Aleksandr S. Manasyan

Key words – the Karabakh conflict, ethnopolitical confict, own legal basis of the problem, the problem of the legality of the Republic of Azerbaijan, legitimacy of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

A century has passed since the issue of the conflict between Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan was included in the international political agenda. The conflict began in 1918, when the Turkish army invaded Baku, removed the legitimate authorities and established Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR). The latter made unreasonable territorial claims, including the historical province of Armenia Nagorno-Karabakh (NK). Before this conflict there was not and could not be such a conflict, since in Transcaucasia there was neither a state with the name of Azerbaijan nor a people with such an ethnonym. First, with the support of the Turks, and then of the Englishmen who entered the region, ADR tried to subordinate NK by force. The problem took the form of an armed confrontation. Congresses of plenipotentiary representatives of NK population rejected these claims and declared NK as an integral part of the Republic of Armenia. A question that took the form of an international conflict was included in the agenda of the League of Nations. The struggle of the people of the NK for their reunion with Armenia was not pursued in the new geopolitical conditions, when the Bolshevik Russia returning to Transcaucasia forcibly included the NK in the borders of Soviet Azerbaijan with the status of broad autonomy. The NagornoKarabakh Autonomous Region was formed as a form of Soviet statehood. In the continuation of the uninterrupted struggle of the Artsakh Armenians in 1988, the Karabakh movement began to demand the reunion of the region with Soviet Armenia.

During the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the Republic of Azerbaijan (AD) adopted a Declaration on the Restoration of the State of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan (existed in 1918-1920) and refused to be the legal successor of Soviet Azerbaijan based on the laws of the USSR and the principles of international law, deputies of all levels of the Soviets of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous District and the adjacent Armenian-populated Shaumyan district have proclaimed the independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR).

Baku again took the strategy of a forceful solution of the problem. The conflict entered a new phase. The resolution of the problem, which took the form of an international armed conflict, turned out to be under the auspices of the OSCE.

The international experience in the settlement of such conflicts suggests that it is appropriate to divide the documents of the two types in the legal grounds of the problem by placing them in different packages. The first package may include documents on the problem, accepted by the parties to the conflict and recognized by the competent authorities for them.

The second package is the documents adopted by international institutions that have taken care of the settlement of the problem.

The first package documents are separated in the article as their own legal basis. The analysis of the article shows that there is no document in the legal grounds of the issue that could make the legitimate claims of the modern Azerbaijan towards Nagorno-Karabakh.

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