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The Nagorno Karabagh Crisis: A Blueprint for Resolution (Part I)

A Memorandum Prepared by the Public International Law & Policy Group and the New England Center for International Law & Policy (June, 2000)

June 1, 2000

Contact: Public International Law & Policy Group and the New England Center for International Law & Policy

On May 17th and 18th, 2000, an international conference was held in Washington, D.C., entitled "The Nagorno-Karabakh Crisis: A Time for Resolution." All interested parties to the conflict were invited to participate in the conference, and many different perspectives on the conflict and its resolution were presented. This Memorandum prepared by the Public International Law and Policy Group and the New England Center for International Law&Policy, while nota conference report, takes into consideration many of the ideas and initiatives presented at the conference and argues that a long term solution to the Nagorno-Karabagh crisis lies in the adoption of a policy of intermediate sovereignty followed by earned recognition for Nagorno-Karabakh. For additional copies of this Memorandum, please contact Professor Michael P. Scharf, Director of the New England Center for International Law & Policy and Executive Director of the Public International Law & Policy Group, at -- Phone: (617) 457-3009; fax: (617) 422-7453; or email: mscharf@fac.nesl.edu. For a copy of the Report of the May 17-18th Conference, please contact American University College of Law at: phone: (202) 274-4127; fax: (202) 274-4130; or e-mail: lscott@wcl.american.edu.

Table of Contents

I. Introduction

II. Background

a) Brief History of the Conflict

• Before Sovietization • Nagorno Karabagh Under Soviet Azerbaijani Rule: 1920-1988 • 1988 to the Present

b) The Peace Process

• Mediation by the Russian Federation and the Commonwealth of Independent States • Actions Taken by the United Nations Security Council • OSCE Mediation Efforts

c) Identification of Strategic Interests

• Russia • United States • Turkey • Iran • Western oil companies

d) US Congressional Actions

III. The Right of Self-Determination

a) The Meaning of Self-Determination

• International Recognition of the Principle of Self-Determination • Who is Entitled to Self-Determination? • Self-Determination and the Right to Independence • The Process for Exercising the Right of Self-Determination

b) Nagorno Karabagh's Legal Entitlement to Self-Determination

• The Armenians of Nagorno Karabagh are a Group Entitled to Self- Determination • Nagorno Karabagh's Right to Self-Determination includes the right to independence

IV. A Proposed Framework for Nagorno Karabagh's Independence

a) Phase One: Intermediate Sovereignty

• Managing the Interim Arrangement and Preparing for Independence (Establishing Mechanisms for Mutual Cooperation and Interaction; Right to Enter into Relationships with Neighboring States and Participate in International Organizations; Return and Exchange of Territory)

• Confidence Building Measures (Ensuring the Right of Return for Refugees and Displaced Persons; Creating a Process for Property Restitution and Exchange; Adopting Laws and International Conventions Governing Respect for Minority Rights)

• Creating Special Mechanisms to Protect Minority Rights and Free Expression of Culture; Committing to Non-Violence in Resolving Disputes

• Third-Party Oversight and Policing

b) Phase Two: Earned Recognition

ANNEXES

A. About the Public International Law & Policy Group

B. List of Contributing Attorneys

I. Introduction

The current struggle over Nagorno Karabagh began in February of 1988 when its governing council, encouraged by perestroika and glasnost, requested to be free from the administration of Azerbaijan. What began as massacres of ethnic Armenians in Sumgait, became a military conflict initiated by Azerbaijan to crush Karabagh's independence movement. The result has been many thousand deaths and over 1 million refugees and displaced persons. A cease-fire was negotiated on 12 May 1994. Since the cease-fire, there have been no major outbreaks of violence, yet there has also been no significant movement towards creating a basis for a lasting peace. As a consequence of the conflict, Azerbaijan and Turkey maintain a complete blockade on Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh, few refugees or displaced persons have returned to their homes, and economic and social development has remained static. In response, the United States has limited direct governmental assistance to Azerbaijan.

In an effort to make meaningful progress toward final settlement of the conflict, the OSCE reinforced a Russian mediated cease-fire and has created the Minsk peace process presently co-chaired by the United States, France and Russia, which recently put forward a proposal for a Common State -- the details of which remain confidential. Nagorno Karabagh and Armenia accepted the Common State proposal as a basis for negotiations, while Azerbaijan has rejected the proposal. Recently, representatives of Azerbaijan and Armenia have engaged in a number of informal meetings on the margins of OSCE and other international fora, and have indicated a willingness to engage in renewed negotiations, although the parties remain deadlocked over the precise nature of any final settlement. Throughout this process Azerbaijan has rejected trilateral negotiations which would include representatives of Nagorno Karabagh despite the fact that the previous rounds of formal negotiations in the mid 1990's included representatives of Nagorno Karabagh. Azerbaijan has apparently refused inclusion of Nagorno Karabagh into the talks out of concern that such participation might imply some degree of de facto status for Nagorno Karabagh.

This memorandum seeks to propose a solution based upon international law and the recent precedent established in a number of other peace processes, including Bosnia, Northern Ireland, East Timor, the Middle East, and Kosovo. In its essence, this paper proposes that the process for resolving the crisis should consist of two phases. The first phase -- a period of three to five years, would provide Nagorno Karabagh with a level of intermediate sovereignty and require Nagorno Karabagh and Azerbaijan to comply with a number of obligations concerning the right of refugees to return and the protection of minority rights. Nagorno Karabagh and Azerbaijan would also be obligated to engage in a number of mutual confidence building measures. After the expiry of the interim period, an international mechanism would determine whether Nagorno Karabagh had earned international recognition based upon its performance during the interim period of de facto independence with respect to the obligations concerning respect for fundamental principles of international law, including those relating to the protection of minority rights, democratic processes of governance and economic organization, and the protection of human rights. The interest of the people of Nagorno Karabagh in independence would be reconfirmed by a referendum.

The intermediate sovereignty/earned recognition proposal is designed to produce a phased resolution of the crisis with clear benchmarks for measuring compliance by the parties. If adopted and properly implemented, the proposal should lead to a final settlement that promotes peaceful relations between Azerbaijan, Nagorno Karabagh and Armenia. A peaceful final settlement should also lead to the lifting of the Azerbaijani and Turkish economic embargo against Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh and the lifting of United States restrictions on assistance for Azerbaijan, and it could ensure the stability necessary for continued economic development by American and European interests in Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Nagorno Karabagh, particularly in the oil sector. Resolution of the conflict would provide a basis for improved relations between Armenia and Turkey, which would be in the strategic interests of the United States and its European allies.

