Armenian Parliament Refuses Karabakh Recognition Bill

A scene from the Armenian National Assembly (Photolur)

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—The National Assembly overwhelmingly rejected on Wednesday an opposition bill that would obligate Armenia’s government to formally recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent state.

The opposition Zharangutyun (Heritage) party drafted the bill and put it to the vote three years after the failure of a similar initiative championed by its leader, Raffi Hovannisian.

Hovannisian and his political allies have for years been seeking an official Armenian recognition of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR). They say such a move is essential for international recognition of Karabakh’s de facto secession from Azerbaijan.

The Armenian government has rejected the Zharangutyun demands, saying that the NKR’s de jure recognition would ruin the Karabakh peace process and anger the international community. Deputies from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia echoed these arguments during the latest parliament debate on the matter.

“The negotiations [with Azerbaijan] have been in deadlock right from the beginning,” countered Zaruhi Postanjian, Zharangutyun’s parliamentary leader.

Only 10 members of the 131-seat parliament, mainly representing Zharangutyun and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, voted for the bill. The vast majority of other lawmakers boycotted the vote.

President Serzh Sarkisian declared in late 2010 that Armenia will recognize Karabakh if Azerbaijan threatens to restart hostilities.


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  1. Haytoug Chamlian said:

    Ms. Zaruhi Postanjyan’s latest stunt would be this ridiculous bill she submitted to the Parliament, about Artsakh. —

    In the current state of things, the recognition of Arsakh by Armenia is an absurdity. —

    Everybody knows that, in fact, and on every level possible, the two constitute one country. —

    Moreover, not only Artsakh is not asking for such a useless recognition, but the representative of its Ministry of Defense declared that such a move would be damaging, and deplored the fact that Postandjian is exploiting this subject for superficial political purposes. —

    Such a recognition would generate a real risk of restarting the war. In any event, it would result in serious tensions, which will drain and waste even more of our already limited means and energy, for nothing. —

    Considering that Ms. Postadjyan is now the leader of the Heritage faction in the Parliament (her predecessor having resigned, right after her little show at the Council of Europe, which he had criticized…), we are discovering every day a bit more how unfit and unworthy Mr. Raffi Hovannesian is, to become President of Armenia. —

    Ms. Zaruhi Postanjyan doesn’t know what to invent next, so that her juvenile fans may put her on youtube or twitter. —

    She is our Kim Kardashian of the Caucasus. —

    (As for the ARF vote, it is simply… perplexing. When this party needs to be pragmatic, it acts on the basis of abstract ideology only, and when it is time to act on principle, it suddenly becomes grossly political… Asdvads okné…) —

    Haytoug Chamlian, Canada

    • Sarkis said:

      Thanks for a great explanation. It is high time the noble Armenian nation eliminated from the national stage these selfish and destructive western-funded clowns who put their own personal gain ahead of national security.

      As for the arf in Armenia, they are desparate for attention given their extremely low popularity. And some of their members doubtlessly have links to anti-Armenian western intelligence agencies.

  2. Kevork said:

    I agree in this case not to recognize but for different reasons. The people of Karabakh should wait until the rest of Armenia’s eastern lands are liberated before they make any recognitions.

  3. bigmoustache said:

    they have threatened us with hostilities a thousand times! you idiots! do you expect Azerbaijan to give us advanced warning when/if they do attack?!
    I suppose Azerbaijan can do whatever it wants to harm the negotiation process, does ramil safarov ring a bell?
    WHY are we acting like the losers when we are the victors?!
    Armenia believed in artsakhs independence enough to commit troops and shed blood but not enough to recognize it?
    lets make a list of these lawmakers names, the ones who opposed recognizing artsakh, and post them up in their districts.

  4. Norik Baboorian Checkosky said:

    If the Armenian parliament does not recognize NKR as an independent state, then do they recognize it as a Russian entity( as declared by Zori Balayan) or Azerbaijani?

  5. Sevag said:

    Why wait until something happens in orderf for us to react? We always react, time to be proactive and set the tone.

  6. Harutik said:

    I am glad the reigns of government are in the hands of sober politicians with political prudence and foresight – and not in the hands of subversive populists like Raffi Hovanissian or Western agents like Paruyr Hayrikian.

  7. Avetis said:

    Bravo Haytoug! I fully concur. I’m glad Armenian officials have the maturity to resist provocation by the West’s fifth column inside Armenia.

  8. Stephen T. Dulgarian said:

    Shame on the Armenian National Assembly for refusing the recognition of the Karabakh Independence. It is now over twenty years that Karabakh has been independent and if Armenia does not recognize it, then no one will in the future. We must not forget what Lenin & Stalin did to the Armenian Nation back in 1922 by dividing our territories to the Turks, the Azeri’s, and to the Georgian’s. These are issues that the Armenian Government should be bringing up to the world powers. I am dissapointed in Russia when the Soviet Union broke up, she should have helped restore those territories back to the Republic of Armenia. Has anyone brought up these issues in the past years? I don’t believe so. The diaspora should push these issues, otherwise we are the looses of our historic lands.

  9. Armanan said:

    The political immaturity and shortsightedness of the majority of the comments is quite pathetic. And these same individuals want a greater say in Armenia’s domestic affairs, no thank you!!

  10. Armondo said:

    please try to understand that Artsaxh should not be recognised as independent as Azeries are waiting that to be recognised as independent state without any protection of any international force so they can easily take it back without Russian help and Armenian interferance ,,, for God sake this is our state we are talking about ! historicaly were ours and it will be forever ours ,,Azeries are in our land they have to get scared we will take not only Artzaxh but even our oils too and all the remaining land of ours ,,, just don’t be weak and accept all that rubbish treats ,,,stand strong !

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