STEPANAKERT (Realist English). The Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh Republic) is celebrating today the 35th anniversary of the modern stage of the national liberation struggle of the Artsakh Armenians – the Karabakh movement, a struggle that embodied the collective desire of the people to restore historical justice, preserve national identity and dignity, and fully realize their inalienable right to live freely and develop in their homeland. This is stated in the official statement of the Artsakh Foreign Ministry.
“In response to the long-term discriminatory policy of Azerbaijan, the people of Artsakh gathered all their will and rallied in the name of the idea of the revival of Artsakh and reunification with Armenia.
35 years ago, on February 20, 1988, an extraordinary session of the Council of People’s Deputies of the NKAO was held, at which a decision was made on a petition to the Supreme Soviets of the Azerbaijan SSR and the Armenian SSR on the transfer of the autonomous region from Azerbaijan to Armenia. The issue of the annexation of Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia was raised democratically, by parliamentary means, on the basis of popular will, in strict accordance with the legislation of the USSR in force at that time and with generally recognized norms of international law.
The resolution of the session, which confirmed the right of the Artsakh people to decide their own fate, marked the current stage of the Karabakh movement and predetermined the prospects for the socio-political development of Nagorno-Karabakh. It, in fact, became the forerunner of the Declaration of Independence of the NKR, adopted on September 2, 1991 in the conditions of new historical and political realities created by the collapse of the USSR, and marked the beginning of the path to the state independence of Artsakh.
This act of popular expression of the will of the Artsakh people was rightly regarded as a reliable guarantee of salvation from Azerbaijan’s decades-long policy of discrimination against the ethnic Armenian population, which ultimately had to lead to its complete destruction. Subsequent events confirmed the regularity and correctness of the historical choice of the Artsakh people.
Just a week after the session of the regional Council, the Azerbaijani authorities organized monstrous pogroms and killings of Armenians in Sumgait and other cities of Azerbaijan, and with the collapse of the USSR, they unleashed a full-scale war against Artsakh. The criminal policy of official Baku, aimed at the destruction of the people of Artsakh, has not undergone any changes even decades later. The evidence of this is the military aggressions of 2016 and 2020, the incessant state terrorism against the Artsakh people, the transport and energy blockade of the republic that has been going on for the third month.
Despite the incredible difficulties and trials, the people of Artsakh continue to struggle for their free and independent existence in their historical homeland, thereby realizing the right of peoples to self-determination, enshrined in international law, including the UN Charter. The past 35 years have clearly demonstrated that the most important condition for solving national problems is national unity, consolidation of the moral and spiritual forces of Armenia, Artsakh and the Diaspora, which makes it possible to withstand the most serious challenges of the time.
Through the long-term struggle for national dignity and the right to freely dispose of their destiny in their historical homeland, the creation of a democratic and viable state, the people of Artsakh have proved that they deserve recognition of their independence by the international community.
On this memorable day, we bow before the memory of all those who gave their lives for the freedom and independence of Artsakh, for universal ideals and values,” the statement of the Artsakh diplomatic department reads.