Policy and nothing personal: how countries use the Armenian genocide

Политика и ничего личного: как страны используют тему геноцидаThis week, when the whole world remembered the tragic events in the Ottoman Empire 105-year-old, the Ministry of foreign Affairs of Ukraine has sent to the state authorities a document stating the refusal of Kiev recognition of the Armenian genocide in 1915. The policy of recognition and non-recognition of the genocide has become an integral part of international relations that countries use to achieve their interests.

The Ukrainian foreign Ministry said that the recognition of the Armenian genocide is associated with a number of “objective factors.” In particular, the document States that in the framework of international organizations “Armenia, which is traditionally in the fairway of Russia’s foreign policy, consistently voted against the vital for Ukraine, decisions and resolutions”.

Ukraine’s foreign Ministry also indicated that recognition and commemoration of the events of 1915 “is an extremely sensitive issue for the strategic partner of Ukraine — Turkey”.

“Therefore, knowing the desire of the Armenian Diaspora to commemorate the events of 1915, but in view of the above, please refrain from participating in a possible commemorative events at the official level, as well as from the use of the terms “genocide” or “Armenian genocide” is”, — the document says.

This situation shows the exceptional politicization of the issue of recognition of historical events of genocide of a people.

In the case of the Armenian genocide, the situation really depends on the position of Turkey. Ankara still refuses to acknowledge its responsibility for the events of a century ago, standing at the forefront of the denial of the Armenian genocide. The Turks insist that the Ottoman authorities did not give the orders to kill Armenians, and the total number of deaths does not exceed 300 thousand people.

This, consequently, hinders the development of bilateral relations between Ankara and Yerevan. In addition, each party actively attempts to achieve its position of other participants of international relations.

Countries for which important relations with Turkey, avoid the topic of the Armenian genocide. This, for example, almost do not speak in the Islamic world, including because of the events of 1915 was largely the character of a religious persecution.

It is noteworthy that one of the few Islamic governments who recognized the fact of Armenian genocide — the government of field Marshal the Haftarot in Libya, whose troops are now in a state of armed confrontation with Turkey.

Armenia is comparable with Turkey has no diplomatic weight. However, on the side of Yerevan in this issue is a large Armenian Diaspora.

She played a key role in the decision of Congress to adopt a resolution on the Armenian genocide in 2019. However, despite the unanimous decision of both chambers of the American Parliament, the White house is in no hurry to make loud statements on this matter.

So far the only American President who in relation to the events of 1915 used the word “genocide” — Ronald Reagan. And the current head of state Donald trump uses a more streamlined language, for example: “one of the worst mass atrocities of the twentieth century.”

It reflects the fact that although in recent years relations between Washington and Ankara have become quite strained, the countries are still allies in the NATO bloc.

Despite the serious efforts that are applied by Yerevan and the Armenian Diaspora, today the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire was recognized in 23 countries. In particular, in Russia, Germany and France, as well as by the European Parliament and the world Council of churches. By the way, Pope Francis has repeatedly called the incident the first genocide of the twentieth-century, the same position held by the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill.

The example of Armenia shows that to achieve international recognition of the genocide as it was done to Israel — not an easy task.

So the irony to the current decision of the Ukrainian foreign Ministry adds that Kiev itself is fighting for recognition of the Holodomor in the USSR in 1932-1933 as genocide of the Ukrainian people. Opposition to the recognition of the genocide even appear in the document, which States, Armenia has not officially recognized the Holodomor as a genocide.

From Kiev to the question of achieving more modest than that of Yerevan. At the end of last year in the office of the Ukrainian Ombudsman reported that recognized the Holodomor as a genocide of 18 States. However, here also comes the question of parliamentary resolutions. In addition, the OSCE parliamentary Assembly and the European Parliament refused to qualify the famine of the 1930s as a conscious extermination. Taking time to recognize and Germany, which recently became the occasion for diplomatic bickering between the two countries.

The main problem of the recognition of the Holodomor as genocide is chosen by Kiev of the concept, according to which the famine of the 1930s was used by the Soviet power for the extermination of the Ukrainian people.

From this concept of trying to move the fourth President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych. He said that the Holodomor was a common tragedy of the Soviet people, which affected not only Ukraine, but also Russia, Belarus, Moldova and Kazakhstan.

After the coup of 2014, the new government returned to operation the topic of the Holodomor, simultaneously placing the responsibility for the events in the modern Russia.

But this interpretation is not put Moscow in the same position, which is Ankara. After all, according to the official position of the Russian authorities, the Russian people is as much a victim of the Holodomor as Ukrainian.

In November 2018 on this occasion spoke to the Russian foreign Ministry. In Facebook Ministry noted that Moscow considers the famine that broke out in 1930-e years in the USSR, “a common tragedy of the Russian, Ukrainians, Kazakhs and other peoples of the country and the largest humanitarian catastrophe in the country”.

“Attempts to present these tragic events solely as “genocide of the Ukrainian people” have nothing to do neither with justice nor with the historical facts, they are politicized and unscientific nature,” the Ministry said.

The foreign Ministry also published information based on the comparison of the censuses of 1926 and 1937. According to these data, the population of Ukraine for the period decreased by 20.5%, in the North Caucasus — by 20.4%, in the Volga region — 23%, in Kazakhstan — by 30.9%.


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