THE QUESTION OF THE ARMENIAN LANDS AT THE SOVIET-TURKISH NEGOTIATIONS (1967-1973) – 2009-2

The secret report of Colonel Gurgen Nalbandyan and parallel documents

A. H.
The Russian-Turkish Treaty of March 16 1921 (known as the Moscow Treaty)and based on it and enforced upon Soviet Armenia the Kars Treaty of October 13 1921 were originally illegal acts aimed the partition of the Republic of Armenia third countries. These treaties became the subject of controversies on the one hand between Turkey and the USSR and on the other – Soviet Armenia and the central authorities of the USSR. They became critical especially during the works (1969-1973) of the Soviet-Turkish joint commission formed according to the Protocol (signed on February 28 1967) about re-delineation of the boundary between the USSR and Turkey.

At the last session (December 1973) of the joint commission, the Turkish side was doing everything to coax out additional assurances from the USSR about the inviolability of the SovietTurkish boundary, and finally had achieved its goal. In December 1973, when celebrations took place in the conference-hall of the foreign ministry of Turkey on occasion of signing the documents, and, particularly, the communiqué containing the article about mutual “principles of inviolability of boundaries, territorial integrity, independence, sovereignty, equality”, a member of the USSR joint delegation (which arrived in Ankara), the representative of Soviet Armenia, Colonel Gurgen Nalbandyan openly stood up against the demands of the Turkish side and the compliant position of the USSR delegation. Unlike his colleague, the representative of Soviet Georgia, historian O. Gigineyshvili who betrayed at the last moment, Gurgen Nalbandyan refused to sign the Soviet-Turkish final communiqué, as well as to participate in the official ceremony. Moreover, after the closure of the final session of the joint commission, on December 31, 1973, Gurgen Nalbandyan returning to Yerevan, in his report presented to the authorities of Soviet Armenia, courageously criticized the behavior of the USSR delegation’s leadership which, almost under the open pressure of the Ministry of foreign affairs of Turkey, exceeded its authority and included political theses in the document of a technical character about re-delineation of the SovietTurkish boundary.

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