`Russia cannot terminate Treaty of Moscow` - INTERVIEW
Deputies of the Russian state Duma from submitted a proposal to terminate the Treaty of friendship and brotherhood, signed on 16 March 1921 by the government of the RSFSR and the Turkish authorities. Interestingly, Armenians in Russia initiated the termination of the Treaty a while ago.
It is essential to note that the Treaty of friendship and brotherhood, signed on 16 March 1921 plays a very important role for Azerbaijan. Nakhchivan is an autonomous oblast under Azerbaijan`s protectorate in terms of the conditions of the Treaty. Furthermore, there is a clause says that Azerbaijan will never cede protectorate over Nakhchivan to a third state. The Treaty of Kars was signed on the 13th of October in 1921 to implement the clauses of the Treaty.
Musa Gasimli, Historian Professor, Azerbaijani MP answered the questions of AzVision.az on the termination of the Treaty of Moscow.
- Mr. Gasimli, how do you evaluate the proposal to terminate the Treaty of Moscow?
-I consider that this proposal aims to put pressure on Turkey. Tensions between Russia and Turkey had increased lately over the Russian Su-24 was struck in Syria. The tensions still continue and lead to the dangerous intentions. This intention gains strength as the various countries, centers and divisions adversely affect the relations between Turkey and Russia through the escalation of tensions between two countries.
- Is it possible to terminate the Treaty? If yes, what will the termination result?
- There were conflicts between two countries in the previous periods. Stalin submitted groundless territorial claims to Turkey at the end of the World War II. Moreover, the secret operational plans were prepared. However, this period of time dared to terminate the Treaty of friendship and brotherhood, signed on 16 March 1921. Turkey has been a member of the anti-Hitler coalition since the spring of 1945. On the other hand, Turkey has not been a part of the Western Bloc yet. In 1925, Stalin was able to terminate the non-aggression pact signed between the USSR and Turkey. Afterwards, Khrushchev accused of Stalin on the breakdown of the relations between two countries.
The current state is not more complicated than previous one. The international state and the relations between two countries were tenser. Clearly, People criticize Lenin and Ataturk. I don’t see any point in the termination of the Treaty of Moscow as Russian people and Turks closely know each other. However, some Western countries lead to the Russian-Turkish antagonism and tend to make war between two countries. In this regard, everything depends on the acts of the leaders of the countries. On the other hand, I am suspicious that Russia will soon halt the revenge attacks.
Obviously, the open-ended Treaty of Moscow, which consists of 16 clauses and 3 annexes, signed on 16 March 1921. Under the Treaty, the parties terminated the former unequal treaties. Furthermore, they ceased the treaties between Tsardom of Russia and Ottoman empire, the Treaty of Sèvres signed between the Ottoman empire and Entente countries, the Treaty of Alexandropol (Gyumri) between Turkey and Armenia. Moreover, they controlled the territorial and border disputes.
The contracting sides agree that the Nakhchivan Region within the borders specified by Annex I (C) to the present Treaty becomes an autonomous territory under the protection of Azerbaijan, providing that it not be transferred to any third state in accordance with Article III. The borders of the triangle-shaped Nakhichivan Region are formed by the Araz river bed on one side, and on the West, by the line that passes through the mountains Danga (3829), Veli-Dagh(4121), Bagarzik(6587), and Kemarlu-Dag(6930). The third border line of this territory, which begins at the Kemurlu-Dagh mountain, passes through the Soray-Bulak mountain and the Ararat Station, and finishes at the junction of Kara-Su with Araz, will be properly corrected by a special commission made up of delegates from Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia.
The RSFSR Central Executive Committee (CEC) ratified the Treaty of Moscow on 20 July 1921. The sides exchanged ratification instruments in Kars on 22 September 1921.
On 13 October, 1921, the Treaty of Kars, which consisted of 20 articles and three Annexes signed between Turkey, on the one side, and Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia with the participation of RSFSR. Turkey and the republics regulated the territorial and border disputes and refused from previous treaties such as the Treaty of Alexandropol (Gyumri). On 3 March, 1922, the CEC of Azerbaijan ratified the Treaty, to be followed by the presidium of the All-Russia C.E.C of Soviets of Workers` Peasants`, Red Army and Kazakh deputies (protocol №21), Turkish Great National Assembly (16 March), the CEC of Armenia (20 March) and Georgia (14 June).
