Crimea, Nagorno-Karabakh and The Right to Self Determination

Pro-Russian Crimeans rally in Lenin Square, Simferopol, after voting for accession to Russia, March 17, 2014. (Photo: AFP)


BY HRANT APOVIAN

“Crimea has returned home.”
“It is a sovereign and independent state.”
—Russian President Vladimir Putin

Nagorno-Karabakh will return home as well. It is already a sovereign and independent state. Its people – after decades of pogroms and servitude under Azeri rule – have exercised their right for self determination and have voted to be masters of their own fate. Historically, Crimea has been part of Russia, while Nagorno-Karabakh has been part of Armenia. While Nikita Khrushchev donated Crimea to the Ukraine, it was Joseph Stalin that arbitrarily made the Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh to be part of Azerbaijan.

The inalienable right of a people for self-determination is reinforced by the United Nations Charter. It has become the weapon of choice for all disenfranchised people around the world in the twenty first century. Simmering conflicts are surfacing and one after the other like dominoes, necessary and inevitable changes are taking place. Oppressive regimes are unleashing movements that will engender secessions.

Unfortunately, these unresolved conflicts face the specter of territorial integrity. The use of territorial integrity as an obstacle is often arbitrary and may or may not be brought up for geopolitical reasons. However, it can no longer be used to stifle the oppressed as the will for self-determination has superseded territorial boundaries. A joint statement by the Motherland, Democracy and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, along with the Artsakhatun deputy group, said that last week’s referendum in Crimea “has become another precedent of realization of the right of peoples to self-determination, once again proving that territorial integrity of states does not prevail over people’s free expression of will in international law.” The Nagorno-Karabakh Parliament urged that post-referendum matters be resolved peacefully and based on mutual respect.

Interestingly, James Warlick, the American mediator for the Karabakh conflict, stated that “despite the fact that the United States cannot accept Russian operations in Ukraine, there are other areas where we can work together. Like for instance establishing peace in Nagorno-Karabakh. We should try to understand, what we can learn from the Ukraine crisis, for the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.” This approach from the US mediator towards resolving conflicts peacefully is reassuring and no doubt welcome.

However, conflicts regarding self-determination are not always resolved peacefully. Some are recognized by the West, some by Russia, but rarely by the state that loses what it considers to be part of its territory. Each unresolved conflict is unique and is brought about by different circumstances such as history, geography, level of violence and legitimacy.

The case of Scotland: it will have a referendum this year to secede from the United Kingdom, and is unique in that it seems to be on track to be peaceful, unlike the violence that was unleashed on Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenians in Baku by Azerbaijan. There are conflicting predictions as to the outcome.

The case of Kosovo: its secession from Yugoslavia happened swiftly after massive turmoil and was recognized overnight by the United States and Europe, but not by Russia.

The case of South Sudan: officially the Republic of South Sudan, a landlocked country in Northeastern Africa, gained its independence from Sudan in 2011 as an outcome of a 2005 peace deal that ended Africa’s longest running civil war. An overwhelming majority of South Sudanese voted in a January 2011 referendum to secede.

The case of Eritrea: in 1952, the United Nations resolved to establish it as an autonomous entity federated with Ethiopia as a compromise between Ethiopian claims for sovereignty and Eritrean aspirations for independence. However, ten years later, the Ethiopian Emperor, Haile Selassie, decided to annex it. A subsequent 32 year armed struggle culminated in a referendum that created an independent Eritrea in 1993.

The case of Transnistria: it declared independence after a military conflict with Moldova and is currently an independent presidential republic, under the effective authority of Russia. However, it is not recognized by any United Nations member state. A cease fire agreement was signed on July 21, 1992. Since then, Moldova has exercised no effective control or influence on Transnistrian authorities.

The case of South Ossetia and Abkhazia is uncertain. A short lived Russian military intervention created a safe zone. Georgia was unable to regain control of the two breakaway regions. They are yet to be recognized.

The case of Nagorno-Karabakh is unique. It is a viable democratic state, with democratic institutions, with a free press and a strong army. Its inhabitants are a resilient people that have vowed to survive as a free independent state, never to go back in time and to live peacefully as a nation state.
Unlike Crimea, Transnistria, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, there is no Russian military presence in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Transnistria, Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia are post-Soviet “frozen conflict” zones. These four unrecognized states maintain friendly relations with each other and form the Community for Democracy and Rights of Nations.

