Residents of Artsakh, angered with Azerbaijan’s refusal to end the seven-month-long blockade of the Lachin Corridor and with Baku’s insistence that humanitarian supplies be delivered to Karabakh via Aghdam — bypassing Armenia — blocked the road to Askeran by placing cement barriers.
Azerbaijan’s foreign minister repeated Baku’s latest scheme to maintain its stranglehold on Artsakh—the supposed transport of humanitarian aid into Karabakh via Aghdam, formerly Akna as it was known before its occupation in 2020.
This latests stunt by Baku found its way into a remarks made by European Council President Charles Michel who hosted talks between Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan on Saturday in Brussels.
Following the talks, Michel told reporters that clear steps were discussed to help the situation return to its normal course again.
“I emphasized the need to open the Lachin Corridor, noted Azerbaijan’s readiness to deliver humanitarian aid through Aghdam,” said Michel told reporters soon after the end of talks on Saturday.
Artsakh Internal Affairs Minister on Tuesday denied reports circulating in Azerbaijani media that purported that humanitarian was delivered to Artsakh via Aghdam.
“Another disinformation has been disseminated on the Facebook social network that allegedly Red Cross employees are transporting humanitarian aid from Akna (Aghdam), through the city of Askeran, accompanied by Russian peacekeepers,” said the Artsakh Internal Affairs Ministry, adding that not convoys had passed through the road.
Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Jeyuhun Bayramov told the newly-appointed Russian Ambassador to Baku that “the Aghdam [(Akna)]-Khankendi [(Stepanakert)] road can be used to meet the demands of the Armenian residents of Azerbaijan,” a statement said.
He also accused Yerevan of “distorting facts” when Armenian officials talk of the deteriorating humanitarian conditions in Karabakh due to the Lachin Corridor closure.