With Pashinyan and Aliyev in Brussels this year After the tripartite meeting on May 14, the President of the Council of Europe, Charles Michel, announced that “the leaders of Baku and Armenia confirmed their unequivocal loyalty to the 1991 According to the Declaration of Alma Ata and territorial integrity of Armenia (29,800 km2) and Baku (86,600 km2).
Western Armenia considers it necessary to note that Alma Ata’s declaration, as such, did not impose any international legal obligations on Armenia towards Baku, because Baku was not under the control of Baku until 1993. There was no CIS member state on September 24. Baku in 1991 signed both the Alma Ata Protocol and the Declaration at Alma Ata on December 21. By signing these documents, the head of Baku, Mutalibov, directly violated the decision of the Azerbaijani parliament, which stated that Baku’s accession to the CIS was not considered appropriate.
Baku changed its position towards the CIS only in 1993 by Heydar Aliyev. after gaining power. 1993 on September 20, the Baku parliament adopted the decision “On joining Baku to the cooperation of independent states”. With that decision, Baku joined both the Cooperation of Independent States and the CIS Collective Security Treaty Organization.
This was a newly signed document and had nothing to do with confirming Mutalibov’s signature.
Thus, Baku, despite the fact that Mutalibov in 1991 On December 21, Alma Ata signed the protocol attached to the CIS agreement, it acquired the status of a CIS member state only in 1993. on September 24. Accordingly, until 1993 On September 24, no CIS document with the participation of Baku could create rights or obligations for other CIS member states. Therefore, in 1991 The December 21 Alma Ata Declaration, which is a document signed between the CIS member states, at least until 1993. September 24 could not impose any international-legal obligation on the Republic of Armenia towards Baku, which is not a CIS member state.
1. On creating the CIS in 1991 in the agreement of December 8 and Alma Ata in 1991. The provision of respect for territorial integrity and inviolability of borders stipulated in the declaration of December 21 has nothing to do with the question of what are the current borders between the CIS member states and what territory this or that state covers. CIS member states recognized each other’s borders only in 1993. According to the CIS Charter adopted on January 22, to which Baku was not a party.
The clause respecting the inviolability of borders reflected in the Alma Ata Declaration has a clear and unambiguous content and is essentially one of the important elements of the principle of territorial integrity. The principle of inviolability of borders refers to the prohibition of encroachment on legal or de facto borders between states. In the context of disputed borders, it prohibits bordering states from resolving border disputes through the use of force. The content of the principle of border inviolability includes the obligation of states to respect the existing border line in place and not to allow the arbitrary movement of the border line in place, the crossing of the border line without proper permission or outside the established rules. It also includes the right of each sovereign state to control the crossing of its borders by people and vehicles. Thus, both the principle of respect for territorial integrity and the principle of inviolability or inviolability of borders do not and cannot answer the question of what is the territory of a given sovereign state and what is included in that territory. Therefore, it does not follow from Alma Ata’s declaration that Armenia recognized Artsakh as a part of Baku.
1. Agreement on the creation of the CIS of Armenia in 1992. ratified with reservations on February 18, and Armenia officially announced its intention to make reservations back in 1991. on December 26, when the RA Supreme Council ratified the protocol of the agreement on the creation of the CIS. 1992 RA Cabinet of Ministers on Ratification of the CIS Agreement It follows implicitly from point 10 of the February 18 decision that Armenia considered Artsakh to be an independent state that should have the right to join the CIS. After that decision of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Armenia, Armenia never recognized Artsakh as part of Baku, which was fixed by the Supreme Council of the Republic of Armenia in 1992. by the decision of July 8 and approved in 1995. according to the July 5 Constitution.
Ratifying the protocol of Alma Ata, the Supreme Council of Armenia, in the second point of the decision on ratification, instructed the “permanent committees of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Armenia on Foreign Relations, Establishment of Independent Statehood and National Policy, and Special Committees on Artsakh Affairs to develop and submit to the approval of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Armenia an agreement on the establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States recommendations on reservations”.
