ARF Calls Kars Treaty Invalid, Urges End to Protocols

The ARF Coat of Arms

YEREVAN (ARF Press Service)—The Armenian Revolutionary Federation Supreme Council of Armenia, issued a declaration Tuesday on the eve of the 90th anniversary of the signing of the Moscow Treaty between Turkey and the Soviet Union.

The declaration calls the Moscow Treaty, illegal and invalid and urges the government of Armenia to make an announcement rejecting the treaty. The ARF declaration also call of the government to immediately end the ill-fated Turkey-Armenia protocols process and withdraw Armenia’s signature from the defeatist documents.

Below is the text of the declaration:

The 90th anniversary of the signing of the notorious treaty between the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic and the Government of the Turkish Grand National Assembly on March 16, 1921, is being marked. The parties of this treaty, in violation of the basic principles and norms of international law, without the  participation and consent of the Armenian party, decided to donate to Turkey the province of Kars and the region of Surmalu, and to hand over Nakhichevan as an autonomous “territory” to the protectorate of Azerbaijan.

In the treaty of Moscow, the clauses on Armenia are in gross violation of international law, as treaties can only pertain to the parties to the treaty and cannot create any obligations or rights for a third party  not party to the treaty without its consent.

In addition, at the time of signing of the treaty, the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic was not a recognized state, and therefore not a subject of international law and, naturally, its government had no authority to enter into international treaties.

As for the so-called “government of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey” representing the Turkish side, it was merely a non-governmental entity in circumstances where Turkish legal authorities existed. Furthermore, the Turkish side acted on behalf of Mustafa Kemal, who at the time was a criminal on the run, sentenced to death by the Turkish military court and the highest clergyman of the empire.

Thus, based on the above-mentioned facts, the Moscow Treaty is illegal and, according to international law, is invalid. Hence, the Republic of Armenia should declare that it does not recognize the treaty signed in Moscow, on March 16, 1921, and the October 13, 1921, treaty of Kars, based on the latter and forced upon the Bolshevik rulers of Armenia, is null and void.

Simultaneously, the Republic of Armenia must immediately withdraw from the Armenian-Turkish protocols, which the Turkish side is using to retroactively legitimize the Lenin-Ataturk criminal transaction. Also, the fact that – on the backdrop of renewed agreements of Russian-Armenian strategic partnership and the assurances of strengthening and development of the traditional friendly relations between our two peoples – during these days which mark the 90th anniversary of the signing of the above-mentioned illegal and anti-Armenian treaty, the High-Level Cooperation Council between Russia and Turkey is holding a meeting in Moscow raises concerns.

Surely, bilateral relations can provide basis for friendship, if they are based on justice and not directed against third parties.

ARF Supreme Council Of Armenia
March 15, 2011


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  1. Berge Jololian said:

    Ahhh.. Ashged-Luis Dashnagtsutiun. Glad you woke up! What took you so long?

  2. Lusik said:

    A technical question: what are the addresses of such Declarations?

    Do international law committees, involved governments receive it? Or it is for us.

    Is it received in Yerevan, Moscow, Ankara, Paris, … ?

  3. Ara Sanjian said:

    The title of the piece and the first paragraph of the introduction are wrong. If you read the statement from Yerevan carefully, it is the 90th anniversary of the Treaty of Moscow. The Treaty of Kars was signed later that same year, October 1921.

  4. Berge Jololian said:

    I urge everyone interested in this topic to read a well-written to-the-point article from one year ago (see link below). Unfortunately it took the ARF one year to take some form off lose action on it; with particular focus on the critical point concerning the infamous Protocols:

    [ The new phase of development in that issue started last October 10 when Armenian-Turkish protocols on establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries were signed in Zurich, according to which, Yerevan and Ankara confirmed their “bilateral and multilateral obligations to respect principles of equality, sovereignty, territorial integrity and stability of borders”.

