Poems about Artsakh passport
The passport of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is one of the world's most useless passports - it doesn't allow to travel outside. Therefore, all "citizens" of the unrecognized "NKR" have Armenian passports. More than ten years ago, the “president" of the unrecognized republic admitted: "We cannot use these passports outside of Karabakh and Armenia. There are Armenian passports for this purpose." The separatist authorities have an illusion that "when the NKR is recognized by the international community, there will be no more need to use Armenian passports and NKR citizens will travel with their own passports."
The story of Arsen born in 1971, who decided to change his old passport for a new one upon expiration, went viral. The story of Arsen, like most of his compatriots, is sad. He received education in Yerevan, but after the outbreak of the Armenian-Azerbaijani armed conflict, he returned to the occupied Karabakh territories and began to fight for the separatists as a fedayi, not as a regular army soldier.
In order to obtain a passport, he needs a certificate from the military enlistment office, but it does not issue such a document without a passport.Moreover, a person without a passport cannot extend a driver’s license, get a job, vote in elections.
Arsen’s story was not the first such case, so the authorities came up with a move: if there is no document on participation in the hostilities, then five eyewitnesses must vouch for the recipient of the passport, confirming that he was at the war. Five vouched for him. But the military registration and enlistment office stands its ground: if someone did not serve in the regular army - he has no military ID; no military ID - no passport; and without a piece of paper you’re nothing.
There is a way out of the vicious circle and, as you might guess, this is money. To get a passport, you need to pay about $2,000 for desertion - the fantastic amount of money for the poor unrecognized republic.
Arsen filed a complaint in the court, but it was decided that the military commissariat operates within the law. He got a job without documents - they kicked him out, obliging him to pay another fine, though ten times less - about $200.
A person walks in a circle, and fines are growing ...
This story clearly hit a nerve. People write comments that human rights have never been respected and will never be respected in the "NKR": "such a mentality, everything is made after a call, thieves' methods."
In addition to social, universal questions about what the armed struggle "for the independence of Karabakh" gave to ordinary people, the answers to which are obvious, such stories also raise a lot of political questions.
A year and a half ago, Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan said that Nagorno-Karabakh should become a full-fledged participant in the talks with Azerbaijan, which are conducted through the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group. Since then, statements have been made more than once about the mandatory participation of Karabakh separatists in the negotiations and Yerevan's inability to communicate with Baku on their behalf.
The dust settled when they remembered that this was not a new proposal - it had already been voiced under Levon Ter-Petrosyan, but was not implemented, since the Armenian side refused to meet Baku’s counter proposal - to include the Azerbaijani community of Karabakh in the negotiations.
One way or another, what kind of "full third party" at the talks can one speak of when the Karabakh people travel the world with Armenian passports? Obviously, if Nagorno-Karabakh was part of Azerbaijan, people could easily and legally obtain passports and not experience the horrors of lawlessness after the horrors of war.
In general, based on the fact that about a million people were expelled from Karabakh, and some of those remaining in the occupied territories live there as homeless people, questions remain as to how and for whom this war and the ongoing conflict were useful. It is clear that for ordinary people the war was nothing but grief and tears. Armenia and Karabakh occupied by it are in a semi-blockade position, having lost their natural and profitable partners - Azerbaijan, Turkey, and partly Iran, although, as you know, more than half of the foreign economic turnover of any country falls to the share of neighbors. In addition, due to the ongoing conflict, Armenia remains behind the threshold of international projects and organizations, and the isolation is deepening from year to year, and it's not just economic, but also political isolation.
It is unlikely that in these conditions one may be surprised by the rapidly deteriorating demographic situation in Armenia and the self-proclaimed "NKR", which is perfectly illustrated by two comments on social media under the story of Arsen’s misadventures: "Many are simply afraid to return to their homeland"; and with regard to the authorities - "No one gives a damn, only piggies at the trough have changed."