***

In an Op–Ed article in the Los Angeles Times Eugene Kontorovich, a professor at Northwestern University School of International Law, examines land grabs by countries that are ignored and some that are not accepted. As examples, Kontorovich gives the cases of Turkey’s occupation of Cyprus, Morocco’s invasion of Western Sahara, North Vietnam’s wiping out of South Vietnam, Indonesia’s seizure of East Timor, and Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. We can now add to the list, Turkey’s attack by fundamentalist proxies and seizure of Kasab in Syria.

Unfortunately, Kontorovich presents the case of Nagorno-Karabakh as a conquest of parts of Azerbaijan by Armenia. He considers the conquests of South Ossetia, Abkhazia, and Crimea a form of territorial control by Russia and not as attempts for self-determination.

Mr. Kontorovich describes failed attempts to conquer territories because of “resistance from the target state”, such as Argentina’s bid for the Falklands, Libya’s attempt to conquer parts of Chad, and Iraq’s attack on Iran and Kuwait.

Mr. Kontorovich is correct in his analysis that the world conveniently chooses to ignore conquests that are committed by friendly nations, yet challenges others. In the case of Nagorno-Karabakh, he concedes correctly that the move seems unlikely to be reversed.

***

The Nagorno-Karabakh foreign ministry statement regarding Crimea was to the point, praising “yet another manifestation of realization of the right of people to self–determination.” The foreign ministry’s announcement was followed one day later by recognition of Crimea’s secession by the Parliament of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

In a telephone conversation with President Putin, Armenian President Sarkisian said that the Crimean referendum was “yet another realization of people’s right to self-determination.” John Heffern, the United States ambassador to Armenia, voiced Washington’s disappointment with the Armenian government’s decision to effectively recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

According to Richard Giragosian, Director of Yerevan Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity based Regional Studies Center, President Putin’s blatant disregard and disdain for the costs of his actions foretell a shift in Russian policy to one with little or no restraint. Within that context, such a more assertive Russian posture directed toward its neighbors may also result in a sudden shift in Moscow’s policy toward Nagorno-Karabakh. More specifically, he cites three factors that suggest a new “Putin Paradigm” for Nagorno-Karabakh and by extension, for the broader South Caucasus region.

Giragosian predicts that “[f]irst, in the wake of the erosion of restraint and the eradication of limits, [President] Putin may now seek to only garner greater leverage in the South Caucasus, with Nagorno-Karabakh offering an attractive avenue toward a deeper consolidation of Russian power and influence.” Second, Giragosian notes that in the context of the peace process with its partners the United States and France, Russia might choose to collude and not cooperate. Third, Giragosian believes Russia “may seek greater but riskier dividends from transforming the “frozen” Nagorno-Karabakh conflict into a hot war, thereby attaining even greater leverage and latitude.”

An ominous partnership was revealed at a meeting between Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili and Azeri President Ilham Aliyev, who agreed to support each other on issues of “territorial integrity.” Their agreement was in reference to Nagorno-Karabakh and the breakaway regions of Georgia, South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

So far, Azerbaijan is very cautious. Its continued silence is understandable: if it opposes the referendum in Crimea, Nagorno-Karabakh may decide to join Armenia; if it goes against the referendum, it will alienate Russia. If it stays neutral, President Putin will make it clear that neutrality is not an option.

The case of Nagorno-Karabakh is unique, unlike other cases. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, its people decided to declare their freedom from an illegal occupation. A brutal attack with indiscriminate shelling of civilian targets in Nagorno-Karabakh and pogroms in Baku followed. The war ended with the people of Nagorno-Karabakh overcoming the Azeri military incursions and winning the war. A ceasefire was established.

The Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh is a full fledged democratic entity. It will survive and will be recognized as such in time. The cases of Kosovo and Crimea will reinforce and not hinder its march toward independence.

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43 Comments

  1. Pingback: Crimea, Nagorno-Karabakh and The Right to Self Determination | Gradegood

  2. Harutik said:

    Artsakh will return to Armenia only when Moscow is sure Western agents inside Armenia are eradicated. Artsakh will return to Armenia only when Russo-Armenian relations enter into a deeper relationship. As long as Yerevan is smart enough to remain within the Russian orbit and diligently works to cultivate better Russo-Armenian ties, Armenians have a good chance of seeing the reunification of Artsakh to Armenia sooner than later.

