YEREVAN—The Armenian Revolutionary Federation “Nigol Aghbalian” Student Organization and the ARF Youth Organization of Armenia staged a protest Wednesday, demanding Russia to reject the 1921 Moscow Treaty.
On March 16, 1921, representatives of Russia’s Socialist Federative Soviet Republic and Turkey’s Grand National Assembly signed a treaty, without the consent or participation of Armenian representatives, granting Kars and Surmalu to Turkey and placing Nakhichevan under Azeri control. This illegal document later served as the basis for the Kars Treaty of October, 1921.
The demonstration was organized to protest a visit by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Russia on the 90th anniversary of the illegal document. The demonstrators walked from the Stepan Shahoumyan square to the Russian Embassy chanting slogans and holding placards, which conveyed the day’s message of calling on the Russian authorities to reject the 1921 treay.
Organizers asserted that by accepting Erdogan’s visit to Moscow on this date, Russia, a strategic partner of Armenia, was discarding its relations with Armenia
The protesters demanded that Russia officially condemn the 1921 treaty and consider it not valid.
“This is a disgraceful treaty, which was realized by ignoring international norms, because there is no precedent whereby to governments sign a treaty regarding a third party, especially when the governments of the signatories were not recognized by the international community,” said ARF Supreme Council of Armenia representative, Armen Rustamian.
“This is a case of violation of the rights of the Armenian people. If we do not condemn this, then we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes and suffer similar losses,” added Rustamian.
The ARF leader pointed out that Armenia’s Foreign Ministry could have declared that it did not recognize the Moscow Treaty and as such reject the subsequent Kars treaty, which Bolshevik Armenian leaders were forced to sign. He asserted, however, that official Yerevan has not taken such a step since its independence in 1991.
The organizers handed a protest letter to the Russian Embassy. The letter was carried in a coffin from the protest site to the entrance of the embassy, since Russian officials did not personally appear to accept the protest letter.
“It is time that we show everyone that this treaty cannot have any legal basis for Armenia, and we are stand behind the past, present and future rights of our people, with the established of a free, united and independent Armenian state as our driving mission,” said ARF parliamentary bloc member Artsvik Minasyan.