Whose is Nagorno-Karabakh? Result of 30-year Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict

Jan 1 2023
Story by Maria Kholina

The self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh (NKR) is set to cease its existence from January 1, 2024. It is a formality, as almost all Armenians from Karabakh left after Azerbaijan's September operation, and de facto it ceased to exist well before the declared date.

RBC-Ukraine provides details on the aftermath of the recent conflict, the mass exodus of Armenians, and whether the Karabakh issue has fully been resolved.

Sources used in preparing the article: News of Armenia, Armenpress, Caucasian Knot, websites haqqin.az and report.az, the UN mission report, statements by the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan and the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, as well as comments from the expert on South Caucasus affairs at the Polish Institute of International Affairs (Warsaw) Wojciech Wojtasiewicz.

One-day war: How Azerbaijan unraveled the "Karabakh knot"

The dissolution of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR, Armenian name Republic of Artsakh) became inevitable three years ago. In the early 1990s, with the direct involvement of Armenia, independence was declared, followed by the first war of 1992-1994, in which Azerbaijan suffered defeat. Internationally, the territory was recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and for nearly three decades, Baku dedicated itself to strengthening its economic and military might, declaring the return to Karabakh a national idea.

In late September 2020, the Azerbaijani army launched a massive offensive using heavy machinery, aviation, and drones. The troops advanced rapidly, and within a month and a half, they gained control over several districts with centers in Shushi, Zangilan, Gubadli, and Jabrayil.

The three-party statement by Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia on November 9 halted the hostilities. According to it, Armenian forces left the region, Russian "peacekeepers" took control of the Lachin corridor (the only road between Armenia and the remnants of NKR), and Azerbaijan gained control over the districts of Agdam, Kelbajar, and Lachin.

Photo: territorial results of the second Karabakh war in 2020 (kavkaz-uzel.eu)

Since then, Baku and Yerevan have focused on a peaceful agreement, and in 2022, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan publicly spoke about the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, including Nagorno-Karabakh.

Negotiations progressed slowly. In December of the same year, Azerbaijan blocked the Lachin corridor, and in the spring, they established a checkpoint, completely cutting off Stepanakert from the outside world. In a swift operation on September 19, 2023, which concluded with the republic's capitulation, Azerbaijan implemented its plan.

On September 20, the parties agreed to cease hostilities and disarm Karabakh's military. President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan announced the restoration of sovereignty over Nagorno-Karabakh.

"A new situation is emerging in the region," he said in his address to the nation.

Why didn't Armenia intervene? As Pashinyan said, it was no longer a war between Armenia and Azerbaijan. From his perspective, non-interference was the right decision, as victory was impossible, explained Wojciech Wojtasevich, an expert at the Polish Institute of International Affairs.

"Armenia is weaker than Azerbaijan, and Pashinyan's decision can be called wise. Many thought that Karabakh refugees would be dissatisfied, express anger towards him, society would organize protests, and perhaps a change of government. But they quickly realized that Pashinyan was not to blame, and partly shifted the blame to Russia. Its 'peacekeepers' did not react at all to Azerbaijan's operation; they were passive. Looking at the mood of Armenian society and refugees, almost all of them are against Russia," he explained in an interview with RBC-Ukraine.

The end of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic: What's wrong with the dissolution decree?

After the capitulation of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, thousands of local residents headed to Armenia. However, the region remained blockaded for several days. The Armenian government prepared to accommodate refugees, demanding the opening of a humanitarian corridor.

By September 23, agreements were reached on the withdrawal of Karabakh military, and the next day, Azerbaijan opened roads through Lachin and Kelbajar. The local population mass evacuated through the Lachin corridor.

In early October, officials, security forces, and the last "president" Samvel Shahramanyan left. Before that, he signed a decree on the dissolution of state institutions. According to the document, the unrecognized NKR ceases to exist from January 1, 2024. While in Armenia, he explained that this decree guaranteed the safety of refugees and disarmed soldiers. By the way, no one touched them on their way to Armenia.

"This became possible as a result of negotiations with the Azerbaijani side," Shahramanyan said.