    With that said, what is Yerevan doing cooperating with an imperial criminal organization like NATO who for the past twenty years has been blockading Armenia? What is Yerevan doing cooperating with a criminal organization who has been conspiring against Armenia’s strategic ally Russia and Armenia’s only good neighbor Iran? What is Yerevan doing cooperating with NATO against the Crimean people’s right to self-determination? What is Yerevan doing cooperating with NATO at a time when NATO is encouraging Al-Qaeda terrorists to exterminate Christians and Alawites in Syria?

    Yerevan’s so-called “complimentary politics” made sense in the 1990s. Today, it’s a serious liability for Armenia. I hope to see Yerevan gradually move away from dealing with dangerous Western organizations like NATO, IMF and USAID. President Sargsyan’s announcement in early September, 2013 is a very encouraging sign.

    Yes, our Americanized zombies do indeed need to wake up from their EUrotic dreams and recognize that Armenia’s only hope for a better and more secure future is Russia. For Armenia, independence from Russia means dependence on Turkey. No Russia in the south Caucasus means no Armenia in the south Caucasus. There are no viable alternatives to the above calculus. The Russian nation is providing Armenia today with an opportunity Armenians have not had in well over one thousand years. Instead of doing the work of Western reptiles by disseminating anti-Russian propaganda throughout Armenian society, we Armenians need to wake up and use our God given talents to take full advantage of being a strategic partner of a superpower like Russia. Armenians can be in Russia what Jews are in the US.

    • T.K. said:

      Those who side with the wrong should be named traitors. those who never learn from our history and risk another extermination should be named traitors. those who wave flags of EU in downtown Yerevan should be send to Kiev. Those who in the name of false democracy use our poor to get political gains should be send to their dreamland. those who seed conflict in Russian-Armenian relation should come and protect our borders.
      We had enough, the only reason turks were able to exterminate and take most of our homeland was THOSE. the ones who talk loud and than run to EU.

    • Sarkis said:

      Every Armenian needs to repeat Harutik’s brilliant analysis over and over until it becomes ingrained in our collective psyche. Armenia’s future is with Russia, and it is a bright and prosperous future.

      And might I add, not only will Armenia secure Artsakh through Russia’s backing, but also THE ROAD TO WESTERN ARMENIA RUNS THROUGH MOSCOW! Turkey and Azerbaijan and their puppetmasters in Washington D.C., Brussels and Tel-Aviv know this, that is why they are running hysterical doom-and-gloom campaigns full of racist Russophobic lies.

      • Armenian said:

        Russia will never destroy its relations with Turkey for an Armenia full of people who keep leaving it. Snap out of your malaise.

        • Sarkis said:

          You are thinking of America, not Russia. Russia will protect Armenia from Turkey no matter what. I know the Russia-Armenia relationship is hard for you to comprehend because of your Jewish ancestry, you do not understand the bond that brotherly Orthodox Christian nations have.

    • Armenian said:

      Jesus Christ, now the Russophiles are bordering fascism– “every Western agent inside Armenia is eradicated?” An Armenian who would kill or try to suppress another Armenian for the sake of someone else is worse than any Turk or Azeri. Your comments shine a light on the true face of this Russian obsession, and you are an extremely dangerous individual.

      • Sarkis said:

        This might shock you, but anti-treason laws are actually the norm in statecraft. Any Armenians who tries to destroy the Armenian government and the Russia-Armenia strategic alliance and deliver the remains of Armenia to the Turks and Azeris deserves nothing less than eradication. To try crafting some underhanded, twisted exception to this rule would be cowardly and treasonous.

        It is not I as an individual who is dangerous, rather it is the light of truth and justice which the traitorous swine within our people fear and despise.

  3. Gurgen said:

    Richard Giragossian and other foreign agents like Raffi (no more Barev) have to go. The Armenian government has to eventually grow some balls and deal with these parasites.

    • Armenian said:

      The Armenian government itself has turned into a brain-dead parasite.

      • Sarkis said:

        Your level of hatred for Armenia as well as for Russia far exceeds even the most vicious Turk and Azeri. Please stop spreading your vile poison against our homeland on this forum. This is self-hatred taken to an extreme, criminal level.

          • Sarkis said:

            I have no intention to argue with a falsifier of facts and history such as you. I merely pointed out the truth based on your insane rhetoric here. The fact that you can’t even deny my assertion says it all.

