Under certain circumstances Baku may lose the entire South Lezgistan

Under certain concurrence of circumstances Baku may lose not only the
village of Khrakh-Uba, but also the entire South Lezgistan
The Kremlin is unwilling to quarrel with Azerbaijan because of 2 or 3
villages, which play no special role in the near-term geostrategic

The problems of Lezghian villages located in Azerbaijan but demanding
a return into the structure of Russia have become more relevant
recently, despite the fact that Russia is not yet determined to take
the Lezgins back. She has rather serious arguments: the Kremlin is
unwilling to quarrel with Azerbaijan because of 2 or 3 villages, which
play no special role in the near-term geostrategic plan.

February 11, 2011

However, in long term perspective, the fewer opponents Russia has in
the North Caucasus, the better. But, unfortunately, the Kremlin thinks
differently, even despite the fact that villagers of Khrakh-Uba show
reluctance to be citizens of Azerbaijan. They have to do so, as
Azerbaijan is obsessed by the idea of establishing a mono-ethnic
state, like Turkey. There neither is nor will be in the country
another nationality, except for the Azerbaijanis – these words appear
to be the slogan of the ruling party `Yeni Azerbaijan’.

According to Russian historian Vladimir Zakharov, the situation is
very sad and unfortunate. `The village will remain part of Azerbaijan.
Unfortunately, there are no people in Russia, who are aware of the
situation and could help the Lezgins,’ he stressed.

Residents of Khrakh-Uba village, located on the territory of
Azerbaijan, held an authorized rally in Makhachkala, demanding
protection of their rights as Russian citizens.

Most likely, the Lezgins’ will remain unheeded, until … the Aliyev
clan does grand foolishness starting a war against Karabakh or
spoiling relations with Iran, for good and all. There is also another
option: it is more advantageous for Moscow to keep the Lezgins
separated, so that, when occasion offers, to combine the Northern and
Southern Lezgistan. And it’s not just one village, but the rayons of
Khachmaz, Sheki and Guba.

Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry hurried to dissociate itself
from the village residents, citing historical data. `Judging from the
available material, in the Soviet years between Dagestan ASSR and
Azerbaijan SSR there was carried out a mutual exchange of small areas
to be temporarily used for agricultural purposes. Dagestan got for
temporary use in Azerbaijan, acres for housing the cattle driven to
winter pastures. Gradually, permanent houses were built and
settlements formed in these territories. Thus, there appeared the
settlements Khrakh-Uba and Uryan-Uba. The decision of the USSR
Government, signed in 1954, on exchange of territories finally expired
in 2004. There have been found no other documents in the central and
national archives that would tell us about presence of the Russian
territories in Azerbaijan,’ the Russian Foreign Ministry statement

The move of the Russian foreign ministry is quite understandable: now
Russia needs no odd gestures in the Caucasus. On the other hand, it’s
difficult for her to remain in her present position. Thus, the
situation is very explosive and it’s quite possible that Russia and
Azerbaijan, unwittingly, may be embroiled in territorial disputes. The
situation will be self-defeating for both sides; the villages may
simply be destroyed and the residents moved with Azerbaijani passports
and nationality. Alas, no one in the world can prevent it.

Karine Ter-Sahakyan / PanARMENIAN News

From: A. Papazian

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