The Artsakh foreign ministry on Monday urged the international community to step up efforts to ensure the complete lifting of Azerbaijan’s blockade of the Lachin Corridor, emphasizing that despite the delivery of humanitarian assistance on Monday Artsakh continued to remain under siege.
Below the complete text of the statement.
On September 18, 2023, around 28 tons of humanitarian aid, comprising wheat flour, medical supplies and hygiene items, were transported to Artsakh through the Lachin Corridor and the Akna (Aghdam) – Stepanakert road, using vehicles of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
This humanitarian mission has been the result of extensive talks involving the International Committee of the Red Cross, the command of the Russian peacekeeping forces in Artsakh and international mediators, and was undertaken in response to the extremely critical humanitarian situation brought about by the complete blockade imposed by Azerbaijan.
At the same time, it is important to emphasize that Artsakh continues to remain under siege, being deprived of essential gas and electricity supplies from Armenia and the ability to sustain the normal way of life of its population. It should be also stressed that, without reliable and regular deliveries of food and essential supplies, it is impossible to address the escalating humanitarian catastrophe.
This humanitarian cargo delivery, amounting to less than 7 percent of the daily 400-ton import of goods to Artsakh before the blockade, falls significantly short of replacing the regular commercial deliveries, both in terms of volume and the diversity of essential goods needed to sustain a normal way of life and support the natural development of Artsakh.
Once again, we emphasize that international actors involved in the resolution of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict must ensure the complete reinstatement of the operation of the Lachin Corridor, ensuring the free, safe and unimpeded movement of persons, vehicles and cargo in both directions, in line with the Trilateral Statement of 9 November 2020 and the Orders of the International Court of Justice.
Only in this case can we talk about the end of the blockade and the subsequent restoration of normal life conditions, enabling the full realization of the individual and collective rights of the people of Artsakh, including their fundamental right to freedom of movement, access to healthcare, education and development. We remain hopeful that the collective diplomatic efforts of all involved parties will lead to the attainment of this paramount and pivotal objective.”