            Once more: I and thousands of patriots such as myself will always respond forcefully to enemies of Armenia and the Armeina-Russia strategic alliance such as yourself and you spiritual brothers in Anglo-American-Zionist- Turkish-Azeri- Terrorist grouping.

          • steve said:

            Sarkis It’s not Brain dead Armenian’s fault.
            Bl aim The ASBAREZ. How can people like him allowed ,that sort of comments on here .Clearly taking the Armenian nation down .Even worst he calls himself Armenian

  4. Armenian said:

    Crimea and Artsakh are not the same. You are doing nobody any favors by even comparing the two.

    • Sarkis said:

      They are exactly the same. Self-determination by the majority population. And both regions are liberated today only through Moscow’s support.

      • Hannibal said:

        They are not the same.Russians in Crimea wer never discriminated .The people of Artsakh became under azeris fire and several tausands of them were killed.OK my friend?

        • Sarkis said:

          You have lost touch with reality. There are Swastika-bearing freaks in Kiev calling for the murder and explusions (ie ethnic cleansing and genocide) of all Russians in Free Crimea and in occupied eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian leader Yulia Timoshenko was recorded calling for a nuclear attack against the Russians in territory currently under Kiev’s occupation.

          Saying Crimean Russians were never discriminated against is the exact same as saying that Karabakh Armenians were never discriminated against or that Ottoman Armenians were never discriminated against.

          No people, whether Russian or Armenian or Ossetian or Abkhazian or Serbian, should ever be forced to live under murderous fascists like Turks, Azeris, Albanians or others.

      • Armenian said:

        and Moscow is not responsible for Armenia’s victory in Karabagh. Armenians are responsible for that. I know you like to think that as a race we are incapable of doing nothing on our own and taking charge of our own destiny by being unified and relying on ourselves, but the Karabagh example as well as that of Garegin Njhdeh prove that Armenians are not the enslaved people that you and the Russophiles want to make us for the rest of our lives. Moscow participated in the Karabagh conflict as much on the side of the Azeris as they did with the Armenians. Read history that doesn’t come from a blog that shamelessly boasts itself as a pro-Kremlin advocacy page that disregards facts and instead makes its gains by scaring impressionable and naive minds like yours.

        • Sarkis said:

          -Get it through your head, if Moscow did not stop NATO-member turkey from invading Armenia in 1993 through a direct threat to use nuclear weapons on Turkey, Armenia would have been exterminated. A million Fedayees would not have been enough to keep the Turks out of Armenia… And neither could Armenia keep up with the weapons and Ukrainian and Pakistani/Afghan mercenaries that Azerbaijan was buying without Russian assistance.

          -Please stop lying, no one claims that “as a race we are incapable of doing nothing on our own”. That is the kind of smut the US government peddles to Armenians in its doom-and-gloom propaganda and paid cyber-warriors like you. As I’ve stated before, the Armenian state, backed and protected by Holy Russia, has a much brighter future than the decadent and degenerate west.

          -Njteh was a pragmatic hero, please don’t take Njteh out of context. This isn’t 1918 when Russia had been hijacked by the bolshevik jews and their idiot Armenian enablers who rioted against the Czar. Njteh held out bravely in 1920, but it is clear that Syunik had zero prospects for viable independence or for any serious western support. Had Njteh been alive today, he would most likely have promoted the Armenian alliance with Russia as Russia today stands for the ideals Njteh fought for, much like in the 1930’s Njteh allied with the National Socialists in Germany because they were the ones with policies which supported Njteh’s vision for Armenia. I can guarantee, though, that Njteh would be calling for the destruction of the AYF which he originally founded because Njteh was no supporter of degenerate perversions that seem to be the AYF’s top priority today… I know you are used to cheering for the genocidal, Russophobic freaks in Kiev bearing Swastikas today, but the Armenian nation stands and has always stood against such wicked, western-funded forces of evil.

          -You are a complete liar if you claim that Russia supported Azerbaijan as much as it did Armenia in the Artsakh war. The main supporters of Azerbaijan were Ukraine, US, Britain, Israel, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, the pariah entity calling itself “israel”, the worldwide Jewish lobby, and western energy companies.

          -An American cyber-warrior such as yourself calling me ” impressionable and naive” is just laughable. You keep peddling racist Russophobia, and fantasies about how America <3 Armenia, and you'll keep getting called a traitor by the non-politically illiterate members of the Armenian community.

