BAKU, Azerbaijan, Nov. 21
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s statement can be described as an attempt to mislead the Armenian population, no other way to explain this, spokesperson for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Leyla Abdullayeva told Trend on Nov. 21.
Abdullayeva was commenting on Pashinyan’s answer to the question of an Azerbaijani blogger in Milan.
“Referring to the Constitution of the USSR once again, Pashinyan pretentiously claims that the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region allegedly had a constitutional right to secession,” the spokesperson said.
"We remind again that in accordance with Article 78 of the USSR Constitution, the territory of the Republic of the USSR could not be changed without its consent,” Abdullayeva said. “At the same time, in connection with the illegal actions of the Armenian nationalists aimed at seceding the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic, the supreme central authorities of the USSR in its decisions unequivocally confirmed the impossibility of changing the existing borders.”
“For example, on January 10, 1990, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR adopted a decision "On the inconsistency of decisions regarding Nagorno-Karabakh adopted by the Supreme Council of the Armenian SSR dated December 1, 1989 and January 9, 1990 with the Constitution of the USSR," which emphasized the illegality of attempts to secede Nagorno-Karabakh from Azerbaijan SSR,” the spokesperson said. “This was also stated in the decision of the USSR State Council dated November 27, 1991 and the decision of the Committee of Constitutional Supervision of the USSR adopted the following day.”
“Thus, the unilateral separation of the Armenians of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region was contrary to the Soviet legislation,” Abdullayeva said. “How can the prime minister’s attempts to justify this by the Constitution of the USSR be characterized? This can be characterized as misleading the Armenian population by Armenian prime minister.”
“Pashinyan stressed that the Regional Council of Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region used its right to self-determination, but the prime minister didn't say that the so-called “referendum on independence”, held by separatists in Nagorno-Karabakh on December 10, 1991, was organized without Azerbaijan’s consent, this autonomous region was legally a part of Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijani population of the region did not take part in it,” the spokesperson said.
“The prime minister, who denies the Khojaly genocide and calls it a lie, thereby ignores many independent sources, including the Armenian, local and international media outlets, casting doubt on the tragedy eyewitnesses’ testimony,” Abdullayeva said.
“Apparently, Pashinyan is not aware of the confession made in an interview with foreign journalists by the then Minister of Defense and Armenian ex-President Serzh Sargsyan, who did not hesitate,” Abdullayeva said. "Sargsyan said that before Khojaly, the Azerbaijanis thought that the Armenians were unable to raise hand on civil population. And the Armenians managed to break this stereotype."
“As opposed to his predecessors, Pashinyan positions himself in front of the international community as a follower of democratic values,” the spokesperson said. “Now he must confirm this and withdraw the Armenian troops from the Azerbaijani territories for civilians to return to their native lands.”
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding districts.