Photo: NKR "president" Samvel Shahramanyan dissolved the republic, but seems to have changed his mind soon (nankr.am)

As of December, the NKR bodies were functioning on public principles, with the main focus on solving the problems of displaced persons. At the same time, Karabakh activists, politicians, and civic organizations demanded the annulment of the dissolution, and a few days before January 1, confusion arose.

As opposition Republican Party of Armenia deputy Hayk Mamijanyan said, the decree was devoid of legal force from the very beginning. In his opinion, no decree "can dissolve Artsakh, which was created not on paper, but with blood," and its institutions have the function of aiding refugees and preserving cultural heritage.

The Armenian newspaper Zhoghovurd cites Shahramanyan's words, allegedly saying that the dissolution is impossible, but for some reason, the "president" does not talk about its cancellation. Moreover, Zhoghovurd sources say that there is actually a separate decree canceling the dissolution of NKR. But it is unclear why it has not been published yet.

"I don't understand why Armenians are making such statements. Perhaps the first decree was necessary for the evacuation of officials. As we know, the Azerbaijani side did not detain either military or civilians. And to say two or three days before January 1st that it is invalid is at least strange. Probably, this is purely a symbolic gesture to show Azerbaijan: you expelled us, but this is not the end of the story," said expert Wojciech Wojtasiewicz.

Karabakh without Armenians. Why and are there chances of return?

The main outcome of the events of autumn 2023 is the truly massive exodus of Armenians from Karabakh. According to official data, about 120,000 ethnic Armenians lived here. Some of them left after 2020, but the vast majority left after the capitulation of the NKR.

In October, a special UN mission visited the region. According to the report, for example, in Hadrut (Stepanakert), no damage to civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, and residential buildings, was recorded. The Azerbaijani authorities were preparing to restore medical services, all shops were closed, and there were almost no people in the city.

"The team heard from the sources that there are from 50 to 1,000 ethnic Armenians remaining in the Karabakh region… The mission was impressed by the suddenness with which the local population left their homes and the suffering that it presumably caused," the report said.

As the press secretary of the Armenian Prime Minister Nazeli Baghdasaryan reported, by the beginning of October, more than 100,000 displaced people had arrived in the country.

This massive result is quite simple to explain: Karabakh Armenians feared ethnic cleansing.

"We remember that in the early 1990s, Armenians also conducted purges; according to various data, up to a million Azerbaijanis were forced to leave Karabakh and Armenia. And now they are afraid of revenge. Ilham Aliyev offered two options: either leave or stay but accept Azerbaijani citizenship. It can be stated that in reality Nagorno-Karabakh remained without Armenians," explains Wojciech Wojtasiewicz.

The UN mission did not receive reports of violence against civilians. At this stage, it is difficult to determine whether Karabakh Armenians intend to return, but it is clear that it will require time and efforts from all sides, the report says.

Ilham Aliyev says Armenians can return. But on the condition that they accept Azerbaijani citizenship and forget about the self-proclaimed republic.

"They invented it in their dreams, in their myths," he said in December.

However, it is difficult to imagine that at least in the near future, Karabakh Armenians will return, notes Wojtasiewicz. They have been accepted in Armenia, provided with places to stay, and ensured with payments and pensions. Most likely, for security reasons, the return will not happen anytime soon. For example, former military personnel face arrests because from Azerbaijan's point of view, they are considered terrorists.

"And what will people do in Nagorno-Karabakh? Where will they live, and what will they do for a living? How will they earn a living? I think no one will return. Unless Armenia takes control of it again, but that is not a prospect for the next few years. At most, what it can do is help refugees start a new life," commented the expert in a statement to RBC-Ukraine.

The concerns are not unfounded. Azerbaijan is holding a number of former ministers, including billionaire Ruben Vardanyan, as well as former "presidents" Arayik Harutyunyan, Arkady Gukasyan, and Bako Sahakyan. Some of them have been accused of financing terrorism, involvement in shelling, and torture of prisoners.

"They can be part of negotiations with Armenia for peace. If it takes some actions, they may be released. They have become a tool in Aliyev's hands, and he will use them as it suits him," added Wojtasiewicz.