The following sections of the memorandum include a brief description of the history of the conflict and the efforts of the international community to resolve the conflict, the articulation of the international legal principles governing disputes of this nature, and a detailed proposal for a process of intermediate sovereignty/earned recognition with reference to comparable precedents.

II. Background

A. Brief History of the Conflict

1. Before Sovietization

Nagorno Karabagh is historic Armenian territory which, in different eras, has formed part of Armenia. Its Armenian roots reach back to before the first millennium BC. Armenian princely dynasties successively presided over Karabagh, guaranteeing its sovereignty through treaty arrangements with neighboring powers.

The Russian Empire, expanding southwards in the Transcaucasus, annexed Karabagh in 1805. This action was officially recognized by Persia in the Treaty of Gulistan in 1813. After the 1917 Russian revolutions and the collapse of Tsarist rule, there emerged in 1918 the briefly independent Republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan. The dispute over Nagorno Karabagh between the Karabagh Armenians and Azerbaijan, on whose side the Ottoman Turkish army intervened, dates from this period.

In July 1918, the First Armenian Assembly of Nagorno Karabagh declared the region self-governing and created a National Council and government. The size of Nagorno Karabagh was then significantly greater than the portion that subsequently became the Nagorno Karabagh Autonomous Oblast. In August 1919, the Karabagh National Council entered into a provisional treaty agreement with the Azerbaijani government. Despite signing the Agreement, the Azerbaijani government continuously violated the terms of the treaty. This culminated in March 1920 with the Azerbaijanis' massacre of Armenians in Karabagh's former capital, Shushi, in which it is estimated that more than 20,000 Armenians were killed. In this light, the Ninth Karabagh Assembly nullified the treaty in whole and pronounced union with Armenia.

From 1918 to 1920 Nagorno Karabagh possessed all necessary attributes of statehood, including an army and legitimate authorities. The League of Nations and the leading world powers recognized the disputed status of Nagorno Karabagh. The League of Nations neither recognized the sovereignty of the Azerbaijan Republic over Karabagh nor accepted the Azerbaijan Republic as its member-state.

In 1918, 330,000 Armenian people lived within the then-existing borders of Nagorno Karabagh. They made up 95 percent of its population, with 3 percent Azerbaijanis and 2 percent others. As a result of the Turkish-Azerbaijani aggression in 1918-1920 aimed at total cleansing of the Armenians of Nagorno Karabagh, an estimated 20 percent of all Armenians were killed.

2. Nagorno Karabagh Under Soviet Azerbaijani Rule: 1920-1988

The violent conflict in the Caucasus ended with the Sovietization of the Caucasian republics. On November 30, 1920 the Sovietized government of Azerbaijan recognized Nagorno Karabagh as a part of Armenia, but then reversed this decision several days later.

On March 16, 1921, a treaty between republican Turkey and Soviet Russia determined that Nagorno Karabagh and Nakhichevan were to be under the authority of the Soviet Azerbaijan. On June 12, 1921 the government of Soviet Armenia declared Nagorno Karabagh as its integral part on the basis of the repeatedly expressed will of its population.

On July 5, 1921 the Caucasus Bureau of the Russian Communist Party adopted a political decision to annex Armenian-populated Nagorno Karabagh to Soviet Azerbaijan, thus laying the foundation for the Stalinist practice of gerrymandering in Transcaucasia. Stalin decided that Nagorno Karabagh should be included as an autonomous region within the boundaries of the Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan, in consideration of the necessity of national harmony between Muslims and Armenians, of the economic tie between Upper and Lower Karabagh, and its permanent relationship with Azerbaijan.

In 1923, Nagorno Karabagh had a population of almost 158,000, 95 percent of which were Armenians. On July 7, 1923, Soviet Azerbaijan's Revolutionary Committee resolved to dismember Karabagh and to create on part of its territory the Autonomous Region (oblast) of Nagorno Karabagh. From 1924 to 1929, an uncertain jurisdiction called "Red Kurdistan" was established, with the intent of effectively separating Nagorno Karabagh from Armenia. In 1930, the Kurdish autonomous area was abolished, but the artificial buffer between Armenia and Karabagh, the Lachin and Kelbajar districts (regions), was retained. Stalin's 1936 Constitution sealed this territorial arrangement.

This separation became a subject of continual protest -- from both Nagorno Karabagh and Armenia -- which was expressed periodically in the form of petitions to Moscow. Furthermore, in September 1966, the Soviet Armenian leadership petitioned the central authorities to examine the question of returning Karabagh to Armenia. In addition to the petitions, by the late 1960s there were mass protests held in Karabagh, which led to a large scale crackdown on Armenian activists.

3. 1988 to the Present

The current struggle over Nagorno Karabagh began in February of 1988 when the Karabagh Armenians, encouraged by perestroika and glasnost, began to take steps to break free of Azerbaijani control. On February 20, 1988, the Decision of the Nagorno Karabagh Autonomous Oblast (NKAO) Regional Soviet of People's Deputies, which was addressed to the highest legislative bodies of the Supreme Soviets of Armenia, Azerbaijan and the USSR, contained the official request to consider and resolve positively "the question of handing over the NKAO from the Soviet Azerbaijan to the Soviet Armenia."

The response within Azerbaijan was brutal acts of violence organized by Azerbaijani nationalists with the tacit support of the secret police directed against the Armenian civilian population. On February 26, 1988, the international community witnessed the massacre of Armenians in Sumgait, the third largest city of Azerbaijan and its second largest industrial center. Individual Armenians were attacked in their homes, at their businesses and on the streets. Azerbaijani authorities exerted no effort to apprehend or prosecute the perpetrators.

On June 13, 1988, the Supreme Soviet of the Azerbaijani SSR denied the application of the Karabagh Assembly. This was counterbalanced on June 15 by Armenia's Supreme Soviet, which approved Karabagh's proposal and appealed to the Soviet government to resolve the matter.

