New military escalation the ultimate goal of Lachin corridor blockade, Armenian PM says

The closure of the Lachine Corridor is a provocation, the ultimate goal of which is a new military escalation, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said at the government sitting today.

The blockade of the corridor has been holding for 32 days now. The functioning of the only high-voltage power line supplying electricity to Artsakh was disrupted on Monday. The accident happened in a section under the control of Azerbaijan, and it has deprived the relevant structures of Artsakh and the Russian peacekeepers of the opportunity to carry out repair works.

“The disruption of energy supply to Nagorno Karabakh has caused new problems. There are rolling blackouts, as the local power capacities are not sufficient. Kindergartens are not working at full also because of lack of proper food supplies. Workplaces are closing, further aggravating the dire social situation in Nagorno Karabakh,” PM Pashinyan said.

“My assessment remains unchanged. The illegal blockade of the Lachin corridor by Azerbaijan aims at breaking the will of the people of Artsakh to live on their native land, but I believe that will is unbreakable,” Pashinyan added.

He stressed that there should be a certain vision of how to overcome the situation and urged to refrain from political statements that could take the situation to a stalemate.

The Prime Minister noted that a conversation should start between Stepanakert and Baku.

“Our colleagues in Nagorno Karabakh should not give anyone an opportunity to blame them for disrupting constructive dialogue, or making such conversation impossible,” Nikol Pashinyan said.

He stressed that “the closure of the Lachine Corridor is a provocation, the ultimate goal of which is a new military escalation. Therefore, actions that are desirable for those developing a scenario of military escalation should not be implemented,” Pashinyan added.

“One of the goals of the provocations and escalation is to cover the apparent need for a direct political and official conversation between Stepanakert and Baku and push it out of the agenda, “PM Pashinyan said, urging to avoid steps that could contribute to the success of these provocations.

At the same time he called on the diplomatic corps to double the efforts to raise awareness about the humanitarian situation in Artsakh and make it a subject of discussion on different platforms. “Huge work has been done in this regard, but more is needed,” he said.

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