CHAPTER 20 NATIONAL REVIVAL. THE COLLAPSE OF THE USSR THE EMERGENCE OF THE FIFTEEN INDEPENDENT REPUBLICS

“Great attention was paid to the future union treaty, ethnical-political structural perspective, autonomous formations and to the issues of sovereignty and economical independence. The role of the Centre was stressed as an arbitration organ in case of conflics between the republics concerning autonomy. The deputies were for a Union of independent States, a state which might guarantee the free development of all nationalities, independent of number and status”.

The representatives of the movement “Miatsum” of Karabakh Robert Kocharian and Serge Sargsian took part in the congress. The USSR minorities were concerned about their fates as it was already evident that the state was dying. The “international” Azerbaijan was anxious too as it had a great number of Caucasian minorities within its borders, minorities which were unable to obtain an autonomous status, though possesed historical homelands. The resolution adopted by the congress stated that all the nationalities, independent of number and geopolitics, must have similar status. It was suggested to form a federation including 53 ethnical-territorial units.

Another resolution was adopted on Karabakh;

“The Congress considers the dissolution of the autonomous and constitutional structures the confinement of economical and spiritual freedom and the enforcement of these measures by the union and republican authorities unacceptable. The Congress stresses that such actions contradict the international law and qualifies policy as apartheid.

The Congress condemns the abolishment of the Nagorny Karabakh Regional Soviet of deputies, an act which can have unpredictable results, effecting on the future of other autonomous structures and calls the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and the President to set to restoring the rights of the Armenian ethnic autonomy at once”.

Ignoring this resolution, the Autonomous Soviet Republic of Nakhichevan, where the ethnic nation had been already ousted, declared of its decision of leaving the USSR, and the Soviet government did not react to it in any way.

The resolution might have been another trap for the Iranian Azerbaijan as the Soviet rule never gave up its intention of joining it to the Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan.

Meantime Armenians both in Armenia and Nagorny Karabakh continued to reject the Azerbaijani claim to the region. The Armenian National Movement which led the movement in Armenia for democratization and for an independent Karabakh, had already come to power in the Republic. Its leader, L. Ter-Perossian, was elected the first non-Communist Chairman of the Armenian Supreme Soviet in July 1990. The unresolved question of Karabakh made the new government abstain from declaring the Republic independent. However, the situation of dissolution of the Soviet Union made the Supreme Soviet of Armenia proclaim the start of the movement towards independence in its August 23 session.

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