What is an attitude of Armenians to making Russian second official language in Karabakh? - Expert comments | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

20 April, Tuesday


What is an attitude of Armenians to making Russian second official language in Karabakh? - Expert comments

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American expert Paul Goble, who is a former advisor to the State Department on the Soviet nationalities, presented an article on the possibility for the announcement of Russian language as the second official language in Nagorno-Karabakh.  

According to his article, several members of the parliament of so-call Nagorno-Karabakh Republic proposed making Russian an official language there, because of the presence of Russian peacekeepers.  

In his article, Goble notes that some felt that making Russian a second official language would promote the integration of the remaining portion of Nagorno-Karabakh under Armenian control into Russia by linking the population more closely to the Russian peacekeeping contingent there.

The important point in Goble’s article is related to the attitude of Armenians in Karabakh to this issue. It is noted that it has less than universal support among local Armenians to see Russian as the second official language.

Further to the clarification of this matter, Murad Muradov, co-founder of Tochubasov Centre, Baku-based think tank, shared his views in his comments to Eurasia Diary.

According to his opinion, the negative approach to this initiative is more specific to the citizens of Armenia.

“After the last war, the majority of Karabakh Armenians see Russia as their only defender, and they are ready to take many steps in this regard. And the most important point here is that among those living in Armenia believe that Karabakh is now under the "protection of Russian peacekeepers", not Armenia, and they consider it treason and accuse Russia of being defeated,” he said.

Muradov points out that another aspect of the issue is that the Karabakh Armenians know Russian language better than the Armenian population, and there are also Russian-speaking Armenians in Karabakh, who came from different regions of Azerbaijan during the First Karabakh War.

“Thus, I do not believe that Armenians in Karabakh will oppose making Russian a second official language,” he said.

Touching upon the reaction of Russia to the proposal by the so-called regime in Nagorno-Karabakh,  Muradov said that it depends on Russia's current attitude and plans with Azerbaijan.

“Of course, the foundation of the Russian World's concept is strategically very important for Moscow, and it is always noted in Russian media that Russian language is popular in Azerbaijan,” he said.

“In this regard, the so-called regime in Nagorno-Karabakh would like to do such to please Russia. However, Russia understands that such steps serving the “independence of Nagorno-Karabakh” might seem provocation in Baku, and Baku could think that Moscow stands behind it. There is a probability that Russia will ask the so-called regime not to take such a step, and will prefer to increase the Russian impact in the area under the protection of Russian peacekeeping forces through informal ways,” he added.

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