The events of January 20, 1990, went into the history of modern Azerbaijan as "Black January." They put an end to 70-year Soviet rule.
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov made the statement at a conference dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the tragedy on January 20.
"I think it is necessary to look for reasons in 1988 when Azerbaijanis were brutally expelled from Armenia. When we talk about the Sumgait events, we should also consider that they were the result of the expulsion of Azerbaijanis from Soviet Armenia. We also have the fact that Eduard Grigoryan, an Armenian by nation, killed six Armenians, that was part of a certain plan," he said.
The Minister also recalled that the Soviet government officially stated that the army deployed in Baku would protect the population. "However, Interior Affairs Minister of the Soviet Union declared that the army entered to protect the Soviet power from oppositionists-nationalists. They just wanted to demonstrate to all social countries that the same thing can happen to you, that was a demonstrative act," the Foreign Minister said.
Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan, head of the Department of Foreign Policy Affairs of the Presidential Administration Hikmat Hajiyev, in turn, recalled that 30 years ago, troops were deployed in Baku on January 20: "This act contradicted the Constitution of the USSR. The population was unaware. So, the goal was to catch people on the streets and kill them," he said.
The President's Assistant said the recent statement from the Armenian Prime Minister is absurd. The Armenian Prime Minister earlier said that the events of January 20 in Baku aimed at fighting "Azerbaijani nationalists."
"Look at the graves in the Alley of Martyrs; there are also the graves of teenagers among them. It is not easy to gain and preserve independence. We must carry out this task with dignity. We must remember those who died for our freedom with honor," he concluded.