Armenians to be "replaced" by Azerbaijanis. Baku's return to Karabakh

Currently, Azerbaijan is implementing large projects. Recently, agreements were signed with Turkish companies for the operation of five small hydroelectric power stations in Kelbajar and Lachin regions. Large-scale construction is announced, President Aliyev is opening roads, and local media publish photos of his trips to cities and villages.

"There were even photos from Stepanakert when he enters the administration building, tramples the flag of the NKR, and raises the Azerbaijani flag. All this is to show – Armenians are no longer there, Karabakh is ours, and we have won," the expert said.

The authorities also regularly report on the relocation of Azerbaijanis. For example, in October, several families received keys to apartments in Fuzuli and Lachin – cities that came under control in 2020 and 2022, respectively.

Migration is taking place in stages, as not all issues related to property rights on these territories have been resolved. As of the end of November, over 3,000 people had moved to Karabakh and East Zangazur regions within the first stage of the "Great Return" program. By the end of 2023, the figure was expected to reach 5,500.

It is expected that this year the return of Azerbaijanis to Shusha and Agdam will begin. In general, the first stage is planned until 2026 and involves the resettlement of 140,000 Azerbaijanis. It is not known exactly how many will be resettled to the former capital of Nagorno-Karabakh – Stepanakert (Hankendi), as the lists are still being compiled.

The main projects are related to the city of Shusha, which Azerbaijan declared the "Cultural Capital of the Turkic World" last year. It will also become the tourist capital of the Organization for Economic Cooperation (including Central Asian and Middle Eastern countries) in 2026, and Shusha aims to become a tourist beacon. In addition to roads and residential buildings, two hotels have been almost completed here, and plans are underway to build a new hospital.

Azerbaijan will spend about $30 million on Karabakh in 2024. The funds are allocated for Hankendi, Agdere (Martakert), Khodjaly (Ivanyan), Khodjavend (Martuni). A victory square and a new educational institution, which will be part of the Karabakh University, will be opened in Hankendi.

Azerbaijan and Armenia: Challenges on the path to peace

The Nagorno-Karabakh issue has been the most critical, but not the sole problem in the relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Since the end of autumn, both parties have been sending signals of progress towards a comprehensive peace agreement. Among the steps taken are the first prisoner exchange in a long time and the resumption of border demarcation efforts.

Demarcation remains a sensitive issue. In mid-December, the countries approved a regulation for an intergovernmental commission. The problem lies in President Aliyev's claims of Armenian occupation of eight Azerbaijani villages, countered by Prime Minister Pashinyan asserting territorial claims in response.

"We also have a problem with eight villages because in the same Tavush region, for example, we have territories occupied by Azerbaijan," he said.

Equally contentious is the issue of a road through southern Armenia, connecting Azerbaijan with its exclave Nakhchivan and Türkiye. Baku insists on an extraterritorial status, labeling it the Zangezur Corridor (after the historical name of the region). Armenia disagrees, insisting on maintaining sovereignty over all roads within its territory.

Yerevan is promoting the "Crossroads of Peace" project, envisioning that all communications will operate under the jurisdiction of the countries they pass through, each conducting its own border and customs control.

However, Azerbaijan is not interested and hints at an alternative route through Iran. The corridor through Armenia's Syunik region is likely on hold, at least until the presidential elections scheduled for February 7, 2024.

The establishment of a transportation route was outlined in the statement that halted the second Karabakh war in 2020, but details remain unclear. Yerevan fears that launching the corridor might lead to a gradual loss of sovereignty over the border with Iran, a territory that Baku considers historically part of Azerbaijan but does not officially question its ownership.

Expert Wojciech Wojtasiewicz suggests that without a compromise, Azerbaijan may view certain sections of the main road from central Armenia to Zangezur as "occupied" and encroach on Armenian lands.

"Azerbaijan wants to control the corridor in terms of tax and customs aspects. There were proposals to involve Russia and Turkey, but the issue of sovereignty is a 'red line' for Yerevan. I constantly read about negotiations, informal contacts, and new proposals. I see no progress, but I hope they reach an agreement," he said in an interview with RBC-Ukraine.

