Nagorno-Karabakh movement

The 71 years of Soviet rule in Armenia were a period of relative security, of great economic development, and of cultural and educational achievements. But during the same period the government of Soviet Azerbaijan was conducting a systematic policy of removing the Armenians from Nakhidjevan, which today has no Armenian population whatsoever. The same policy was less effective in Nagorno-Karabakh, where Armenians remained the overwhelming majority. In February 1988 a peaceful, democratic movement for the reunification with Armenia began in Nagorno-Karabakh, and the regional Assembly of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region adopted a resolution seeking transfer of Karabakh from Azerbaijan to Armenia, as a realization of the right of the peoples under alien domination to self-determination. The Azeri side responded by Armenian massacres in the Azeri cities of Sumgait, Kirovabad and Baku, transforming the peaceful movement into a violent conflict, and lately committing an act of military aggression against the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh. The newly proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh managed to defeat the invading Azeri forces and to create a security zone around its territory and a humanitarian corridor to Armenia. The negotiations on the future status of Nagorno-Karabakh are being conducted within the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, through so-called Minsk Group, co-chaired by USA, Russian Federation and France.

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