          Ps everyone at the blog you speak of would love a chance to get to know you in person, like a nice family reunion…

        • www.Voskanapat.info said:

          Replacing Soviet Union with “Moscow” and “Kremlin” and than blaming USSR’s anti-Armenian deeds on modern Russia is a cheap trick used by the State Department propaganda machine.

    • Avetis said:

      Historically, Crimea is Russia, Artsakh is Armenia. Bolsheviks gave Crimea to Ukraine, Artsakh to Azerbaijan. Crimeans always wanted reunification with Russia, Artsakhtsis always wanted reunification with Armenia. Crimeans took the opportunity the collapsed government in Ukraine provided to break free of Kiev, Armenians used the opportunity the collapse of the Soviet government provided to break free of Baku.

      But, I know, being that you (and your alter ego Vahagn) are a cyber warrior in service of for Uncle Sam, you cannot acknowledge any of this.

      • Sarkis said:

        Avetis, I just don’t understand these anti-democratic opposition groups which have formed to resist the wills of the brotherly people of Crimea, Artsakh, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transdniestria as expressed through free and open referendums on independence in the face of oppression and massacre by the evil, western-backed Fascist regimes in Kiev, Baku, and Tblisi.

        It is absolutely sickening that the sheeple screaming loudest for a bloody regime change in Yerevan in the name of “democracy” turn into a lynch mob the second Armenians or Russians wage and win wars upholding democratic choice.

        Ps no doubt about it, “Armenian” and Vahagn are the same lonely, small, bitter little man posting racist Russophobic and Armenophobic garbage on Asbarez and the Armenian Weekly. I suspect he has a few more aliases as well. He is getting an appropriate response for the blasphemy he preaches here though, Armenian patriots from around Cyberia have called out every deceitful argument he has had the nerve to post.

      • Norin Radd said:

        Brilliant Avetis, well said indeed. “Armenian” I believe that is check and mate by Avetis, better go cash in your troll check from Washington.

    • Sarkis said:

      And in light of the liberation of South Ossetia, Abkhazia and now Crimea and the preparatory actions by Russia and Armenia to formalize Artsakh’s independence, let us take a moment to remember occupied northern Cyprus and occupied Serbian Kosovo by the US-EU-Turkey-Israel alliance. I want to see Armenia lead the charge in supporting Russia’s action to liberate those ethnically-cleansed regions which rightfully belong to Orthodox Christians, and to bring to justice the reptilian war criminals in Washington, Brussels, Ankara and Tel Aviv for the atrocities which have taken place.

    • steve said:

      The asbarez. How you do allow this Armenian guy INSULATING the Armenian people .I have been told by non Armenian friend who reads your newspaper [ I can not repeat, what he said to me] shame on you asbarez

  5. Pingback: Awareness and Self Determination

  6. Sarkis said:

    The leaked phone calls revealing the American and European plan to have Turkey send in a few special forces into Syria and conduct false flag operations by purposefully launching attacks from Syrian lands onto Turkish-occupied territory should raise alarms and discussion among Armenian-Americans. There is no longer any room to deny: Syria’s democratically elected President Bashar Al-Assad was targeted for an illegal regime change by the war criminals of America and Europe. Their evil plans failed. Now they are unleashing their favorite, closest ally in the world Turkey to start a war with Syria. America and the EU gave Turkey full permission to carry out the Massacre of Kessab. America, the EU and Turkey don’t care about Armenian civilians being slaughtered, they don’t care about “democracy” or “freedom” or “civil society” or human dignity. American and the EU have zero problems working with terrorists like al-quadea and al-nusra in Syria. They only care about expanding their empire. Instead of acting like civilized governments, instead of acting like Christian nations, the immoral heads of the EU government are praising Turkey for being such a “model Muslim democracy” not even a month after Turkey committed the massacre of Kessab!

    Therefore it should not surprise anyone that America and the EU not only refuse to recognize the Armenian Genocide, but they actively help Turkey deny and cover up the Armenian Genocide. It does not matter whether Democrat or Republican, American or British, the entire west is united behind Turkey against Armenia. America and the EU only lie to Armenians and pretend they care about Armenia and “freedom and democracy”, but their actions prove otherwise.

    Thank God the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Artsakh, and the Armenians in Syria are protected and supported by Russia. As brave and noble as Armenia’s military is, Armenia is too small and too weak to save itself from the combined forces of NATO. The sooner Armenia is in the Customs Union, and the more integrated Armenia becomes in the CSTO and the Armenia-Russia alliance, the better it will be for Armenia. I pray that the next Prime Minister of Armenia will be a man (or woman) with a strong sense of purpose, and one who will not hesitate to stand up for Armenia and Armenians around the world in the face of American, EU and Turkish fascism and anti-Armenianism.