There is a chance that the parties will reach an agreement. According to the Russian news outler Kommersant, a peace deal may be signed shortly after the new year, possibly discussed by Aliyev and Pashinyan at a recent CIS summit in St. Petersburg. However, the strength of the peace remains uncertain, especially after Azerbaijan demonstrated in the Karabakh operation that it prefers force over compromise.

It is too early to speak of a definitive end to the conflict, as all elements of the relationship between the countries have been tied to Karabakh for many years.

"It seems to me that it's just another stage that has ended. In an ideal situation, the territory would become part of Azerbaijan, and Armenians in Karabakh would have political autonomy. I don't believe that under the current authoritarian regime in Baku, a stable peace is possible. It is possible when the parties compromise, and Azerbaijan doesn't interpret concessions as defeat," noted the expert.

The forceful resolution of the Karabakh issue has affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Even if the countries sign a peace agreement, it is unlikely to mark a definitive conclusion.

"For me, it's like the conflict between Israel and Palestine. It has been going on for over 70 years; leaders have signed many agreements over this time, but ultimately, they return to war. That's essentially what we are witnessing now," concluded Wojtasiewicz.


Peace In South Caucasus Is Good For Ukraine And The West And Bad For Russia – OpEd

Jan 1 2024

By Dr. Taras Kuzio

After over three decades of conflict, a joint communique on December 7 between Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev stated they were close to signing a peace treaty. This is good news for both countries, especially smaller and less economically developed Armenia, but also good news for the South Caucasian region. The peace treaty would recognise the territorial integrity of both countries and open regional communication routes hitherto blocked.

The irony is that outside powers had nothing to do with Armenia and Azerbaijan being close to concluding a peace treaty. The OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) Minsk Group failed to achieve any success whatsoever since it was founded over three decades ago in 1992. The OSCE’s failure in the South Caucasus added to its long record of failures elsewhere, such as in eastern Ukraine from 2014-2021. 

OSCE Minsk Group members were never fully committed to resolving the conflict.  France and Russia were biased and supported. Meanwhile, Washington did not view, until recently, the South Caucasus as an area of strategic importance to US national security interests. From 2010, the US and France became passive allowing Russia to fill the vacuum in claiming for itself the primary place for pursuing peace talks, obviously duplicitously with no intention of bringing the conflict to a close. The EU only became interested in the South Caucasus 2022 following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine when it sought to broker a peace treaty, but ultimately failing because of Azerbaijan’s long held distrust of pro-Armenian France.

Azerbaijan’s retaking of Karabakh closed the separatist quasi regime and disbanded its self-defence forces. Armenia had denied it was supplying these armed forces and yet they were illegal under the terms of the November 2020 ceasefire agreement. Some Armenian leaders were detained and put on trial for crimes against humanity committed against Azerbaijani civilians and soldiers in the First Karabakh War from 1988-1992. Although granted minority rights if they continued to live in Azerbaijan, most of the Armenians living in Karabakh moved (but were never ethnically cleansed) to Armenia. 

Russia has a similarly poor record of resolving conflicts on the territory of the former USSR. After manufacturing ethnic conflict directly in Moldova and Georgia and indirectly in Azerbaijan, the Kremlin preferred to freeze conflicts rather than seek to bring about a negotiated settlement. Russian security interests, whether under ‘democratic’ Borys Yeltsyn, or imperial nationalist Vladimir Putin, remained the same; namely, to use frozen conflicts to establish military bases as spheres of influence over Eurasia. From the early 1990s, the Kremlin has demanded the West recognise Eurasia as its exclusive sphere of influence. The resolution of frozen conflicts would lead to the closure of Russian military bases and Russia’s so-called ‘peacekeeping’ forces returning home.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has been critical of Russian policies since his country was defeated in the Second Karabakh War in 2020. Armenia, he has repeatedly said, feels betrayed by Russia which did not come to its military assistance in 2020 or this year when Azerbaijan retook back the last part of its occupied territory in Karabakh.

The loathing is mutual. Pashinyan accused the Kremlin of attempting to stage a coup against him after he condemned Russia for passivity when Azerbaijan retook Karabakh. Putin views colour revolutions through his KGB lenses as a manufactured coup organised by Western intelligence agencies aimed at reducing Russia’s sphere of influence in Eurasia. Pashinyan came to power in 2018 in a popular uprising against corrupt rulers who had led Armenia since it became an independent country in 1991.

