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Sochi: a way to set piece in Karabakh2010-01-25 22:57
This day, January 25, may enter the latest history of the post-Soviet territory as one of the key dates. The meeting between President of Russia Dmitriy Medvedev, President of Azerbaijan Ilkham Aliev and President of Armenia Serge Sargsyan aimed at the settlement of the Karabakh problem will probably draw the line under this complicated bloody issue, or, at least, show the real ways and terms of eliminating the problem. One should remember that the issue of Nagorny Karabakh has already been raised this year: once during the meeting of the Russian and Turkish Prime Ministers on January 13 and the second time during the negotiations between the presidents of Russia and Armenia on January
18. Besides, on February 19-21 co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group for Karabakh Settlement Robert Bradtke (USA), Bernard Fassier (France) and Yuri Merzlyakov (Russia) visited Yerevan and Baku. Russia is obviously going to force the settlement of the problem that has been lasting for 22 years already. Besides, the Russian party believes that one should not impose any decisions on the confronting parties and that the final decision, as well as the responsibility for the outcome of the decision taken will be rested solely upon the Armenians and the Azerbaijani.
However, one should realize that the conflict has got much deeper roots than the confrontation between the Azerbaijani and Armenian nationalists at the end of the 80s. After the Karabakh khanate acquired the Russian nationality in 1805, there have been no large-scale collisions in this territory; the Armenian enclave located in the territory populated by Azerbaijani was part of the Elisavetpolskaya province and did not have any special status. After the 1917 revolution and the separation of the national outskirts of the empire the problem became too obvious. The plain Karabakh lapsed to Azerbaijan, while its hilly territory, which was on the border of Armenia at that time, represented a disputable territory and became the reason of collisions between the young republics in 1918-1920. In 1921, by the decision of the Caucasian Bureau of the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party Nagorny Karabakh was made part of the Azerbaijani SSR and in two years, an autonomous region was formed within its territory that existed until the USSR collapsed.
The beginning of the current conflict is related to February 1988 when Nagorno-Karabakhskaya autonomous region (NKAR) announced its withdrawal from Azerbaijani SSR. Within three years the conflict was gradually developing, being fed by the regular Armenian massacres in big towns of Azerbaijan. In 1991, the leaders of Nagorny Karabakh announced the establishment of a republic within the borders of the former NKAO and Shaumyanovskiy region of Azerbaijan. Such actions entailed the abolishment of the Karabakh autonomy by the official Baku. Guns spoke after the diplomatic demarches. The war lasted for two years and a half and ended in nothing: Azerbaijan failed to regain the territories that it considered to be its own, while Karabakh retained the status of an unrecognized state. During the war, there was established the so-called OSCE Minsk Group for Peaceful Settlement that comprised the representatives of Russia, USA and France. The May armistice of 1994 was mostly signed due to the efforts of the Minsk Group.