Crimea referendum of benefit to Nagorno-Karabakh – David Babayan

12:00 • 16.03.14

David Babayan, Spokesman for the President of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR), talked to about possible consequences of the referendum in Crimea scheduled for March 16.

Legally, it is a precedent, which, however, does not mean Nagorno-Karabakh will immediately be recognized.

“International recognition of states is not limited to legal framework or precedents because there are numerous precedents in the world.”

“Doubtless, this means exercising people’s right to self-determination. As we know, the Crimean population first declared independence from Ukraine. Now they are going to decide on their future by means of a referendum. So this future may be as part of Russia or as part of Ukraine, with a higher degree of autonomy. We will see the real picture in a few days. The same took place in Artsakh [Nagorno-Karabakh] in 1991, which was preceded by a decision on reunification in 1988. And we can see it in Crimea now.

As to whether the referendum results – if in favor of Crimea joining Russia - might serve as a good precedent for Nagorno-Karabakh, Babayan said:

“Legally, it is a precedent, which, however, does not mean Nagorno-Karabakh will immediately be recognized. International recognition of states is not limited to legal framework or precedents because there are numerous precedents in the world. Nonetheless, this is one more instance. And a number of other precedents should be expected this year – Scotland, Catalonia. And we are going to see how international law operates. And it will be new evidence of peoples’ right to self-determination.”

Nagorno-Karabakh recognized the independence of Ossetia and Abkhazia. Does it mean Nagorno-Karabakh will recognize results of the Crimea referendum?

“Before Ossetia and Abkhazia are internationally recognized, are we cooperating and have recognized each other. Crimea is not holding a referendum on independence. Rather, it is a referendum on joining Russia. It is not a problem of recognition. They want to remain part of Ukraine or join Russia. This is an exercise of peoples’ right to self-determination – a change of status as part of another state.

Leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) Vladimir Zhirinovsky made a statement recently that making Nagorno-Karabakh part of Russia would be the best solution to the problem.

“Vladimir Zhirinovsky makes statements on different occasions. I am not going to comment on or criticize them.

“I can only say that the Artsakh people held two referendums on their future, showing the entire world their aspirations. Our wish is an independent, democratic and social state, and we are creating such a state.”

Armenian News -


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