Progress is being helped by a high 79% of Azerbaijani’s supporting the signing of a peace treaty with Armenia and the marginalisation of the pro-Russian ‘Karabakh clan’ (led by former Presidents and Prime Ministers Serzh A. Sargsyan and Robert S. Kocharyan) who ran Armenia as a corrupt fiefdom until the 2018 revolution. The loss of Karabakh removed the home base of the ‘Karabakh clan,’ the main domestic opposition to Pashinyan.

Armenia, long Russia’s main military ally in the South Caucasus, is seeking to at least pursue a more balanced, multi-vector foreign policy by reaching out to the West. In France and the US there are powerful and influential Armenian lobbies. 

Russia geopolitical loss in Armenia is matched by the decline of its influence throughout Eurasia. Belarus defends Russia at the UN where it alone votes against UN resolutions condemning the invasion of Ukraine. Other ostensibly pro-Russian states in Eurasia, such as Kazakhstan, abstain in UN votes.

Russia’s decline leaves a regional vacuum that is being filled by Turkey and Iran. While much focus has been on Turkey, Ankara is a younger ally of Azerbaijan’s than Israel with whom there has been a security relationship since the mid 2000s. The signing of a peace treaty between Armenia and Azerbaijan will open the door for the normalisation of relations between Armenia and Turkey whose border has been closed since 1993.

Iran views Azerbaijan in the same manner as Russia views Ukraine, a lost province that should be returned, by force, if need be, to the motherland. The Persian nationalists who run Iran’s theocracy deny Azerbaijani’s are a separate people in the same way Russian imperial nationalists claim Ukrainians are a branch of the pan-Russian people.

Following two relatively short wars in 2020 and 2023, the ground is set for the normalisation of relations Armenia and Azerbaijan. Pashinyan is optimistic that a peace treaty will be signed with Azerbaijan in the near future. Azerbaijan’s insistence that the treaty recognise the former Soviet republican boundary as their international border is in keeping with the December 1991 Alma-Ata Declaration signed by former Soviet republics. Delimitation and demarcation of their border would follow the signing of a peace treaty. 

There is likely to be a breakthrough in peace in the South Caucasus in 2024 between Armenia and its Azerbaijani and Turkish neighbours. Although the West will have not contributed to this breakthrough, the normalisation of relations between these three countries will contribute to reducing Russian-Iranian influence and enhancing that of the West at a time when it is at war with the anti-Western axis of evil in Ukraine and Israel. 


Armenian American Museum Kicks Off Next Construction Stage

Jan 1 2024

The Armenian American Museum and Cultural Center of California has commenced the structural steel fabrication for the two-level, 50,820-square-foot museum building superstructure. The major announcement kicks off the second phase of construction for the historic project.
“We are excited to announce a major milestone with the commencement of the structural steel fabrication for the Armenian American Museum,” executive director Shant Sahakian said in a statement. “Our vision for the cultural and educational center will be taking shape in the new year as the museum building superstructure is elevated to the horizon.”
The museum is a world-class cultural and educational center that is currently under construction in the museum campus at Glendale Central Park. The first phase of construction featuring the museum parking garage and building foundation has been completed. The second phase of construction features the two-level, 50,820-square-foot museum building superstructure. The structural steel delivery, erection and installation is anticipated to commence in early 2024.
PNG Builders, the general contractor for the museum project, contracted with Muhlhauser Steel as the structural steel subcontractor following a competitive bidding process. Muhlhauser Steel is based in Southern California and brings more than four decades of experience with commercial, industrial, educational and entertainment facility projects.
The mission of the museum is to promote understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Armenian American experience. The museum will offer a wide range of public programming through the permanent exhibition, temporary exhibitions, auditorium, learning center, demonstration kitchen, archives center and more.
Learn more about the museum project at ArmenianAmericanMuseum.org.

First published in the December 30 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.

Mob attacks Armenian Christians amid Jerusalem land dispute, patriarchate says

The Christian Post
Jan 1 2024

The head of the Armenian church in Jerusalem says a mob of more than two dozen men attacked the site of a local real estate dispute in what officials called a "massive and coordinated attack."

