UNSC members urge reopening of Lachin Corridor
United Nations Security Council members on Tuesday urged an end to the nine-day-old blockade of the Lachin Corridor, during a session that discussed the closure of the important road that constitutes the only lifeline connecting Nagorno Karabakh to Armenia, in a meeting conveyed by the request of Armenia.
Since December 12, Azerbaijanis claiming to be environmental activists have blockaded the Lachin Corridor alleging that Armenians in Karabakh were illegally mining the gold and copper reserves in the nearby mines.
However, Armenia’s representative to the UN, Ambassador Mher Margaryan said Azerbaijan’s environmental concerns were fake and just a pretext for Baku to advance its policy of depriving the Armenian population of Karabakh from its rights.
Representatives of France, the US, China, the United Arab Emirates and Albania were among those calling for the immediate end to the Lachin Corridor blockade.
“We call on the government of Azerbaijan and others responsible for the Corridor’s security to restore free movement, including for humanitarian and commercial use, as soon as possible,” The US Ambassador to UN Robert Wood said during the meeting.
French Ambassador Nathalıe Broadhurst Estival also called for the unconditional restoration of movement and supplies to Nagorno-Karabakh as well as respect for the rights of the people residing there.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan repeatedly said that 120.000 people in the region became hostage of the measures taken by the Azeri government, as a critically ill patient died in the region, because it was impossible to transport her to Armenia’s capital Yerevan, Armenian public radio reported.
The patient had undergone hemodialysis for more than 15 years and had to be transferred to another medical center.
92 PATIENTS IN CRITICAL CONDITION
Another patient in need of urgent heart surgery was transported by ambulance, accompanied by the International Committee of the Red Cross, Russian peacekeeping troops and the police through the Lachin Corridor, to the Medical Center of Goris, and then to the Nork-Marashi Cardiology Clinic in Yerevan.
At the moment, 92 patients are receiving inpatient treatment in the Republican Hospital of Artsakh, 11 are in the intensive care unit, four are in critical condition, the radio reported.
The US Representatives Ted Lieu and Adam Schiff wrote a letter to President Biden to help ensure the safety of the region.
Russia, a permanent member of the Security Council, through its UN representative said that it anticipates the opening of the Lachin Corridor in the near future. Its peacekeeping forces reportedly have been engaged in negotiations with the Azerbaijani side to bring an end to the blockade.
On December 14, the US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price called on Azerbaijan to restore free movement through the Lachin corridor.
“Closure of the Lachin Corridor has severe humanitarian implications and sets back the peace process. We call on the government of Azerbaijan to restore free movement through the corridor. The way forward is through negotiations”, Price said.