President of Nagorno-Karabakh Arayik Harutyunyan has addressed an open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling for Moscow's support to his country amid the ongoing war against Azerbaijan.
Arayik Harutyunyan issues open letter to Vladimir Putin
STEPANAKERT, OCTOBER 23, ARTSAKHPRESS: Armenpress has published the full text of the letter posted on the president's Facebook page:
Dear Mr. President,
The Artsakh-Russia relations have a history of centuries. Russia is perceived in the historical memory of the Artsakh people as a brotherly country which has always assisted this part of Armenians at all difficult moments.
The Artsakh-Russia ties have been exercised in the most direct way especially during the flourishing period of the Artsakh principalities and melikdoms, of which there is a lot of factual evidence.
For more than a century (in the 19th century and in the 10s of the 20th century) Karabakh has been part of tsarist Russia. That historical period was marked for Karabakh by long-term peace, repatriation and economic development. The cultural life has also developed. It’s noteworthy that in the second half of the 19th century Artsakh’s administrative-political center Shushi has become one of the key spiritual, cultural and economic centers in the Caucasus.
At the same historical period a whole unity of Artsakh-Armenians, such as Valerian Madatov, Hovhannes Lazarev, Lazar Serebryakov, Mikayel Loris-Melikov, Vasily Behbutov and others, played a key role in the military-political and public life of the Russian Empire.
These ties also continued in the Soviet period. During the Great Patriotic War, nearly 90,000 Armenians from the Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Oblast and historic Artsakh participated in the war, half of them dedicated their life to the defense of the homeland. Artsakh was capturing one of the leading positions in the USSR in terms of number of USSR heroes and knights of Order of Glory per capita.
The five ethnic Armenian USSR marshals were from Artsakh – Hovhannes Baghramyan, Ivan Isakov, Hamazasp Babajanyan, Armenak Khanperyants (Sergey Khudyakov), Sergei Aganov. More than 30 generals and thousands of officers have been distinguished with their military talent.
Anastas and Artyom Mikoyan, Ivan Tevosyan, Andranik Iosifyan, Nikolay Yenikolopov, Mikayel Tariverdiyev and many others were from Artsakh.
The Artsakh-Russia close ties continue till today. A large part of nearly 3 million Armenians living in Russia are from Artsakh, among them there are many people forcibly displaced from Artsakh due to the Azerbaijani genocidal and ethnic cleansing policy carried out in late 1980s and in the 1990s.
I would like to specifically emphasize that Russia has exercised its policy in support of the principle of the non-use of force or threat of force and the peaceful settlement of conflicts enshrined by the international law, during all phases of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict settlement. Russia is acting in the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict settlement process both in the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship format and in a separate role. The Republic of Artsakh highly values Russia’s mediation efforts, active role and decisive mission at all phases of the conflict settlement, especially in the reaching of the 1994 trilateral ceasefire agreement. Russia also played a decisive role during the escalation of the conflict on April 5, 2016: an agreement by Russia’s mediation has been reached in Moscow on cessation of hostilities and restoration of ceasefire, in accordance with the 1994 ceasefire agreement.
We highly value Russia’s and in particular your diplomatic efforts aimed at stopping the aggression and large-scale war unleashed by Azerbaijan against Artsakh. I also want to inform you that your assessments on the current situation voiced during your speech at the Valdai club met a great reaction in the Republic of Artsakh and among all Armenians.
You have stated in your speech: “This conflict started not as an inter-state conflict and a fight for territories, it started from ethnic confrontation. Unfortunately, this is a fact: brutal crimes were committed against the Armenian people in Sumgait, later in Nagorno Karabakh. We must take this into account”. Unfortunately, till now Azerbaijan continues its genocidal policy.
Dear Mr. President,
You are the personality and the head of state who has a huge reputation in the world and in our region. Taking this into account, I ask you to make all possible efforts to stop the war in the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict zone and resume the political processes”, the President of Artsakh said in his letter.