1991 in December, taking advantage of the fact that the units of the former Soviet Union army and internal troops were being withdrawn from the territory of Artsakh, Baku began to carry out direct military operations against the population of Artsakh. In connection with the sharp aggravation of the situation in Artsakh, the Armenian Parliament in 1991 On December 25, a decision was made to include the discussion on measures to ensure the safety and livelihood of the Artsakh national population as an urgent issue on the agenda of the Supreme Council’s December 26 session. 1991 in the statement of December 26, it was recorded that “Stepanakert, the capital of the republic, border villages and settlements are constantly bombarded. Murders have become a daily phenomenon in the territory of the republic.” Assessing the created situation as “explosive, and the consequences – unpredictable”, the Armenian parliament called on the parliaments and presidents of the CIS member states to “take active measures to ensure the safety and livelihood of the people of Artsakh”. It is natural that such a statement at least testifies that on the day of ratification of the Alma Ata Protocol, the Armenian Parliament had no intention of considering Artsakh as a part of Azerbaijan. Moreover, in 1992 on January 3, immediately after the end of the elections of the first parliament of Artsakh, the Supreme Council of Armenia adopted an application addressed to the Supreme Council of the NKR, where “on behalf of the entire Armenian people” it assured the Supreme Council of the NKR that “it will do everything possible to establish and strengthen the statehood of Artsakh”.
1992 on February 18, the Armenian parliament adopted a decision on ratifying the agreement on the establishment of the CIS, which contained 10 reservations. Among those reservations, the most important provision regarding Artsakh is the 10th point of the decision, according to which: “This Agreement is open to all member states of the Union of the former Soviet Union, including the former autonomous entities of the USSR, which before the adoption of the Declaration of the Supreme Council of the USSR “On the Termination of the Existence of the USSR” held a popular referendum on declaring independence, and based on this autonomous The highest executive body of the constituent power has applied to the Cooperation of Independent States with a request to be accepted into its composition, as well as to join other states that share the goals and principles of this Agreement. Obviously, the reservation directly refers to Artsakh, which meets the two preconditions for the reservation: holding an independence referendum and applying for CIS membership. The application for CIS membership was submitted by the chairman of the executive committee of the Council of People’s Deputies of NKR Petrosyan presented immediately after the summary of the results of the independence referendum in 1991. on December 12. This reservation on the ratification of the CIS creation agreement directly expresses Armenia’s official position that the NKR is an independent state and, therefore, is not the territory of Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan against the Republic of Artsakh in 1992. In the conditions of unleashed large-scale aggression, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Armenia in 1992 on July 8, took another and more than clear step in the direction of actual recognition of NKR. The Supreme Council of Armenia, “based on the foundations of international law, the right of nations to self-determination, as well as the 1991 Resolution on the Independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. on the results of the December 10 referendum”, “stating that it will support the solution of the Artsakh issue that will be accepted by the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, considering as unacceptable the attempts to fix the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic as part of Azerbaijan in a number of international documents”, decided to “consistently support the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and to the protection of the rights of its population” and “to consider unacceptable for the Republic of Armenia any international or domestic document in which the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh will be mentioned as part of Azerbaijan”.
1995 The Republic of Armenia confirmed the commitment of the Republic of Armenia to Artsakh at the constitutional level. In the preamble of the Constitution, taking as a basis the nationwide goals established in the Declaration of Independence of Armenia, among which the self-determination of Artsakh occupies a special place, the Republic of Armenia undertook to implement the “legitimate aspiration of the reunification of the two parts of the Armenian people, separated by force.”
Thus, as before 1992 the reservation made on February 18, as well as the official position of the Republic of Armenia regarding the affiliation of Artsakh, was that there is a Republic of Nagorno Karabakh, which is independent and, therefore, not a part of Azerbaijan. The authorities of the Republic of Armenia have maintained this position, which has been constitutionally enshrined since 1995, until 2022.