    It was that point in the protocols that was unacceptable for the majority of both Diaspora Armenians spread around the world and citizens of the Republic of Armenia.

    What Turkey was trying to achieve above all was the signing of such a point of great importance: On October 10 of 2009 the Moscow Treaty signed in 1921 finally received “international recognition” if not approval. ]

  5. Berge Jololian said:

    [ Within the framework of the event, Russian president Dmitri Medvedev will be meeting Turkish Prime-Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on March 16 to discuss the prospects for political and economic development of the two states.

    Protestors intend to direct Russian diplomats’ attention to the fact that exactly 90 years ago such discussions led to seizure of Armenian lands followed by Nagorno-Karabakh’s transfer to Azerbaijan.

    “The date of the Turkish prime-minister led delegations’ visit to Russia was selected deliberately and is timed to the 90th anniversary of the Moscow agreement,” stated Vahan Hovhannisyan, head of the Revolutionary Federation of Armenia Dashnaktsutyun parliamentary faction.

    Speaking about the Moscow agreement Hovhannisyan reminded that this illegal and disgraceful document giving away Armenian lands was signed by Russia behind Armenia’s back and without its knowledge or participation, and Russia had no such right.

    “In this case the key point is that Russia – Armenia’s so-called strategic partner –respects neither the feelings of the Armenian nation, nor the Armenian authorities since it is marking the 90th anniversary together with Turkey,” says Hovhannisyan.

    Indeed, many become increasingly aware of the fact that Russia as Armenia’s main strategic partner could have chosen a different day to hold the high-level negotiations with Turkey. Holding the meeting on that tragic anniversary is perceived by Armenians as rubbing salt in the wound.

    Participants of the March 16 protest – Nikol Aghbalyan student council, the youth branch of Dashnaktsutyn party, and the National Youth Council of Armenia – will march from Stepan Shahumyan Square to the Russian Embassy in Armenia. ]

  6. Nazo said:

    Lets assume they gave it back to us, what would we do with it, we can’t keep people in present day Armenia,they are leaving the country by the thousands,its one thing to have it, another thing to keep it, the track record so far is not good, be careful what you wish for, you might get it.

    • Berge Jololian said:

      So, Nazo should Canada whose population is only 38 million relinquish its vast territories because it does not have enough population? Or maybe we should ask Libya to relinquish it territory down to 5% of its current size because there aren’t enough people?

      The point is that it does not matter – it is the legal right of Armenians to take back what legally and rightfully belongs to Armenia. For a start, Turkey needs to withdraw from the lands of the first Armenian Republic (1918-20), then recognized by US, UK, France and Japan. That would make the present Armenian Republic viable with possible access to the Black Sea.

    • VAHE said:

      This is a new “subject of argument” for loud mouth diasporans.
      No body have the right to critisize armenian citizens leaving Armenia for basic needs of life, whereas, US citizens are accustomed to cry wolf for Armenia and lost territories.
      Maybe , you should have your contribution by having a small piece of land or flat in Armenia and atleast spend your 2 or 3 weeks annual vacation here.
      Ofcourse , I support ARF Supreme Body of Armenia by calling 1921 and 2009 treaties illegal.

  7. Raffi said:

    The validity of the treaty is under question according to some politologists and scholars. In fact the authorities of the sides that have their signatories under the treaty are questioned.[4] The signing by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey only can be claimed a farce, as it was founded in Ankara on 23 April 1920 in the midst of the Turkish War of Independence in the efforts of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk to found a new state out of the remnants of the Ottoman Empire in the aftermath of World War I[5] and, according to the Constitution of the Ottoman Empire, had no legal authority to sign international treaties. Article 7 of the Constitution of the Ottoman Empire reads: Source Wikipedea

    • Berge Jololian said:

      In addition Turkey occupied Armenian territories by way of the crime-of-genocide.

  8. Bob said:

    Very serious questions exist about the Treaty of Kars. However, at this point in time it falls under the umbrella of settled law. It can be turned aside if all parties agree to renegotiate.

