an abstract concept. On the contrary, it constitutes a reality and therefore it is essential to investigate why the war of Nagorno-Karabakh occurred. Was it the destiny of two nations to reach a full-scale conflict or was it the historical and political evolution of a declined Empire, namely the Soviet Union? The one cause does not exclude the other. In searching for the truth, one discovers concealed aspects of history and wars. Therefore, the question we should answer is the following: what is history? In order to give a short definition about what history is we could say that it is a reality, composed of information and facts which shed light to unknown events and assists political science to explore, evaluate and analyse the causes triggering wars in the context of international relations. As Carr underlines: “The facts are really not at all like fish on the fishmonger’s Slab. They are like fish swimming about in the vast and sometimes inaccessible ocean; and what the historian catches will depend, partly on chance, but mainly on what part of the ocean the chooses to fish in and what tackle he chooses to use –these two factors being, of course, determined by the kind of fish he wants to catch. By and large, the historian will get the kind of facts he wants. History means interpretation” (Carr 1961, p. 23). In this regard, we should examine the structure of the conflict in NagornoKarabakh through the use of historical events and political decisions on the basis of which a new legal state of affairs has been created. However, such a state of affairs was not acceptable by all. Since the parties involved *

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did not achieve a peaceful solution on the negotiating table, a conflict broke out. What remains to be defined is the structure of war in general and particularly the one of the conflict in Nagorno Karabakh. The structure of a conflict is based on historical and political facts. The political aspect is causally connected with the interpretation of history and conflict. It is also pertinent to the way that international relations function with sovereign States as the main component actors of the Global System. History results from and is composed of visible and invisible facts. Thus, we have to examine history through the lens of national interests as well as through other factors such as military strength, power games and stereotypes which are all capable of catalytically influencing the decisions makers (Kaliyan and Morey 2009, pp. 337-359). These factors are relevant to the reasons that trigger war. Causes triggering a conflict Facts, documents and other information are of utmost importance regarding the structure of a conflict. Each one has its own component character. However, there are some recurring causes which turn into rules. These rules are used in order to analyse conflicts and wars (Dickinson 1920, p.10-14). Such causes triggering a war are: 1. Balance and unbalance of power. At this point we could refer to the Concert of Europe on the one hand (from the end of Napoleonic War in 1815 to the outbreak of the First World War in 1914) and the causes triggering the Second World War on the other. In the first case, the balance of power held Europe in stability (Stevenson 2014, p. 4). As to the second one, the policy of appeasement followed by Edouard Daladier and Nevil Chamberlain and the Munich Agreement, signed on 30 September 1938, was one of the main causes that Hitler took the upper hand and led the Global System to the Second World War. They allowed Hitler to conquer Czechoslovakia and as Churchill said on October 3, 1938: “we have sustained a defeat without a war, the consequences of which will travel far with us along our road� and Frozen Conflict and Self-Determination

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he also underlined: “England has been offered a choice between war and shame. She has chosen shame, and will get war” (Gilbert 1977, pp.972; Langworth 2008, pp. 256–57). They had the illusion that if they appeased him they could curb him. 2. Conflicting national interests, which are pertinent to disputable territory and national resources such as gas, oil and water. This is exemplified by the tension between Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus in the Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone. (The Journal of Turkish Weekly, 2012; BRT, 2015). The same applies to Greco-Turkish relations in the Aegean Sea (Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs 1996; Haanappel 2003, p. 22). Furthermore, we could also refer to the problems existing between Turkey, Iraq and Syria regarding the control of the waters in the Middle East and particularly those of the Euphrates River (De Chatel 2003). Gas and oil as well as water constitute structural coefficients of national strength and therefore causes of conflict (Charalambides 2012). However, the circumstances differ according to the case in question and the said coefficients of strength may turn into instruments of cooperation and stability. The result depends on whether the parties involved in a conflict intend to converge their national interests or not and to what extent. 3. Expansionist and imperialistic strategy and policy. This is what occurred during the First and Second World War and this is what is happening in the current era with Turkey, which has already put forward a revisionist strategy and policy in order to emerge into an indisputable regional power and thus restoring the Ottoman Empire (Davutoğlu 2010; Ottens 2010). What do we mean when we refer to a revisionist strategy? It is a set of political and legal actions, including the use of force, with the aim of changing the legal geopolitical status quo existing within a region in favor of the interests of the nation states which schedule and put in practice such a strategy. In fact, the State which implements such a strategy initially creates a fait accompli and then attempts to legalise it. 116

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4. A revolution of a nation for freedom and national independence in an attempt to exercise the right of self - determination. A classic example which also covers point 5 below is that of the Crimea crisis. Poverty and the economic problems in addition to the democratic deficit and corruption existent in Ukraine, pushed the Ukrainian people to revolt in November 2013 and finally toppled President Viktor Yanukovych who was politically supported by the Russian government. The regime of Yanukovych fell, but Ukraine lost Crimea, which had been offered by the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to Kiev as a gift during the Soviet Era. The peninsula of Crimea was a territorial region which traditionally belonged to Russia. The administrative arrangement decided by the Ukrainian leadership in 1954 launched the Russian military attack in 2014 with the claim of restoring history and that the people of Crimea had the legal right to self-determination. With the utilisation of the right to self-determination the Russian population living in the Eastern Ukraine rose against Kiev and a bloody conflict broke out (AFP, 2015; ITAR -TASS, 2014). Whether and who has the right to self-determination in Crimea or in the Eastern region of Ukraine is a matter open to discussion. This issue is also pertinent to and depends on the political will and power games existing among the Great Powers. We refer to the Crimea problem as it is relevant to the one of Nagorno-Karabakh and whose consequences still stem from a number of political options adopted and imposed by the Soviet Union. It is obvious that the causes that triggered the Crimea conflict are in line with points “6” and “7” mentioned below. 5. Economic problems, poverty and national differences. This is a cause which has already been analysed above. 6. Negative historical stereotypes, lack of mutual respect and syndromes stemming from the past. An example is the Armenian genocide executed by the Ottoman Turks.

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7. The decline and rise of an Empire. In the cases of Crimea, Yugoslavia and Nagorno–Karabakh we experienced the consequences of the collapse of the Soviet Empire. These conflicts also fall into the criteria and causes of points 1, 2, 3 and 4. The same applies to the Ottoman Empire from which new nation - states emerged before and during the First World War. 8. Different values and principles among peoples living together such as those who lived in the Soviet Union. Religion, democracy, national and personal dignity are some of the concepts that a nation is ready to defend and thereby holding its country free from external aggressors. Most of the conflicts in the Middle East, as well as the rise of ISIS, (Wood, 2015) are phenomena of which the causes of their existence are pertinent to religious matters. In this regard, the theological and political interpretation given from Fundamentalist Organisations renders religious faith an instrument for war and terrorist actions albeit terrorists allege that they fight for their freedom from the Western Powers and Western Globalisation. They deem that Western Globalisation is in contrast to the Global Caliphate that ISIS and other Fundamentalist Terrorist Organisations fight for without mercy (Charalambides 2013 pp. 73-77). 9. Unpredictable factors: As we focus on the structure of the conflict of Nagorno–Karabakh, we should analyse it through the political, legal and historical frame of the Soviet Union in conjunction with the Conventions and other sources of International Law and particularly taking into consideration what the right to self – determination provides for. Therefore, one may raise two relevant questions: which of the causes mentioned above would be capable of triggering the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh? The answer is based on the following: A.

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When the Soviet Union collapsed the Azeri had the impression that they had the upper hand and that the balance of power was in favor of their own national interests. The Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh seemed not to be strong enough to preYIANNOS CHARALAMBIDES


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vent the attacks launched by the military forces of Azerbaijan. However, the Azerbaijanis lost the war. Due to strategic reasons the balance of power changed since the Armenian Forces defeated the Azerbaijani army on the ground. The existing cease - fire and the fact that the conflict remains frozen compose a reality which is pertinent to the balance of power as well as to some other variables. Such variables –facts are the oil and gas production which rendered Azerbaijan a rich State (ECONOMICS 2015). Therefore, the government of Baku does not intend to put its development at stake by initiating a war. B.

The national interests of both the Armenians and the Azerbaijanis were and still are in conflict and Nagorno Karabakh constitutes the “storm petrel� of their relations. It is a region which is claimed by both sides. The Azerbaijanis argue that Nagorno Karabakh is an indispensable part of their territorial integrity and the Armenians insist that this specific region belongs to their nation. The Armenians fought for their land and their dignity. The Azerbaijanis had been engaged in the war to defend their borders as they had been mapped out by the Soviet leadership. However, this decision was never approved by the Armenians. Therefore, both sides argue that the basic reason of their struggle is dignity and the defence of their interests and territory.

C.

The negative stereotypes existing between the Armenians and the Azerbaijanis are pertinent to the unfair Soviet policy which turned against the Armenians and made them feel second class citizens under the administrative power of the Azerbaijani State in the context of the Soviet Federation. These stereotypes had been fuelled by the different system of values and principles, an issue which is relevant to the religious faith of the conflicting parties. The Armenians are Christians and the Azerbaijanis Muslims and of Turkish origin. When the attacks against the Armenians who lived in Baku started in 1989, the nightmare of the genocide woke up and the memories turned into a shield of protection for the Armenians while the whole nation became alert (Hovannisian 2008). Consequently, they joined forces in order to prevent a new tragedy and catastrophe. The Armenian historical consciousness and the drama stemming from the genocide did not allow history to repeat itself. On the other hand, the Azerbaijani government Frozen Conflict and Self-Determination

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could not accept the military defeat and could not leave Nagorno Karabakh under Armenian control. It would be a betrayal. The main Azerbaijani argument is that their State, including Nagorno-Karabakh, is internationally recognised. This position is not irrational as it is based on international law which is utilised in order to justify their political views regarding he occupation of territories. The collapse of the Soviet Union Last but not least, a cause which should be analysed is the one of the Soviet Union and the consequences induced by the system’s collapse. Global history teaches that Empires are doomed to make their political circle and cannot avoid their destiny. After their rise and peak the decline follows. Even the Soviet Union, which considered itself as indestructible and invincible, did not successfully resist its historical and inevitable collapse. The Soviet leadership had the illusion that their Empire would last for ever and therefore they implemented an internal policy of which the consequences are reflected in bloody conflicts such as the one in Nagorno - Karabakh. The territorial adjustments, which had been decided by the Soviet leaders and imposed on the peoples living in the Communist Empire led to serious problems of which the solution resulted in the use of military means and force. The problems stemming from the Soviet era are classified as follows: 1. Territorial adjustments. 2. Displacement of populations. 3. The democratic deficit. 4. Corruption.

