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Sadagat Valiyeva: “Demographic balance will change completely in favor of Azerbaijan with the return of IDPs”

Sadagat Valiyeva: “Demographic balance will change completely in favor of Azerbaijan with the return of IDPs”

MP Sadagat Valiyeva told AZERTAC that the conditions for resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict are dictated by Azerbaijan. The MP believes that the return of IDPs will change the demographic balance, and in this case, Armenia's claims to self-determination of Nagorno-Karabakh will be invalidated.

Fakt Yoxla examined whether Sadagat Valiyeva's claim that the demographic balance will change in favor of Azerbaijan was true.

The only region in Azerbaijan where the demographic balance was in favor of ethnic Armenians was the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (NKAO). Before the occupation and now, Azerbaijanis dominated the districts adjacent to Nagorno-Karabakh.

The first general census in the USSR was conducted in 1926. According to the census, out of 125,159 people living in the province, 111,694 (89%) were ethnic Armenians and 12,592 (10%) were Azerbaijanis.

The status of NKAO was abolished on November 26, 1991. Until then, the ethnic proportions of the population of the region, consisting of Askeran, Hadrut, Aghdara, Khojavend, Shusha districts, were in favor of the Armenians, except for Shusha district (92.5% - Azerbaijanis) according to the 1989 census of the USSR.

Such that out of the 189,095 people living in Nagorno-Karabakh, 145,450 were Armenians (76.91%), 40,688 were Azerbaijanis (21.51%), and the remaining 2,957 were other ethnic groups.

Over the past 66 years, the Azerbaijani population in the former NKAO region increased to 21.51%, while the Armenian population decreased to 76.91% of the region's population.

The demographic balance on Nagorno-Karabakh

Year Total population (people) Nagorno-Karabakh (%) Azerbaijan (%)
1926 125,159 89% 10%
1989 189,95 76.91% 21.51%
2019 215,000 70% 30%

Note: Statistical data for 2019 show only the number of Azerbaijanis and ethnic Armenians registered in the administrative-territorial units of Nagorno-Karabakh.

At present, the number of the Azerbaijani community in Nagorno-Karabakh is said to be at least 65,000. The number of Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh is about 150,000, respectively. The ratio of ethnic Azerbaijanis to Armenians registered in the administrative-territorial units of this region is 30% : 60% in favor of Armenians.

At present, Azerbaijan controls some territories that were once part of the former NKAO. These areas include the southern region of Goranboy district, the south-western region of Tartar district, the north-western region of Khojavend district, as well as a part of Shusha district.

In a map shared by the Ministry of Defense of Russia on December 21 on the current situation in the peacekeeping operation zone, we see that the separatist regime continues its existence at about 70% of the lands belonging to the former NKAO.

Mainly, these are areas of districts with a majority of ethnic Armenians. The Ministry of Defense of Russia also said that 42,367 Armenian refugees returned to Nagorno-Karabakh from November 14 to December 20. It is alleged that they emigrated to Armenia during the Second Karabakh War.

The map was taken from the website of the Ministry of Defense of Russia.

According to Paragraph 7 of the ceasefire statement signed after the 44-day war, internally displaced persons and refugees must return to Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding districts under the supervision of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

However, the document does not specify under what conditions and in what years the ethnic proportions of refugees and IDPs will be returned to the territories.

However, since the MP's statement is future-oriented and the date of the settlement of the conflict is open, Fakt Yoxla is without a verdict in assessing the claim.

Without verdict
  • 31 December, 2020
  • 2318

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