"I must also say that I think that the Azerbaijani leadership wasted a lot of time in declaring independence at that time. Because independence could have been declared earlier, sooner. Everyone should know this too. We must treat history fairly. Unlike the Armenians, we must not create any myths. We must know and appreciate history as it is. Because in October 1991, many formerly Soviet republics had already declared their state independence. I have a list, and I want to give this information to both you and the people of Azerbaijan. Many may not know this," President Ilham Aliyev said this at a meeting with representatives of the public of Fuzuli region on October 17, APA reports.
"Lithuania was the first former Soviet republic to declare independence on 11 March 1991. Then comes Georgia, 9 April 1991, Latvia on 4 May, Belarus on 27 July, Estonia on 20 August, Ukraine on 24 August, Moldova on 27 August, Kyrgyzstan on 31 August, Uzbekistan on 1 September, Tajikistan on 9 September, Armenia on 21 September, Turkmenistan on 27 September, Azerbaijan on 18 October. What was the reason for waiting so long? You know, I know the answer to this question. This is a rhetorical question. Therefore, it is completely inappropriate to celebrate 18 October with great pomp or to thank someone for it. The Soviet Union was falling apart, the Russian Federation adopted the Constitutional Act on State Sovereignty before us. Russia dropped out, Ukraine dropped out, all other republics dropped out. What were the Azerbaijani leadership waiting for? Who were they waiting for? You know, this is why it is difficult to have a proper idea without knowing the history. This is important for the right steps to be taken in the future, and the younger generation should know this. This is the historical truth. At the same time, we have another historical fact that occurred in that year, on 17 November. On 17 November 1990, on the initiative of Heydar Aliyev, the name of the then Nakhchivan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was changed, the words “Soviet Socialist” were removed from it and republic was named the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. On 17 November 1990, on the initiative of Heydar Aliyev, the tricolor flag of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was adopted as the official flag in Nakhchivan. This historic footage is available. At the same time, a petition was submitted to the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan to take a similar step. But it did not. On the contrary, a referendum on preserving the Soviet Union was held in the Soviet Union in the spring of 1991 and the then leadership of Azerbaijan falsified the results of that referendum against the will of the people and voted for the preservation of the Soviet Union," noted the President.