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5. The state of terror. The opponents of the system were sent to prison or to exile where most died. The trials were conducted summarily and the unfair and undemocratic verdicts seemed to be predictable. The system did not allow the culprits to defend themselves. Conclusions The aforementioned administrative, social and political characteristics of the Soviet Era constituted some of the main causes which triggered the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. They coexist with historical facts and constitute instruments that one may use in order to interpret history, international relations and conflicts. This is the structure of the conflict through which a solution could be constructed. We cannot reach a verdict unless explore the causes of the problem. It is like an ill person. No remedy can be provided unless the diagnosis and the medicines for the recovery are appropriate As we have already explained there are some constant variables which can be used as a basis and tools for scientists and the politicians who deal with conflict analysis and resolutions. However, each conflict has its own characteristics and no magic recipe exists that one could follow to resolve all cases. The solution on the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh has two main dimensions and pillars. The one is the legal aspect and the right to self - determination and the other is the balance of power, which prevents the escalation of the conflict. Thus one may allege that, for the time being, the existing status quo suit all the parties involved in the conflict. However, we have, in fact, a frozen conflict which is like an inactive volcano with the risk of explosion at any time.

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10. Hovannisian R, 2008, The Armenian Genocide, Cultural and Ethical Legacies, Libraries of Congress Catalogue Number:2007011673, ISBN:978-0-76580367-2, Printed in the United States of America. 11. Kaliyan N and R V Morey, 2009, Factors affecting strength and durability of densified, Volume 33, Issue 3, March 2009 12. Langworth, R, 2008, Churchill, Published in the UK by Ebury Press, ISBN: 978-1-58648638-9 13. Ottens N, 2010, Turkey Awakes as Regional Power, Atlantic Sentinel, June 11, Available from: <http://atlanticsentinel.com/2010/06/turkey-awakes-as-a-regional-power/ > (10 August 2011) 14. Stevenson, D 2004, 1914 - 1918: The History of the First World War. Penguin Books, ISBN: 978-0-14-026817-1. 15. The Journal of Turkish Weekly, 2012, Turkish Oil Company to Start Drilling in North Cyprus Site, April 23, Available from: <http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/134806/turkishHYPERLINK “http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/134806/turkish-oil-company-to-startdrilling-in-north-cyprus-site.html”oil-company-to-start-drilling-in-north-cyprus-site.html> (28 April 2014) 16. Wood G, 2015, What ISIS Really Wants, The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy-and for how to stop it, The Atlantic, March 2015, Available from: <http://www.theatlantic.com/features/ archive/2015/02/what-isis-really-wants/384980/> (June 10, 2015)

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MILITARY AND POLITICAL DENOUEMENT OF THE FIVE-DAY WAR Sergey MINASYAN* The article covers the basic outcome of the “Five-day War”, August 2008, between Russia and Georgia, and the emerging political situation in the South Caucasus region. Analysis is made of their impact on the political processes within the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone including those relating to the efforts to spur the policies of Russia and Turkey in the post-war South Caucasus, as well as to the regional security and conflict resolution. A separate scrutiny is given in the article to the military out- come of the “Five-day war” with a reference to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Introduction Late at night on August 7, 2008, the Georgian army started a massive shelling of Tskhinvali, Capital of South Ossetia, and other Ossetian population centres along the entire zone of conflict, using multiple rocket launchers, heavy artillery and mortars [1]. Strikes by the Georgian Army were also directed at outposts and barracks of the Russian and North-Ossetian peace keepers. In early morning on August 8, the Georgian troops passed to the offensive on Tskhinvali, as well as to the west Znaur Region, and further to the north-west, towards the Zarsk road as well as Dzava and the Dzava Gorge. The Georgian offensive was effected by the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Infantry Brigades, as well as a number of sub-units of 1st and 5th Infantry Brigades, a detached tank battalion, an artillery brigade, special forces units of Georgia’s Ministry of De- fence and of the Interior. Air support to the advancing Georgian troops was provided by SU-25 attack aircraft and the attack helicopters Mi-24 of the Georgian Air Force. That was how the Five-day War started in South Ossetia… The outcome of combat activities in South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Georgia along with the subsequent political developments in the zone of the conflict is widely known. The direct involvement of the Russian Army *

Dr. Sergey Minasyan heads the Political Studies Department of the Caucasus Institute (Yerevan) since March 2006. Dr. Minasyan is a political scientist and holds a PhD in history. His numerous publications focus on regional security and conflicts in the South Caucasus

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into the military actions, opening of the second front in Abkhazia, carrying out a “inverse blitzkrieg” in the form of the Russian Army breaking into Georgian territory, a sudden drop in morality and a subsequent retreat by the Georgian troops have received a wide coverage by the world media, estimations and statements by the experts, politicians, International organizations and world leaders. And although basically the time has yet to come for a detailed review of all military and political outcomes of the Five-day war, quite a few initial lessons can still be drawn from what happened for the South Caucasus region. New Regional Status-quo It is to be noted quite certainly that the situation in the region in the wake of the Five-day war has created potentials and perspectives, as well as new threats and challenges to the regional security and sustainable development. Indeed, this type of critical situations, military conflicts and force-majeure mostly inflate the common stakes in the regional geopolitical games, wherein the potential losses and gains of the parties are significantly on the rise. In this regard the total configuration and the geopolitical breakup of the internal and external actors in the region are reminiscent of the situation in South Caucasus in the early 1990s. It is very likely that within the medium-term geopolitical perspective in South Caucasus there is an emerging situation when the weakened and certainly unstable and defeated Georgia will try, not without success, to obtain even more political and economic aid by the West; Azerbaijan will be in confusion projecting the consequences of the August military actions upon the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, being aware of the real threat to the country’s oil network and having revived the vision of the Russian threat, while Armenia will seek its place in the new situation, trying to gain advantage by making use of the regional political processes. On the other hand, the region has seen a situational boosting of the image of Russia, which is still somewhat euphoric. Although in the short and medium-term outlook Russia has consolidated its status and presence in South Caucasus, suffice it to remind of its Georgian campaign, recognition of Abkhazia’s and South Ossetia’s independence and the manifestly deployed Russian military bases in those former Georgian autonomies.

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Nonetheless, in the long-range aspect the deterioration of the relations with the West caused by the events of August 2008 and recreating the new aggressive image of Moscow in Western political mind will still yield new serious problems while carrying out the Russian policies in South Caucasus. Russia has effectively lost its ability to exert any political influence on Georgia, thus effectively restricting its hold of South Caucasus to the areas of South Ossetia and Abkhazia (having been secured therein for indefinite period of time), as well as to the bridgeheads of Armenia and Azerbaijan. To continue an active policy in South Caucasus, Moscow can only use its clout with Yerevan and Baku, also with regard to the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh, which has been linking those conflicting countries for over 20 years. Perhaps by virtue of realizing this fact the Russian leadership is trying to initiate a process around the peaceful settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict (like a semblance of its efficient resolution with Moscow mediation). The aim of this Russian initiative is an attempt to play down in the West the negative aftermath of the Georgian war and of recognizing by Moscow the South Ossetian and Abkhazian in- dependence. However, those Russian initiatives on Nagorno-Karabakh will hardly be successful not only because of the internal resistance by the conflicting parties, but also through fully anticipated opposition to those Russian plans on the part of the US and the EU. It can be assumed that the efficiency of the Russian initiative on Karabakh conflict settlement has been clearly demonstrated by the outcome of the Azerbaijan-Armenia summit meeting in suburban Moscow on November 2, 2008 attended by the president of the RF Medvedev. In a certain sense, the mentioned actions by Moscow look like a mirror reflection of the previous attempts by Washington to settle the Karabakh conflict prior to winter-summer 2006 (those attempts peaked while Presidents R. Kocharyan and I. Aliev were in Rambouillet and Bucharest). It is however not the American or American-European initiatives this time that would encounter the Russian opposition, but rather the US, NATO and the European structures did all they could to wreck all attempts by the Russian party to make the conflicting sides endorse the agreement, according to which (by the ambitious Kremlin arrangement) the role of peace keepers separating the Azeri, Armenian and Nagorno-Karabakh parties will be awarded to the Russian troops.

