Karabakh as Part of Azerbaijan Impossible, Says Gorbachev

MOSCOW (Combined Sources)—“Today, it is impossible to see Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan,” said former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev over the weekend in an interview with the Russian service of RFE/RL on the occasion of the anniversary marking his landmark Perestroika reform initiatives.

“An agreement should have been reached, and we would have resolved the problem in the 1980s” Gorbachev said, explaining that he proposed an autonomous status to the then leadership of Azerbaijan.

“For example, I proposed republic status for Nagorno-Karabakh. The then Azeri authorities — I think [Abdul-Rakhman] Vezirov – were on the verge of agreeing, but the plan failed. Maybe the problem could have been resolved at that time, but we cannot imagine Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan now,” Gorbachev said.

“I think measures should have been taken to grant status to Nagorno-Karabakh. Economic assistance should have been rendered as well. People should have been able to communicate with Yerevan. We allocated funds for Karabakh later on, but I do not know how they were spent.” explained Gorbachev.

He lamented on the condition of Nagorno-Karabakh in the years leading up to the unification demonstrations in 1988, explaining that communication was virtually impossible and non-existence.

“There are now new calls for war. But a new war must be prevented in Nagorno-Karabakh. Negotiations are the only way out. War must be ruled out; otherwise, the great powers will be involved,” he said.

The former leader’s think tank, the Gorbachev Fund published a report on the 22nd anniversary of Perestroika, in which experts pointed out that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was among the chief causes of the collapse of the Soviet Union.


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  1. Ruben said:

    To the moderator,
    On my screen it shows a name and email address of a diffrent person (RUBEN). This is a serious matter, it is a breach in terms of protecting identities and personal information of people that participate on this forum.
    Most likely my personal information is now being shown on somebody elses’ screen. I advise you to take care of this problem immediately.

    • Admin said:

      Hi Ruben, thanks. We are aware of the issue and are working around the clock to find the problem, isolate it, and solve it.

      • Hrair said:

        Dear editor,

        This is to inform you that Mr. Gorbachev was interviewed by the Armenian Service of RFE/RL. The Armenian Service Moscow correspondent Aza Babayan talked to Mr. Gorbachev in his office in Moscow.

        Best, Hrair

  2. Pingback: Karabakh as Part of Azerbaijan Impossible, Says Gorbachev … | armeniatoday

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  5. Nairian said:

    Gorbachev, then I wish for a million times that you have prioritized the matter and gave Nagorno-Karabakh’s people their freedom back in 1988 when all 17 nations have gained their freedom from the Soviet regime. Why and why didn’t you do the same to the Armenians in Karabakh? After all you knew that more than today’s Karabakh lands belonged to them and was part of Armenia for thousands and thousands of years. Why didn’t you act then, then please act now and secure Karabakh’s freedom for once and for all!!!!

  6. Grish Begian said:

    Gorbachev was so stupid at the time of USSR breakup…Azerbaijan is a tribal place, there are many tribes live under the name of Azerbaijan, actually all those tribes are separatists and have no desire to stay under Azeri rules…

    Azerbaijanis are very lucky to have a smart neighbor like Armenia, otherwise they would have fallen apart since day one with their own internal wars. Aliev knows how to manipulate his tribal country, and that is matter of a time to explode, his dictatorial rule will end up to a civil war in Azerbaijan..

  7. Hrair said:

    You can read and listen to the full interview with Gorbachev on “Azatutyun.am” later today.

  8. Hamik Gregory said:

    Azerbaijanis should get used to the idea that Negorno Gharabagh is gone for ever! In another words, they should seriously think about the future!