    For discussion purposes, let’s fantasize that there is an international body with the authority to declare the Treaty null and void.

    What would happen? For negotiation purposes do the lines of demarcation revert back to their respective positions at the time of the treaty? Or would it be more probable that Turkey would agree that Armenia could select the temporal reference point. Of course we would chose a point in time when there was an Armenian national state that controlled Western Armenia.

    The start of negotiations would be positions held at the time of the treaty. Let’s recall Turkey held the Kars region , Ararat, and about half of what is Shirak province in today’s Armenia. There is no mention by the ARF that the Kars Treaty required Turkey to vacate Shirak province.

    It seems that this declaration by the The Armenian Revolutionary Federation Supreme Council of Armenia is nothing more than a red herring. There are real issues of governance in Armenia. Let the ARF put its energy into helping build a country that attracts repatriates rather than repels residents.

    • Heghapokhagan said:

      That Kars treaty is Legally “NULL” What is actually in “EFFECT, IS TREATY OF SEVRES”

    • AntiTCDB said:

      Is this what they are teaching at the turkish foreign ministry these days? Fantastical legal spin on the Moscow/Kars treaties due to vertigo induced by the Sevres syndrome. Settled law? It would be settled law if it went before International court of Justice(and yes Bob, there is no need to fantasize if there is an international body with the authority to declare the treaty null and void, wishful thinking ha Bob?). We know and the turkish thieves know, if it were to go before the court both the Moscow treaty and the Kars treaty would be thrown out as invalid from the moment it was signed. “Turned aside if all parties agree to negotiate?” Laughable! That would be true if it were legally binding, but after the ICJ verdict there would be nothing to negotiate except a timetable for turkish and azeri withdraw from Kars, Igdir, Ardahan and Nakhichevan. And if you don’t leave you will be so choked by international sanctions so severe that you will cry uncle in Armenian! And you know it’s true that’s why you guys work so hard against Armenian interests around the world.So all the rest of your writing on “negotiations” is pure fantasy/spin on how international law works. Seriously you guys are trained to think you can talk your way out of anything but you are delusional and desperate on the Armenian issue. You can’t stop what is coming. Should I say a tsunami of legal woes, or is that too soon? It is interesting that you use the phrase “red herring” against the ARF when in fact it is the turkish foreign ministry and their dumbass reasoning you presented in this forum that is deliberately attempting to divert attention from the crimes of the turkish state against the Armenian people. Legally the turkish state is screwed on a number of issues that are coming down the pike: The Moscow treaty, the Kars treaty, the Wilsonian Arbitral Award and the ICJ legal validation of the Armenian genocide and the consequent reparations, restitutions and restoration of Armenian lands, property and wealth that the turkish state WILL pay to the Armenian people. Now, I know and you know and Ara Papian knows why Armenia has not gone to the ICJ to have the Kars and Moscow treaties declared invalid and the Wilson Arbitral Award declared still valid. Turkish leaders have point blank threaten Armenian officials with annihilation of Armenia if any of these issues are brought before the ICJ. If anyone thinks that is not possible, you really dont understand the turkish mind set. They dont care about what Russia will do or what America will do or what the EU will do. Turkey will continue to exist and Armenia will cease to exist. Plenty of turks will gladly sit in a glass booth at the Hague on trial for commiting genocide against the Armenian people if it saves turkey from losing one square inch of land to Armenia. Bob, read the next few sentences very carefully. Turkish officials know they will lose against the Armenians in the international arena but feel safe from that ever happening by threatening Armenian officials with another genocide. There will come a time, very soon, that an Armenian government will not be afraid of turkish threats and will present a legal case against the moscow and kars treaties, a legal case on the Armenian genocide and the legal case for the Wilson Arbitral Award. Why they will not be afraid you may ask. If I tell you what the future holds you would drop dead from a heart attack.

