Mar 151990
 

The European Parliament,

A. having regard to the serious humanitarian and economic situation in Armenia following the earthquake in 1988,

B. concerned at information from Soviet opposition groups showing that 500 000 people in Armenia are homeless and some 100 000 Armenians are travelling the Soviet Union in search of homes and jobs,

C. dismayed that a large proportion of the aid destined for the suffering Armenians has failed to reach them,

D. concerned at the human rights situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, which is administered by Azerbaijan against the will of the majority of its inhabitants, more than 75% of whom are Armenians, and at the continuing violence in Azerbaijan,

 

1. Calls on the Commission and the Foreign Ministers meeting in EPC to urge the Soviet government to improve the humanitarian and economic situation in Armenia and to request the Soviet government to seek a peaceful solution for Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh and elsewhere in Azerbaijan;

2. Calls on the United Nations to take a more active role with regard to the problem of refugees and homelessness in Armenia;

3. Resolves to send a small delegation to Armenia and Azerbaijan to report to Parliament and the European public on the situation of the Armenians;

4. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the Foreign Ministers meeting in EPC, the governments of the Member States and the government of the Soviet Union.


Source: Resolution B3-556/90 [17.4.90 Official Journal of the European Communities No C 96/260]

File: European Parliament Resolution B3-556/90

Jan 191990
 

Azerbaijan is no Lithuania. True, resurgent nationalism arouses people in the Caucasus just as it arouses the Baltic republics. But there the comparison ends – and the trouble for Moscow begins.

Nationalists in Lithuania are struggling to wrest independence from Moscow by nonviolent, political means. Nationalists in Azerbaijan also talk of independence, but their protest includes bloody pogroms against their Armenian neighbors. Nor do Azerbaijani nationalists limit their actions to Soviet Azerbaijan. They transgress the border with Iran to make common cause with Azerbaijanis there.

Mikhail Gorbachev seems prepared to bargain with Lithuania’s nationalists. But Azerbaijan’s violent nationalists leave him no choice but to send in the troops.

The nationalism now surging from Omsk to Tomsk is an understandable reaction to decades of forced assimilation. Stalin redrew borders, relocated populations and suppressed cultural and religious differences, all in the name of internationalism. But ancient national aspirations did not dis-appear.

This week’s massacre in Baku, of predominantly Christian Armenians by Muslim Azerbaijanis, shows nationalism at its nastiest. Generations of religious hatred erupted in spasmodic violence two years ago as armed Azerbaijanis rampaged through the town of Sumgait and slaughtered 32 people, mostly Armenians. After the 1988 earthquake that killed 25,000 Armenians, Azerbaijanis blocked railways to Armenia, holding up aid. Now the rivals vie for control of Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian enclave that Stalin incorporated into Azerbaijan in 1923.


The Armenians sought protection from Moscow. Mr. Gorbachev first resisted but renewed strife forced him to intervene. The Azerbaijanis added to his unease by declaring their interest in carving out a state on both sides of the national border. This was a clear threat to Iran’s territorial integrity and its warming relations with the Soviet Union. Teheran asked the Soviets to beef up border patrols.

Mr. Gorbachev and his reformist Kremlin allies are prepared to tolerate, even encourage, moderate nationalists who challenge central control and demand autonomy. But Moscow rightly feels that, in a polyglot country with 104 different nationalities, ethnic violence is beyond the pale.

Azerbaijan dramatizes Mr. Gorbachev’s larger dilemma. To generate economic thrust, he wants to shift power from Moscow’s stodgy bureaucracies to the regional republics. But how can he do this without unleashing nationalist hatreds and irredentism? The problem is illustrated by the struggle over Nagorno-Karabakh, a region as big as Long Island with a population of 160,000.

Putting either Azerbaijanis or Armenians in charge would leave one people at the mercy of the other. Moscow has to assume direct control. But that runs counter to Mr. Gorbachev’s desire for devolution. And the troops, once introduced, will be difficult to extricate. Nothing so challenges Mr. Gorbachev’s resourcefulness, and his fragile coalition of reformists and moderate nationalists, as the flow of blood in the Caucasus.


Source: New York Times

Jan 181990
 

The European Parliament

A. having regard to the resumption of anti-Armenian activities by the Azeris in Baku (an initial estimate talks of numerous victims, some of whom died in particularly horrific circumstances) and the attacks on Armenian villages outside Nagorno-Karabakh, such as Shaumyan and Getashen,

B. whereas there is severe tension on the border between Armenia and Nakhichevan which could lead to serious incidents,

C. whereas the blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh has been reinstated by Azerbaijan as harshly as ever,

D. whereas the Republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan are almost in a state of war,

E. deploring the increased nationalism now evident which can only prejudice justified national pride,

F. whereas the conflict now taking place is largely the result of the dividing up of the territory imposed by Lenin in Transcaucasia, and particularly the forced integration of the Autonomous Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, mainly populated by Armenian Christians, into the Muslim republic of Azerbaijan in 1923.

