The Mayors of the three largest French cities – Paris, Lyon and Marseille – have called on the French Government and the European Union to impose sanctions against Azerbaijan. The Mayors made the appeal in a joint article published by Libération newspaper.
The Mayors note that the Republic of Artsakh has become a victim of blockade imposed by Baku regime, and the belligerent policy gained new strength on December 12, when the only road connecting Artsakh to Armenia was blocked upon the instruction of official Baku.
Apart from that, Azerbaijan had also closed the gas supply to Nagorno Karabakh, “thus testifying to its will to suffocate this small besieged republic of the South Caucasus.”
“However, the consolidation of Western governments, and in particular the position of the French government, prompted Baku to resume gas supplies and thus fortunately avoid worsening the situation in cold winter,” they note.
“The situation, however, remains unacceptable, and France cannot tolerate the constant threat to the 120 000 Armenians living in the Artsakh Republic (part of whose territories have been occupied by Azerbaijan). France cannot leave them to the whims of dictator Ilham Aliyev, who has been encouraging Armenophobic policies for two decades,” the Mayors say.
Reminding that the French Senate and the National Assembly recently called on the French government to take practical measures, the Mayor call on the President of the Republic of France to officially meet the elected representatives of the Republic of Artsakh.
“In parallel with that, we call for unconditional condemnation of the Baku regime, which has announced through the lips of its Foreign Minister that Azerbaijan will not negotiate anything else on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, in violation of its own international commitments, particularly within the framework of November 9, 2020 statement,” the official note.
They also request to initiate a European policy of sanctions against Azerbaijan, such as that adopted against Russia, starting, for example, by freezing the assets of Azerbaijani leaders and oligarchs.”
The Mayors also request that France participate in the reopening of the Stepanakert airport, noting that this air bridge will reduce the effects of the blockade and ease the lives of thousands of civilians “whose only sin is the will to live in their own land.”
Finally, they request that France and the European Union show great foresight when concluding cooperation and trade agreements with Azerbaijan.
“Ursula Van der Leyen’s initiative to get gas supply from Baku is more than disturbing to us. It is worrying that the financing of the conflict against the Republic of Artsakh is not condemned and strongly opposed by our leaders, that the peaceful victims of armed conflicts, in this case Armenians, elsewhere Ukrainians or Yemenis, are sacrificed on the altar of realpolitik,” they conclude.