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Thus, the Kremlin activity in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement has actually pursued quite a pragmatic, though restricted aim of generating a semblance of constructive approach by Russia, which is capable of not only winning wars in post- Soviet areas against the dwarf countries (as against Georgia in August 2008), but it is also able to control the regional ethnopolitical conflicts, like the one around Nagorno-Karabakh or Transdnistria. It seems that now Moscow will think that the “Three-Presidents Declaration” (the first document jointly endorsed by the Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders on Karabakh after the 1994 armistice) has resolved that task, while S. Sargsyan and I. Aliev have managed to play into D. Medvedev’s hand with regard to their relevant reasoning. The role and place of the EU were manifested in a sustainable way in the August crisis around South Ossetia: Brussels is striving to occupy its niche in regional policies, looking for new formats of institutionalizing its presence in South Caucasus. Actually, placing the European observers in the buffer zones around the boundaries of South Ossetia and Abkhazia was the first serious original initiative by the European Union on projecting its political and partly military potential to implementing the peace-keeping operations beyond the domestic areas with no direct support from the US or NATO. However, there is no doubt that coordinating the positions of the EU on South Caucasus with the US and NATO is proceeding in a very condensed environment. Despite the augmenting anti-Russian rhetoric in the West we can see a sharp decline in the probability of Georgia being granted the MAP (NATO’s Membership Plan) in December 2008. Despite all optimistic statements by the Georgian officials, as well as the outcome of the EU sponsored Conference of donor countries in October 2008, which was quite successful for Tbilisi and afforded the financial aid to the war-stricken Georgia, it is clear that a number of key European members of NATO strongly oppose the speedy admittance of Georgia (as well as Ukraine) to NATO. Turkey, under changed circumstances, is also trying to play its regional game, offering a new initiative on stabilizing South Caucasus. Despite the regional initiative put forward by Ankara being rather poorly evaluated

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by the political scientists, it may be, perhaps, one of those frequent cases when the political process is more essential than its predicted outcome. Anyway, the Turkish initiative deserves a de- tailed scrutiny. It is not quite clear against this background, how much has the role of the US changed in the region, whether we are looking at a situational drop of the US status following the events in Georgia, and everything will resume its normal course, or else what happened is a start of deeper processes that were to modify the place of South Caucasus in the American policies. Anyway, there is a consensus in the expert community that retaliation in South Caucasus by Washington will closely follow the first steps of the new American administration under Barak Obama. Nevertheless, it will depend not so much on the new persons in the Democratic administration who will take up the regional problems in South Caucasus but rather upon the global financial, economic and political developments, whether the US activities in South Caucasus will go on the increase, or if the change of general political priorities will suppress the significance of this region in Washington planning. It is however hard to believe that against the background of the domestic economic issues, the global financial crisis and B. Obama’s commitment to produce serious changes within the United States proper, South Caucasus, in the midst of many relevant world problems, will be of such a great significance for the new American administration. One of the most crucial regional outcomes of the August conflict was a significant rise in Georgia’s risk assessment as a country of transit communications, a pas- sage way for energy and transport, particularly with regard to the precedent of the Russian military invasion of Georgia, to capturing and establishing control over strategic communications in Georgia’s population centres, like the port of Poti, the cities Gori, Senaki and Khashuri. The image of Georgia has suffered an unrecoverable blow not only as the “Beacon of Democracy” in the region, but all in all as a normal predictable country with an efficient system of governance. At differing intervals during the hostilities nearly all large-scale international projects involved in energy and communication passing over the Georgian territory ceased operation in the zone of conflict. There was a stoppage of the gas pipeline “Baku – Tbilisi – Ceyhan” and “Baku –

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Supsa”, the gas pipeline “Baku – Tbilisi – Er- zurum, there was no oil transport on the “Baku – Batumi” railroad, there was an in- definite suspension of the “Kars – Akhalkalaki” railroad construction. Kazakhstan resolved to backtrack on the construction of a large refinery in Batum. As a result, in August 2008 the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan was unable to use any one of those transportation routes to export oil from the country during that month. In its turn, in August 2008, the Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC) had to use only the “Baku – Novorossiysk” oil pipeline to redirect all export oil flows to the Russian route [2]. The situation around Georgia and the standby time of the Caspian oil and gas pipelines running across this country also had a significant impact upon the general finance and economic situation in Azerbaijan [3]. With the regard to Baku’s dependence on oil and gas export, the August events had a negative impact not only upon the fulfilment of state budget for 2008, but also introduced substantial corrections into developing the country’s next year budget. Moreover, the aggravation of the world financial crisis and the plummeting oil prices coincidental in time with termination of hostilities in Georgia, can produce still more serious problems for Azerbaijan being already on the oil needle not only in the economic, but also in political and social domains, and it will also negatively tell on the processes of further Islamization of the Azerbaijani society [4]. Of all major political consequences for the immediate participants of the military actions by Georgia, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Russia, note is to be made of a complete liquidation of the Georgian-populated enclaves in South Ossetia (Tamarasheni, Kekhvi, Eredvi), deportation of the local Georgian population and establishing control of Tskhinvali over the whole territory of the South-Ossetian Autonomous District, as well as over Akhalgorski (former Leningorski) district, which, since 1992, had actually been controlled by the Georgian administration1. In Abkhazia the establishment of complete control by Abkhazian authorities over the complete territory of the former Abkhazian Autonomous 1

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According to the International Crisis Group, the UNHCR (United Nation High Commissioner on Refugees) showed the number of Georgian refugees deported from South Ossetia in August 2008 at ca. 15 000. See in Detail: Russia against Georgia: aftermath// European Report # 195, International Crisis Group, Tbilisi - Brussels, 22.08.2008. S. 4.

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Republic following the Russian-supported seizure by the Abkhazian troops of the Codor gorge (the so-called Upper Abkhazia) was the major aftermath of rapid military action. Thereby, having obtained the actual ethnic uniformity, South Ossetia (even under the complete Russian political control) has currently become a real ethnopolitical factor in the region of South Caucasus, which significantly boosted the pro- file of its physical security. Abkhazia, which established control over Kodor Gorge, in its turn, has resolved the problems of its autonomous economic and political development. Quite naturally, the existing situation of the actual ethnic demarcation in South Ossetia in the foreseeable future will obstruct any attempts by the Georgian party to achieve a pro-Georgian development in South Ossetia, nonetheless in Abkhazia. Possibly, after some rehabilitation Tbilisi will make another try to revitalize the projects of “the Alternative Governments of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Exile”, however they will now achieve a genuine exile, being outside of all previous administrative borders of those former Georgian autonomies. And finally, the recognition of independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by Russia on August 26, 2008, along with the decision of Moscow to deploy the Russian military bases on the territories of those Republics and an actual fixation of the current situation by implementing the two versions of the political document «Six Items by Medvedev – Sarkosi» are the events of tremendous political importance far beyond the regional scale. Turkish Initiative on South Caucasus Quite naturally, not only the countries of South Caucasus, but also other regional and transregional forces will try to reap gain from the new status-quo, which emerged in the region, trying to exploit the chances that offered themselves through the military defeat of Georgia, through deterioration of relations between Russia and the West, and other attending regional processes. Among other things this situation yielded a new Turkish political initiative, or the so-called “Caucasus Platform”, presented for the first

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time by R. Erdogan, Prime-Minister of Turkey, while visiting Moscow on August 12, 2008. Although the Ankara initiative has been developed by the Turkish party as a general outline before the hostilities in South Ossetia, nevertheless the «Five-day war» has created a favorable regional background for promoting that initiative. The substance per se of that initiative, formally aiming at establishing peace and stability in the Caucasus region is hardly generally known, and actually resembles all previous initiatives on a certain establishment of regional stability in the Caucasus, like “The Caucasian Home” of the 1990s, or the European initiative like the Pact of Stability in the early 2000s. There is another thing to be noted here: by putting forward this initiative, Turkey (by approbation from Moscow) was trying to start its own game in the Caucasus, to make use of the slackened US positions in the Caucasus, though temporary but tangible, following the Five-day war. In the meantime, while the EU response to the Turkish initiative was rather positive in the lump, Washington was initially more surprised than worried. Although later on Ankara managed to somewhat soften Washington’s attitude to its initiative, perhaps by indicating that a complete dis- placement of the US from the region had not been intended, there can however be no doubt that both Turkey and Russia tried hard to make use of the period of a certain relaxation of the American positions in South Caucasus and play both ends against the middle. In their turn, both Armenia and Azerbaijan supported the Turkish initiative in its entirety, while Georgia showed more apprehension. Tbilisi’s stand was quite clear, since the Turkish initiative assumes a deep involvement of Russia, which in the context of the recent Russian-Georgian war is unacceptable for Georgia. On the other hand, Tbilisi would be very unwilling to go into some regional process where- from the US would be deliberately excluded. Anyway, initially in mid-August 2008, in Baku as well the Turkish initiative was perceived with apprehension, particularly in anticipation of Turkish President A. Gul’s visit to Yerevan. There was a nervous apprehension in Azerbaijan that this initiative by Turkey on indicating the general lines of regional cooperation can jeopardize the idea of extending the campaign of economic and communicational “strangulation” of

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Armenia through its blockade both by Azerbaijan and Turkey. In fact, this idea has been a corner stone of Azerbaijan’s policies since the 1990s in all the years of its confrontation with Yerevan and Stepanakert [5]. Despite the fact that in all this time the mentioned concept has not substantiated its efficiency, being countered by a heavy double-figure economic growth in Armenia within the last few years under the “quasi-blockade” by Turkey and Azerbaijan though in Baku until recently it was highly credited. Therefore, as early as mid-August 2008, the very news of the forthcoming visit to Armenia by President of Turkey has been causing negative feelings in the Azerbaijan information and political fields, since it was by the same token busting the very concept of effectiveness at all the levels of whatever open Turkish involvement into the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the side of Baku. However, visits by Turkish high officials to Baku and bilateral consultations with their Azerbaijani counterparts have somewhat changed and appeased the approaches by the Azerbaijan leadership. Moreover, perhaps the Azerbaijani leadership might even have a flash of hope by lobbying Ankara to achieve useful developments in Nagorno-Karabakh problem just within the new regional initiative by Turkey. For Armenia the Turkey’s August initiative was originally acceptable as a whole, particularly within the context of the visit to Yerevan by A. Gul, the Turkish President, planned on September 6, 2008. The Armenian-Turkish relations had started to show positive trends prior to the August hostilities in South Ossetia (suffice it to remember the invitation of the President of Armenia S. Sargsyan sounded as early as May 2008, addressed to his Turkish counterpart, to visit Yerevan that very much enlivened the Armenian-Turkish political dialogue). Nevertheless, the communicational risks of Georgia manifested by this war have even more spurred the interest by Ankara, of all others, to the capabilities of opening the border with Armenia and to using its territory as an alternative transport and even energy pas- sage for Turkey. In the context of the Five-day war results and suspension of all communicational and energy projects passing through Georgia, the Turkish experts and politicians, even as high as Ali Babajan, the Turkey’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, started to utter opinions that “Armenia could have become an alternative route for the gas pipeline going to the West from the Caspian through Georgia, which has be- come undependable after the Russian intervention” [6]. In all, it can be