G. whereas the decision taken by the Supreme Soviet on 28 November 1989 to alter the present status of Nagorno-Karabakh flies in the face of the wishes of the population of that autonomous region, thus creating even more ‘explosive’ conditions,

H. whereas the Fabian tactics of the Soviet authorities over the problem of Nagorno-Karabakh has helped to worsen the situation for which it would have been possible to find a peaceful solution some eighteen months ago,

I. noting with concern that, according to some sources, arms from Iran have been delivered to the Azeris,

J. having regard to the many political, ethnic and economic difficulties facing the Soviet Government,

K. concerned at the consequences that the repeated threats of secession could have on the budding process of democratization in the Soviet Union and on the maintenance and strengthening of peace,

L. having regard to its resolution of 7 July 1988 on the situation in Soviet Armenia (‘),

 

1. Calls on the Commission and Council to make representations to the Soviet authorities with a view to ensuring:

— that they order the full and immediate lifting of the blockade imposed on Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh,

— that they find a lasting political solution to the problem of Nagorno-Karabakh,

— that they guarantee real protection for the Armenian people living in Azerbaijan by sending forces to intervene,

— that they guarantee freedom of movement and the safety of goods and persons between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh,

— that the circumstances surrounding the pogroms perpetrated against the Armenians, in particular in Sumgait and Kirovabad, Azerbaijan, are brought fully to light;

2. Calls on the Commission to grant substantial emergency aid to Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh in the form of basic essentials;

3. Calls on the authorities of the Republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan to seek the means of achieving a peaceful settlement to the conflict between the two communities;

4. Calls on all countries, in particular the countries bordering on Armenia and Azerbaijan, to avoid all interference;

5. Instructs its Bureau to consider the appropriateness of sending a fact-finding mission to Azerbaijan. Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia to report to the Political Affairs Committee;

6. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission and Council, the Governments of Iran, Turkey and the USSR, the Governments of the SSRs of Armenia and Azerbaijan and the Secretary General of the UN.


Source: Joint resolution replacing Docs. B3-137, 139, 145, 156, 157 and 162/90 [19.2.90 Official Journal of the European Communities No C 38/81]

File: European Parliament Joint resolution replacing Docs. B3-137, 139, 145, 156, 157 and 162/90

Jan 191989
 

The European Parliament,

A. having regard to the earthquake which recently shook Soviet Armenia,

B. whereas the Soviet authorities have arrested all the leaders of the Kharabakh Committee,

C. whereas this committee requested the reattachment of the autonomous region of Upper Kharabakh to Soviet Armenia, it having been arbitrarily given by Stalin to Azerbaïdjan,

D. whereas this committee is also demanding that Soviet Armenia should be able to exercise its sovereign rights as a republic within the framework of the USSR and that its citizens should enjoy the basic freedoms and human rights,

1. Condemns the arrest of leaders of the Kharabakh Committee and calls for their immediate release;

2. Welcomes the decision by the Supreme Soviet of 12 January 1989 of the creation of a special status for the Nagorno-Kharabakh autonomous region with a view to preventing renewed outbreaks of unrest resulting from tensions between the nationalities and to stabilize the situation in the region;

3. Hopes that the Kharabakh Committee will be able to carry out its activities freely and calls on the Soviet authorities to accord it full recognition as an interlocutor;

4. Expresses the hope that the development of national legislations will provide a genuine guarantee that the fundamental rights and freedoms of all will be respected and that all religions may be freely exercised as a civil and social right;

5. Asks the Soviet Government also to ensure the effective protection of Armenians living in Azerbaïdjan, where further acts of violence against the Armenians have occurred despite the earthquake;

6. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council and the Soviet Armenian and Azerbaïdjan authorities.


Source: Joint resolution replacing Docs. B2-1262, 1296 and 1304/88 [27.2.82 Official Journal of the European Communities No C 47/130]

File: European Parliament Joint resolution replacing Docs. B2-1262, 1296 and 1304/88

Nov 261988
 

The Soviet human-rights campaigner Andrei D. Sakharov asserted yesterday that more than 130 Armenians had been killed by Azerbaijani mobs in the city of Kirovabad during the spreading ethnic unrest in the southern Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan.

”With the authorities’ connivance, the murders, rapes and arsons are continuing now for a fifth day and are spreading to other cities and towns of Azerbaijan,” Mr. Sakharov said in a statement from Newton, Mass.

The outspoken Soviet physicist, who is visiting the United States on a visa rarely granted by Moscow to its critics, called on the Soviet Government to ”take the necessary measures to insure the safety of the Armenian population, including the introduction of sufficient troops into Azerbaijan for this purpose.”