The Turkish Government and the Soviet Governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan are agreed that the region of Nakhichivan, within the limits specified by Annex III to the present Treaty, constitutes an autonomous territory under the protection of Azerbaijan.
There is not a term ‘supplier’ in both the Treaty of Moscow and Kars. Nakhchivan is a land of Azerbaijan. Currently, it is not and will never be a point of discussion.
G. Chicherin, Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union emphasized in his letter to Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party (bolsheviks) that Turks forcibly agreed to sign the Treaty of Moscow.
Y. Ganetsky, Russian member in Kars wrote the same ideas to the Soviet People`s Commissar for Foreign Affairs.
The termination of the Treaty of Kars does not depend on Russia and Armenia. Additionally, it is not a unilateral and bilateral process. Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia should agree the termination of the Treaty.
The termination of the treaties can lead to the bad results for Russia and Armenia. As I mentioned above, the parties refused from the previous treaties such as the Treaty of Alexandropol (Gyumri) signed on 2 December 1920 in consistency with the Treaty of Kars. It is estimated that Turkey and Armenia ended the existing war in accordance with the Treaty of Alexandropol. Furthermore, they kicked off peace talks. The Republic of Yerevan was allowed to keep lightly armed police to preserve internal rules and regulations in order to prevent the provocations of the imperialist states involved in the breakdown of the public peace. Moreover, it was allowed to have 1500 mercenaries armed with 20 shotguns, 8 mountain or desert guns to protect the state border. Armenia undertook an engagement that it could not have armed forces and hold military service. The political member of Turkey had to live in Yerevan to control the above-mentioned conditions. If there was a danger from the territory of Armenia, Turkey could enter Armenia with armed forces. The parties such as other civilized countries had commitments that minorities could use all their rights and people could return to their motherland. Armenia had to create opportunities for the cultural and religious development of Muslims.
In terms of the termination of the Treaty of Kars, Turkish army should be deployed in Gyumri and the territories should be given to Turkey. Additionally, the conditions of the Treaty of Alexandropol which was not confirmed, need to be discussed. Moreover, Batumi can be taken from Georgia and given to Turkey. Hence, Russia and Armenia can have the worst of the termination of the Treaty.
On the other hand, Russia is also Turkic country. Approximately 30 millions of Turks live in Russia. The war would deepen the intra-national conflicts and lead to the collapse of the country. About 50 thousands of women got married in Turkey.
I consider that the root of Russian-Turkish relations is deep. If they mainly focus on their great interests, ‘warplane crisis’ must not hit the foundations of them. On the other hand, if they focus on the subjective factors, everything can happen. However, it cannot be long lasting. The ‘warplane crisis’ just started cautiousness and inhospitality between two countries.
It does not mean to break the relations in diplomacy. Although the prospects of different people have an impact of the intergovernmental relations, state interests take precedence of everything. In this fashion, the termination of the Treaty of Moscow and Kars does not seem real. The certain bodies in Russia and Armenia will continue to escalate the tension in terms of the issue. The Western countries and Armenia benefit from the tense relations between Turkey and Russia. Neither Russia nor Turkey achieves anything.
- Can Armenians claim Nakhchivan in terms of the termination of the Treaty?
-The Armenian protests against the Treaty of Kars did not change and do not change anything. If Armenia achieves the termination of the Treaty of Kars signed with the request of Russia on paper, it will project “non-Russian country” image. Furthermore, Other countries will not trust and respect it. This case means that Armenia declares war against Turkey. Armenia will lose. Armenians also claimed to Nakhchivan in the following years after the signing of the Treaty of Moscow and Kars. However, they did not reach a conclusion. In this manner, Azerbaijan will confront Armenia. Armenia is eager to cause to forget the fact that they invaded the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and other lands, to generate ‘politique de faite accomplie’ and to raise Armenians’ spirits by propagating groundless claims to Nakhchivan.
- If the Treaty is terminated, what kind of measures will Turkey take?
Russia is a country which has traditions. It is not real that Moscow will adopt the decisions to terminate the treaties. This is just a pressure and aims to test the resistance. Azerbaijan is a creditable bridge in the Turkey-Russia relations. Unsurprisingly, Azerbaijan can play a role to ease the tensions between Turkey and Russia.