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stated that the war in South Ossetia has significantly activated, or rather, resuscitated the Caucasian policies of Turkey. The resulting unprecedented visit by A. Gul, the President of Turkey, to Yerevan on September 6, 2008, and the entire outlook of adjusting the Armenian-Turkish relations have created prospects of a completely new geopolitical situation in the entire region of South Caucasus. At the same time, in the course of events in August-September 2008 it was confirmed that within the general format of the Armenian-Turkish relations the significance of the Nagorno-Karabakh agenda is purely instrumental ceding in relevance to the problem of the Genocide recognition, or of adjusting normal relations with Armenia within the context of Turkish ambitions to the membership of the European Union. At the same time, it is possible that in a certain sense the aforementioned Turkish initiative may contain certain risks and threats for Armenia. Although the initiative had been coordinated by Yerevan with Moscow (and then favorably nodded to in Washington and Brussels), the Armenian party has some misgivings that Turkey and Russia may develop underhand agreements on some regional projects, that may jeopardize Armenia’s interests. All the more so that there are direct historical parallels, like the Russian-Turkish agreements in the 1920s against Armenia and the notorious Moscow agreement of March 16, 1921 between the Bolshevik Russia and the Kemalist Turkey. The current political context in the region is, however, quite different: both Turkey and Russia, while tactically supporting the joint political initiatives in South Caucasus, directed against Washington, still remain rival allies, mutually apprehensive of each other’s consolidation in the region. As noted by some Russian experts, «the new state of affairs is making Ankara seek the modes of coexistence with Russia against the background of its aspiration for the role of a powerful regional leader» [7]. However, Russia, too, judging by some appearances, displays some tacit apprehension that a speedy Turkish-Armenian thawing caused by successful bilateral talks may create prerequisites for a decreased Russian military and political influence in Armenia. As previously noted, the Turkish initiative had initially contained elements of displacing the US and partly the EU from the specific political processes in the Caucasus. In particular, that concerned the

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efforts to find ways of replacing the format of the OSCE on Karabakh by some trilateral (Armenia, Turkey, Azerbaijan) or a quadrilateral (with Moscow) negotiating mechanism. However, this initial sounding by Ankara has come to be quite superficial, since the tendencies or threatening of a speedy collapse of the Minsk Group is not to be any more expected, particularly after endorsing the “Three-president declaration” on November 2, the text of which distinctly confirmed the format of the Minsk Group co-chairmanship. It should however be particularly noted that the Turkish initiative per se does not posses real perspectives for its successful and long-time realization because of the weakness of its basic stimulating effort to leave Washington and partly Brussels out of the framework of the regional processes. Despite the situational relaxation of the US and the EU status in the region, it does not mean at all that a complete displacement of Washington and Brussels from the regional politics in South Caucasus is included in the long-time outlook. That seems to be quite well understood in Ankara, but for them the significance of this initiative is in providing an opportunity for some shift to their advantage in the regional balance of South Caucasus. Similar results, though in some other context, can also be yielded by Turkey’s intentions to sideline Iran as well from the political processes in South Caucasus. As to the capability to achieve the claimed goals of the Turkish initiative, it seems to enjoy little credit even in Turkey. “The Caucasian Platform” is only Ankara’s political resource within quite a short period of time, wherein the political initiative itself is much more important than its declared result. Changing Political Background around the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Another important result of the new geopolitical situation or even of the new regional status quo in South Caucasus was the change of the general political and psychological background around the Karabakh conflict. The perception of ongoing processes around the Karabakh settlement has been significantly updated inside the political elites and communities of the conflicting parties. That has been primarily manifested by considerably downgrading the probability of initiating combat activities Frozen Conflict and Self-Determination

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in Karabakh by Azerbaijan and the awareness of this fact by that country’s political elite. This situation has been greatly stipulated by the Azerbaijani politicians and experts projecting the failed military operation upon retrieving South Ossetia by Georgia as the former host country. Quite naturally, in the morning of August 8, 2008, many in Azerbaijan welcomed the news of the Georgian army having started the offensive on Tskhinvali, seeing it as a logical example to follow suite in Nagorno-Karabakh. In all, it is to be recognized that an important element of the so-called “Karabakh strategy” by Azer- baijan has for a long time been an open public threat to re-start the hostilities in the zone of conflict. The power blackmail manifested itself both in statements by the ruling and political figures of Azerbaijan at different levels, and in the feelings and assessments of most of Azerbaijani elite and general public. The mentioned policies of Azerbaijan also used to be additionally argued in the eyes of its leadership and political elite by overextended anticipations of the role of the oil factor and the intention to intrude upon Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh an economically exhausting spiral of arms race. Therefore, it was natural that the field of information and propaganda of Azerbaijan nurtured the peak of those feelings exactly on August 8-9, 2008, when the whole Azerbaijani information field was filled up with reports and commentaries of the Baku experts, political scientists and even the official representatives of the Azerbaijani MFA, actively supporting the action by the Georgian leadership, putting up speculations on Moscow’s inability to make whatever steps against M. Saakashvili and offering countless analogies to “the now close similar operation” to be triggered by Azerbaijan, to regain Karabakh [8]. And then, in a few more days, all that noise subsided. For nearly two weeks, since the afternoon of August 8, when it became clear that Russia did levy war, not a single Azerbaijani official has come forward with a statement or commentaries with regard to the military action in Georgia. Even experts and political scientists kept mum or were confined to descriptive generalizations following the shocking outcome of the five-day war.

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The August “inverse Blitzkrieg” and the unexpectedly rapid defeat of the former host nation’s or Georgia’s army, that had decided to re-capture the break-away autonomy – South Ossetia, and later, perhaps, Abkhazia, produced a very clear and predictable impression on Baku. The analogies for Azerbaijani political elite, that suggested themselves, were quite transparent. The failure of the very possibility of the “Ukrainian precedent” in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the clear evidence of a complete loss by Georgia in a medium-range perspective of even a glimpse of hope for re-establishing control over Sukhum and Tskhinvali, the legal recognition of in- dependence for those former Soviet autonomies even though by only a single powerful International actor, the multiple casualties and the virtual moral default of the Georgian army, the risk of losing of power in the country by the team of M. Saakashvili – all those instances could hardly become a desirable goal for the government of Ilkham Aliev in case the military operations were to recommence in the zone of Karabakh conflict. The fact that ongoing power blackmail to Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh could unexpectedly lead to hazardous effects for Azerbaijan itself, in case of renewed military action, seems to have also been appreciated in Baku as well. Those implications have produced radical changes of the rhetoric by the Azerbaijani leaders with regard to the outlook for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict since the late August 2008: a certain “constructability” and references to the need for the parties to continue the peaceful negotiating process came about, there were no more mandatory references to a quick and unavoidable rehabilitation by Azerbaijan of the “constitutional order” in Karabakh by all means, etc. Though, a rapid growth within the last two months of anti-Western feelings among the Azerbaijani political elite and a further escalation of the long-present ten- dency for the country’s Islamization, as well as a rise of the pro-Russian orientation among parts of Azerbaijan’s population are to be added here. Those are however expenses or rather results of implementing the “Azerbaijani complementarity”, because being friendly with Russia, de-facto victorious in a regional war (perhaps even selfsurprisingly), is nicer and safer than pushing forward against it in South Caucasus along with the US and the European countries that have not yet recovered after the August events. It was fully demonstrated by the results of the US Vice-President R. Chainey blitz-visit to Baku, not too fortunate for the American party in early September 2008 [9]. This Frozen Conflict and Self-Determination

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consideration was even further confirmed by Ilkham Aliev’s signature endorsing the “Three Presidents’ Declaration” on November 2, 2008, brokered by Moscow and actually suggesting a declaratory abandonment by the official Baku of the attempts to resolve the Karabakh conflict through military means. Anyway, it is not only the awareness of the Russian threat that can explain this lurch in Azerbaijan’s political orientation. Under the new conditions Baku finds itself in a wittingly disadvantageous situation as the initiator of the renewed military action in Karabakh. Among the politicians and experts dealing with the problems of regional policies and security of South Caucasus awareness has existed for a long time that under any external circumstances Armenia will always be more pro-Western than Azerbaijan, while Moscow will see it as a regional partner and an ally far closer than Azerbaijan. By the same token, under any geopolitical disposition, the hypothetical commencement of military operation against Karabakh and Armenia would be perceived in the West with greater disappointment than a similar effort by Georgia in South Ossetia, while support by Moscow in fighting against its only military and political-ally in South Caucasus and member of the CSTO will be denied to Azerbaijan. Moreover, Baku would never be able to present the situation in the conflict zone to the West as a direct collision of the pro-Russian Armenia and the pro- Western Azerbaijan. The Western political perception of Nagorno-Karabakh is very much unlike the vision of Abkhazia or, all the more so, of South Ossetia for the following reasons: absence of whatever peace-keeping forces or military bases of third countries, the US Congress granting Stepanakert direct financial aid, and active contacts of the Karabakh authorities and community with many European structures and entities, etc. Meanwhile, the Yerevan-conducted official policy of complementarity during the 17 years of Independence has resulted in real allied relations with Russia and the format the CSTO against the background of the close level of political contacts with the US and the European countries. In its turn, Russia has quite specific commitments to Armenia in the security domain. Though of course, the fact of Armenia’s membership in the CSTO does not mean that Yerevan should hope that all members of that military political organization will support it in case of Azerbai-

