The Southern Areas Of Vayots Dzor Province As Part Of Today’s Nakhijevan

If you carefully study the map below, it becomes clear that in February 1924 when the so-called Nakhchivan Soviet Autonomous Republic was created, the southern part of Sharur-Daralagyaz region (Vayots Dzor) was illegally annexed to this new formation. It should be noted that Sharur was part of the Yerevan province (Russian Empire) and subsequently an integral part of the Republic of Armenia and Soviet Armenia.

Let’s try to present the entire history of this program.

The illegal agreement signed in March 1921 between Russia and Turkey was, in fact, a joint Russian-Turkish agreement on the annexation of the territories of Armenia and Azerbaijan. It was illegal because neither Soviet Armenia nor Soviet Azerbaijan signed it. Responsible for the annexation of the Armenian territories were representatives of Bolshevik Russia, while representatives of the Turkish Kemalist movement were responsible for the territories of Azerbaijan.

There is a separate clause in the Moscow Treaty, according to which Nakhichevan received the status of an autonomous region under the protectorate of Azerbaijan, and the future approximate borders of Nakhichevan were marked in a special annex.

In the same Moscow Treaty, the following point was highlighted. “A commission of delegates from Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Armenia will have to correct the issue of the triangular section of the territory of Nakhchivan.”

It turns out that without this separate tripartite agreement, the issue of Nakhichevan’s borders would remain unresolved and in a completely suspended state. Because it is one thing to propose approximate borders and another thing to subsequently adjust them by joint efforts and secure them in a separate agreement.

It was assumed that the issue of the final borders of Nakhichevan was to be resolved by separate special decisions of the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan, after which it was supposed to be ratified by the Treaty of Kars in October 1921.

However, neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan made any decisions. During the talks in Kars, the issue of Nakhichevan’s borders was formulated in an unchanged way. In addition, the Treaty of Kars was signed, on one hand, by representatives of illegal administrative units that had already been subjected to annexation and were in the Russian field of influence. On the other hand, the agreement was signed by the illegitimate representatives of the Kemalist movement in Turkey.

In Kars, the bilateral agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan was not signed either. There is evidence that the signing of this agreement was especially opposed by the chairman of the People’s Commissar of Armenia Alexander Myasnikyan.

And in February 1924, under pressure from Moscow, the southern part of the Sharur-Daralagyaz region became part of the newly created Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. Factually, in this case, as well as in the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh, the territorial integrity of Soviet Armenia was violated.

The fact remains – no legal document has ever been signed between Armenia and Azerbaijan regarding the borders of the Nakhchivan Republic.

Ruben Shukhyan

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