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Nagorno-Karabakh Republic/Artsakh Republic Լեռնային Ղարաբաղի Հանրապետություն/Արցախի Հանրապետություն 2nd September 1991 - 20th February 2017 -

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Old 10-07-2017, 03:17 PM   #1
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"Gratitude" Medal.

Here is the "Gratitude" Medal («Երախտագիտություն» մեդալով) which is awarded for significant contribution in restoring and developing the economic, science, culture and social spheres of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic as well as for defending and promoting international recognition of the Republic.

Although the lowest state award of the NKR, I have found it to be the most desirable.

This is Type 1 Variation 1 #141.
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Old 06-03-2018, 08:34 PM   #2
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Re: "Gratitude" Medal.

The "Gratitude" Medal was at the very top of my "wants list" (of awards from any nation) for many years and I was so happy when I got the chance to buy one, snapping up the first one I could - you just don't see them on the market.

As anyone who knows me well will know, I have great waves of incredible luck and the research on this was in the last wave (along with some top end British Campaign Medals for pennies on the dollar that also had fantastic research returns).

The research on this particular piece was so good, even the researcher was amazed.

"Gratitude" Medal #141 was awarded by Decree #315 of 16th May 2002 to Vladimir Petrovich Stupishin of Moscow, Russian Federation Ambassador to the Republic Of Armenia.
"For rendering to the NKR valuable services, for the scientific rationale of the right of the people of Karabakh to self-determination and for great contribution in illuminating and defence of Armenians of Artsakh"

Stupishin was the Russian Federation's first ambassador to Armenia and took office on 2nd March 1992, leaving it on 13th September 1994 (The height to cease-fire of the Nagorno-Karabakh War).

Stupishin was exceptionally pro-Armenian, even more pro-Armenian than many Armenian Nationalists and had a very black and white take on the situation - the Nagorno-Karabakh region was Armenian and there was no way he would allow it to fall into Azeri hands. He wrote the book, published in 2001 "My Mission In Armenia" which, as a homage to his political stance, has a black and white cover. He was born in Moscow on 27th November 1932 and died there on 22nd December 2016. Strangely I picked up this piece in Erevan just a few months later.

He career ran as follows;
1956, Graduated Moscow State Institute Of International Relations Of The Ministry Of External Affairs of the USSR.
1956-1963 he worked at the Embassy of the USSR in Cambodia
1963-1969 he worked at the Embassy of the USSR in Morocco
1969-1972 he was an advisor to the Department Of Foreign Planning of the Ministry Of External Affairs of the USSR.
1972-1977 Advisor to the Embassy of the USSR in France.
1978-1979 Head of a sector, 1st European Section of the Ministry Of External Affairs
1979-1985 Advisor to the Embassy of the USSR in France.
1985-1986 Senior advisor to the Department Of Foreign Planning of the Ministry Of External Affairs of the USSR.
1986-1989 Senior advisor, then Head advisor, Department of assessment and planning of the Ministry Of External Affairs.
1989-1992 General Consul Of The USSR in Milan.

This seems to have been his only award.
He has wikipedia pages in English, Russian and Azeri.
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Old 09-26-2018, 12:23 AM   #3
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Re: "Gratitude" Medal.

An interview published in the "Russian Gazette" on 1st July 1992.

First Steps Of The Ambassador.

In Erevan, after presenting his credentials to President Levon Ter-Petrosjan, he began the duties of the first-ever Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Russia to Armenia Vladimir Stupishin.

Vladimir Petrovich, credentials were handed over. You have started your duties. What are your immediate plans for this post?

"Our two peoples have had friendly ties over the past few centuries. Nevertheless, in order for the state interests of Armenia and Russia to receive new content, it is necessary to be here. A diplomatic presence of Russia has begun, the embassy of which, as such, is not yet in Erevan. The next stage of my activity in its opening will be the choice for this relevant territory in Erevan and the selection of diplomatic personnel in Moscow."

- How do you feel in this new post?

"To start to feel, it is necessary to work. In the meantime, I'm only doing the first steps."