      • Bob said:

        The International Court of Justice can only deal with issues from parties that accept the jurisdiction of the court. The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties would be material in this case. Turkey has not signed its consent–not a surprise. Here is Armenia’s position:

        “The Republic of Armenia does not consider itself bound by the provisions of article 66 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties and declares that for any dispute among the Contracting Parties concerning the application or the interpretation of any article of part V of the Convention to be submitted to the International Court of Justice for a decision or to the Conciliation Commission for consideration the consent of all the parties to the dispute is required in each separate case.”

        Pragmatically, this means the ICJ isn’t going to be taking on this issue unless all parties agree to its jurisdiction. Right now, neither Turkey or Armenia will submit to the authority of the ICJ.

        Also, you credit me with insight into the Turkish Foreign Ministry. Really, I have no insight into the perspectives of the Turkish Foreign Ministry. You credit yourself with foreknowledge of the future. Forgive my skepticism, but such statements reflect bravado more than great insight into the future. I hope Armenia develops as a democracy and a strong economy with decent governance. Then, it will have international leverage. Currently, it is too weak and dependent. Again, I would suggest the ARF concentrate on building a stronger Armenia. That will gain fruit for Armenia quicker than grandstanding by the ARF. Leave the useless bombast to Ilham Aliyev.

        • AntiTCDB said:

          Thank you for your response Bob, you are making this way too easy.

          You create intellectual fallacies through acts of omission and commission to achieve conclusions based on your desires and particular hatreds.

          1. You are rabidly anti ARF. If the ARF said the sky was blue you would be against that opinion. I could not care less about the ARF. Your whole world view is skewed by your obsessional hatred for the ARF.

          2. You are pro protocols. Your agenda is in line with the Turkish state. I KNOW you don’t work for the Turkish foreign ministry but you might as well. The protocols were created to validate the Kars treaty (thus fixing the boundary forever) and disallowing the possibility for a ICJ court case on the Armenian genocide by having an historical commission. You would be jumping up for joy when the protocols are ratified. Mission accomplished for killing Hye Tad and thus destroying the ARF’s reason for being. You have an anti nationalist agenda based on the party you belong to that is in direct opposition to not only the ARF but the entire Armenian nation.

          3. It really does not matter if turkey is not signatory to the Vienna convention. It does not matter to the ICJ that turkey is not a signatory. That is why the reservation to article 66 of the Vienna convention was submitted by Armenia at the behest of turkey back in 2006. It was a precondition for negotiations to continue work on the protocols. The turks threatened Armenia’s existence if Armenia pursued internationally justice for the Armenian genocide and proving what the legitimate border is. After that cleared the air the turks had to make Armenia prove it’s sincerity by submitting the reservation to article 66.

          4. The turks know Armenia could take turkey to task in the international arena. That is the great fear of turkey. The turks know they don’t have a leg to stand on. It’s sad a certain ilk of the Armenian people are working for turkish interests thinking that it will secure Armenia’s future when in fact it will lead to Armenia’s end. If I have not exposed you to the world (as being one whose sole desire is to kill Armenia’s just cause) succinctly please do give me another opportunity to do a better job. I can’t wait.

          • Bob said:


            Your comment does not address the issue of whether the ICJ has the jurisdiction to deal with the dispute. Given that none of the signatories (or their successor states) will submit to the court there is no avenue for the ARF to pursue this declaration.

            If you know this to be wrong–then establish the authority of the ICJ in this matter.

            Attacking me ,or the perspective you ascribe to me, has no bearing on whether the ICJ or any other body has jurisdiction now or in the future.

            So, you do need to help me out here. Establish that there is in fact a venue in which the ARF can pursue the dissolution of the applicable treaties. Provide a credible argument that this is something more than self-serving bombast by the ARF

            Wouldn’t it be better for Armenia if the ARF focussed its considerable energy and resources into developing an effective large scale repatriation assistance program for Armenia?