Azerbaijan declared itself the successor of the Azerbaijani Republic that existed from 1918-1920. But Mountainous Karabagh (Artsakh) was never a part of that state, and it was because of the Kemalist-Bolshevik “deal” that Artsakh had become a part of Soviet Azerbaijan.
In 1991, the people of Karabagh voted “yes” to independence through a referendum that was observed and recognised by numerous international observers. But refusing to accept the Artsakh Armenians’ lawful exercise of their right of self-determination, Azerbaijan launched a large-scale attack which ended with the 1994 ceasefire.
Even though Azerbaijan still violates this ceasefire, Karabagh Armenians continue to peacefully build their democratic state and are guided by international norms and standards, one of the most important of which was the 2006 constitutional referendum. Many international observers, experts and journalists certified this referendum and several subsequent presidential, parliamentary and local elections as democratic, free and fair. Dozens of political parties, media and NGOs function in Artsakh, and its market economy and national legislation meet international standards.
With its objective of building a democratic state, the Mountainous Karabagh Republic is an established state, and deserves international recognition and membership in all international organisations.