- In what yourself, Vladimir Petrovich, do you see as your main task in Armenia?

"I believe that Russia and Armenia are allies, if only because our countries recently signed an agreement on collective security of the CIS countries and in December last year - a bilateral treaty on friendship, cooperation and mutual security. The latter, unfortunately, has not yet been ratified by the parliaments of Russia and Armenia ...
Representing and defending the interests of my state in Erevan, I must, of course, properly inform Moscow about the state interests of Armenia.

- You began to represent Russia in Armenia at one of the most dramatic periods in the history of our country. I, of course, mean the ongoing bloody Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh for the past five years. What is your opinion on the Karabakh problem and how do you imagine the way out of today's political impasse in this matter?

"I think that it is necessary to start negotiations without delay between all the conflicting parties, including the legally elected authorities of Nagorno-Karabakh. After all, as participants in the conflict, they must be an independent subject at the talks.

When we say that we need to respect the territorial integrity, the borders artificially established within the former USSR, many for some reason this is referred to the former union republics. And what is the fault of other peoples, that they were given fewer rights than others? After all, in the end no people are given the right to govern others. In practice, all peoples should be guided by generally accepted principles and norms of international law, including the unconditional right of each people to self-determination and freedom of choice. Where there are obstacles to this kind of movement, bloodshed begins there.

Some people argue that it is a kind of nonsense for the existence of an independent state in the territory of another state. In this case, I would not say about the territory, but about the enclave. The enclave territory is its territory. In practice, there are already such examples: San Marino inside Italy, Monaco inside France, Lesotho inside the South African Republic."

Karen Topchjan
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Old 02-24-2019, 04:20 PM   #4
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Re: "Gratitude" Medal.

Here is an article by Stupishin.

HOW TO MAINTAIN SOUTH CAUCASUS?
Time to Finalise Relations with Allies and Partners