On July 18, 1988, the USSR Supreme Soviet, relying on Article 78 of the Soviet Constitution, which prohibited any territorial changes to a Union republic without its consent, decided to leave Nagorno Karabagh within the structure of Soviet Azerbaijan. However, by the March 24, 1988, resolution of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Arkadi Volsky was appointed Moscow's authorized representative in the territory. Beginning on January 20, 1989, the Supreme Soviet established a special authority in Nagorno Karabagh, headed by Volsky, which was directly subject to the USSR government. In the summer of 1989 a legislative body, named the National Council was formed which represented all strata of the Nagorno Karabagh population.

The USSR Supreme Soviet's resolution of November 28, 1989, liquidated the "Volsky Committee." Three days later, on December 1, 1989, at the joint session of Parliaments of Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh the reunification was accepted. Soon after, the NKAO legislative body voted in favor of secession from Azerbaijan. The Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan quickly rejected the decision as illegal, and the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Union declared it null and void.

In 1989, according to the official USSR census, Nagorno Karabagh had 189,000 inhabitants, of whom 76.9 percent were Armenians and 21.5 percent were Azerbaijanis.

On January 15, 1990, a USSR Supreme Soviet decision installed Soviet Azerbaijan's "Republic Organizational Committee" (Orgkom). The stated purpose of this body was to reestablish the erstwhile local "soviets" of Nagorno Karabagh. In reality, though, the Committee, under the direction of Azerbaijani Communist Party deputy leader Viktor Polianichko, schemed to do away with Karabagh's autonomy. Polianichko aimed to resolve the issue by ridding Karabagh of its Armenian majority. Therefore, he artificially increased the size of the Azerbaijani community in Nagorno Karabagh. This was combined with concerted military actions. From January to May 1991, the inhabitants of 24 Armenian villages in Nagorno Karabagh were forcibly driven from their homes. As a consequence Soviet Azerbaijan placed more than half of Nagorno Karabagh's territory under military occupation.

On August 30, 1991, Soviet Azerbaijan's Supreme Soviet adopted its "Declaration on re-establishment of the national independence of the Azerbaijani Republic." Four days later Nagorno Karabagh initiated the same process through the joint adoption of the "Declaration of the Republic of Nagorno Karabagh" by the local legislative councils of Nagorno Karabagh and the bordering Armenian-populated Shahumian district. The only difference was that, for Karabagh, independence was declared not from the Soviet Union but from Azerbaijan. This act fully complied with existing law. Indeed, the 1990 Soviet law titled "Law of the USSR Concerning the Procedure of Secession of a Soviet Republic from the USSR," provides that the secession of a Soviet republic from the body of the USSR allows an autonomous region and compactly settled minority regions in the same republic's territory also to trigger its own process of independence.[1]

On October 18, 1991, the Azerbaijani Republic confirmed its own independence by adoption of its "Constitutional Act" on national independence, and in November the Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan adopted a resolution on the "Abolition of the Nagorno Karabagh Autonomous Oblast." Azerbaijani President A. Mutalibov then signed the law on dissolution of the Nagorno Karabagh Autonomous Region on November 23, 1991. Following the adoption of this resolution, the Azerbaijani parliament redrew Nagorno Karabagh's borders in favor of neighboring Azerbaijani districts, and changed the names of its cities and villages. In so doing, Baku flouted Articles 86 and 87 of the Soviet Constitution, which codified autonomous region status for Nagorno Karabagh and prohibited any change therein without its consent, and also violated its own law. This decision was designed to prevent Nagorno Karabagh from using the relevant articles of Soviet law to legally separate from Azerbaijan, as well as a way to more directly manipulate Karabagh's demography through territorial gerrymandering, forced depopulation and resettlement.

On November 27, 1991, the USSR Constitutional Oversight Committee's resolution deemed unconstitutional the Orgkom created by the Supreme Soviet decision of January 15, 1990, as well as the November 23, 1991 Azerbaijani decision abolishing Karabagh's autonomy. It also revoked the December 1, 1989, Armenian resolution on reunification.

The actions of the USSR Constitutional Oversight Committee did not, however, annul the joint decision of the NKAO and Shahumian district to declare the establishment of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic on September 2, 1991, since that declaration was deemed in compliance with the then existing law. ( The April 3, 1990 "Law of the USSR Concerning the Procedure of Secession of a Soviet Republic from the USSR," provides autonomous entities and compactly settled ethnic minorities living in a seceding republic's territory with the right of self determination, to be confirmed with a referendum. The Nagorno Karabagh Republic was proclaimed on the basis of the referendum provided under this law by the NKAO and Shahumian district after the announcement of Azerbaijan's independence on August 30, 1991.)

On December 10, 1991, the Nagorno Karabagh Republic held its own referendum on independence in the presence of international observers. The vote overwhelmingly approved Karabagh's sovereignty. This action of Nagorno Karabagh, which at that time was part of a still existent and internationally recognized Soviet Union, corresponded fully with the relevant Soviet law pertaining to leaving the USSR. As an initial step along the path to full sovereignty, the newly independent Nagorno Karabagh Republic created legitimate government institutions. On December 28, 1991, elections took place for its parliament, and on January 6, 1992, the newly convened parliament of Karabagh adopted its Declaration of Independence on the basis of the referendum results.

The reaction from Azerbaijan, which physically surrounded Karabagh and its capital, Stepanakert, was to commence a campaign of indiscriminant bombardment and shelling of the Karabagh Armenians and to launch a series of ground attacks. Azerbaijani attacks commenced in early 1991, with mass bombardment of Stepanakert and other towns and villages. By the summer of 1992, Azerbaijan had seized and occupied about half the territory of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic and forcibly dislocated and displaced the Armenian inhabitants.

The Karabagh Armenians organized an army and undertook military operations which allowed them to seize Azerbaijani-held areas used to launch attacks on Stepanakert and nearby towns, and to break the Azerbaijani-imposed blockade of Karabagh by establishing a ground connection to Armenia.

On May 8, 1992, the Karabagh Defense Forces took the strategically important town of Shushi, from which the Azerbaijanis had been shelling Stepanakert. On May 18, they established a land link with Armenia across the Lachin region, thus breaking the blockade on Karabagh. In the summer of 1992 Azerbaijan occupied approximately 60% of the territory of Nagorno Karabagh and displaced the population.

