Thousands protest in Nagorno-Karabakh as road block continues

Thousands protest in Nagorno-Karabakh as road block continues
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Yerevan has warned that shortage of essential goods in Nagorno-Karabakh because of the blocking of Lachin road by some Azerbaijanis has turned into a famine.

As Lachin road, the sole route connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia remains blocked by several dozen Azerbaijanis since 12 December, tens of thousands of ethnic Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh have been denied access to essential goods and services for two weeks.

The Azerbaijani government-sponsored protesters claim that they are environmental activists, that gold and copper molybdenum deposits in the region are illegally exploited by Nagorno-Karabakh's authorities, and that they are using the Lachin road to transport those minerals to Armenia. The protesters have reportedly also called for setting up Azerbaijan customs checkpoints along the Lachin corridor, which is in fact a demand voiced by Azerbaijani officials.

Thousand of people gathered on Sunday in Stepanakert, the capital of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, to stage a demonstration in protest against the blocking of the Lachin road.

Armenian officials say that the shortage of essential goods, particularly food, in Nagorno-Karabakh is getting worse and turning into a famine with the tranportation between Armenia and the region disrupted.

They also react to Moscow who has a peacekeeping force in the region, accusing Russian officials of not taking steps to put an end to the crisis.