Undoubtedly, the existence of these states, firstly, Abkhazia and Karabakh, is put at risk. Nevertheless, Russia lacks impetuses for resisting the advancement of the USA and its allies in the post-Soviet territories which, in turn, harms the national interests of Russia. This is the case when even political statements may serve as impetuses. To this point Russia has been supportive for "mini-empires" and agreed to the groundless demonstration of their "rights" to the territories of the neighbouring nations which in fact did not belong to them not so long ago.
Statements made at the top official level in favour of the sovereignty of the minority nations could put on reasonable tracks the negotiations on the new organisation of the relations between the former Soviet republics and their former autonomous units. However, Moscow holds back from such statements although its time for Russia to choose between those who really are its allies or simply partners and those who have far-reaching intentions. Also, Moscow should freely assist those states which have the same interests as Russia does.
This is critical in a situation when third parties try to create dissonance between Russia and its strategic allies. In this aspect the pro-Azerbaijani lobby is particularly active in attempting to thrust a wedge between Russia and Armenia. Meanwhile, the Turkey-orientated Azerbaijan claims that it is Russia's "bearing point in Caucasus".
On the other hand, Azerbaijan tries to startle Russia by the NATO bases in Apsheron and a new war against Nagorno Karabakh unless the latter does not reject its independence in exchange of the fictitious self-governance within Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan attempts to scare Russia and delude us, relying on our short memory. Quite unexpectedly Moutalibov remembered about the "Khojali Tragedy when in February, 1992 hundreds of peaceful people were killed as the result of the joint operation of the Armenian armed forces and the 366th Russia Infantry Regiment in the territory of Nagorno Karabakh". Did not Moutalibov personally admit in 1992 that the "Khojali tragedy" was, in essence, a provocation perpetrated not by the Armenians, but the people of Elchibey against Moutalibov himself (cf.: Moutalibov's interview in "Nezavisimaja Gazeta", April 4, 1992)?
Moutalbov referred to the old deceptive propaganda blown up by Elchibey for inseminating discord between Armenia and Russia. The successful development of the Armenian-Russian relations will not be in favour of the present authorities in Baku or the opposition, or anyone here, in Russia who are fed from the hands of the Azerbaijani lobby. They all push Moscow towards supporting Azerbaijan in implementing its plans on annexation of Karabakh.
For this purpose, in addition to other means, Azerbaijan speculates with the thesis about the so-called "pro-western" orientation of the present Armenian leaders. Meanwhile, Yerevan merely seeks for diversifying its foreign relations which is the only reasonable way for Armenia to survive. Moreover, what it needs is neither pro-American nor pro-Russian, but pro-Armenian policy. And if Russia intends to maintain its positions in Transcaucasus, it must regard the foreign relations of its ally Armenia with understanding, particularly in such situations when Russia itself is not able to assist Armenia. For example, the humanitarian aid provided by the USA in the course of the last 10 years which amounts to hundreds of million dollars. Can Russia undertake this responsibility itself?
Nevertheless, Russia has other impetuses for strengthening its position in Transcaucasus, for example, the cooperation in the military sphere, including air defence and borders. In Transcaucasus such cooperation exists only with Armenia. Another impetus is the ownership of industrial and scientific assets which is critical for holding economic and social positions in any country. The above-mentioned issue is currently being discussed between Russia and Armenia. The protection of Armenia involves the defence of the borders and could more effectively contribute to the solution of the Karabakh problem without any regard to the Turkish-Azerbaijani pressure which is evidently in contradiction with our interests because of the far-going Pan-Turkish intentions.
The Russian president announced in Yerevan in September, 2001 that "Russia's policy in the region will be targeted at ensuring Armenia's sound defence", and the resolution of the Karabakh problem should derive from the established status-quo: "Russia should be cautious for not destroying the balance which has been created between Armenia and Azerbaijan". To me, this position which is in line with Russia's interests.
In general, it is time for Russia to stop trusting Azerbaijan in a situation when Baku swears to Moscow about friendship forever and acts as a loyal vassal of Turkey and a champion of Pan-Turkism. As soon as Russia goes to a compromise and gives up Karabakh, the Turkey-orientated Azerbaijan will no longer need Russia's support.
This does not mean termination of our relations with Azerbaijan and application of any sanctions against it. There are around 3 million Azerbaijanis in Russia, and some of them have received Russian citizenship. In addition, Azerbaijan is our neighbour and Russia should treat it as a friendly neighbouring state even if the latter fails to act in the same way. We should trade and cooperate in all possible areas, and promote cultural exchange between Russia and Azerbaijan. At the same time Russia should not oversee the real intentions of Azerbaijan especially when these intentions are in contradiction with the interests of Russia.
Armenia has been our strategic partner since the very start of our relations and we need to treat Armenia accordingly. In this aspect I mean both Armenia and Karabakh because without Karabakh we would not have an independent and friendly Armenia. In turn, without the latter Russia would not have any bearing points in Transcaucasus. It follows that Russia should take Karabakh under its protection, and comprehensively assist in strengthening its security in its historical territory the borders of which were distorted by the Russian Bolsheviks and need to be rehabilitated. The unity of NKR deserves to be respected just as the territorial unity of other states.
To me, the fair resolution of the Karabakh conflict assumes that Azerbaijan should refuse from the authentic Armenian territories. The crucial problem of refugees can be addressed by accommodating them in those areas where they reside now. It is senseless to hope that the Armenians can return to Baku, Gyanja, Sumgayit, Artsvashen, Getashen, etc. In this case why only the issue of the Azerbaijani refugees is raised at the discussions around the Karabakh conflict?
In my opinion, the optimal solution of the Karabakh problem is the legitimization of the status-quo on the borders stretching along the confrontation line, as defined in the cease-fire agreement of 1994. Today all other alternatives are simply unrealistic other than the war on which Azerbiajan relies although it will not be of any benefit neither for the Armenian nor the Azerbaijani peoples.
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Old 02-24-2019, 04:28 PM   #5
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Re: "Gratitude" Medal.

He was (maybe still is) on the Republic Of Azerbaijan's Ministry Of Foreign Affairs' list of "Persona Non Grata In The Republic Of Azerbaijan".

He moved up from #249 (of 331) in 2013 to #246 (of 323) in 2014.
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