EP condemns Azerbaijan, calls for immediate reopening of Lachin corridor
The European Parliament adopted a resolution on Thursday on the humanitarian consequences of the blockade in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Noting that "the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia and the outside world, the Lachin corridor, has been blocked by self-proclaimed environmentalists from Azerbaijan since 12 December 2022," and that "this has disrupted access to essential goods and services, including food, fuel and medication, for the 120 000 Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh, effectively placing them under a blockade," the resolution stated that "the blockade has led to a severe humanitarian crisis, significantly affecting the most vulnerable populations."
It added that "this humanitarian crisis was further aggravated by Azerbaijan’s disruption of the natural gas supply to Nagorno-Karabakh, which left houses, hospitals and schools without heating," and that "by sustaining the blockade of the Lachin corridor, Azerbaijan is breaching its international obligations under the trilateral ceasefire statement of 9 November 2020."
Stressing that "the impediments to the use of the Lachin corridor set back the peace process between Armenia and Azerbaijan and undermine international confidence," the resolution said that the European Parliament:
"Deplores the tragic humanitarian consequences of the blockade of the Lachin corridor and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," and "urges Azerbaijan to respect and implement the trilateral statement of 9 November 2020 and immediately reopen the Lachin corridor to enable freedom of movement and ensure access to essential goods and services."
Underlining "the need for a comprehensive peace agreement, which must guarantee the rights and security of Nagorno-Karabakh's Armenian population," the resolution "called on Azerbaijan to protect the rights of Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh and refrain from its inflammatory rhetoric that calls for discrimination against Armenians and urges Armenians to leave Nagorno-Karabakh."
The parliament strongly condemned Azerbaijan's "scapegoating of human rights defenders and CSOs," and "called on EU and Member State representations to support their work," as it also "condemned the inaction of Russian 'peacekeepers' and considered that their replacement with OSCE international peacekeepers, under a UN mandate, should be negotiated urgently."
It "called for international organizations to be granted unimpeded access to Nagorno-Karabakh to assess the situation and provide the necessary humanitarian assistance."