President of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) Arayik Haroutyunyan has addressed a letter to President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.
The text of the letter is presented below:
“To President of the Russian Federation Mr. Vladimir Putin
The relations between Artsakh and Russia trace back to centuries. In the historical memory of the people of Artsakh, Russia is perceived as a fraternal country that has always extended a helping hand to this sector of the Armenian nation in all difficult situations.
For over a century (from the 19th century until the 1910s), Karabakh has been a part of czarist Russia. This historical period has been marked by longstanding peace, repatriation and economic development, as well as the development of cultural life in Nagorno-Karabakh. It should be mentioned that starting from the mid-19th century, Shushi, the administrative-political center of Artsakh, had become one of the major spiritual, cultural and economic centers of Transcaucasia.
In the same period, many Armenians of Artsakh played a major role in the military-political and public life in the Russian Empire, including Valerian Madatov, Hovhannes Lazarev, Lazar Serebryakov, Mikayel Loris-Melikov, Vasily Behbutov and others.
The relations continued in the Soviet era. During the Great Patriotic War, nearly 90,000 Armenians participated in the Great Patriotic War from the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast and historic Artsakh, and half of them sacrificed their lives for homeland defense.
The five Armenian marshals of the USSR were originally from Artsakh, including Hovhannes Baghramyan, Ivan Isakov, Hamazasp Babajanyan, Armenak Khanperyants (Sergey Khudyakov) and Sergey Aganov.
Artsakh and Russia still have close ties. Most of the nearly 3,000,000 Russia-based Armenians are from Artsakh, and a lot of them are those who were forcefully displaced from Artsakh as a result of Azerbaijan’s genocidal policy in the late 1980s and 1990s.
I would like to emphasize that in all the stages of settlement of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict, the Russian Federation has supported the principle of no use of force or threat of use of force and the principle of peaceful settlement of conflicts prescribed by international law. Russia acts in the format of the Co-Chairmanship of the OSCE Minsk Group and separately. The Republic of Artsakh highly appreciates Russia’s mediation efforts, active role and decisive mission in all the stages of the settlement of the conflict.
We highly appreciate your and Russian diplomats’ active efforts to stop the aggression launched by Azerbaijan against Artsakh and the large-scale war. I would also like to inform that your objective assessments of the situation at Valdai Discussion Club sparked great reactions in the Republic of Artsakh and among all Armenians.
In your speech, you stated the following: “This conflict began as a result of ethnic resistance, not as an interstate conflict and a battle for territories. Unfortunately, it is a fact that brutal crimes were perpetrated against the Armenians in Sumgait and later in Nagorno-Karabakh, and we need to take all this into consideration.” Unfortunately, Azerbaijan continues its genocidal policy.
You are the individual and head of state who has a tremendous reputation in the world and in our region. Taking into consideration all this, we ask you to exert all possible efforts to stop the war in the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict zone and for resumption of political processes.
President of the Republic of Artsakh Arayik Haroutyunyan”