Azerbaijan has turned the illegally installed checkpoint on the road within the Lachin Corridor into a military stronghold with armoured vehicles, Artsakh’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
It drew the attention of the international community to the fact that for the 9th day in a row Azerbaijan continues the total illegal blockade of the Lachin Corridor, control over which, as provided for by paragraph 6 of the Trilateral Statement of 9 November 2020, has been assigned to the Russian Federation Peacekeeping Contingent.
“We recall that due to the provocative actions of the Azerbaijani side and the subsequent complete blocking of the road through the Lachin Corridor, starting from 15 June, all transportation of humanitarian cargo by the Russian Peacekeeping Contingent, in particular food and other essential supplies required for the survival of the 120,000 population of the Republic of Artsakh, has been stopped. The International Committee of the Red Cross is not able to carry out evacuation of seriously ill patients from Artsakh to medical institutions of Armenia, as well as deliver vital medicines to the republic. As a result, small domestic stocks of food and medicine are quickly running out, which threatens to turn the situation in the republic into a humanitarian catastrophe,” the Ministry said.
Moreover, it added, on 22 June, the Azerbaijani side installed concrete blocks on the Hakari bridge, completely blocking the driveway of the only Road of Life connecting Artsakh with Armenia, and making it technically impossible for vehicles to move along the road.
“Thus, in just a month, Azerbaijan turned its illegally installed and advertised checkpoint on the road within the Lachin Corridor into a military stronghold with armoured vehicles, engineering barriers and armed personnel. It once again demonstrates that all the actions of the Azerbaijani side, including the orchestrated protest of pseudo-activists, blocking of the Stepanakert-Goris road, cutting off gas and electricity supplies from Armenia to Artsakh, targeting of civilians and obstruction of agricultural work in the fields, have been deliberate and pre-planned and are aimed to make the life of Armenians in Artsakh impossible,” the Foreign Ministry stated.
“The authorities of the Republic of Artsakh have repeatedly warned about the negative consequences of the illegal establishment of an Azerbaijani checkpoint for the safe and unimpeded movement along the Lachin Corridor, which is now, in fact, completely stopped, and 120,000 people in Artsakh, including 30,000 children, are held hostage in their own homes. Under these circumstances, overlooking or ignoring the real state of affairs on the ground, untargeted statements and appeals, as well as the lack of specific and adequate measures on the part of the international community only encourage the Azerbaijani authorities to continue and intensify their illegal and aggressive actions,” the Ministry added.
It called on the signatories of the Trilateral Statement of 9 November 2020, primarily the Russian Federation, to take all necessary measures to ensure the strict and full implementation of their international obligations.
“We appeal to the UN Security Council, which bears the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security, as well as to all responsible members of the international community, including the leadership of individual countries and international organisations, to move from words to action and, within the universal Responsibility to Protect, undertake all necessary measures to stop the war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity committed by Azerbaijan against Artsakh and its people,” the Ministry concluded.