U.S. Senators Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) today introduced a bipartisan Senate resolution condemning Azerbaijan for its blockade of the Lachin Corridor and urging the United States to take immediate steps to end the ongoing humanitarian crisis.
The resolution was also introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr (D-N.J.-06) and is cosponsored by Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“Azerbaijan’s blockade of the Lachin Corridor—the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) to Armenia—is inhumane and unacceptable,” said Senator Padilla. “This blockade has created a humanitarian crisis, rendering the 120,000 Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh without access to food, medicine, and other basic necessities. Our resolution would make it clear that the United States must take action to hold Azerbaijan accountable.”
“I stand with my colleagues today in condemning Azerbaijan’s ongoing blockade of Artsakh. It’s clear that Azerbaijan’s blockage of the Lachin Corridor is coordinated and intended to shut off the only supply route for much of Artsakh’s food, medical supplies and transport, and other essential goods,” said Congressman Pallone. “We stand united in telling Azerbaijan to end this intentional humanitarian crisis.”
“Armenian and allied Americans thank Senators Padilla, Rubio, and Menendez for enforcing concrete costs and real-world consequences on Azerbaijan over its six-month-long blockade of Artsakh – starting with the immediate cut-off of all U.S. military aid to Baku,” said Armenian National Committee of America Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “American taxpayers should not be asked to subsidize the armed forces of an authoritarian regime that neither needs nor deserves U.S. support.”
“We commend Senator Padilla and along with Senator Rubio for spearheading this timely bipartisan resolution in the face of Azerbaijan’s ongoing attempts to eliminate the Armenians of Artsakh. Our message is clear, we urge Congress to defend Artsakh against tyranny, stand up for democracy and human rights, and oppose genocide,” stated Armenian Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny. “We strongly support its passage.”
Azerbaijan began its blockade of the Lachin Corridor—a vital lifeline that connects the Armenian people of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) with Armenia – on December 12, 2022, under the guise of an environmental protest. Since then, severe shortages of food, medical supplies, and other essentials have created a dire humanitarian crisis for the 120,000 people living in Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan has also sabotaged important civilian infrastructure such as power transmission lines and fixed-line internet.
In April, Azerbaijan consolidated its blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh through establishing a military checkpoint along the road – in violation of the 2020 ceasefire, and against calls by the International Court of Justice to ensure unimpeded access to the region. This man-made crisis purposefully created by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev threatens to severely worsen the quality of life of Nagorno-Karabakh’s residents.
Unfortunately, the current international strategy to reopen the Lachin Corridor is simply not working. The Aliyev regime is taking premediated steps to remove the ethnic Armenian population from Nagorno-Karabakh and deprive them of the opportunity to live freely, democratically, and with dignity.