Armenia called on the UN’s top court on Wednesday to order Azerbaijan to withdraw a blockade from a key road connecting Armenia to the Republic of Artsakh.
The Republic of Armenia, referring to Article 76 of the Rules of the International Court of Justice, has submitted a request for the Court to modify its Order indicating provisional measures of 22 February 2023 in the case concerning Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Armenia v. Azerbaijan).
The request was received in the Registry on 15 May 2023, the Court says.
Armenia requests, in particular, that the Court modify its Order by including the following provisional measure requiring Azerbaijan, pending the resolution of the dispute on the merits, to “withdraw any and all personnel deployed on or along the Lachin Corridor since 23 April 2023 and refrain from deploying any such personnel on or along the Lachin Corridor.”
On 16 September 2021, Armenia filed an Application instituting proceedings against Azerbaijan with regard to alleged violations of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The Application also contained a request for the indication of provisional measures. By an Order dated 7 December 2021, the Court indicated certain provisional measures. Armenia subsequently requested that the Court’s Order be modified. By an Order of 12 October 2022, the Court decided that the circumstances cited by Armenia “[did] not constitute a change in the situation justifying modification of the Order.”
On 28 December 2022, Armenia submitted a second request for the indication of provisional measures, in which it sought, in particular, to have the Court direct Azerbaijan to “cease its orchestration and support of the alleged ‘protests’ blocking uninterrupted free movement along the Lachin Corridor in both directions” and to “ensure uninterrupted free movement of all persons, vehicles, and cargo along the Lachin Corridor in both directions.”
By an Order dated 22 February 2023, the Court, by thirteen votes to two, indicated the following provisional measure:
“The Republic of Azerbaijan shall, pending the final decision in the case and in accordance with its obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, take all measures at its disposal to ensure unimpeded movement of persons, vehicles and cargo along the Lachin Corridor in both directions.”
On 21 April 2023, Azerbaijan raised preliminary objections to the jurisdiction of the Court, and, in accordance with Article 79bis, paragraph 3, of the Rules of Court, the proceedings on the merits have therefore been suspended. The President has fixed 21 August 2023 as the time-limit within which Armenia may present a written statement of its observations and submissions on the preliminary objections raised by Azerbaijan.