As the humanitarian crisis in Artsakh caused by Azerbaijan’s ongoing blockade of the Lachin Corridor intensifies calls for sanctions against Baku and the imperative for a fact-finding mission to Artsakh were amplified in various corners of the European Union.
The President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe called for the dispatch of a fact-finding mission to Karabakh, while more than 60 French lawmakers called on President Emmanuel Macron to impose sanctions on Azerbaijan.
“Given the further deterioration of the humanitarian and human rights situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, I recall the Assembly’s request of June 20, to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, to organize a fact-finding mission to Azerbaijan as early as possible, with the aim of assessing the situation where Armenians live and have been affected by the absence of free and safe access through the Lachin corridor since December 12 2022,” Tiny Box, the PACE President said in a statement on Monday.
“I join the call for dialogue voiced by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe on July, 28 2023, and urge both Azerbaijan and Armenia, as Council of Europe member States, to finally live up to their mutual commitment, made on their accession in 1991, to de-escalate tension and restore peace between their countries,” Kox added.
In France, more than 60 legislators from both the National Assembly and the Senate penned a letter to Macron, which was published in the Le Monde newspaper, calling on the president to impose sanctions of Azerbaijan.
The effort, spearheaded by Gilbert-Luc Devinaz and Pierre Ouzoulias, wasco-signed by 59 other legislators.
“The Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh are on the verge of disappearing,” warned the appeal from the French lawmakers. “Nagorno-Karabakh, which represents in the South Caucasus the values that we claim to embody, deserves more than indifferent attention. Its citizens deserve to be able to exercise their right to self-determination.”
“We ask Emmanuel Macron to impose sanctions against Ilham Aliyev and his regime, without any ramifications toward its people, so that the Armenians and Azerbaijanis will finally be able to coexist in a peaceful and fraternal atmosphere in the South Caucasus, where they live side by side,” the appeal added.
The lawmakers emphasized that the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh is trying not only to survive in the South Caucasus but also embodies the democratic values which France considers to be its own. The appeal also urged Macron that steps were needed to prevent ethnic cleansing by Azerbaijan.
The chair of the German Bundestag’s foreign affairs committee, Michael Roth, also accused Azerbaijan of committing ethnic cleansing Artsakh.
“Azerbaijan is blocking humanitarian aid to Nagorno-Karabakh. This is a violation of international law. Even if Nagorno-Karabakh is in Azerbaijan, it doesn’t justify ethnic cleansing. The EU and US must state their positions clearly. Armenia must not become Russia’s prey,” Roth said in a social media post.