STEPANAKERT — Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (the Artsakh Republic) considers the referendum held on March 16 in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea as yet another manifestation of realization of the right of people to self-determination.

“The right of every people to choose its path of development and determine its destiny on its own through democratic expression of will, as it is enshrined in the UN Charter and a number of fundamental international documents, is a key principle of international law.

The experience of recent years, in particular the referendums envisaged in Catalonia and Scotland prove that the recognition and realization of the inalienable right of people to self-determination is the most optimal and democratic way for the peaceful settlement of this kind of issues.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic hopes that the situation following the referendum in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea will be addressed and resolved in the legal context exclusively by peaceful means,” the Ministry said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Armenia’s government on Monday reacted evasively to the weekend referendum in Crimea that was welcomed by Russia. “We are for the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis through dialogue, in peaceful and negotiated manner based on the UN Charter and international law,” Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said in written remarks to Armenian state television. He would not say whether Yerevan recognizes the outcome of the referendum in which mostly ethnic Russian voters supported becoming part of Russia.

Nalbandian also seemed to suggest that the despite their deepening rift over Ukraine, the U.S., Russia and France will continue to jointly mediate in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process as co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. “Together with the three Co-Chairs we will continue our joint efforts at an exclusively peaceful settlement of the Karabakh issue,” he said.

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