Facing continuing efforts by the Azerbaijani forces aimed at the destruction of the Karabagh Armenians, Nagorno Karabagh reached out to the international community. It then prepared for a limited counteroffensive to secure for its inhabitants some level of safety. At the same time, Nagorno Karabagh moved ahead with establishing itself as the first fully functioning democracy in the region.

On September 20, 1992, the Nagorno Karabagh parliament petitioned the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and individual countries for recognition of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic.

On March 27, 1993, the Karabagh Defense Forces, responding to an Azerbaijani spring offensive, launched counterattacks at two strategic Azerbaijani cities, Kelbajar and Fizuli. The capture of Kelbajar on April 3 freed Karabagh from Azerbaijani attacks on its North and West. From July 23 to September 4, 1993, Karabagh Defense Forces took control of Agdam, Fizuli, Jebrail, and Horadiz, in order to acquire sufficient territory to create a buffer zone for civilians against any indiscriminate attacks of the Azerbaijani army. From December 22, 1993, to May 1994, the re-formed Azerbaijani army launched new unsuccessful attacks on Karabagh.

At this time, Azerbaijan continues to occupy all of the Shahumian district, as well as parts of the Mardakert and Martuni districts of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic, while the latter controls parts of Azerbaijan seized for defensive purposes.

Following a negotiated cease-fire, Nagorno Karabagh has continued to demonstrate to the international community its ability to maintain and promote highly developed governmental institutions, political parties, and free local and parliamentary elections. On December 28, 1994, the Nagorno Karabagh Parliament adopted a resolution establishing the post of President of the republic. In the presence of international observers the legislature elected Robert Kocharian president pro tempore. Two years later, on November 24, 1996, national elections were held and Robert Kocharian was reelected president by popular vote, with the presence of international observers. After Robert Kocharian accepted the position of Prime Minister of Armenia, new Presidential elections were held in August 1997, with former Foreign Minister Arkady Ghoukasian elected for a five year term.

B. The Peace Process

1. Mediation by the Russian Federation and the Commonwealth of Independent States

In late 1991, Russia offered to mediate the dispute between Nagorno Karabagh and Azerbaijan. The presidents of Russia and Kazakhstan, Boris Yeltsin and Nursultan Nazarbayev, visited Nagorno Karabagh and, thereafter, a joint declaration was signed by representatives of Armenia and Azerbaijan. Although the mediation effort failed to resolve the conflict, it did provide for the establishment of a cease-fire in May 1994, which was signed by the parliamentary speakers of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Nagorno Karabagh in Bishkek, Kirgizstan. This act amounted to the first recognition of Nagorno Karabagh's distinctiveness as a political and territorial entity in the negotiations.

2. Actions Taken by the United Nations Security Council

Concerned over the increased fighting in and around Nagorno Karabagh, the United Nations Security Council adopted four resolutions concerning the conflict, Resolutions 822, 853, 874, and 884, between April and November 1993.[2] While each resolution addressed the view of the Security Council concerning developments in the region, the recital and decretal paragraphs of the resolutions also contained principals the Security Council desired to see implemented as part of a peaceful settlement to the conflict.

In addition to expressing concern about the threat to peace and security in the Caucasus, the recital paragraphs of each of the resolutions contained language stating that the Security Council reaffirmed the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all States in the region and the inviolability of international borders. The Security Council also restated its position that it is inadmissible to use force to acquire territory.

The pertinent paragraphs of the resolutions called for a cessation of all hostilities, the withdrawal of all occupying forces from occupied areas of Azerbaijan, and for the unimpeded access for international humanitarian relief. The resolutions also endorsed the efforts of the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (the OSCE, referred to in the resolutions by its former name, the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, the CSCE), and particularly the Minsk Group[3] to achieve a peaceful solution to the conflict. The Secretary-General was instructed to consult regularly with the Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE concerning developments in the Nagorno Karabagh conflict.

The Security Council resolutions highlighted the Council's view that it was necessary for the parties to the conflict to immediately cease hostilities, return territory occupied through force of arms, permit delivery of international humanitarian assistance, and cooperate with the mediation efforts of the OSCE. Although the Security Council remains "actively seized of the matter" and the Secretary-General is requested, in consultation with the Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE and the chairs of the Minsk Group, to continue to report to the Security Council concerning the situation in Nagorno Karabagh, the Security Council has not acted further on the Nagorno Karabagh conflict, opting instead to permit the OSCE through the Minsk Group to pursue a settlement among the parties to the conflict.

3. OSCE Mediation Efforts

On 24 March 1992, during the Helsinki Additional Meeting of the CSCE Council (now, OSCE), it was decided by the ministers that the Chairman-in-Office should visit the region in order to contribute, in particular, to the establishment and maintenance of an effective cease-fire, as well as to the establishment of a framework for an overall peace settlement. The ministers also determined that it was necessary for the Chairman-in-Office to convene a peace conference in Minsk as soon as possible. The OSCE ministers stated that elected representatives of Nagorno Karabagh would be invited to the Minsk Conference as interested parties after consultation with member states of the Minsk Group. The conference, however, did not take place due to a failure of the States to agree on whether the Nagorno Karabagh delegation would participate directly or as part of the Armenian delegation. Although a formal conference did not occur, the designated participants continued to meet as the "Minsk Group" with the goal of resolving the dispute.

Mediation efforts by the Russian Federation in cooperation with the Minsk Group led to the parties' agreeing to a formal cease fire on 12 May 1994. In December 1994, at its Budapest meeting, the OSCE determined to form a multinational OSCE peacekeeping force to support the cease fire. The OSCE established a High-Level Planning Group (HLPG) comprised of military experts seconded by participating members of the OSCE. The HLPG's mandate is to:

(1) make recommendations for the Chairman-in-Office on developing a plan for the establishment, force structure requirements and operations of a multinational OSCE peacekeeping force for Nagorno Karabagh; and

(2) make recommendations on, inter alia, the size and characteristics of the force, command and control, logistics, allocations of units and resources, rules of engagement and arrangements with contributing States.

