US urges Azerbaijan to open Lachin corridor, resume gas supply to Karabakh
The United States urged Azerbaijian to resume gas supply to Nagorno Karabakh and open Lachin corridor, after Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said that 120.000 people in the region became hostage of the measures taken by the Azeri government. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also said Russia hopes the corridor will be unblocked soon
The route is the only land connection across Azerbaijani territory between Armenia and the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. Armenia has accused Azerbaijan of blocking it, which Baku denies.
“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,” said Ned Price, the spokesperson of the US State Department.
The Secretary General of the Council of Europe (CoE), Marija Pejcinovic Buric also expressed concern for the humanitarian situation around the Lachin Corridor, according to Giuseppe Zaffuto, Spokesperson for the CoE Secretary General.
Greece also called on Azerbaijani authorities to ensure freedom and security of movement & transport, in both directions along the Lachin corridor without any preconditions.
A statement by the foreign ministry of Canada said:
"Canada is closely following the closure of the #Lachin corridor. We call on #Azerbaijan authorities to reopen the corridor and ensure freedom of movement to avoid any potential humanitarian impact."
The situation in the region is nothing but a humanitarian crisis, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Thursday.
“The residents of Nagorno-Karabakh were deprived of the right to free movement, thousands of people, including children, were left on the roads in the cold winter conditions, many families were involuntarily divided, finding themselves on different sides of the blockade,” Pashinyan said.
According to Armenian Prime Minister, many people with serious health problems are deprived of medicines and health services, as the supply of food and other essential goods has been disrupted.
However, Azerbaijan rejected the accusations and said that Russian troops were blocking the road.
“It should be noted that the Lachin road was closed not by Azerbaijani protesters, but by the peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation,” the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The ministry claimed the protests by the “Azeri environmental activists” that ended up by blocking the road were the result of the “rightful dissatisfaction of the Azerbaijani public with the illegal economic activity, looting of natural resources, and damage to the environment in the territories of Azerbaijan in which Russian peacekeepers are deployed.”