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jani aggression. The Kazakh Navy can hardly be imagined at the shores of Apsheron, or the Tajik infantry fighting on the side of Karabakh. However, the situation whereby the bilateral format of the Russian -Armenian military and political relations is directly involving Russia in case of a renewed military phase of the Karabakh conflict, is undisputed even by the most belligerently-minded politicians in Baku. Combat activities in South Ossetia have pushed upward the internal political risks for Azerbaijan in case of starting war in Karabakh. A defeat in a new war for Azerbaijan would spell not only a final loss of Karabakh. The new defeat may spell a fall of the ruling regime of the Alievs, and a replacement of the entire political elite of Azerbaijan, collapse of the oil-and-gas and communicational sectors of Azerbaijani economy and other possible losses. Military Lessons with regard to the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Assessment of the initial lessons of the Five-day war in the military-technical sphere, shows firstly that compared to many recent local wars and conflicts the August military action in South Ossetia was characterized by a very active usage of heavy artillery and combat aircraft both by the Georgian and the Russian parties. In particular, the operation of Georgian forces in South Ossetia in the initial period was characterized by an unusually massive use of heavy artillery, multiple rocket launchers, while in the first two days, up until active involvement of the Russian Air Force and combat aircraft, when SU-25 attack air-crafts were put into action. Anyway, at the final stage the actions of the Russian artillery and Air Force were deployed at such a wide scale, which resulted as a principal cause in the speedy demoralizing and crushing defeat of the Georgian troops in South Ossetia. The stake of the Georgian command on a successful rapid long-distance contact-less war proved wrong. The massive use of multiple rocket launchers by the Georgian troops during the first firing raid on Tskhinvali and its suburbs on the night of August 8 looked of course very effective and frightening, but from the purely military viewpoint it neither resolved the assigned tasks nor could it suppress the Ossetian troops and the Russian peace keepers in Tskhinvali. Moreover, despite the multiple civilian casualties claimed by the Ossetian authorities and the Russian Frozen Conflict and Self-Determination

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media, the losses from using multiple rocket launchers against the residential areas in the capital of South Ossetia and the surrounding villages were in reality not so high. Although the bombardment by the Georgian “Grad” multiple rocket launchers and their Czech analogues – Systems RM-70 – caused Tskhinvali a considerable material damage, nonetheless, casualties among the civilian population and the Ossetian home-guard, according to the reports by a number of International organizations (e.g., the centre “Memorial” and Human Rights Watch) have in actual fact come to be much lower than had been previously reported [10]. Anyway, inefficient use of the 122-mm multiple rocket launcher “Grad” by the Georgian troops in their assault on Tskhinvali, was perhaps compensated by a more efficient use of several systems of a larger gage (122/160-mm Israeli weapons, or, possibly, the Yugoslav 262-mm “Orkans”). In particular, those systems, as accounted by eyewitnesses, were used in shelling the more distant population centres to the north of Tskhinvali, as well as in remote mining and shelling the communications in the direction of the Roki tunnel and Transkam, which aimed at blocking the arrival of reinforcements to the defenders of the Ossetian capital. More efficiency in the course of the combat was shown by the gun-barrel and self-propelled artillery of the Georgian army: 152-mm cannon “Hiacinth B”, 152-mm self-propelled unit “Dana” and 2C3 “Acacia”, as well as the artillery battalion of 6 heavy 203 self-propelled “Pion” units. They operated actively using data from drones and contemporary Western control, targeting and fire adjustment systems. It was seen clearly in the action of the afternoon, August 8, until the day of August 10, when the Georgian heavy self-propelled artillery (with the cannon and battalion mortars of 2nd and 3rd Infantry Brigades) fired quite efficiently at the columns of the 58th Russian Army making their way over the bypass Zarsk road. It is known that those columns of the 19 motorized infantry division of North Caucasus Military District as well as the detachments of Russian troops fighting to the north of Tzkhinval around Tliakan and the height Sarabuk sustained the heaviest losses within the whole period of the Five-day war, primarily from the Georgian artillery fire adjusted by drones, special forces, etc.

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Quite efficient operation was shown by the anti-aircraft defence of the Georgian Army equipped by the Ukraine-supplied “Buk-M1” middle range air defence system and the “OSA” and “OSA AKM” short-range air-defence system. By unverified data, the inventory of the Georgian Army also included several new short-range air defence systems “Spider”, supplied by Israel. At modest estimations, the Georgian air defence brought down at least 7 aircrafts of the Russian AF, including one middle range strategic bomber TU-22M3. However, efficiency of the Georgian air defence could be much better, and the Russian losses much bigger, had they been in action throughout the operation. But the panic striking the Georgian army, perhaps did not spare the anti-aircraft gunners either, otherwise the Russian troops would not have captured several launchers “Buk-M1” dumped by the Georgian Army in operational condition, while the group of Russian troops in South Ossetia captured a few Georgian air defence missile complexes “Osa”. According to the available data, the Russian army in the final phase of combat operations in South Ossetia inflicted very efficient strikes on the Georgian positions in South Ossetia using the Multiple Rocket Launchers “Uragan” and the tactical missile complexes “Tochka U”, and also possibly “Smerch”. It was with those systems combined with massive bombing and strafing assaults that the Russian army inflicted many losses on the Georgian troupes, resulting in their loss of morals and defeat. Some of the aforementioned aspects of the Five-day war attract many analysts on security problems dealing with the Karabakh conflict. It can be stated that in many aspects, the lessons of the August military action present nearly mirror images with the military and political situation around Nagorno-Karabakh; on the other hand, there are some essential differences. There is, e.g., a similar situation in the issue of speeding up the militarization and the outfitting of their armed forces by the two former host countries on their way to get ready to the military resolution of the conflicts with their former client states. That can be easily noticed by the hasty massive purchases of assault weaponry, particularly armour, as well as heavy artillery and missile systems. In particular, Azerbaijan has lately purchased different heavy artillery systems, multiple rocket launchers, and even the short-range missiles. Moreover, Azerbaijan, like Georgia, in Frozen Conflict and Self-Determination

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the last few years has purchased 203-mm heavy self-propelled howitzers “Pion” and Israeli multiple rocket launchers GradLAR. In contrast to Tbilisi, Baku has also acquired an updated and more powerful version of the Israel multiple rocket launcher Lynx with 300-mm missiles EXTRA [11]. It is assumed that the Azerbaijan’s weapons inventory must also include the 220-mm multiple rocket launchers “Uragan”, which is an updated version of the 122-mm system BM-21 “Grad”. The Ukrainian acquisitions by Azerbaijan also include the analog-free 300-mm multiple rocket launchers “Smerch”, while Russia supplied the theatre missile complexes “Tochka U”. More- over, the Azerbaijani army, like the Georgian army has lately acquired a large number of Israeli drones of different types, enabling them to make a better use of the artillery and missile systems to make strikes against the Nagorno-Karabakh military positions and the Armenian Army. The effect is going to be particularly appreciable in case of the first strike by the Azerbaijani artillery and missile systems against the air defences of the Army of Nagorno-Karabakh. Like Georgia, Azerbaijan, during the last few years is actively enlarging the tank park of its armed forces, its main supplier still being Ukraine, where Baku has purchased scores of T-72 tanks since 2003. Following the example of Tbilisi, Baku, too, made a decision to purchase the missile complexes “Buk-M1” from Ukraine, per- haps stimulated by their good performance during the Five-day war. According to the contract signed in the fall of 2008, to the amount of $36 000 000, the compan “Ukrspetsexport” is planning to supply to Azerbaijan 46 T-72 tanks and 3 missile complexes “Buk-M1” (the missile complexes “Buk-M1” are to be put on the alert only in spring 2009, since the Azerbaijani service crews will have to go through special training in Ukraine.) [12]. However, it is not by Ukraine alone that the tank stock of Azerbaijan is being replenished. According to the UN Register on Conventional Weapons, Russia, too, supplied two battalion complexes or 62 T-72 tanks to Baku in 2007, as well as 4 BBMs [13]. Despite active use of long-range ordnance2 by the parties as well as multiple rocket launchers and combat aircrafts, the Five-day war in South Ossetia, like many other local conflicts of modern times, corroborated that 2

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According to the Georgian sources, only one 203-mm self-propelled gun shot more than 600 rounds on Tskhinvali and the neighboring population centers, while the Israili-made GradLAR multiple rocket launcher – over 300 missiles. See in detail: Aladashvili I. “300 artillery rounds were shot simultaneously, as noted by the Chief of Staff of the Georgian Artillery Brigade”//Quilis Palitra”, 25.08.2008 (in Georgian).

