recognizing the Nagorno-Karabakh region’s independence and sent it to
the country’s parliament, the RIA Novosti news agency reported Thursday.
The bill was submitted by Armenian opposition lawmakers Zarui Postanjan and Grant Bagratyan.
Similar initiatives have been presented to the Armenian government in
the past, but the Cabinet has repeatedly rejected them, citing concerns
that it could interfere with negotiations over the Nagorno-Karabakh
conflict, RIA Novosti reported. The regional conflict is mediated by the
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group —
co-chaired by Russia, France and the United States.
Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan said that the
government’s decision “has been conditioned by discussions between
Armenia and Karabakh, taking external and internal factors into
In early April, tensions in Azerbaijan’s breakaway region, populated
mostly by ethnic Armenians, escalated as both sides accused each other
of offensive warfare. Baku and Yerevan have been engaged in a dispute
over the region for more than 20 years, since 1988 when Nagorno-Karabakh
proclaimed its independence from Azerbaijan. The move led to a war,
which ended in 1994 following a cease-fire.
Novruz Mamedov, deputy head of the Azerbaijani presidential
administration, had earlier called the Armenian lawmakers’ proposal to
recognize the region’s independence “a provocation,” Azeri news outlets