In August 1995, the Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE appointed a "Personal Representative of the Chairman-in-Office on the Conflict Dealt with by the OSCE Minsk Conference." The Personal Representative is based in Tbilisi, and maintains branch offices in Baku, Yerevan and Stepanakert. The Personal Representative represents the Chairman-in-Office in matters relating to Nagorno Karabagh. The Personal Representative is assisted by five field assistants, and they spend much of their time monitoring the line of contact between the parties.

During the OSCE's 1996 Lisbon Summit, representatives of Azerbaijan threatened to veto all summit documents unless its territorial claim to Nagorno Karabagh appeared in an official OSCE document. Unwilling to enshrine Azerbaijan's claim in an official declaration of the summit, a compromise was reached whereby the Chairman-in-Office made a non-binding statement that a settlement of the Nagorno Karabagh conflict should be based on the following three principles:

(1) the territorial integrity of the Republic of Armenia and the Azerbaijan Republic;

(2) legal status of Nagorno Karabagh defined in an agreement based on self-determination which confers on Nagorno Karabagh the highest degree of self-rule within Azerbaijan; and

(3) guaranteed security for Nagorno Karabagh and its whole population, including mutual obligations to ensure compliance by all the parties with the provisions of the settlement.

The consequence of this non-binding statement was in effect to halt progress on a long term resolution of the conflict, as subsequent to the statement Azerbaijan refused to negotiate on any proposal which did not explicitly reaffirm it territorial integrity consistent with the Lisbon letter. As a result, the OSCE Istanbul summit in November 1999 adopted a resolution calling upon the parties to resume trilateral negotiations, while refusing to reaffirm the language of the Lisbon letter.

In 1997, France, Russia, and the United States, the three co-chairs of the Minsk Group, announced a new initiative. The new initiative would involve a two-stage settlement of the conflict. The first stage would include a demilitarization of the line of contact, including, inter alia, troop withdrawals, deployment of a multinational peacekeeping force, and return of refugees, establishment of measures to guarantee the security of all populations, removal of blockades and embargoes, and the normalization of communications throughout the region. The second stage would then determine the status of Nagorno Karabagh. However, the parties failed to reach agreement on this proposal, in large part because it attempted to resolve the consequences of the conflict without addressing the causes which relate to security and status.

In November 1998, the Minsk Group prepared a proposal for agreement for the comprehensive settlement of the conflict in Nagorno Karabagh. Although the contents of the report are confidential, public reports indicate that the proposal addresses the main issues concerning the status of Nagorno Karabagh, a cessation of armed conflict, and guarantees concerning compliance with the agreement. Nagorno Karabagh and Armenia accepted the Common State proposal as a basis for negotiations, while Azerbaijan has rejected the proposal.

In December 1999, the co-chairmen of the Minsk Group visited Baku, Stepanakert, and Yerevan in hopes of revitalizing the peace process. Although no breakthrough was announced, all parties to the conflict stated that the visit advanced the negotiating process.

C. Identification of Strategic Interests

1. Russia (member and co-chair of OSCE Minsk Group)

Russia's interests in the South Caucasus, which it considers as the "near abroad," are diverse. Moscow plays a large role in the political and military processes of the region and has been the most active mediator in the Nagorno Karabagh conflict.

Concerning that conflict, however, Russia's conduct can be described as ambiguous and unpredictable. Whereas traditionally Moscow is an ally of Armenia, the Russian government tilted toward Baku after the dissolution of the former USSR and periodically provided crucial support to the Azerbaijani forces. At the same time, Armenia and Azerbaijan acquired Soviet military hardware, in large part as a consequence of the dissolution of the Soviet Army and Azerbaijan's and Armenia's legitimate claim to those resources under the relevant doctrines of state succession. Russia initiated several negotiations between the parties involved in the conflict, although preferring a Russian-only mediation to international initiatives.

Due to the military and economic importance of the region, Russia's major aim is to remain the most influential power in the Caucasus. The territories of Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Nagorno Karabagh serve as a buffer for Russia against intrusion from Turkey and Iran. Therefore, it is in the interest of Russia to minimize the influence of the latter two countries in the region and to extend or establish its own military presence. Russia operates military bases in Armenia and Georgia, and the strategic Gabala radar facility in Azerbaijan, which represents a $10 billion Russian investment and is capable of monitoring air traffic over Turkey, Iran, China, India, Iraq, Pakistan and much of northern Africa.[4] Additionally, Russia not only seeks to profit economically from the recently discovered oil and gas reserves under the Caspian Sea, but it also seeks to gain domination over the energy sources and lines of supply from the Caspian Basin as an instrument of global power.

To reach its economic and military goals, Moscow could pursue two different strategies. On the one hand, Russia could continue a policy of divide et impera and therefore try to keep the conflict alive in order to exert pressure on the Azerbaijanis concerning the stationing of Russian troops on the border to Iran and the participation in Azerbaijan's oil riches. On the other hand, it could be expected that the settlement of the conflict would create stronger CIS republics in the southern Caucasus, which would independently ensure a secure buffer against Iran and Turkey. Additionally, it has to be considered that Russia can only share in the oil revenues and pipeline profits from Azerbaijan if that oil flows securely.

2. United States (member and co-chair of OSCE Minsk Group)

The US plays an active role in the mediation process. It has exercised initiatives within the Minsk Group and has appointed a special envoy to facilitate the negotiation process.

With regard to the conflicting parties, the US tends to give preferential aid treatment to the Armenians, while providing preferential political treatment to Azerbaijan. Due to Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act (1992), which prohibits US government assistance to the government of Azerbaijan until it lifts the blockade against Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh, Azerbaijan is the only former Soviet republic that is denied direct economic US aid. In contrast, Armenia is the highest per capita recipient among these states. Nonetheless, American nongovernmental organizations have delivered a substantial amount of humanitarian assistance to Azerbaijani refugees, whereas the assistance to refugees and needy in Karabagh is small. Politically, the Clinton administration currently seeks to avoid expressing a formal position on Nagorno Karabagh's status, although in 1999 the State Department formally received a visit by Nagorno Karabagh's president Arkady Ghoukasian.