Dr. Sakharov said he had received reports from the Soviet Union that ”more than 130 Armenians have been killed in the city of Kirovabad by Azerbaijani rioters inflamed by nationalist passions, and more than 200 Armenians had been wounded.” ‘Threat of Genocide’


Source: New York Times

Jul 071988
 

The European Parliament,

A. having regard to the recent public demonstrations in Soviet Armenia demanding that the Nagorno-Karabakh region be reunited with the Republic of Armenia,

B. having regard to the historic status of the autonomous region of Nagorno-Karabakh (80 % of whose present population is Armenian) as part of Armenia, to the arbitrary inclusion of this area within Azerbaijan in 1923 and to the massacre of Armenians in the Azerbaijani town of Sumgait in February 1988,

C. whereas the deteriorating political situation, which has led to anti-Armenian pogroms in Sumgait and serious acts of violence in Baku, is in itself a threat to the safety of the Armenians living in Azerbaijan,

1. Condemns the violence employed against Armenian demonstrators in Azerbaijan;

2. Supports the demand of the Armenian minority for reunification with the Socialist Republic of Armenia;

3. Calls on the Supreme Soviet to study the compromise proposals from the Armenian delegates in Moscow suggesting that Nagorno-Karabakh be temporarily governed by the central administration in Moscow, temporarily united to the Federation of Russia or temporarily placed under the authority of a ‘presidential regional government’;

4. Calls also upon the Soviet authorities to ensure the safety of the 500 000 Armenians currently living in Soviet Azerbaijan and to ensure that those found guilty of having incited or taken part in the pogroms against the Armenians are punished according to Soviet law;

5. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the Government of the Soviet Union.


Source: Joint resolution replacing Docs. B2-538 and 587/88 [12.9.88 Official Journal of the European Communities No C 235/106]

File: European Parliament Joint resolution replacing Docs. B2-538 and 587/88

Mar 101988
 

The European Parliament,

A. noting the scale of the mass demonstrations which have taken place in Soviet Armenia and the disturbances in Azarbaijan,

B. noting that these demonstrations took place in the wake of public protests by the Baltic and Tartar peoples,

C. aware that these protests result from the heritage of the past, from unsolved ethnic, cultural, religious and institutional problems and from repression, in some cases brutal, with regard to both individual rights and at national level,

 

1. States its intention to follow closely the attempts by various peoples in the Soviet Union to assert their identity, their culture and their autonomy;

2. Stresses that no serious attempt by the Soviet Government to implement a programme of economic and administrative reforms can succeed if it fails to take account of the desire for greater political and individual freedom;

3. Calls on the Member States of the European Community to adopt a common stand on these events which might directly concern the European Community;

4. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council and the Foreign Ministers meeting in European political cooperation.


Source: Joint resolution replacing Docs. B2-39, 47 and 67/88 [11.4.88 Official Journal of the European Communities No C 94/117]

File: European Parliament Joint resolution replacing Docs. B2-39, 47 and 67/88

Mar 011988
 

The Karabagh File. Documents and Facts, 1918-1988

First Edition, Cambridge Toronto 1988
By the ZORYAN INSTITUTE
Edited by: Gerard J. LIBARIDIAN

In late February 1988, the world was shocked by a week-long series of demonstrations in Yerevan, capital of the Armenian S.S.R., one of the fifteen republics of the Soviet Union. Although peaceful, the place, size, length, and apparent suddenness of the demonstrations brought to world consciousness names of people and places as intractable as the issues they embody. The sights and sounds of hundreds of thousands of demonstrators seeking to influence policy makers in the central government of the U.S.S.R. and bring about changes in internal boundaries highlighted the promise and challenge of glasnost and perestroika. The question of Mountainous Karabagh also raised the thorny issue of Soviet nationalities policy.

The day to day interpretations accompanying the drama that unfolded could not have been expected to reveal the roots and dimensions of the question of Mountainous Karabagh, a 4,500 sq km Armenian-populated-area which Armenians are hoping will be reattached to their land. There is a gap between the fascination with the question and available information.

This is a unique volume which attempts to bridge that gap. Through the extensive use of original documents, maps, statistical data, a chronology, and photographs covering the last eighty years, the Zoryan Institute and its staff provide the reader not only the necessary information but also the context within which it is possible to analyze the problems.

File: The Karabagh File
Source: Zoryan Institute Continue reading »

Feb 201988
 

DECISION OF THE SPECIAL SESSION OF THE NKAO COUNCIL OF PEOPLES DEPUTIES OF XX SESSION

“ON A PETITION TO THE SUPREME COUNCILS OF AZERBAIJANI SSR AND ARMENIAN SSR ON THE NKAO’s SECESSION FROM SOVIET AZERBAIJAN AND ITS TRANSFER TO SOVIET ARMENIA”

February 20, 1988

After hearings and debates on a petition to the Supreme Councils of the Azerbaijani SSR and Armenian SSR on the secession of the Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Oblast from Soviet Azerbaijan and its transfer to Soviet Armenia, the special session of Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Oblast Regional Council of Peoples Deputies have
decided:

Meeting the requests of the NKAO workers, to appeal to the Supreme Councils of Azerbaijani SSR and Armenian SSR to show a profound understanding of the expectations of the Armenian population of Nagorno Karabakh and to resolve the issue of NKAO’s secession from Azerbaijani SSR and its transfer to Armenian SSR and at the same time to submit a petition to the Supreme Council of the USSR on a positive resolution of the issue on NKAO’s secession from Azerbaijani SSR and its transfer to Armenian SSR.


Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic