Armenia analysts call to stop Alma-Ata Declaration’s falsification at state level

Stop the falsification of international legal documents committed at the state and international levels. A group of Armenian analysts have made such a call in their statement, focusing on the falsification of the Alma-Ata Declaration of 1991. The statement continues as follows:

On April 19, 2024, a meeting of the Commission on the Delimitation of the State Border and Border Security between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan was held on the border between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan under the chairmanship of the Deputy Prime Ministers of both countries. The parties agreed that in the process of delimitation they will be based on the Alma Ata Declaration of 1991. The parties also agreed to fix this basic principle in the draft of the relevant Provision.
Immediately, on April 20, 2024, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken welcomed the agreement between Yerevan and Baku of the Alma Ata Declaration as the basis for the delimitation of the border, considering it an important step towards concluding a lasting and decent peace agreement.
On the same day, President of the European Council Charles Michel warmly welcomed the agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan on the 1991 Alma Ata Declaration as the basis for the delimitation of the border between the two countries (Warmly welcome the agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan on the 1991 Alma Ata Declaration as the basis for border delimitation between the two countries. Border delimitation based on the unambiguous recognition of the territorial integrity of each country has been a key element also of discussions in Brussels and will serve as an essential step towards normalization and the peaceful opening of the entire region).

Mr. Charles Michel has been talking about the recognition of the Alma-Ata Declaration of 1991 as the legal basis for determining the borders between Azerbaijan and Armenia since the meeting on 06.10.2022 in Prague, which was also attended by Emmanuel Macron, Nikol Pashinyan and Ilham Aliyev. It is claimed, as Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan constantly states, that the newly independent states that allegedly signed this declaration recognize territorial integrity within the former administrative borders of the union republics of the USSR, which become state borders.

However, as indicated in the Statement of international experts and public figures “On the distortions of the Alma-Ata Declaration and the consequences of legal arbitrariness” ( ), in the Alma-Ata Declaration of 12/21/1991, the phrase “existing borders” was specifically used in order to make it clear that these are not “borders of the former Soviet republics”, namely, those that exist at the time of signing the declaration and, accordingly, the Agreement on the creation of the CIS. The absence of mention of the administrative borders of the former Soviet republics is due to the fact that by the time this declaration was signed, the borders of some states that had already become independent as a result of the collapse of the USSR did not de facto or de jure coincide with the administrative borders of the Union republics. The former intra-state administrative-territorial borders of a collapsed state (in this case, the USSR) could not in themselves be the legal basis for determining the interstate borders of newly formed states. After all, by the end of 1991 Declarations of Independence were adopted in Abkhazia, South Ossetia, the Transnistrian Republic and the NKR.

It should be noted that from 1991 to the present, no document adopted by the CIS institutions has ever, ever contained the phrase or concept of “Soviet borders”. Similarly, there is not a single reference to the “Soviet borders” in any document of any international organization, starting from the “Statement” 12 “On Future status of Russia and other Former Soviet Republics and Recognition Criteria” adopted on December 23 1991 and up to the present.

It is also worth paying attention to the fact that both the Alma-Ata Declaration and the Agreement on the Establishment of the CIS were signed not by the Azerbaijani SSR, but by the newly formed Republic of Azerbaijan, which declared itself the legal successor of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, which existed in the 1918-1920s.

Thus, the Azerbaijan Republic, which signed these documents de jure, recognized that neither Artsakh nor the so-called “enclaves” are located within the borders of the newly formed Azerbaijan Republic. Therefore, all attempts by the current authorities of the Republic of Armenia to recognize the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) and some territories of the Republic of Armenia as part of Azerbaijan, completely unreasonably called “enclaves” by those in power, referring to the Alma-Ata Declaration, are devoid of any legal justification. Azerbaijan left the USSR with gross violations of the current legislation, rejecting the legal succession of the Azerbaijan SSR, de facto and de jure, without the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region (NKAO). This gave the NKAO the right, in accordance with the laws of the USSR and the provisions of international law, to independently decide its future destiny, creating an independent state entity.

It should also be noted that there have never been and could not be any enclaves of Soviet republics on the territory of the USSR. Defining administrative units located on the territory of the Armenian SSR as “enclaves” is completely untenable in legal terms.

In the above cases, when referring to the Alma-Ata Declaration, its provisions on the right of peoples to self-determination, the renunciation of the use of force and the threat of force, economic and any other methods of pressure, the peaceful settlement of disputes, respect for human rights and freedoms, including the rights of national minorities, conscientious fulfillment of obligations and other generally recognized principles and norms of international law, which Azerbaijan has flagrantly violated. Aggressive acts of Azerbaijan – 44-day war in 2020, 280-day blockade of all transport communications connecting NKR with the outside world, large-scale military aggression on September 19, 2023, seizure of the sovereign territories of the Republic of Armenia, accompanied by violence and killings of civilians , including children and the elderly, and other acts of vandalism – indicate deliberate acts, the purpose of which was genocide by expelling the Armenians who had lived in their native land for thousands of years. Today, almost the entire surviving population has left Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan’s ongoing criminal activities pose a real threat to the security of not only the South Caucasus, but also the explosive Middle East region.

Last October, the European Parliament condemned Azerbaijan for the “violent takeover” of Nagorno-Karabakh. In the resolution, MEPs compared the exodus of the Armenian population from the region to ethnic cleansing and called on the EU leadership to impose sanctions against Baku. The authors of the resolution also criticized the European Commission and the heads of EU diplomacy for ignoring their warning “about the negative development of the situation” around Nagorno-Karabakh. In this regard, the European Parliament called on the EU to “immediately review the EU security architecture in the South Caucasus region.” However, as can be judged from the statements and actions, or rather the inaction of the leaders of the European Union, no changes have occurred in their policies. Worse, there was no adequate reaction on their part to Azerbaijan’s seizure of the territories of the Republic of Armenia in 2021-2022, and today they welcome the surrender of the territories of their country by the current government of Armenia under the threat of Azerbaijani military aggression. The same can be said about the actions and statements of US and UK foreign policy leaders. All crimes were committed by Azerbaijan with the inaction of the leaders of the USA, Europe, Russia and many other countries. No one in Azerbaijan suffered any punishment for these crimes.

Mr. Charles Michel, on April 29 of this year, in his speech dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the enlargement of the European Union, pompously stated that “we must avoid the trap of double standards and all peoples have the same right to freedom and dignity,” while simultaneously excluding earlier from the agenda of the Armenian-Azerbaijani negotiations freedom and the right to self-determination for the Armenian people of Nagorno-Karabakh. How the “rights and security” of Armenians declared in the statements of European leaders are ensured there can be seen by going there today. If, of course, they manage to meet at least one single Armenian in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Today, throughout Armenia there are mass protests against the surrender of Armenian lands to the aggressor. People understand the disastrous consequences this can lead to. Today’s Armenian authorities, who were praised by the same Western politicians for their commitment to democracy, are using harsh police measures not only against the participants in these actions, including women, the elderly and teenagers, but also against the journalists covering them.

In order to prevent legal arbitrariness and its catastrophic consequences, we urge all those responsible to abandon political manipulation, distortion of the text and meaning of key concepts contained in international documents referred to by EU leaders, heads of state and their foreign ministries in pursuit of their geopolitical goals.

It is necessary to take decisive measures to support democracy in the South Caucasus, comply with the norms and provisions of international law, and apply sanctions to the state that subjected the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh to genocide and continues to commit aggression against the Republic of Armenia.

“Against the Violation of Law”, NGO

Armenian Association of Political Scientists

International Research Center “ALTERNATIVE”

“Academy of Political Studies”, NGO