Following an incident on Tuesday, when Azerbaijani forces terrorized civilian Armenians and banned their entry into Artsakh, despite an earlier agreement with the Russian peacekeeping forces, the Artsakh Foreign Ministry in a statement warned that Baku has begun implementing the next phase of its plan to ethnically cleanse Artsakh of its Armenian population.
Below is the text of the statement issued on Wednesday.
On April 4, another flagrant violation of the rights of the citizens of Artsakh took place that speaks to the true goals pursued by Azerbaijan, which has been holding the Republic of Artsakh under a complete blockade for more than 110 days.
The Azerbaijani side refused to allow the vehicles of the Russian Peacekeeping Contingent, which were carrying citizens of Artsakh, stranded in Armenia for months as a result of the blockade, to pass through the Lachin Corridor. These citizens were deprived of the opportunity to reunite with their families. The Azerbaijani side stopped the vehicles on the blocked section of the Lachin Corridor and for five hours subjected the passengers, mainly women, children and elderly persons, to psychological terror and intimidation. Subsequently, Azerbaijan made an attempt to turn the suffering of the people into a hypocritical show of humanity. This egregious incident clearly demonstrates that the Azerbaijani authorities have embarked on the next phase of the practical implementation of their criminal plan to ethnically cleanse Artsakh and expel its people from their historical homeland. These intentions were publicly announced by the President of Azerbaijan on January 10, 2023, in an interview with the Azerbaijani media. Subsequently, the Azerbaijani political leadership repeatedly has voiced the threat that the people of Artsakh should either obey the Armenophobic authorities of Azerbaijan or leave their homeland. In an environment of complete impunity, the criminal actions committed by Azerbaijan against the people of Artsakh are becoming increasingly threatening both in nature and scale. The inaction of the international community in the face of such serious violations of human rights is tantamount to tacit approval, if not complicity in the inhumane actions of official Baku.
Immediate and decisive action by the United Nations Security Council, which has the appropriate mandate and tools, is an absolute necessity to immediately end the illegal blockade and stop the crimes of Azerbaijan against the people of Artsakh, which continue before the eyes of the international community.