Over 30 "armed provocateurs in ski-masks with lethal and less-than-lethal weaponry" attacked clergymen and other members of the Armenian Christian community Thursday at the site of a controversial land sale in Jerusalem's Armenian Quarter, the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem said in a statement.

Known as the Cow's Garden, the site has been at the center of a dispute between the centuries-old Armenian Christian community and an Australian Israeli investor looking to build a hotel on the land. 

The patriarchate said that attackers used "powerful nerve-agents that have incapacitated dozens of our clergy broke into the grounds of the Cow's Garden and began their vicious assault."

Several priests, Armenian Theological Academy students and indigenous Armenians were "seriously injured," the statement adds. 

Patriarchate officials blamed the attack on real estate developer Danny Rothman's response to "legal procedures" involving the site. Announced in November, the land deal was criticized by the Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches in Jerusalem, who expressed concern that such development could weaken the Christian presence in the Holy Land.

"This is the criminal response we have received for the submission of a lawsuit to the District Court of Jerusalem for the Cow's Garden," the statement read. "This is how the Australian-Israeli businessman Danny Rothman (Rubenstein) and George Warwar (Hadad) react to legal procedures."

"The Armenian Patriarchate's existential threat is now a physical reality. Bishops, Priests, Deacons, Seminarians, and indigenous Armenians are fighting for their very lives on the ground."

Police told The Jerusalem Post that arrests were made on both sides but no one was officially charged, saying the incident involved Muslim men. 

“There was an unfortunate incident where some Arab Muslim men and some men from the Armenian community got into a brawl in the old city of Jerusalem,” Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum told The Post. “Police came promptly to separate the parties, and arrests were made on both sides.

“The city of Jerusalem will not tolerate any criminal activity, whether religiously motivated or otherwise, and the police will prosecute those responsible,” she said.

Video shared on social media showed attackers clothed in all black hurling stones at local Armenians and assaulting others. 

The patriarchate called on world leaders and the international media to help "save the Armenian Quarter from a violent demise that is being locally supported by unnamed entities."

The head of the Armenian Church in Jerusalem signed the deal in July 2021, but the community learned of it only when surveyors appeared earlier this year. The church leader claims he was misled and is pursuing legal measures to annul the contract. A priest involved was defrocked in May.

"The provocations that are being used by the alleged developers to deploy incendiary tactics threaten to erase the Armenian presence in the area, weakening and endangering the Christian presence in the Holy Land," officials said in a statement.

A statement released by the World Council of Churches (WCC) called the attacks a "distressing escalation of violence and [a] severe infringement of the rights and dignities of the communities in the Armenian Quarter."

"It is imperative to uphold the rights of all people and to prevent any forced displacements, ensuring the preservation of the diverse cultural and religious tapestry that defines Jerusalem and Palestinian territories," said WCC general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay. 

"The World Council of Churches stands in unwavering solidarity with the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem. We pray for a just peace and for the strength and resilience of the communities under threat." 

Home to about 1,000 residents, the Armenian Quarter dates back to the fourth century and is home to St. James' Cathedral. Armenians hold equal rights in Jerusalem's Holy Christian sites since Armenia is believed to be the first nation to adopt Christianity in 301.

Some of the quarter's residents trace their heritage back to those original pilgrims or refugees who fled the Armenian genocide in the early 20th century.


Indian Visa for Armenian Citizens: Facilitating Cross-Cultural Exchanges

Jan 1 2024

The Indian visa policy is a critical aspect of managing international relations and promoting cross-cultural exchanges. In this essay, we will specifically explore the Indian visa requirements for citizens of Armenia, focusing on the application process, types of visas available, and the potential significance of this policy for enhancing bilateral ties between the two nations. Understanding the nuances of the Indian visa system for Armenian citizens is essential for fostering educational, professional, and cultural exchanges, ultimately contributing to a more globally interconnected world.

Armenia and India share a long history of diplomatic relations that deepened over the years. The establishment of an Embassy of India in Yerevan in 1999 and the reciprocal opening of the Embassy of Armenia in New Delhi in 2009 further solidified this relationship. The visa policy plays a pivotal role in encouraging closer interactions between the citizens of these two nations.