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the fundamental outcome of combat activities is resolved in face-to-face combat. It is the coordination, technical rigging, combat morale and psychological motivation of small detachments that are the determinants of the combat outcome in local armed conflicts of this kind, especially in the ethno-political conflicts3. That was again fully re-attested by the combat operations in Tskhinvali, August 8-10, 2008, when despite the multiple numerical advantage the Georgian troops failed to gain control of South Ossetian capital and fight through to the Georgian-populated enclaves north of the city â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Tamarasheni, Kekhvi, Kurta. According to Army General V.Boldirev, Commander-in-Chief of Russiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Land Forces, up until August 9, 2008, the numerical advantage of the Georgian troops over the Russian units and the Ossetian detachments was almost ten- fold, and further on, too, the Russian troops in South Ossetia remained numerically comparable with the Georgian troops [14]. The rapid Five-day war in South Ossetia and the operation of the Abkhazian forces in Kodor Gorge have also shown the role in modern local conflicts of a proper ratio and a correct usage by the parties of regular constant-ready units and massive contingents of reservists. In the rapid development of combat activities the massive mobilization has turned out to be a complete failure for the Georgian reservists who had done minimal training and were little familiar with military service or the theatre of operations. They had not only dropped the fighting efficiency, but quite the contrary: on the one hand, masses of unprepared reservists were clogging the communications of the Georgian troops, on the other hand, the panic that soon started among the reservists spread to the regular army and to the local population in the Georgian-populated enclaves of South Ossetia4. Moreover, after the fighting a large part of small arms remained in possession of the reservists, has been never handed over to the authorities, and this will certainly facilitate the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s criminalization. And vice versa, in the unrecognized republics the mobilization of reservists came out to be very efficiently carried out with a hundred-percent result 3

4

A very similar situation is also emerging in the zone of Karabakh stand-off. In particular, it was corroborated by the outcome of the battle on March 3-4 near Village Leonarkh, Mardakert Region of the NKR that was the most largescale combat action on the line of Karabakh standoff after the armistice of May 1994. In the course of this action the Reconnaissance Company of the 703rd Brigade of Azerbaijan army, availing itself of the post-election events in Yerevan on March 1-2, 2008, initiated a reconnaissance in force, but failed, incurring tangible losses. As of today, Georgia has yet to publish the losses among the reservists in the course of the August fighting, 2008, although there are lists of casualties issued by the Ministry of Defence and the Interior. That enables us to assume that despite low efficiency of the reservists, their losses were quite substantial.

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(considering the situation whereby in both Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as well as in Na- gorno-Karabakh, the reserve is organized on the so-called militia basis from effectively the entire male population). The matter is that the population of unrecognized republic is highly motivated to take part in combat activities. Meanwhile, among the Abkhazian and Ossetian reserists the specific weight of veterans and participants of combat activities was incomparably higher than among the raw Georgian reservists. With regard to, for example, Nagorno-Karabakh that means that in case of renewed combat activities the NKR Army of Defence will have the capabilities to raise the numbers of their armed forces by using a combat-ready reserve far in excess of Azerbaijan. Incidentally in a situation of this kind the problem of reservists may confront not only Azerbaijan, but Armenia as well. The Georgian Army, having a high level of technical equipment and initially high moral spirit, was mainly demoralized in the waning third or fourth days of combat activities in South Ossetia (save for the Special Forces units and part of the ordnance) and was unable to rehabilitate its combat readiness by drafting new reservists. The army of Azerbaijan may become confronted with a similar situation. Thus, with regard to the August fighting, the probability of conducting prolonged warfare in Karabakh from the military viewpoint is not going to be as advantageous as it may seem at first glance for Azerbaijan. Another serious lesson of both the Five-day war and many latest local wars is to be a revaluation of efficiency of field structures and long-time fortification works erected with regard to the lay of land. One of the crucial lessons of the Lebanon war in 2006 was a successful use by Hezbollah of a complex system of fortification works mostly adapted for mobile defence along the whole southern border between Lebanon and Israel. As a result, in the summer of 2006 the Hezbollah fighters could not only inflict considerable damage on the adversary, but could substantially impede his advancement into Lebanon under a complete domination of the Israeli air force and a considerable advantage of TSAKHAL in ordnance and armour, without sustaining any serious losses. As to the August fighting in South Ossetia, the Ossetian units had not been able to prepare the fortification lines of this kind (because of the chess- board arrangement of population centres with mixed Georgian and Ossetian population and insufficient depth of positions). It was therefore quite 142

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natural that the Georgian forces made a speedy break through the Ossetian positions and the outposts of the Russian peacekeepers south of Tskhinvali to the city centre. Viewing this situation with regard to Nagorno-Karabakh clearly shows that the current front line and the existing fortification positions of the NKR Army of Defence along the entire con- tact line will greatly facilitate a defensive action by the Karabakh Army, bring down the power of the first strike by the Azerbaijani troops, ruling out the very contingency of blitzkrieg. Fortification lines are not a cure-all in modern local wars, but it is clear that their skilful use will make the objectives of the advancing party extremely complicated yielding essential advantages to the defenders. The Russian military experts explain the rapid demoralization and collapse of the Georgian army in the fighting of August 2008 by the Georgian leadership having, besides the demonstrative self-confidence, an excessive faith in the a priori precedence of the Western military standards. The truth is that in the military sphere and in public and political life, imitations and artificial implementation of the Western standards provide no guarantees for their efficient usage. Reverting to an analogy with the rapid collapse of the South Vietnam army in 1975, the experts note that like the Georgian forces, the South Vietnamese army was well equipped and armed with American weapons, structured and trained to the American military standards and rules, and taught by the American instructors, but in a very short time it was crushed by the Army of North Vietnam consisting of a semi-guerrilla formations using the Soviet and Chinese military organization and armaments. The Western standards per se do not guarantee supremacy over the non-Western armies [15]. Analysis of military reforms currently being implemented by the army of Azerbaijan enables an assumption to be made that the military leadership of Azerbaijan by all appearances may have taken a similar way of declarative copying of the Western standards along with the numerical growth of arms, military equipment and manpower instead of the real increase in combat ability of their armed forces through deep structural reforms in control systems, recruitment and personnel. As a result, as noted by the experts of the International Crisis Group (ICG), the stereotypically thinking military leadership of Azerbaijan uses the pro-NATO propaganda and formally implements the Western military standards, which cannot in any way raise the combat readiness of the Azerbaijan army [16].

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And finally, the most decisive result of military actions was a habitual corroboration of the everlasting truth by Clausewitz that any initial success in war is useless if it has no political component. Despite the essential defects in the purely military sphere, the principal causes of the Georgian army’s defeat in the Five-day war lie in the political plane. The outcome of the Fife-day war had been pre-determined by the fact that the capability of a rapid and open involvement of the Russian Army into the combat activities in South Ossetia had never been seriously considered by the Georgian authorities. Bato Kutelila, Georgia’s Deputy Minister of Defence even con- ceded in an interview that the probability of an open military collision with Russia had not been considered and was absolutely unexpected for Georgia’s military and political leadership [17]. Moreover, as noted by the Western military experts, the Georgia’s military and political leadership had not only failed to seriously consider the rapid and open involvement of Russia into the military operations, but rather the texts of the operational fundamental documents of the country in the domain of national defence and security, like Strategy of National Security, Military Strategy and National Threat Assessment, directly pointed out a very law probability “of the open military aggression against Georgia” [18]. With the involvement of the Russian Army into the military operations against Georgia their outcome was not dependent upon any factors of surprise, initial technical or psychological supremacy or upon the level of combat readiness of the individual units of the Georgian army – it was now a matter of simple arithmetic. It seems that it is the priority of the political situation (or political limiting factors) with regard to any military capabilities, even initially advantageous for one of the parties, should be regarded as the crucial military lesson of the war of August 2008. Conclusion Those are the major settings of development for the political processes and positions of the basic world centres of power in South Caucasus following the August Georgia- Russia war. It can be stated that after the Five-day war the dynamical processes around Nagorno-Karabakh remain mainly unchanged, but the regional background and the political components around the conflicting parties have somewhat changed.

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The political background for the renewal of military operations in the zone of Karabakh conflict also devalued, which means that the overall military risks in the region of South Caucasus have diminished. Certainly, the abovementioned circumstances are incapable to bring down the overall tension in the zone of Karabakh conflict in the foreseeable future, or, to com- pletely eliminate the risk of resuming of the military operations by Baku (even against the background of the obvious analogy with the outcome of the war in South Ossetia, disagreeable for another former host country, or with regard to the endorse- ment by Ilkham Aliev on November 2, 2008 of some sort of a non-aggression pact in the form of the “Declaration by Three Presidents). The natural and unavoidable con- dition of revanchism in the Azerbaijani political elite, as shown by the world experi- ence, can be retained for a long time. As noted by Karl von Clausewitz, a military defeat is never regarded by the losing party as an absolute and final reality, “for the losing country can see it as only a transient evil, that has to be corrected in the fu- ture by subsequent political relations” [19]. In the same way, a change of the regional political background against the losing country does not always reduce the acute character of the conflict perception or boost its peacekeeping dispositions Nonetheless the temporal factor is playing a certain role in the deactualization of radical dispositions in the societies of countries conflicting with their neighbours. Radicalism of the country having lost an ethnopolitical conflict, can only be deflated when it loses the internal hope of another winning party. In an historical perspective that can result either from a substantially increased potential of the winner over the loser and the awareness of a requital being useless, or from a repetitive or multiple defeat of the revenge seeker. An even more essential factor is the dynamic character- istics of the outer-political background and the corrected approaches by the leading world-wide and regional players or a change of the existing status-quo in the region. However, the latter event – a change or formation of a completely new status-quo in South Caucasus after the Five-day war-has already taken place and has become a political reality. November, 2008.

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Reference Sources and Literature 1.

Авалиани Д., Букия С., Цхурбаев А., де Ваал Т., Как началась война в Грузии // IWPR CRS, №456 (www.iwpr.net), 27.08.2008.

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Мишин В., Плата за форс-мажор: упущенная выгода и убытки Азербайджана и Грузии в августе 2008 года превысили миллиард долларов // НГ-Энергия, 14.10.2008.

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Простой нефтепровода Баку – Джейхан и каспийских нефтянных платформ сказал- ся на банковском секторе Азербайджана // www.regnum.ru, 29.09.2008.

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См. подробнее: Минасян С. Нефтяной фактор в карабахской стратегии Азербайджана: «ресурс» или «проклятие»? // www.noravank.am/ru/?page=analitics&nid=1118, 25.04.2008.

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См. подробнее: Минасян С. Особенности «карабахской стратегии» Азербайджана: политика «периферийных действий», нефтяные ресурсы и гонка вооружений // 21-й Век, № 2 (8), 2008.

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Армения в турецкой схеме – альтернативный Грузии маршрут прокачки азербайджанской нефти: Али Бабаджан // www.regnum.ru, 08.09.2008.

