ARMENIA'S ''THE GREAT REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA'' DREAMS PERSIST
After the Soviet Union is dispersed, the Nagorno-Karabakh problem between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan maintains its validity even today. As it can be remembered, the seperation movements that the Armenians, who were living at the self-ruled Nagorno-Karabakh within Azebaijan, set out on 1988 continued its course with conflicts through 1990s. With substantial support of Russia and the Republic of Armenia, 20% of Azerbaijan territory has been occupied and one million Azeri have been forced to migrate. By the 1989 numbers, the population of Karabakh used to be 77% Armenian, 21,5% Azeri and 1% Russian; however today there is not any Azeri population. One may claim that the Armenian occupation has reached its goal and annexation is next. Or Armenia believes so! The Karabakh region is a symbolic place for Armenians to achieve the dream of “The Great Republic of Armenia”. Stemming from this, Armenia has started a campaign in November 2003 to increase the Armenian population in Nagorno-Karabakh. Supported also by the Diaspora, the campaign seeks back up from the Kuban region of Russia as well. Kuban is a very complicated region concerning etnicalities. Its most important city is Krasnador. Here are many refugees who escaped from many distressed places such as Chechnya, Abhazya and Karabakh. Among these groups live Armenians whose number reaches hundred thousands. The Republic of Armenia wishes to settle these Armenians in Karabakh and in doing this, it seems so that it will not face any difficulty. According to the new Russian Citizenship Law, Armenian or other refugees in Krasnador will not be able to use their Russian passports after January 1st 2004 and probably will have to leave Krasnador. The Republic of Armenia is very likely to take advantage of this opportunity. The activities to place Armenians in Karabakh run by the Republic of Armenia, finds support from the Lebanon Armenian diaspora. In the notifications given to the Armenians by the Tashnak Party in Lebanon it is said that: “The ones who wish to settle in Karabakh will take 20.000 dram per family and at the same time 5.000 extra will be paid for children and wives. 6.000 square meters of land will be given to each family who moves to Karabakh and for 5 years no taxes will be taken. Plus, the families who lived in Karabakh for 10 years will possess these aforementioned lands.” With these attractive proposals the Republic of Armenia aims at adding issue an international dimension by increasing the Armenian population on the occupied territories of Karabakh and making the self-determination right of Armenians accepted on the international grounds. Thus, it wishes the region to be recognized as an independent republic and through a referendum it is expected that Karabakh will be united with Armenia. As it is evident, the Karabakh conflict is no more an Azeri-Armenian one; rather it has become a threat to the neighboring countries as well. The root of this conflict lies in the expansion focused politics of Armenia which is not only upon Turkey and Azerbaijan but toward all its neighbors. The main point that will provide the necessary ground for resolution of this conflict is, respect upon the countries’ territorial unity and the border stability principle.