The European Parliament today adopted an urgent resolution on “Humanitarian consequences of the blockade in Nagorno-Karabakh.”
Parliament deplores the severe humanitarian crisis caused by the current blockade of the Lachin corridor in Nagorno-Karabakh by self-proclaimed environmentalists from Azerbaijan. With the corridor being the only road connecting the war-torn region with Armenia and the outside world, MEPs urge Azerbaijan to re-open it immediately, in order to enable freedom of movement and ensure access to essential goods and services for the most vulnerable.
The resolution underlines the need for a comprehensive peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan that guarantees the rights and security of the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh. It calls for international organizations to be granted access to the area, in order to provide necessary humanitarian assistance, as well as for a UN or OSCE fact-finding mission to travel to the Lachin corridor to assess the humanitarian situation on the ground.
In addition, MEPs condemn the “inaction” of Russian peacekeepers present in the area and consider that these should be replaced by OSCE international peacekeepers. They also encourage the EU to ensure that Nagorno-Karabakh’s inhabitants “are no longer held hostage by Baku’s activism, Russia’s destructive role or the inactivity of the Minsk group.”
The resolution was adopted by show of hands.
The full text of the resolution is provided below:
The European Parliament,
– having regard to its previous resolutions on Armenia and Azerbaijan,
– having regard to Rules 144(5) and 132(4) of its Rules of Procedure,
A. whereas the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia and the outside world, the Lachin corridor, has been blocked by self-proclaimed environmentalists from Azerbaijan since 12 December 2022; whereas this has disrupted access to essential goods and services, including food, fuel and medication, for the 120 000 Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh, effectively placing them under a blockade;
B. whereas the blockade has led to a severe humanitarian crisis, significantly affecting the most vulnerable populations; whereas the transfer of critically ill patients is nearly impossible, with one death resulting from this situation; whereas hundreds of families remain separated;
C. whereas this humanitarian crisis was further aggravated by Azerbaijan’s disruption of the natural gas supply to Nagorno-Karabakh, which left houses, hospitals and schools without heating;
D. whereas by sustaining the blockade of the Lachin corridor, Azerbaijan is breaching its international obligations under the trilateral ceasefire statement of 9 November 2020, under which Azerbaijan must guarantee the security of persons, vehicles and cargo moving along the corridor in both directions;
E. whereas the impediments to the use of the Lachin corridor set back the peace process between Armenia and Azerbaijan and undermine international confidence;
1. Deplores the tragic humanitarian consequences of the blockade of the Lachin corridor and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict;
2. Urges Azerbaijan to respect and implement the trilateral statement of 9 November 2020 and immediately reopen the Lachin corridor to enable free movement and ensure access to essential goods and services, thus guaranteeing security in the region and safeguarding residents’ livelihoods;
3. Underlines the need for a comprehensive peace agreement, which must guarantee the rights and security of Nagorno-Karabakh’s Armenian population; calls on Azerbaijan to protect the rights of Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh and refrain from its inflammatory rhetoric that calls for discrimination against Armenians and urges Armenians to leave Nagorno-Karabakh;
4. Urges Azerbaijan to refrain from undermining the functioning of transport, energy and communication connections between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh in future;
5. Strongly condemns Azerbaijan’s scapegoating of human rights defenders and CSOs and calls on EU and Member State representations to support their work;
6. Condemns the inaction of Russian ‘peacekeepers’; considers that their replacement with OSCE international peacekeepers, under a UN mandate, should be negotiated urgently;
7. Calls for international organizations to be granted unimpeded access to Nagorno-Karabakh to assess the situation and provide the necessary humanitarian assistance;
8. Calls for a UN or OSCE fact-finding mission to the Lachin corridor to assess the humanitarian situation on the ground;
9. Calls for the urgent resumption, without preconditions, of negotiations based on the principles of the Helsinki Final Act;
10. Calls for the EU to be actively involved and ensure that the inhabitants of Nagorno-Karabakh are no longer held hostage by Baku’s activism, Russia’s destructive role and the Minsk Group’s inactivity;
11. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to Armenia, Azerbaijan and international institutions.