The principal interest of the US is a long-lasting stability in the southern Caucasus that ensures the protection of humanitarian principles. At the same time, stable conditions are of vital importance for the US as they facilitate not only the participation in the exploitation of oil and gas resources on Azerbaijani territory but may also allow the establishment of an energy corridor through Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey as an alternative to supply lines through Iran, Iraq and Russia. While the establishment of an energy corridor through Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey could lead the US administration to pro-Azerbaijani conduct, a bias in this direction would jeopardize the current freedom and stability in the region and could end in another oppressive Kosovo-like situation. Conversely, support for Armenia corresponds to US interests, since Armenia and the Nagorno Karabagh Republic, as democratically-orientated states, could play an important role in stabilizing the region. In any case, the US will have to take into account the interests of its strategically important NATO ally Turkey, as well as the fact that the region is recognized to be the "backyard" of Russia, and will thus have to significantly incorporate Russia's interests in the peacebuilding process.

3. Turkey (member of OSCE Minsk Group)

As an immediate neighboring state of Armenia, Turkey has a significant influence within the Caucasus. Accordingly, Turkey offered its direct participation in mediation activities as well as in a possible international peacekeeping force, but was rejected by Armenia's and Nagorno Karabagh's representatives.

The attitude of Turkey regarding the conflict has consistently been pro-Azerbaijani. Turkey has provided a wide range of military, economic and diplomatic assistance to Baku and has joined Azerbaijan's blockade of Armenia. In addition, Turkey lobbied internationally for the Azerbaijani cause and was the only country that defended Azerbaijan's position of rejecting the proposal of the co-chairs of the Minsk Group, and refuses to establish any level of diplomatic relations with Armenia.

Turkey's principal economic interest is the construction of a main oil export pipeline from Azerbaijani oil fields to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. Politically, Turkey is trying to strengthen ties with Turkic-speaking former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kirgizstan. Therefore, it is interested in strengthening the position of the Azerbaijanis, who possess strong ethnic relations with the Turks. Nevertheless, there are factors which impose certain restraints on Turkish policy. On the one hand, Turkey has to be careful not to endanger its relations with Russia, where it has important commercial interests. On the other hand, Turkey is forced not to distance itself too much from the American and European policies, out of consideration for military dependence on the US and Turkey's intention to become a member of the EU. However, Ankara continues linking the lifting of the blockade of Armenia to the settlement of the Nagorno Karabagh issue, although parts of the business community in Turkey are publicly advocating trade links across the border with Armenia.

4. Iran

Iran has consistently offered its services as a mediator to the conflict and has sought to keep the forces in the region in balance. For instance, it has assisted in the organization of camps for the displaced in Azerbaijan. At the same time, it has established economic relations with Armenia and with Karabagh.

Although Azerbaijanis share the same religion with the Iranians, it seems that Tehran prefers a weak Azerbaijani republic on its northern flank. Iranian leaders fear that an independent, oil-rich and affluent Azerbaijan might negatively influence the well-integrated Azerbaijani minority in Iran (10-20% of Iran's population) and that Azerbaijani nationalism might even jeopardize the integrity of the Iranian state in the long term.

5. Western oil companies

A consortium led by BP/Amoco has invested heavily in the Azerbaijani oil fields as an alternative to the Middle East. Without resolving the Karabagh issue, the region's security and economic development, especially the exploitation of the undeveloped oil and gas reserves under the Caspian Sea, are permanently threatened. Correspondingly, US and other international oil companies are interested in a quick and durable resolution of the conflict to ensure the realization of oil contracts concluded with the Azerbaijani government in 1994. Despite early projections of significant reserves, a number of questions have been raised recently about the extent of these reserves and the economic viability of their full exploitation.

D. United States Congressional Actions

Throughout the crisis, the US Congress has been actively engaged in trying to promote a resolution of the conflict. Notably, these efforts evidence the necessary political will for the United States to take an increasingly larger leadership role in the continuing efforts to reach a long-term solution. Congressional action also tends to reflect the facts on the ground, including the de facto nature of Nagorno Karabagh's independent status, and indicates an understanding of the necessity of undertaking creative approaches to resolving a conflict between the right of self-determination and territorial integrity.

The US Congress has focused its attention on Nagorno Karabagh to date primarily through foreign operations appropriations legislation. Within this context, the two main areas of consideration have been:

(1) the allocation of funding in order to promote resolution of the conflict over Nagorno Karabagh -- and incentivize the parties to the conflict to reach such a resolution, as well as the provision of humanitarian assistance to the people of Nagorno Karabagh; and

(2) the viability of restrictions on direct aid to Azerbaijan put in place in response to Azerbaijan's now [twelve]-year-old blockade against Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh.

In this regard, Nagorno Karabagh has been fortunate to be able to count on the support of vocal members of Congress, while other members have challenged, and continue to challenge, the appropriateness of legislative restrictions on direct financial assistance to Azerbaijan.

With respect to the allocation of funds, the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2000 provides for $839 million for assistance to the Independent States of the former Soviet Union. Of the unspecified portion of that $839 million to be made available for the Southern Caucasus region, which consists of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, the Act provides that 15 percent should be used for confidence-building measures and other activities in furtherance of the peaceful resolution of the regional conflicts, especially those in the vicinity of Abkhazia and Nagorno Karabagh.[5] The legislative history for this provision, as set forth in the Report of the House Committee on Appropriations, evidences the intent behind this provision: "The primary national interest of the United States in the Southern Caucasus is peace."[6] The Committee Report goes on to present a strong incentive to the parties to the conflict for receiving aid in the future, stating that when the conflicts over Abkhazia and Nagorno Karabagh are settled and regional transport and communications links restored, the Committee is willing to consider exceptional support for the region. The Committee Report emphasizes that the amount of support given to each country in the region should be proportional to its willingness to cooperate with the Minsk Group and other efforts to resolve regional conflicts. In addition to recommending confidence-building measures, the House Committee on Appropriations urged the Secretary of State to move forthwith to appoint a permanent Special Negotiator to facilitate direct negotiations. The Secretary was further urged to remain engaged in the regional peace process. Moreover, although not enacted as part of the legislation, the Committee Report contains an explicit directive that $20,000,000 in humanitarian assistance be provided to victims of [the] Nagorno Karabagh conflict residing in Nagorno Karabagh during the period January 1, 1998 through September 30, 2000.[7]

