The month-long blockade of the Republic of Artsakh and its 120-thousand population by Azerbaijan has been the largest attack against the people of Artsakh since the end of the 44-day war in 2020, Artsakh’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
On 12 December 2022, the Azerbaijani authorities, in gross violation of the provisions of the Trilateral Statement of 9 November 2020, blocked the Lachin Corridor, connecting Artsakh with Armenia and the outside world.
“As a result, with every passing day the shortage of basic necessities, medicines, food and fuel is becoming more acute. In order to strengthen the destructive effect of the blockade, Azerbaijan also cut off the gas supply to Artsakh, coming from Armenia through the territory occupied by Azerbaijan. Subsequently, gas supply was restored, but on 9 January 2023, the supply of electricity from Armenia was cut off due to an accident on the only high-voltage Goris-Stepanakert power line, which also passes through the territory occupied by Azerbaijan. Up to this day Azerbaijan deliberately impedes emergency and restoration work, which indicates the deliberate nature of its steps. Thus, the actions of Azerbaijan put Artsakh with its 120,000 population on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe,” the statement reads.
“The blockade of Artsakh is a direct continuation of the military aggression against the Republic of Artsakh and its people, unleashed by Azerbaijan in 2020 with the direct involvement of Turkey and terrorist organizations from the Middle East. Having failed to expel the people of Artsakh from its homeland by military means, for more than two years after the establishment of the ceasefire, Azerbaijan has been making consistent attempts to achieve its criminal goals by less obvious, but no less inhuman methods,” the Ministry stated.
“The series of steps undertaken by Azerbaijan and the official statements of its top leadership, revealing the real intentions of Baku, indicate that the blockade of the Republic of Artsakh is another tool of Azerbaijani policy aimed at the destruction of the people of Artsakh. By deliberately inflicting unbearable living conditions, Azerbaijan is pursuing the goal to destroy the integrity and totality of the people of Artsakh through their forced alienation from their historical homeland and refusal to exercise their collective rights. There is no doubt, that the actions of Azerbaijan are continuation of its genocidal policy,” it added.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls on the community of states acting both individually and within the framework of international organizations, in line with the universal commitment to protecting human rights and preventing the crimes of genocide, to take all necessary measures to immediately prevent the genocidal acts that Azerbaijan is systematically committing against the people of Artsakh in an atmosphere of absolute impunity.
“The international community has all the necessary toolkit and all the legal grounds to intervene in the situation in Artsakh, which is deteriorating every day. In the context of the impending catastrophe, inaction on the part of the international community is unacceptable, including for the reason that it is considered by the Azerbaijani authorities as tacit encouragement for their criminal actions,” the Ministry concluded.