02.09.2008 13:05 GMT+04:00

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ The Nagorno Karabakh Republic marks the 17th
anniversary of proclamation of independence on September 2.

In 1991, the Nagorno Karabakh Republic was proclaimed during a joint
session of the Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (NKAO) and Shahumyan
regional councils. The decision was taken in compliance with the USSR
legislation on secession of a union republic. According to the law,
the people of autonomous republics and oblasts maintained the right
to decide whether to remain a part of the republic seceding from the
USSR or not.

At the referendum on December 10, 1991, the overwhelming majority
of Nagorno Karabakh's population (99,89 per cent) voted for complete
independence from Azerbaijan.

Nagorno Karabakh was the first in the post soviet area to exercise
its right to self-determination.

Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh) was "gifted" to Azerbaijan in July 1921
by a decision of the Caucasus Bureau of the Central Committee of the
Russian Communist Party, a body that illegally demarked the borders
of independent republics in exchange for Azeri oil.