According to Azerbaijani media, during a meeting with residents of the village of Ghonakhend in the Quba region on December 6, 2021, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev made demands to accept the terms of Azerbaijan and announce a specific date for the opening of the so-called Zangezur corridor. The President of Azerbaijan also accused the Republic of Armenia of showing insincere approaches when it comes to roads and communications.
In response to mentioned statements, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia has emphasized the following:
- The agreements on roads and communications between the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Russian Federation are enshrined in the statements of November 9, 2020, January 11, 2021 and November 26, 2021. In those statements, there is no obligation, condition or agreement for the Republic of Armenia to provide Azerbaijan with a path within the “corridor logic.
- The agreement of the parties to unblock all economic and transport ties in the region is enshrined in the Tripartite statement of November 9, 2020. The same statement says that the Republic of Armenia guarantees the security of transport communication between the western regions of Azerbaijan and the Nakhijevan Autonomous Republic.
- According to the statement of January 11, 2021, a trilateral working group chaired by the Deputy Prime Ministers of the Republic of Armenia, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Azerbaijan was set up to implement the 9th point of the November 9, 2020 statement on unblocking all economic and transport ties in the region.
- Point 3 of the statement of 11 January 2021 stipulates that the co-chairs of the Working Group shall approve the composition of expert subgroups in these areas from among the officials of the competent authorities and organizations of the Parties.
- Point 4 of the January 11, 2021 Statement stipulates that the Working Group shall submit for the Parties’ approval at the highest level a list and timetable of activities to restore or build new transport infrastructure necessary for initiating, implementing and providing for the safety of international traffic through the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia, as well as ensuring the safety of transportations carried out by the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia through the territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia.
- During the first meeting convened on January 30, 2021, the Tripartite Working Group decided to set up two expert subgroups, one for rail, road and combined transportation, and the other for security, border, customs, sanitary and phytosanitary control and other issues.
- The Republic of Armenia has repeatedly stated at the highest level that it is interested in unblocking all transport and economic ties in the region with the understanding that the western regions of Azerbaijan receive road and rail links through Armenia to the Autonomous Republic of Nakhijevan (therefore, also Turkey), while the Republic of Armenia gets road connection with Russia through Azerbaijani territory, as well as rail communication with Russia and Iran.
- The Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Co-Chair of the Trilateral Working Group Alexei Overchuk stated during a meeting with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan on November 5, 2021 that the search for solutions in the trilateral working group is based on the following principles: the sovereignty over the roads is maintained by the countries through the territory of which those roads pass, the types of control at the border crossing will be carried out on the basis of reciprocity. Earlier, Alexei Overchuk stated that the issue of the corridor is not being discussed in the trilateral working group.
- On the occasion of the anniversary of the signing of the tripartite statement of November 9, 2020, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation disseminated information material, which clearly stated that all participants in the Tripartite Working Group had agreed that all transport routes to be unblocked or created shall operate respecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the countries they pass through.
- On November 26, 2021, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev met in Sochi, Russia, during which the principles mentioned in point 9 of this statement were reaffirmed.
Based on the above, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia declares:
a) The content of the statements of the President of Azerbaijan has nothing to do with the statements of November 9, January 11 and November 26, contradicts the agreements reached within the Trilateral Working Group and in Sochi, pursues destructive and provocative goals, threatens the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Armenia;
b) The Republic of Armenia is committed to all above-mentioned commitments and is ready for the speedy implementation of the above-mentioned agreements;
c) The list and timetable of measures to be taken in the process of opening the roads, railways, rehabilitation and opening of communications in the region is being discussed within the framework of the Tripartite Working Group, the work of which is hindered by the provocative rhetoric of Azerbaijan.
The Republic of Armenia draws the attention of its main partner in the sphere of security – the Russian Federation, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the UN Security Council, the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and the international community, in general, to the fact that official Baku continues to make clear threats of use of force against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Armenia with belligerent statements, violating the fundamental principles of international law, including the UN Charter, endangering regional and global security.
The Republic of Armenia calls on the Republic of Azerbaijan to refrain from provocative rhetoric and actions, and not to obstruct the implementation of agreements on the unblocking of all economic and transport ties in the region.