Part one. The formation of the Armenian Question


Ruben A. Safrastyan-Academician of NAS RA
Nowadays, various characterizations are given to the Armenian Question. Thus, for instance, it is mentioned that the Armenian Question has undergone changes at the current stage and is a matter of recognizing and condemning the Armenian Genocide. There is another approach, according to which the Armenian Question has two stages;

the first is the stage of recognizing and condemning the Armenian Genocide, and the second is overcoming the consequences of the Genocide, that is, the stage of territorial claims. Proponents of the last viewpoint insist that the Armenians must invest all their efforts to successfully overcome the first stage, that is, to fight only for the recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide, and after having successfully completed it to launch the struggle for the elimination of the consequences of the Genocide.

In our opinion, these viewpoints cannot be guidelines for our further struggle. We believe that, as in the past, today the essence of the Armenian Question has not changed. It is an awareness of the necessity to restore the United Armenian statehood in the Armenian Highland, to recreate Armenia, and to realize appropriate actions towards this direction. It is important to emphasize that the borders of the Armenian Highland and Armenia are not the same, as the borders of the former, as a naturalgeographical environment, are unchanged, yet the borders of Armenia are subject to compression and expansion, as it is a historical-ethnic phenomenon.

In our opinion, though the recognition of the Armenian Genocide is part of the Armenian Question, however, neither does replace it, nor should it be viewed as the first stage of the final solution of the Armenian Question. We think that a simultaneous struggle should be led towards the recognition, condemnation of the Armenian Genocide, and for a just solution to the Armenian Question.

Assessing the results of the first three and a half decades of the internationalization stage of the Armenian Question, it should be emphasized that in 1914 it was possible to achieve a certain result only when it was succeeded in establishing a geopolitical equilibrium between the Great Powers. The equilibrium was established after long negotiations. It was based on the fact that, as Roderick Davison, a well-known American orientalist, once pointed out, none of the negotiating parties – the European powers and Russia, appeared to be the losers, and everyone got what they strived for. However, even that modest step remained on paper, as the Ottoman Empire taking advantage of World War I canceled the treaty.