Nagorno-Karabakh declared its independence on September 2, 1991. Azerbaijan declared its independence on October 18, 1991.

An independent Azerbaijan has never held a valid international legal claim, nor ever exercised state authority over the Armenian population of Artsakh
What follows are some legal and historical context from legal expert Vahan Bournazian, who gave me permission to share them here
Despite that legal & de facto reality, Azerbaijan was recognized as per Soviet & *Stalinist* internal & imperialistic borders of divide & rule. Based on this, it has sought to militarily occupy Artsakh. Smth that has been prevented by the ppl of Artsakh, w/ support from Armenia
In addition to the invalid Azerbaijani territorial claim to Artsakh, it must be clear that any claim & exercise of self-determination is necessarily superior to any state’s territorial claim because the very rationale for existence of any state is founded in self-determination
In other words, a state, which can only act based on a foundation of self-determination as per int'l law, cannot assert that its territorial claim is superior to the principle of self-determination. Otherwise it would deny the foundations of its own claim to statehood
Int'l reciprocity as per human rights treaty & int'l customary law dictate that self-determination is supreme as a principle. Given Artsakh’s long exercise of self-rule as per the principle, the int'l community is bound to recognize it as a state & take action against aggression
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