  7. Arius said:

    I am glad to see so many Armenian brothers and sisters waking up and shaking off their Western centric attitudes.

    Look at what the West has done to Yugoslavia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Ukraine, Iraq. How Russia was promised that NATO would not push East then did exactly that. How in the US Victoria Nuland ran the Ukraine operation for $5B to gain access to plow it for its resources and cheap labor. The result, more suffering and violence. That is all the West has to offer unless you submit yourself to them.

    If Armenia submits to the West it will be its death. Armenia must stay in the Russian orbit and look EAST, to the SCO and BRICS.

  8. Oaan said:

    South Ossetia has been liberated? Really.
    So let me get this straight. Territorial Integrity is bad and oppresses freedom. Supposedly the local people would vote to be part of the neighbour they most identify with and reshape countries. Then everyone will be happy behind a big fence that keeps those people out of the new country. This is progress?

    • Sarkis said:

      Yes really. The brave South Ossetians survived the dastardly invasion by NATO-, Turkey-, Israeli- and EU- armed, trained and funded Georgian aggressors in 2008. They pushed the Georgians back until the defenders of human rights and dignity from Moscow reinforced them and chased the cowardly Georgians back to Tblisi. Just like Artsakh Armenians sent the Azeris fleeing back to Baku, and the Crimean Russians sent the Neo-Nazi Ukrainian Fascist scum fleeing back to Kiev.

      “Territorial integrity” based on the will of Stalin the Georgian or Khruschev the Ukrainian is absolute garbage and worth nothing. Armenians, Ossetians, and Russians are all noble people who have stood up in the face of oppression and occupation and stuck a mighty blow to liberty.

      And unfortunately, when dealing with primitive barbarians like Azeris or Swastika-bearing Ukrainians, fences of the strongest caliber are needed.

      • Oaan said:

        I will say it again. You just cannot have a new country every 500 miles based on some linguistic or ethnic shift. These little nothings would be unable to function. Even modern, rich Quebec has figured that out. You also cannot expect Turkey to be a nice guy and just hand over a big chunk of land based on historic claims. Even modern, rich Quebec has figured that out. The only hope for Armenia, and the world, is for borderlands to choose small adjustments and then everybody just accept it is what it is.

        • Sarkis said:

          What are you talking about? How did Quebec (which borders Canada and the US, not Turkey and Georgia) get into this? We are undoing the subjugation of historically individual nations that was instituted by Stalin and the Bolshevik jews.

          And if you think that anyone here, most of all myself, has delusions about Turkey being “a nice guy and just hand over a big chunk of land based on historic claims”, I don’t know what to tell you. The road to Western Armenia runs through Moscow, not begging the Turks or Americans or Europeans.

          Lastly, think before you come on an Armenian forum and try to defend Territorial Integrity over Self-Determination. Your type would throw Artsakh under the bus in a desperate attempt to weaken the cases for Crimea’s, Ossetia’s, Abkhazia’s and Transdniestria’s independence. And for what, to appease the Ukrainians and the Georgians, the people who were actively providing mercenaries and material support to Azerbaijan all through the Artsakh War? Disgustingly pathetic.

          • Oaan said:

            Is the tank proof fence in Georgia creeping south because a farmer freely decided he wanted to give an acre of his farm to Ossetia in the middle of the night? Crimea is in Ukraine. NK is in Azerbaijan. Ossetia is in Georgia. Quebec is in Canada. Louisiana is in the USA. They are not going to be independent countries. Has North Ossetia welcomed its long lost fraternal brothers back, merged and created a new independent Ossetia? Will it ever? No. South Ossetia and Crimea have been absorbed by it bigger, stronger neighbor under the guise of plebiscite. That is all. Putin is looking for the next one.

  9. Armenian said:

    All in all, it is obvious where the bulk of some Armenians’ support and fanatic enthusiasm for Russia comes from, and that is from Russia’s ability to capitalize on manipulating the fear of conflict and all out warfare by creating large and elaborate doomsday scenarios that compel Armenians to give more than they actually should to Russia, like all economic leverage and the right to make personal decisions. It is unfortunate that some people don’t see that Russia is apart of the problem, and has often times created a problem so that it can offer itself as a solution. If Russia were really serious about its “Orthodox Brotherhood” with Armenia, it would have forced Azerbaijan into compromising more so that the territorial conflict could be solved through peaceful means. It would have placed an arms embargo on Azerbaijan, like the US did back when the Karabagh conflict started.