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Охрименок И.В., Турция и кризис на Кавказе: некоторые политические и экономические аспекты // www.iimes.ru, 19.10.2008.

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Гулиев Э., Браво Грузия, или как нам отныне называть Россию? //Day.az, 09.08.2008.

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Габуев А., Соловьев В., Мустафаев Р., Двали Г., Дик Чейни ошибся Каспием: Ильхам Алиев не торопится поддержать проект Nabucco // Коммерсантъ, №159 (3976), 05.09.2008.

10. Правозащитники не смогли установить точное число погибших мирных жителей в Южной Осетии // www.rian.ru, 11.09.2008. 11. Крупные поставки израильского оружия в страны СНГ // Военный вестник Израи- ля, №13, 24.08.2008. 12. Украина поставит Азербайджану очередную партию оружия//http://azertopnews.3dn.ru/ news/2008-10-09-476. 13. http://disarmament.un.org/UN_REGISTER.nsf. 14. Броня. Огонь. Маневр. На вопросы «Красной звезды» отвечает главнокомандующий сухопутными войсками генерал армии Владимир Болдырев // Красная звезда, 30.09.2008. 15. Barabanov M., The August War between Russia and Georgia // Moscow Defense Brief, №3 (13), 2008, p. 11. 16. Azerbaijan: Defence Sector Management and Reform // Europe Policy Briefing №50, International Crisis Group, 29.10.2008, p.10. 17. Cienski J., Tbilisi Admits Misjudging Russia // Financial Times, 21.08.2008. 18. Giragosian R., Georgian Planning Flaws Led to Campaign Failure // Jane’s Defence Weekly, 15.08.2008. 19. Клаузевиц К., О войне. М. – СПб, 2007, с. 27.

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THE SETTLEMENT OF THE CONFLICT IN NAGORNO-KARABAKH Xavier FOLLEBOUCKT*1 Current situation Ceasefire and military standoff It has been more than twenty years now since the war in Nagorno-Karabakh has ground to a halt with the signing of the ceasefire of May 1994 in Bishkek. But despite this official end to violence, for more than twenty years the region has known no peace but only war and death. Last year was the bloodiest since the ceasefire was signed. August saw the most violence, with 20 direct fatalities officially tallied. But the official numbers only report one side of the story: the deaths directly attributed to combat on the front-line. It says nothing of the misery of these soldiers, forced to survive in trenches to avoid sniper fire. It says nothing of the many suicides that both armies suffer due to these conditions. It says nothing of the lives that were ruined and continue to be ruined, directly or indirectly, by the continuation of the conflict. International scholars are often wrong when they talk about the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. And I include myself in this sometimes ill-informed club. When we talk of Nagorno-Karabakh, we use the term “frozen conflict” to describe it. “The frozen conflict of Nagorno-Karabakh”. The expression has a very nice ring to it but, ultimately, it is wrong. The conflict in the region is far from being frozen. Every year, more soldiers’ deaths pile up. Every year, the rift between communities in Armenia and Azerbaijan grows wider and deeper. And every year, the threat of a new full-blown war seems stronger. Scholars and diplomats use the term too literally, thinking (or hoping?) that since the conflict is “frozen”, it is fixed and stable, without any risk of further explosion. This view is unfortunately misguided; the situation remains fluid and unpredictable, made up of a lasting low-intensity but volatile confrontation. Since 1994, thousands of Armenian soldiers face thousands of Azerbaijani soldiers across an empty no-man’s land. The ceasefire is self-regulating; no international mechanism has been found to guarantee it so the only way *

FOLLEBOUCKT Xavier graduated in History (2007) and in Political Science - International Relations ( 2009). It is now a researcher for the Chair Inbev -Baillet Latour EU-Russia and participates in various projects of the Chair. He also co-leads, with Laetitia Spetschinsky a seminar Master on “Conflict and cooperation between the EU and Russia in the post-Soviet space “ (LEUSL2310 ).

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to keep it alive is through each party’s rational self-interest. This only makes the situation more volatile and unpredictable. Even though a new war seems relatively unlikely, the gravest threat isn’t that Azerbaijan or Armenia order a new offensive against the other, but that the increasing clashes along the front-line could get out of hand and spiral into something neither side wants. Military miscalculation could easily turn a tense situation into an explosive one. And ever since the ceasefire was signed, the front-line has grown. It is not only the line of contact between Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan that is included, but the entire border between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Tensions and clashes are increasing along the whole front and an arms race is underway with potentially very dangerous consequences for the entire region. Thus, this conflict is far from frozen. And that is exactly why it is important to keep it in mind and to continue discussing it so that it doesn’t also become a “forgotten conflict”. But in a way, the term “frozen conflict” is useful because it denotes a certain passivity in each of the actors implicated who are all waiting for the conflict to resolve itself. The warring parties are waiting for the international mediators to take their side and find a beneficial solution, while the international mediators are reluctant to put pressure on the peace process. And this frozen characteristic becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: the conflict is frozen because the situation isn’t changing, but the situation isn’t changing because the conflict is frozen! Diplomatic deadlock What is actually frozen isn’t the conflict in itself, but its settlement. For more than twenty years, no political solution has been forthcoming. Talks are organised, discussions are mediated, ideas are put forth but we are barely closer to political settlement than 20 years ago. Even worse, recent years have seen a breakdown in negotiations, a deadlock was reached in 2011 and, since then, only infrequent talks have been held, with little progress to show for. The main benefit of the intermittent negotiations is that they exist. They serve as a restraining factor, discouraging either side from serious escalation. But they have so far proved ineffective in bringing about a lasting peace. To guide the negotiations, an international mechanism was put in place, under the umbrella of the OSCE. The Minsk Group is a gathering of different countries, co-chaired by France, the United States and Russia, 148

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with the mandate of facilitating discussions between Armenia and Azerbaijan and finding a lasting solution to the conflict. The way to this solution would come via an ending to all hostilities, an international conference in Minsk and the deployment of international peacekeepers to guarantee the settlement. On all these accounts, the Minsk Group has failed. Here’s what Thomas de Waal, the renowned specialist, can tell us of this format: “the Minsk Process consists of a conference which was only occasionally convened, a group which never meets as a group and a co-chairmanship functioning under a barely known mandate, all named after a city where the mediators never meet”. Unfortunately, the Minsk Group has been hampered ever since its inception by internal and external problems. The first is that, in 1992, when this process first started, the OSCE had no experience in conflict management or resolution. The international environment at the time was not very conducive to seriously tackling the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. The main objective of the Minsk Group and its co-chairs is also problematic. It is supposed to bring about a solution by “facilitating” discussions between the parties but without exerting any pressure on them. And with time, Armenia and Azerbaijan have grown stronger and are even less inclined to let the international mediators set the pace. These obstacles further hamper the ability of the Minsk Group which now seems to be in charge of conflict management rather than conflict settlement. The basis for discussion since 2007 has been the Madrid Protocol, amended in 2009. This document has been accepted by both parties and sets out some very general guidelines towards finding a political solution. It rests on three broad and contradictory principles: the non-use of force, the importance of territorial integrity, and the rights of people to self-determination. Further principles pertaining to the conflict include: •

The return of the territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan;

An interim status for Nagorno-Karabakh providing guarantees for security and self-governance;

A corridor linking Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh;

Eventual determination of the final legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh through a legally binding expression of will;

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The right of all internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees to return to their former places of residence;

International security guarantees, including a peacekeeping operation.

If these basic principles are satisfactory to all parties, they merely lay out a framework but say nothing of the actual implementation of all these elements. This limit is, as we shall see, one of the many obstacles to bringing peace to the region. Obstacles to peace A number of other difficulties help explain the deadlock in the peace process and the priorities to address before thinking about a political resolution. We can classify these difficulties in three categories: the peace process in itself, domestic issues and the geopolitical interests of third parties. Minsk Group format and the status of Karabakh Format of the negotiation The most immediate problem regarding the peace process is the format of the discussions. If everyone agrees that the Madrid proposal should constitute the basis for the negotiation, no one can agree on how to implement them. Armenia favors a step-by-step approach, willing to leave the territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh only after the status of Karabakh has been agreed upon. Holding these territories gives Armenia – as the winner in the war of 1994 – the upper hand in dealing with Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan, on the other hand, demands the withdrawal of Armenian soldiers from these territories as a precondition to any deeper discussion. But the Armenians refuse to risk their position and the safety of Nagorno-Karabakh by withdrawing without receiving real guarantees. In this situation, there is a deadlock at the heart of the negotiation, on the simple matter of whether or not to discuss. Another problem in the peace process is the (non) inclusion of representatives of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh. They were present at the start – indeed, they signed the 1994 ceasefire – but the Azerbaijani authorities have refused to talk with these representatives, reluctant as they are to grant any legitimacy whatsoever to the de facto state. This 150

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creates a bizarre situation where Armenia is the main stakeholder in the talks with Azerbaijan, while maintaining that it is merely a neutral party in this conflict. IDP issue Another important thorn in the settlement is the issue of IDPs, mainly in Azerbaijan who fled from the adjacent territories during the war. This question is both humanitarian and political. Armenia is reluctant to let these people reclaim their homes before a lasting solution is found. Indeed, doing so would recreate the tense situation that led to the conflict at the end of the 1980’s: a predominantly Armenian enclave surrounded by Azeri villages and cut off from Armenia. This cannot be allowed as long as the status of Nagorno-Karabakh is not clearly defined. On the other side, Azerbaijan uses this issue as a tool to gain leverage in the negotiation. These hundreds of thousands of IDPs are still housed in camps and temporary installations because Baku does not want them to settle elsewhere and lose their IDP status. Doing so would make Azerbaijan lose some of its “victim” status that it likes to present to the international community. The “occupied” territories Closely linked to the IDP issue, the problem of the adjacent territories is still an important block in the discussion. Everyone agrees that these districts are Azerbaijani but the main difficulty is how to facilitate an evacuation while guaranteeing the security of Nagorno-Karabakh. Never again will the Armenians permit Nagorno-Karabakh to be an enclave inside another country. The war was fought to ensure the safety of the people of Karabakh and this is still a priority for the Armenian nation. Security guarantees are thus needed before Armenia agrees to anything regarding these territories. At the minimum, an international corridor linking Armenia to Karabakh is necessary through Lachin – and eventually Kelbajar. The only way to ensure the safety of this corridor would be through an international peacekeeping force. But Azerbaijan is opposed to any peacekeeping contingent which would obviously include Russia. Baku is keener to rely on its own armed forces which pose a clear threat to any land link between both parts of the Armenian nation. And thus the impasse remains.

