Ararat M. Hakobyan

The centenary of the signing of the illegal Moscow Russian-Turkish Treaty of “Friendship and Brotherhood” on March 16 (18), 1921 will be marked, which left a heavy trace on the fate of Armenia and the Armenian people. It was signed by Kemalist Turkey and Bolshevik Russia, which at that time were in allied relations. It is a historical fact that the governments of these two internationally unrecognized countries, having virtually no territorial border contact with each other, signed an agreement and resolved the territorial-border issues of the third internationally recognized state, in this case Armenia, without the knowledge and participation of the latter. The Moscow Treaty was signed behind the backs of Armenia and the Armenian people, with gross violations of international law. And in this sense, the Russian-Turkish Moscow Treaty, as a prototype of a political deal, can be compared and even identified with the Moscow Treaty of 1939 on the division of territories of Eastern Europe – the notorious Soviet-German Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.

Considering territorial and border issues of vital importance for Armenia and the Armenian people in the sphere of Russian-Turkish relations, it is easy to see that they were openly sacrificed to the expansionist interests of Turkey, which soon became a NATO member.

Summarizing and generalizing the decisions of the parties on territorial and border issues concerning Armenia and the Armenian people, in accordance with the first three articles of the Moscow Treaty, the following real picture can be recorded in the language of numbers. Under this agreement, 17,250 km² of the Kars province and 3450 km² of the Surmalu district, a total of 20,700 km² of the internationally recognized territory of Armenia, were transferred to Turkey. In addition, at the request of Turkey, the Nakhichevan district of the former Erivan Governorate and the internationally recognized Republic of Armenia, which was about 5500 km², was transferred to its younger brother – Azerbaijan. In this context, if we take into account the fact that in 1921, by the decision of the Caucasian Bureau of the Central Committee of the RCWP dated July 5, 1921, 4160 km² of the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh was illegally presented to Azerbaijan, it turns out that in 1921, as a result of these anti-Armenian deals from Armenia and the Armenian people were taken away and annexed to Turkey and Azerbaijan: 20700 + 5500 + 4160 = 30360 km² of area, which is actually more than the territory of Soviet Armenia and its legal successor, the present Republic of Armenia – 29.8 km². As a result, it turned out that if Georgia and Azerbaijan had reasons for joy, then in Armenia there were still feelings of anxiety, loss and pain, since the more than cynical Article 15 of the Moscow Treaty and its logical continuation in the person of the Kars Treaty of October 13 1921, continue to cause the anger and concern of Armenia and the Armenian people.

These treaties, imposed on Armenia and the Armenian people by force and the threat of the use of force, have been lasting for 100 long and difficult years. We believe that the current government and parliament of Armenia should make a statement on the occasion of this anniversary, addressed primarily to Turkey and Russia, as well as to the UN and the international community as a whole.

Very soon, this fall, the centenary of the Turkish-Transcaucasian Treaty of Kars, which is an exact copy of the Moscow Treaty, will be marked. This will be discussed in detail in the autumn issue of “Vem” magazine.