Armenian authorities announced that the existence of the region called “Nagorno-Karabakh Republic” by Armenia was terminated.
It was announced that the head of the region, Samvel Shahramanyan, signed a decree to end the existence of all state institutions as of January 1, 2024.
According to the decree, the existence of the region described as the “Republic” will cease as of January 1.
While Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians continue to leave Karabakh after Azerbaijan defeated the separatist Armenian forces last week, the number of those leaving the region exceeded 65 thousand.
During the first Karabakh war 30 years ago, hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijani Turks were forced to leave the region.
After the separatist forces laid down their arms, the region experienced the largest migration movement since hundreds of thousands of Azeris left the region in the first Karabakh war 30 years ago.
Yesterday, Azerbaijan arrested a former minister from the separatist ethnic Armenian administration in Nagorno-Karabakh while trying to cross to Armenia.
Nagorno-Karabakh should be dissolved
The authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh have decided to end the internationally unrecognized republic. The leadership announced that it would dissolve “all state institutions and organizations” on January 1, 2024.
After the defeat of the pro-Armenian forces against Azerbaijan, the government in Nagorno-Karabakh announced the dissolution of the self-proclaimed republic. In a decree, the leadership of local authorities ordered to dissolve “all state institutions and organizations” in the Caucasus region as of January 1, 2024. Nagorno-Karabakh will therefore “cease to exist”.
Accordingly, the decision was made because of the difficult political and military situation. It aims to protect the security and lives of the population in Nagorno-Karabakh. The dissolution was part of the terms of surrender. Prime Minister Samvel Shakhramanyan signed the document, according to Armenian media.
Mass exodus from Nagorno-Karabakh
Nagorno-Karabakh belongs to Azerbaijan under international law, but the area is predominantly populated by Armenians. Azerbaijan and Armenia have been fighting over the region for years. On September 19, Azerbaijan launched a large-scale military offensive there.
Just one day later, the pro-Armenian fighters in Nagorno-Karabakh had to admit defeat. Tens of thousands of people fled the region. The government in Yerevan said that 65,000 people, more than half of Nagorno-Karabakh’s population, have now fled to Armenia. Experts expect that virtually all Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh will leave the region. According to official information, there were recently 120,000 people.
After the dissolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, the population must familiarize themselves with Azerbaijan’s laws on the integration of the region in order to then decide for themselves whether they want to return to Nagorno-Karabakh, Shakhramanyan said in the decree.
Traffic jams along the Lachin corridor
Meanwhile, more people are leaving the region. Satellite images show long traffic jams along the Lachin corridor, which is the only connection from the remote mountainous region to Armenia. The Azerbaijani military, which had previously blocked the corridor for months and thus provoked a humanitarian catastrophe in Nagorno-Karabakh, has opened the route for the Armenians to leave the country – albeit under strict control: the authorities in Baku arrested the former head of government of Nagorno-Karabakh at the border crossing, Ruben Vardanyan, arrested.
In Azerbaijan, the businessman who was once active in Russia is now accused of, among other things, financing terrorism, as Azerbaijani media reported.