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The Settlement of the Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, Remarks prepared for the Conference on “Conflicts and the right to self-determination”

The status of Nagorno-Karabakh Lastly, another diplomatic obstacle to peace is the thorny question of the status of the region of Karabakh. For the Armenians in the region, the outcome should be without a doubt full independence for the NKR. They are after all the victors in the war and have proved for twenty years that they have the capacity and the will to build a viable state in Karabakh. At most, they might have agreed to compromise right after war in favor of a confederal relationship with Azerbaijan. But since then, trust has declined and their will for independence has only grown. Azerbaijan, on the other hand wants to reclaim Nagorno-Karabakh as an integral part of a unitary state. They might agree (maybe) to give it some autonomous rights or even go as far as to conceive of a federal arrangement, but more is out of the question. In this case, both parties’ maximal concessions are far from overlapping. It is impossible to come up with a mutually beneficial solution since none of the parties is willing to really compromise. The Madrid proposals are silent on the question of the status, leaving that decision to a future “legally binding expression of will” or referendum. But even this option is not without its problems. When would this referendum take place? Who would be allowed to vote? Who would guarantee the outcome? Each option would predetermine the results and without trust between the parties and clear international backing for such a possibility, a referendum remains far in the future. Domestic issues Time Next to the purely diplomatic obstacles, other domestic issues also arise that make peace more distant each year. The first of these is time. Every year that passes in this state of latent war makes it more difficult to negotiate, reach compromises and expect peace. The passage of time is deceptive, it removes the urgency that is necessary for each side to accept concessions in favor of peace. Right now, each side prefers a shaky status quo to a possible unsatisfying settlement. And each year that passes makes the “risk of peace” seem less desirable. International scholars believe that for a negotiated peace to be possible, parties in a conflict need to find themselves in a “mutually hurting stalemate”, where the ongoing situation is too hard not to contemplate peace. In the case of Nagorno-Karabakh, there is a stalemate, but the parties aren’t hurting enough for a political settlement.

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Both of them mistakenly believe that time is on its side. Azerbaijan relies on energy exports for its economy and for its growing weapons procurement. With a stronger economy than its Armenian neighbour, Baku is willing to play a long game in the hopes that Armenia will continue declining before being forced to concede to Azeri terms. But the Azerbaijani economy is not as strong as it appears and its over reliance on energy exports is detrimental in the long run. Armenia, as well, believes that it has more to gain by waiting. Each year that passes makes the independence of the NKR seem more inevitable and legitimate. Ties between Yerevan and Stepanakert are deepening and the hold over the Azeri districts is growing, making compromise or bargaining seem more unthinkable by the day. Competing perceptions Another important issue is the competing perceptions at play between Armenia and Azerbaijan that hinder the peace process. Both sides have vastly different accounts of what happened since the end of the 1980s and neither is willing to accept that the truth might be less clear-cut than it appears in official statements. Azerbaijan was deeply humiliated by its military losses in 1994. It lost the war, it lost a huge portion of its territory and hundreds of thousands of IDPs are still around to remind the government of its failure. Recently though, Baku has gained an increasing confidence thanks to its energy exports. Its military budget has sky rocketed ($3.7 billion to Armenia’s $2.8 billion total budget) and this new-found strength combines with earlier humiliation to create a spirit of worrying nationalism and revanchism in Azerbaijan. This gives rise to strident rhetoric on all sides, with both countries threatening the military option and pursuing a toxic arms race. The official discourse of politicians or by the media is filled with terms like “Blitzkrieg’’, “pre-emptive strike’’ and ‘‘total war”, depicting the other side as the perpetual “enemy” of the nation. Absolutist narratives are widespread in both societies, creating siege mentalities on both sides. This is dangerous not only for the prospect of peace, but also for the effect it has on society, making it unable to look towards the future because it is only dwelling on the past. Communities in Armenia and Azerbaijan are cut off from each other; mistrust and lack of understanding are widespread. No nation can build itself without coming to terms lucidly with its past and with its neighbours. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan feel they are the victim in this conflict and both have legitimate grievanc-

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The Settlement of the Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, Remarks prepared for the Conference on “Conflicts and the right to self-determination”

es that need to be addressed. But both also share responsibility in this problem. Until each side can refrain from provocation and accept the other’s truth, competing perceptions will continue to poison the entire region. Geopolitical interests Finally, the final obstacle to peace in Nagorno-Karabakh is the interest of foreign powers in the region. The three Minsk Group co-chairs, but Iran and Turkey also, all have vested interests in the issue. Russia, in particular these last years, has played a very ambiguous part in the peace process. As a Minsk Group co-chair, it is an important mediator but, lately, Russia has bypassed the Minsk format to organise bilateral talks between the Armenian and Azeri presidents, under Russian auspices. These infrequent and short talks are useful for Moscow to show itself off as an important mediator and the central player in the region, but it does nothing to help the peace process move forward. The issue is too entrenched to be resolved in a one-day, media-rich, negotiation. Furthermore, Russia is losing its status as a credible mediator. It has become an important arms supplier for both sides, using its relations with Yerevan and Baku to leverage economic or political concessions, but without the will to change the status quo on the ground. On the contrary, the stalemate is positive for Russia which can present itself as the main hegemon in the issue, and can maintain the regional dynamics under control. With Armenia, Russia acts as an overlord, offering indeterminate military support in exchange for an economic and political submission. Armenia’s economic infrastructure has been largely bought off by Russian enterprises and its adherence to the Eurasian Union has been achieved thanks to forceful Russian pressure. The current “frozen conflict” and Armenia’s, as well as Azerbaijan’s reliance on Russia all serve Moscow’s interests. But Russia is not the only player to benefit from the situation; France or the USA are also watchful of developments on the ground, as are Turkey and Iran which use the current conflict as one of the ways to reinforce 154

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their regional policies and rivalry. This observation serves to explain the deadlock in the peace process; it also serves to highlight the risks of a new conflict. Should a full-scale war erupt between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Russia, Turkey and Iran could be drawn in, directly or indirectly, with grave consequences for the entire region. Possible solutions In order to find a way out of the deadlock, creative ideas and hard work is necessary from all sides, parties to the conflict as well as international mediators. Unfortunately, I don’t have a magical solution that would solve everything. For 20 years, a lot has been tried and even more has failed. It will be hard to achieve peace. But peace will always be worth the effort, worth the unavoidable compromises. Because peace will not only put an end to the violence and the instability on the ground; it will allow societies on both sides of the front line to reach across this divide, to look towards the future and start building their nations on solid foundations, rather than on historical grievances. A few ideas can be put forward to frame the necessary way to peace. Creative diplomacy Different diplomatic initiatives can be taken to build political trust and work towards a solution: •

A crisis hotline could be re-established between Yerevan and Baku to lessen chances of a military escalation and step up direct contacts.

The Minsk Group format could be transformed to allow the EU to take France’s position. While highly unlikely, this would help construct the NK issue as a European priority, which would benefit from Europe’s transformative policies

International mediators should step up their efforts to broker an agreement. They should stop selling arms to both sides and increase the political pressure on the Armenian and Azeri authorities to get them around the negotiation table with clear guidelines and achievable but bold objectives

Popular support and trust-building Frozen Conflict and Self-Determination

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The Settlement of the Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, Remarks prepared for the Conference on “Conflicts and the right to self-determination”

But the most important aspect of any settlement is not diplomatic. It is time for the peace process to stop being solely in the hands of politicians, who hold secret talks that go nowhere. In order for peace to become a realistic goal, the population of Armenia and of Azerbaijan must become involved in the process. An official signature on a political document isn’t enough, what is needed is a real path to peace. So any diplomatic solution must resonate with the societies involved. The Minsk framework is workable, it can serve as a basis for a resolution of the conflict but alone, it can’t achieve much. The technical solutions outlined are less important for success than the political will to implement them. No mutually beneficial solution is possible without trust. And no trust is possible without popular involvement. In that regard, the competing perceptions outlined earlier have to be reconciled, for example by outlining a third narrative that could underlie the peace agreement. The international community has a role to play in helping craft this third narrative and in emphasizing the virtues of peace. And inside both countries, civil society should be allowed to play a greater part in bringing the rival communities together. Track II diplomacy should be much more central in the current peace process. There is no will to find a solution because there is no trust. But there is no trust because Armenians and Azeris don’t know each other anymore. The role of civil society is extremely important and is hard to maintain, owing to both countries authoritarian regimes, who have no will for a political settlement and are reluctant to reinforce civic movements. But there is no alternative to a peaceful negotiation and, for it to succeed, we have to contribute, inside and outside the region, to a real transformation of the conflict rather than merely a conflict resolution. A transformation of the context, of the perceptions, of the actors and of the issues of the conflict.

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NORAVANK L E D RA

COLLEGE N I C O S I A

FOUNDATION

EURODIALOGUE, Volume 3, Frozen Conflict and Self-Determination  

This Publication is based on the International Conference “Conflicts and the right to Self-determination” organised in the European Parliame...

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