To embark on a journey Indian visa for Cambodian citizens must first obtain an appropriate visa. The Indian visa application can be completed through the Embassy of India in Yerevan or via the online e-Visa facility, adding ease and accessibility to the overall process. This digital platform ensures timely visa processing and convenience for Armenian applicants.

Armenian citizens can apply for various types of Indian visas based on their specific purpose of visit. The most common visa categories are tourist visas, business visas, student visas, employment visas, and research visas. Each visa type carries specific eligibility criteria and documentary requirements that cater to the unique needs and circumstances of Armenian travelers.

The Indian visa policy holds immense importance for facilitating educational and cultural exchanges between the two nations. Armenian students pursuing higher education in India have access to a diverse range of academic programs, scholarships, and research opportunities. Simultaneously, Indian students benefit from the cultural and historical richness of Armenia through exchange programs, fostering mutual understanding and learning.

The Indian visa policy also enables Armenian professionals to explore career prospects in India. By granting employment visas, India welcomes skilled individuals from Armenia, allowing them to contribute their expertise to various sectors, including IT, healthcare, manufacturing, and more. Such collaborations foster economic growth while enhancing bilateral ties.

India’s diverse landscapes, vibrant culture, and historical heritage make it an appealing destination for travelers worldwide – including Armenian citizens. By enabling a streamlined tourist visa application process, India efficiently facilitates Armenian tourists’ visits, contributing to cross-cultural exchange, economic growth, and a strengthened global network.

While the Indian visa policy for Armenian citizens undoubtedly brings about numerous benefits, challenges persist. Continuous efforts should be made to simplify the visa application process, enhance consular services, and shorten visa processing times, ensuring a more visitor-friendly experience. Additionally, exploring opportunities for visa-free travel or visa-on-arrival provisions can further bolster bilateral relations

The Indian Visa for Armenia Citizens demonstrates the commitment of both nations towards fostering deep-rooted people-to-people connections. It aims to promote educational, cultural, and professional exchanges by offering a range of visa options to accommodate diverse purposes of travel. By continually evolving the visa system, both countries can unleash the true potential of their relationship, leading to greater collaboration, understanding, and growth on the global stage.

Rooted in the Valley: The Hagopians escaped the Armenian Genocide to thrive in the San Joaquin Valley

Jan 1 2024
JANUARY 1, 2024
 by Jesse Vad, SJV Water

Richard Hagopian’s family was one of thousands that escaped the Armenian Genocide in the early 1900s and forged a new path in the fertile San Joaquin Valley.

It wasn’t an easy life, especially after his  father died, leaving Richard the man of the family while still in his teens. But hard work, a successful music career and a beloved family restaurant in Visalia, sustained the family and built a future for new generations.
Now in his 80s, Richard has come back to farming. Whether his sons will keep it going is up to them. “I can’t tell the future,” he said.

* This is the fifth in SJV Water’s series of videos called “Rooted in the Valley,” featuring small family farmers who continue to work the land in spite of all the challenges they face – especially water.

Decree dissolving unrecognized Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh enters into force

TASS, Russia
Jan 1 2024
The document was signed on September 28, nine days after tensions had flared up again in the region

MOSCOW, January 1. /TASS/. A decree issued by President of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh Samvel Shahramanyan, which dissolves the unrecognized state, entered into force on January 1.

The document was signed on September 28, nine days after tensions had flared up again in the region. The decree particularly urged the Karabakh population to consider the terms of reintegration in Azerbaijan offered by Baku or stay put if they choose to do so.

Tensions in Nagorno-Karabakh rose again on September 19, 2023, but a ceasefire agreement was reached the next day. Azerbaijani officials and representatives of Karabakh Armenians met in the Azerbaijani city of Yevlakh on September 21 to discuss reintegration issues. On October 15, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev raised the country’s flag in Khankendi (Stepanakert), Nagorno-Karabakh.

According to the Armenian government, over 100,000 internally displaced persons have relocated to Armenia from Nagorno-Karabakh, whose population stood at about 120,000 until recently.