EU reiterates call to Azerbaijan to open the Lachin corridor, reminds of ICJ decision

EU expects the Azerbaijani side to take concrete steps in providing clear reassurances for the rights and security of the Armenian population in Nagorno-Karabakh, Rasa Ostrauskaite, EU’s Permanent Representative to the OSCE, said in response to Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan’s speech at the special meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council convened in Vienna upon Armenia’s request.

She noted that all outstanding issues should be resolved through negotiations, without the use of force or the threat of force.

“The EU has been repeatedly calling on the Azerbaijani authorities to fully ensure restoration of movement of goods and people along the Lachin corridor, in line with the ICJ Orders of February and July 2023, as well as unrestricted supplies of energy,” Rasa Ostrauskaite stated.

“Increased restrictions to such freedom of movement are causing significant distress among the local population. The EU is alarmed about the humanitarian impact resulting from the lack of food, medicines and other essential goods, as a result of current restrictions. The ban on ICRC transports to and from the region by Azerbaijani authorities has been worrisome. The current situation is not sustainable and creates tensions that run contrary to much-needed confidence-building efforts,” the Ambassador added.

She recalled the importance of the EU Mission in Armenia (EUMA) that aims at contributing to ensuring an environment conducive to the normalization efforts supported by the EU.

“We wish to reiterate our strong support to a stable, democratic, sovereign, and prosperous Armenia. We welcome Armenia’s continued commitment to reforms in line with our common values, in spite of the difficult security context of the region. We will continue working together to strengthen human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression and media freedom. In this respect, we would like to recall the importance of continuous improvement in the independence and efficiency of the judiciary and the fight against corruption in order to increase citizens’ trust in public institutions, as well as in eliminating discrimination on all grounds. The EU stands ready to continue assisting Armenia in the implementation of our Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and in addressing socio-economic challenges,” Rasa Ostrauskaite said.

In conclusion, she reiterated the EU’s continued support to Armenia, its citizens and the normalization of its relations with Azerbaijan, noting that the EU stands ready to contribute to all efforts to build confidence and strengthen regional security.

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