    Russia will never solve the Karabagh conflict because that is one of the biggest points of leverage it has not only on Armenia and the South Caucasus, but on the Armenian people and psyche as a whole, many of whom (as you can see from the comments above) have already given up on their people and country, and are literally begging for Vladimir Putin to come to Armenia with his troops; sadly, there are no more Armenians like Garegin Njhdeh, people who have a profound love and respect for their nation, and the masses have been replaced with proxy-Russian Armenians who bizarrely fight against empowering Armenia by not implementing things like democracy, free expression, political diversity and economic development in Armenia for things like authoritarian, corrupt, backwards and self-serving politicians like Serjhik and Putin. In the grand irony of things, I am confident that all of the people who fight against the implementation of those things in Armenia, live and prosper in countries that have fully embraced the very things they are fighting against in Armenia, for Russia’s sake. Such hypocrisy! I wonder why some people don’t just move to Russia right away since, you know, things are so promising there, especially for a “brotherly” nation like us Armenians.

    From a realpolitik standpoint, why should Russia ever solve the Karabagh conflict or not sabotage any attempts by others to do so? What would it gain from that? If anything, it would lose because it can no longer portray itself as the “guarantor” of Armenian “independence” (more like servitude to the Kremlin) in the eyes of people who are so terrified and unsure of our own abilities as a people, and it would lose all leverage on Armenia and Azerbaijan both politically and economically.

    It saddens me to see how easily Armenians can be manipulated into doing things that are against their interests, like closing themselves off to a market of nearly a billion people just because Putin started tugged on Sarkisyan’s leash from Moscow. It’s the same thing with elections here in the US: one election year a candidate promises genocide recognition, then 90% of the Armenians flock to them to support them, only to be let down, then flock to the other guy in the next election cycle. Russia is no different. All countries serve their own interests. Unfortunately, I can tell by the xenophobic rantings of some of the people above that this star-struck attitude toward Russia is also rooted in a sense of antisemitism; that the Jews are the enemies of Armenians and must be protected from “Zionism”. That is a shame given that Armenians themselves were persecuted the way Jews were and to a sense, still are today. “The Jews are coming for us, the Georgians are coming for us, the Americans are coming for us, and the only people to protect as are the Russians”. This is the world that has been invented for us and exists through the channels of fear.

    Russia’s military relationship with the Armenia is very important. I don’t question that, and I do think it is important that they stay in Armenia until cooler heads prevail in Turkey and Azerbaijan. Even when Armenia and those countries establish relations with one another, hopefully after a very thorough period of historical and sociological development in those countries, Russia still should have a place in Armenian politics. This is something that nobody questions. But to have Armenia be completely tied to Russia in every way, shape, and form is absolutely dangerous. The same goes for being too tied to any other country for that matter.

    While the military relationship is important, the economic and social devotion to Russia is excessive and places Armenia at risk. Also, the very things that make people leave Armenia, such as corruption, nepotism, lack of transparency and an un-diversified economy that is heavily reliant on remittances is killing Armenia very slowly from the inside. This is something that could have been slowly eradicated by closer relations to the EU, but once again, we have been forced to saw off our own leg out of fear.

    • Lus said:

      Armenia is on the right path thanks to President Sarkissian’s brilliant moves. You like many diasporan Armenians (mainly arevmtahyas) lack the very basic understanding of geopolitics in our volatile region…

    • Sarkis said:

      Another essay, you sound as though you are on the verge of understanding the importance of Russia for Armenia when you speak of the military relationship, but then you state “But to have Armenia be completely tied to Russia in every way, shape, and form is absolutely dangerous”. Under different circumstances, Armenia would benefit from a complimentary policy, in fact that has often been the case throughout Armenian history. But at this point in history, it is simply ridiculous to think that Armenia can gain anything at all, including the myth of greater freedoms and economic development, by throwing in its lot with the west. The west chose Turkey as its ally, nothing can undo this. It is what they consider their national interests. Simple as that. Armenia would be friendless without Russia.

