Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Chicherin on Bolshevik complicity in Azerbaijani aggression – July 1920

At a certain stage of the hybrid war against Armenia, which began not today and not even yesterday, the Kremlin, with the aid of its aggressive propaganda, managed to convince a certain part of the Armenian community that the hostile attitude towards Armenia of the Triple Alliance – Russia, Turkey, and Azerbaijan, was orchestrated by the Bolsheviks.

However, the documentary chronology shows that, unfortunately for Armenia, there was, is, and will be no difference between, for example, Petrov’s Russia, the Russian Empire, Bolshevik Russia, and the modern one.

Relying on any promises, agreements, and arrangements with Russia initially made no sense, but unfortunately, few understood this simple truth due to their historical ignorance.

Statement by the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the RSFSR Mr. Chicherin on the continuation by Soviet Azerbaijan of the aggressive policy of the Musavatist government’s complicit stance with the demand for the withdrawal of the Red Army from the territories of Nagorno-Karabakh and Zangezur. № 4192 July 12, 1920.

Contrary to your claims in telegrams under №№ 130 and 427 about the friendly attitude of the Russian Soviet Government towards the Republic of Armenia and readiness to assist the Armenian people in the severe trials they have undergone, the Armenian Karabakh is occupied by Russian Soviet troops and now this movement continues towards Zangezur, this undisputed part of the Republic of Armenia.

The specified movement of your troops, fundamentally violating the principle of self-determination of the people and the above-mentioned assurances of your government, cannot but sow doubts among the Armenian people about the goodwill of Soviet Russia.

The former Musavatist government of Azerbaijan, which for two years tried by force of arms to impose on the Armenian peasantry of Karabakh and Zangezur the hateful and alien power of Azerbaijan, had to retreat before the unyielding will of Zangezur and Karabakh peasantry, which at eight congresses of its peasant deputies each time passed a particularly categorical resolution on their decision to join the native Republic of Armenia to them.

In the twenties of April this year, the IX Congress of Peasant Deputies of Karabakh reaffirmed the aforementioned decision of the previous congresses. Now, shielding behind the authority of the Russian Soviet power and with the assistance of its armed forces, the government of Soviet Azerbaijan intends to implement the long-conceived plan of Musavat on a broader scale and reject from Armenia its historical lands, extending its encroachments not only to disputed, but also to undisputed regions of Armenia, such as Zangezur.

In this intention of Azerbaijan, the government of Armenia also sees an attempt to fulfill another cherished plan of Musavat: to connect with the imperialists of Turkey through the living body of Armenia. Facing this new danger looming over Armenia from Azerbaijan, my government cannot remain indifferent.

Constant in its pacifism, immediately upon the establishment of Soviet power in Azerbaijan, my government approached Azerbaijan with the proposal to convene a special Armenian-Azerbaijani conference for the peaceful resolution of all disputed border issues and only after a repeated proposal has now received the consent of the Azerbaijani government.

At this moment, the entry of Russian Soviet troops within the limits of Armenia, my government can only regard as a violation by your military units of the sovereign rights of Armenia and the rights of the Armenian people to free self-determination and is ready to explain this movement only by the unawareness of the Russian command staff about the real situation and the borders of Armenia.

On behalf of my government, I therefore ask you not to refuse in the urgent disposal of the withdrawal of Russian Soviet troops from the limits of Zangezur and Nagorno Karabakh, thereby giving the government the opportunity to calmly discuss the border disputes with Azerbaijan at the upcoming Armenian-Azerbaijani conference.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Ogandzhanyan Central State Archives of Armenia, fund 200, desc. 1, doc. 581, sheets 149-150. Leave. Typewriting. Published in the collection: Nagorno Karabakh in 1918-1923. Yerevan, 1992, doc. No. 369. (Highlighted by us. – Y.B.).

Telegram of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia A. Ogandzhanyan to the People’s Commissar of Foreign Affairs of the RSFSR G. Chicherin and the Plenipotentiary Representative of the RSFSR and Georgia S. Kirov about the hostile actions of the Red Army in the territory of Zangezur and Karabakh.

July 13, 1920. Despite the agreement of July 2, your troops continue military operations in the regions of Armenian Karabakh and Zangezur, which shakes the very meaning of the concluded agreement. I therefore urge you to urgently arrange for the cessation of any hostile actions in the mentioned areas and the withdrawal of your troops from the borders of Armenia and disputed areas of Karabakh, the issue of which is the subject of discussion at the upcoming Armenian-Azerbaijani conference.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Ogandzhanyan

AVPR, fund 148, desc. 3, item 2, doc. 9, sheet 28-28 ob. Telegraphic form. (Highlighted by us. – Y.B.).

Attention to readers: Documents published in the work of Doctor of Historical Sciences Y. G. Barsegov often change their online addresses. It’s hard to say what this is connected with. However, these original documents can be found at other addresses by typing in the search engine the title of the collection of documents: “Nagorno Karabakh in international law and world politics,” – author Y. G. Barsegov

Translated Vigen Avetisyan

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