Today marks the 100th anniversary of the signing of the March 16, 1921 Russian-Turkish treaty in Moscow, which has had catastrophic implications for our country and people. As a result of that agreement, Armenia was forced to give up a significant part of Eastern Armenia, from the Kars region to the Surmalu province, Nakhichevan and others.
The infamous treaty was signed with gross violations of international law, which nullify its legal standing. First, the parties to the treaty, the Russian Soviet Socialist Republic and the Turkish Grand National Assembly, were not subjects of international law. Second, the signatories to the treaty have made decisions on matters relating to the territories of Armenia, a non-signatory to the treaty, whereas under international law treaties may apply only to the signatories, and may not create other rights and obligations for non-parties. Therefore, the parts of the treaty that refer to Armenia cannot have no legal recourse. And, the Treaty of Kars of October 13, 1921, which reiterated the basic elements of the Moscow Treaty, also does not conform to international law on the grounds that it derives from its provisions from the Moscow Treaty. It must be noted that Armenia was forced to renounce the sovereign territories of the First Republic of Armenia, which were occupied after the Turkish aggression in the fall of 1920.
The current military-political tensions in the South Caucasus and the existing contradictions in interstate relations, territorial disputes and ethnic conflicts, make it obvious that the Moscow Treaty of 1921, due to its illegal nature, is not able to guarantee lasting peace and secure coexistence in this region.
That agreement, with its inherent anti-Armenian aspects, is a threat to the existence of Armenia and the Armenian people, which we witnessed months ago, when another large-scale aggression against Azerbaijan was unleashed by Azerbaijan—with the overt support of Turkey—which occupied most of its territory. Even after that, the Azerbaijani-Turkish axis has overt plans for the Republic of Armenia.
The Moscow Treaty not only has not deterred Turkey’s plans to expand its pan-Turkic imperialist plans to venture eastward in order to penetrate into Central Asia, but it also has allowed for a tactical pause, so that at the right moment, it can realize its plans through realignment of its forces and by destabilizing international relations, becoming an active international security threat.
The Armenian Revolutionary Federation Bureau would like to draw the attention of the international community to the need to sign a new international legal agreement on the establishment of regional peace in the South Caucasus, which, with active international guarantees and the legitimate interests of all peoples and states, can shutter a bloody border in this region and turn the page on centuries of war.
Given the current domestic situation in Armenia, the ARF Bureau is postponing, until October 21, 2021, its scheduled international events related to the centennial of the Moscow and Kars treaties.
During this time, the worldwide ARF network, through its offices and committees, will continue to advance efforts on relevant issues related to this matter.
Specifically, the ARF Bureau’s Central Political Affairs office, will dispatch this announced to international political organizations, of which the ARF is a member, as well as several embassies working in Armenia.
We also deem it necessary to strongly warn the authorities of the Republic of Armenia, which has lost its legitimacy by handing over a large parts of the homeland to the enemy, not to enter into negotiations with the Republic of Turkey, which may imply the recognition of the Moscow Kars treaties’ provisions, which has been Turkey’s century-long objective. We also consider it important to recall that neither the Moscow nor Kars treaties were recognized by the Republic of Armenia. They even were not by Soviet Armenia when it was possible to express its own will.
We are confident that through the unified efforts of our people, with a strong Armenia and a united civil society, step-by-step we will be able to reclaim the violated rights of our people and to restore our national dignity.
March 16, 2021