      And please stop your self-hating lies about “Armenia closed itself from the EU market”. As has been stated a thousand times, the EU is the one who issued ultimatums, not Armenia. And I am glad, to hell with the bankrupt EU and their debt slavery based econonmy. Facts appear not to matter to a EUrophile apologist such as you.

      As for the Jews, the fact remains that both Israel and the Jew lobby in the US have been the ONLY non-turkish and non-Islamic group actively working against Armenia. Jews still spit regularly on Armenian priests in Jerusalem. The young turks who carried out the Genocide were all Donmeh Jews. So cut the bull, there is no “Armenian antisemetism”, there is only a shameful record of Jewish Anti-Armenism.

      As for the Georgians, their policy of expulsion of Armenians from Javakhk and Tblisi; their cultural genocide regarding Armenian cultural and religous monuments; their attempted ethnic cleasning in Abkhazia and South Ossetia; and the fact that they are Turkey and NATO’s closest ally makes them direct enemies of Armenia and the Armenian people… Luckily they are a pathetically weak nation, so they pose a very low threat, specially with Mother Russia there to keep their imperialist war pig leadership in check.

      You can argue Russia has no interest to solve the Artsakh issue, and yes why should it when it cannot trust the politically immature Armenian leadership not to turn on it once it does? BUt still, even under your argument Russia has no interest in ever weakening Armenia’s position, at worst Armenia will remain Russia’s fortress in the South Caucasus as a sledgehammer against Russia’s historic Turco-Islamic rivals… The USA and EU, on the other hand, would not hesitate for a second to let the Turks finish Armenia off should Russia ever be ejected from the region. The Armenian Genocide in 1915, and the Kessab massacre a mere three weeks ago, prove so.

      As for your lamenting paragraph about demoralized Armenians and no more Njtehs and whatever other buzzwords you can fit in: The US has long engaged in a doom-and-gloom, demoralization campaign against the Armenian state. From exploiting every tragic non-combat death in the Armeinan Armed Forces (the strongest Army in the region thanks to free Russian weapons) to exploiting Armenia’s growing pains due to the 23 year old NATO blockade, the US would have Armenians believe that Armenia is lower than Zimbabwe. If you are concerned about demoralized Armenians, look in the mirror and recall every hate-filled sentence you have posted shamelessy attacking the Armenian state. Or better yet, take the fight to the filthy liars at Radio Liberty, Hetq, Armenianow and Lragir.

      Bottom line, as you yourself have been forced to concede regarding the Kessab attack and the military relationship, Armenia will be allied with Russia and has not other options. And thank God, because the alliance is based on coinciding interests, shared history and shared glory among our two brotherly peoples, and is further cemented by the fact that the west+turkey+israel have brought the world to the brink of war.

      Of course, besides all of the factors outlined above, Russia’s massive economic and financial potential; the large and active Russian-Armenian community (which now donates on average 6 times more to Armenia Fund than the Armenian-American community — special thanks to Ara Manoogian for convincing Armenian-Americans not to donate to their homeland); and the fact that President Vladimir Putin is a historic leader who will be remembered as being the savior of not just Russia but all of western civilization are all reasons why the non-brainwashed Armenians look at our Russian ally as an opportunity that Armenia has not enjoyed for over a thousand years.

      Do me a personal favor, try spending even a fraction of the time that you spend writing racist Russophobic statements on asbarez and on armenianweekly (as vahagn) and write a piece condemning western actions that led to the Kessab Massacre… Or is there no money in taking such a step for an ‘Armenian” such as yourself?

    • Sarkis said:

      Thank you Norin! I have always enjoyed reading your eye-opening, brilliantly-articulated comments on this website throughout the years, even before I started becoming active here. Compliments from patriots like you are an honor!

  10. FromArmeniaWithLove said:

    Fully agree with Harutik. Armenia’s pro-Western chobans are the real problem. Kessab once more proves that if Western countries get their sway, Armenians will get annihilated. Long live Russian-Armenian relations.

  11. krikor tcherkesian said:

    so existe um caminho para a independencia da Armenia.somente atraves do desenvolvimento industrial,comercia e agricola,podera no futuro proximo reconquistar a sua autodeterminaçao como pais soberano e democratico.O bem estar de seu povo atraves do seu desenvolvimento acarretara uma postura mais independente aos seus .discursos vazios cheios de ideologia bastam para nos vitimas do genocidio ansiosos de ver novamente a querida ARMENIA livre desse proselitismo ambiguo.

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