One year ago, on 9 November 2020, thanks to the active mediation efforts of the Russian Federation, a trilateral statement was signed by the President of the Russian Federation, the Prime Minister of Armenia and the President of Azerbaijan. The signing of the trilateral statement made it possible to put an end to the 44-day war of aggression unleashed by Azerbaijan against Artsakh with the direct military involvement of Turkey, as well as international terrorists and mercenaries from the Middle East, and laid the ground for the entry of Russian peacekeeping forces into the territory of Artsakh to maintain peace in the zone of the Azerbaijan-Karabagh conflict. The trilateral statement also plays an important role in ensuring the post-war rehabilitation of the Republic of Artsakh.
As a result of the aggression and the devastating war that lasted 44 days, significant territories of the Republic of Artsakh, including the town of Shushi, the historical and cultural center of Artsakh, were occupied by Azerbaijan. During the hostilities, the Azerbaijani army committed numerous war crimes, including deliberate attacks on civilian objects, torture and extrajudicial killings of prisoners of war and captured civilians, ethnic cleansing, deliberate destruction of historical and cultural monuments and churches, the use of indiscriminate weapons prohibited by international law.
Even after the signing of the trilateral statement on 9 November 2020, Azerbaijan has not stopped its internationally wrongful acts and continues its offensive and aggressive actions, including capture of military personnel and civilians, carrying out deliberate killings, destruction of Armenian churches and cultural heritage in the occupied territories.
In this regard, it should be emphasized that the situation resulting from the illegal use of military force by Azerbaijan, flagrant violation of its international obligations, systematic and massive violations of human rights and international humanitarian law cannot serve as a basis for the settlement of the Azerbaijan-Karabagh conflict.
It is well known that the norms of international law prohibit the recognition of any territorial gains as a result of the threat or use of force. Moreover, the use of force cannot abolish one of the fundamental principles of international law, the equal rights and self-determination of peoples, enshrined in the UN Charter and other fundamental international documents.
The position of the official Stepanakert and the will of the people of Artsakh remain unchanged. Artsakh will never be part of Azerbaijan. Respect for the inalienable right to self-determination realized by the people of Artsakh and de-occupation of the territories where they created their independent statehood through self-determination and developed it are the cornerstone of a comprehensive settlement of the Azerbaijan-Karabagh conflict and establishment of a sustainable and lasting peace in the region.