The Foreign Operations Appropriations Act for fiscal year 1999 allocated $801 million for assistance to the New Independent States of the former Soviet Union. Of that, not less than $228 million was to be made available to the Southern Caucasus region, 17.5 percent (or $39.9 million) of which "should be used for reconstruction and other activities relating to the peaceful resolution of conflicts within the region, especially those in the vicinity of Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabagh."[8] Although not ultimately included in this legislation as enacted, the version of the appropriations bill that had passed in the House contained an additional proviso (reiterated in the House Committee Report for the fiscal year 2000 legislation cited above) to explicitly incentivize the parties to the conflict to participate in the peace process. It directed that funds made available to parties participating in the Minsk Process shall be provided only to those parties which agree to participate in direct or proximity negotiations without preconditions to resolve conflicts in the region.[9]

The House version of the bill also provided clear policy guidance through its suggestion, within the text of that bill, that the earmarked $39.9 million should be made available for humanitarian assistance for refugees, displaced persons, and needy civilians affected by the conflicts in the Southern Caucasus region, including those in Abkhazia and Nagorno Karabagh. The House Committee Report again reiterated that the primary national interest of the United States in the Southern Caucasus is peace.[10] The Report also expressed emphatically many of the points that were subsequently reiterated in the House Committee Report for the fiscal year 2000 legislation, as discussed above, concerning (1) the Committee's expectation that greater economic support will be made available in the region once peace is reached and a stable infrastructure is in place, (2) encouraging the Executive branch to actively pursue steps to re-energize and further the peace process, and (3) the recommendation that $20 million in humanitarian assistance be provided to victims of the Nagorno Karabagh conflict residing in Nagorno Karabagh.[11] The Senate appropriations bill for fiscal year 2000, on the other hand, contained no reference to, or explicit allocation of funds in connection with, the conflict in Nagorno Karabagh.[12]

The Foreign Operations Appropriations Act for fiscal year 1998 made $770 million available for assistance for the New Independent States of the former Soviet Union, not less than $250 million of which was to be made available for assistance for the Southern Caucasus region. Twenty-eight percent of that, or $70 million, was to be used "for reconstruction and remedial activities relating to the consequences of conflicts within [the Southern Caucasus] region, especially those in the vicinity of Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabagh."[13] Moreover, the text of the legislation specified that the funds allocated for the Southern Caucasus region were to be made available for humanitarian assistance for refugees, displaced persons, and needy civilians affected by the conflicts in the Southern Caucasus region, including those in the vicinity of Abkhazia and Nagorno Karabagh.

The Conference Report on the fiscal year 1998 legislation sets forth the legislative intent in the clearest possible terms:

The managers seek to make the maximum use of American assistance as an incentive for the regional parties to cooperate with the Minsk Group and other international mediators seeking to bring peace to the South Caucasus. The managers are convinced that the ready availability of international reconstruction aid, including the potential US initial contribution provided in this conference agreement, will encourage leaders to make peace. The managers intend that the emphasis be placed on restoring transportation, telecommunications, and other infrastructure that promote regional economic integration.[14]

The Foreign Operations Appropriations Act for fiscal year 1997 provided for $625 million to be made available for assistance for the New Independent States of the former Soviet Union, but no portion of those funds was explicitly allocated for assistance in connection with the conflict in Nagorno Karabagh. As with the fiscal year 1998 legislation, the fiscal year 1997 appropriations legislation provided that none of the funds appropriated for the region would "be made available to any government of the new independent states of the former Soviet Union if that government directs any action in violation of the territorial integrity or national sovereignty of any other new independent state, such as those violations included in the Helsinki Final Act."[15]

In addition to allocating funds for the Southern Caucasus region, the appropriations legislation for each of these years also carves out exceptions to the restrictions on aid to Azerbaijan contained in Section 907 of the Freedom for Russia and Emerging Eurasian Democracies and Open Markets Support Act of 1992 (also known as the Freedom Support Act). Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act provides that, except for assistance in connection with nonproliferation and disarmament programs and activities, "United States assistance under [the Freedom Support Act] or any other Act may not be provided to the Government of Azerbaijan until the President determines, and so reports to the Congress, that the Government of Azerbaijan is taking demonstrable steps to cease all blockades and other offensive uses of force against Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh."[16] Senator Kerry, as a cosponsor of a modified version of this provision first offered in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, clarified during debate on the Conference Report for the Freedom Support Act that he believed that "demonstrable steps" should not mean words, but rather actions that "reflect a sustained commitment on the part of the Azerbaijani Government to end the violence in Nagorno Karabagh and to lift permanently the blockades against Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh."[17] Senator Kerry also emphasized that the conferees' refusal to remove or weaken the language of Section 907 as approved by both the House and Senate, despite the Administration's urging that the language be dropped, stood "as a strong expression of congressional intent."[18]

Notwithstanding the clear-cut directive of Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act, subsequent appropriations legislation, beginning with fiscal year 1996, did weaken the impact of Section 907.[19] The Foreign Operations Appropriations Act for fiscal year 1997, on the other hand, actually contains language that mirrors Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act, while the Conference Report contains the conferees' directive that assistance to Azerbaijan by nongovernmental and international organizations, in the form of humanitarian services and the channels for providing of humanitarian services, not be precluded.[20]

The Foreign Operations Appropriations Act for fiscal year 1998 explicitly incorporates exceptions to Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act directly in the text of the legislation. These carve-outs remove the Section 907 limitations on assistance to Azerbaijan with respect to (1) humanitarian assistance for refugees, displaced persons and needy civilians affected by the regional conflict; (2) activities to support democracy or assistance in connection with nonproliferation and disarmament programs and activities (the latter of which had already been taken into account in Section 907); (3) any assistance provided by the Trade and Development Agency; and (4) any activity carried out by a member of the US and Foreign Commercial Service while acting within his or her official capacity.[21] The Conference Report for the fiscal year 1998 legislation characterizes the third and fourth carve-outs as "limited support for United States commercial entities." The conferees also explained that no carve-out had been made for reconstruction aid since the managers assumed "that in the event that an interim settlement is reached with regard to Nagorno Karabagh, any blockades will be lifted and the President will be in a position to make the determination necessary to lift" the restrictions of Section 907. [22]

These exceptions to Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act were further expanded in the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act for fiscal year 1999 to include, in addition to the carve-outs contained in the fiscal year 1998 legislation listed above, carve-outs for (1) insurance, reinsurance, guarantees and other assistance provided by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC); and (2) any financing provided under the Export-Import Bank Act of 1945.[23]

While the exceptions to Section 907 contained in the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2000 are identical to those contained in the legislation for fiscal year 1999, the continued existence of Section 907 altogether was threatened in 1999 in connection with the passage of the Silk Road Strategy Act of 1999. The Silk Road Strategy Act, which was incorporated into the Omnibus Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2000, Pub. L. 106-113 (1999), was first introduced as a stand-alone bill in an effort to target assistance to support the economic and political independence of the countries of the Central Caucasus and Central Asia. The only provision of the amendment that was in contention, and subject to vigorous debate, was a proposed revision to Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act that would give the President the right to waive the restrictions in Section 907 if the President were to determine "and so certif[y] to Congress, that the application of the restriction would not be in the national interests of the United States."[24] Although Senator Brownback, a sponsor of the Silk Road Strategy Amendment, emphasized in debate that this provision did not abolish Section 907, but simply provided the President with what Brownback deemed a standard national interest waiver, the Clinton Administration's open support for the provision provided clear assurance that the President would invoke the waiver if the provision were to pass. Senator Brownback explained the motivation behind providing the President with a national interest waiver for Section 907, in part, in economic terms: "Continuing [Section 907] undermines the ability of American companies to secure their substantial investments in the region. Repealing Section 907 would allow for commercial and technical assistance to aid in the development of infrastructure, trade, [and] pipeline projects."[25] Proponents of the waiver for Section 907 also expressed during debate on the Senate floor their opinion that (1) Azerbaijan's blockade is effectively non-existent since Armenia has outlets other than through Azerbaijan for the transportation of goods and aid in and out of the country; and (2) a restriction on direct aid just to Azerbaijan, and to no other government in the region, is an unwarranted display of partiality on the part of the United States.

In opposing the proposed emasculation of Section 907, Senator McConnell expressed his belief that Section 907 -- "even though it has been constantly stripped down -- is important to give the Azerbaijanis some incentive for ultimate settlement" of the conflict over Nagorno Karabagh. Senator Sarbanes elaborated that waiving Section 907 "in the absence of any progress toward a lifting of the blockade would reward the Government of Azerbaijan for its intransigence and remove a major incentive for good-faith negotiations from one side of the conflict," especially in light of Azerbaijan's rejection at that time of the Minsk Group's common state proposal. Senator Sarbanes also disputed the assertion that Azerbaijan's blockade has had no effect on Armenia.[26]

In the end, the Silk Road Strategy Act was passed, after an amendment was adopted that removed the waiver authorization language with respect to Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act. Thus, Section 907 currently remains in place, as qualified by the carve-outs contained in the appropriations legislation for fiscal year 2000 discussed above.

Endnotes

[1] See Law of the USSR Concerning the Procedure of Secession of a Soviet Republic from the Union of Soviet Socialistic Republics, Register of the Congress of the Peoples Deputies of USSR and Supreme Soviet of USSR, issue NO. 13, at 252 (April 3, 1990).

[2]The four U.N. Security Council resolutions are:

1) Resolution 822 (1993), Adopted by the Security Council at its 3205th meeting, on 30 April 1993;

2) Resolution 853 (1993), Adopted by the Security Council at its 3259th meeting, on 29 July 1993;

3) Resolution 874 (1993), Adopted by the Security Council at its 3292nd meeting, on 14 October 1993; and

4) Resolution 884 (1993), Adopted by the Security Council at its 3313th meeting, on 12 November 1993.

[3]Currently, the Minsk Group consists of its three co-chairs France, Russia, and the United States, as well as Austria, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Italy, Belarus, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia.

[4] Gleb Naumkim, "Azerbaijan is Not Leaving the Agreement on Collective Security," Nezavisimaya Gazeta, (February 25, 1999); Nigiar Mejidova, "Russian Facility is Killing Azerbaijanis, Obshaya Gazeta, (December 9, 1999).

[5]Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, Pub. L. No. 106-113, 113 Stat. 1501 (1999).

[6]H. Rep. No. 106-254, at 46 (1999).

[7]Id. at 47.

[8]Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Programs Appropriations Act, Pub. L. 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681, 160 (1998).

[9]H.R. 4569, 105-2th Cong., at 20 (as passed the House).

[10]H. Rep. No. 105-719, at 41 (1998).

[11]See id. at 41-43.

[12]See S. 2334, 105-2th Cong., at 25-30 (1998) (as passed the Senate).

[13]Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Programs Appropriations Act, Pub. L. 105-118, 111 Stat. 2386, 2397 (1997).

[14]H.R. Conf. Rep. No. 105-401, at 70 (1997).

[15]See Pub. L. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009, at 129-132 (1996).

[16]Freedom Support Act  907, 22 USC.  5812 (1992).

[17]138 Cong. Rec. 29,454 (1992).

[18]Id. at S16,105.

[19]See Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, Pub. L. 104-107, 110 Stat. 704, 714 (1996) ("Notwithstanding any other provision of law, assistance may be provided for the Government of Azerbaijan for humanitarian purposes, if the President determines that humanitarian assistance provided in Azerbaijan through nongovernmental organizations is not adequately addressing the suffering of refugees and internally displaced persons.").

[20]See H.R. Conf. Rep. 104-863, at 969 (1996).

[21]See Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, Pub. L. 105-118, 111 Stat. 2386, 2397 (1997).

[22]H.R. Conf. Rep. No. 105-401, at 71 (1997).

[23]See Fiscal Year 1999 Foreign Operations Appropriations Act, Pub L. 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681, 160-61 (1998).

[24]145 Cong. Rec. S7,945 (daily ed. June 30, 1999) (Amendment 1118 offered by Sen. Brownback).

[25]145 Cong. Rec. S7,840 (daily ed. June 30, 1999) (statement of Sen. Brownback). See also id. at S7,873 (statement of Sen. Hutchinson) ("There are a number of American jobs that will be dependent on our keeping a good relationship with Azerbaijan.")

[26]See id. at 7,868-9.

* * *

The Office of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic in the United States is based in Washington, DC and works with the U.S. government, academia and the public representing the official policies and interests of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic.

This material is distributed by the Office of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic in the USA on behalf of the Government of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic. The NKR Office is registered with the U.S. Government under the Foreign Agent Registration Act. Additional information is available at the Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.

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