In an op-ed published in The Independent on Sunday, renowned international legal expert Geoffrey Robertson declared that Nagorno-Karabakh “originally belonged to Armenia and has always been inhabited mainly by Armenians.”
In the article titled, “Are we really asking Russia to ‘keep the peace’ in a completely different conflict?” Robertson argued that the world’s superpowers—Russia, Great Britain, the United States, France and China—have “the power to stop authoritarian Azerbaijan, which has besieged Nagorno-Karabakh in order to starve 120,000 inhabitants.”
In the article, Robertson, who was lead council representing Armenia in the famous Armenian Genocide case at the European Court of Human Rights, went on to stress that the blockade is a crime against humanity and contradicts a number of international agreements.
He discusses that the blockade has impeded the passage of more than 400 tons of goods from Armenia to Artsakh.
“Of course,” Robertson wrote. “It would be faster by air transportation, but the government of Azerbaijan has threatened to shoot down any passenger or cargo plane that tries to land in Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh.”
“The country is a hostage of Azerbaijan and history. it originally belonged to Armenia and has always been inhabited mainly by Armenians, known for their early Christian churches and unique carpets. In the 19th century it was occupied by Russia, and in 1921 Stalin arbitrarily and wrongly included this Christian enclave as an independent region within Muslim Azerbaijan. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the people of Nagorno-Karabakh demanded independence and fought a war to achieve it,” Robertson said in his op-ed.
Robertson also provided historical context by pointing out that after the victory in the 1990’s, Armenians enjoyed relative peace until Azerbaijan attacked in 2020. He also referred to the trilateral declaration of November 9, 2020 that was meant to end military actions.
“Russia stood as the guarantor of the agreement. Russia assigned 2,000 ‘peacekeepers’ to monitor the corridor, but they proved unable, or perhaps unwilling, to disperse the self-declared ‘environmental activists’ blocking the corridor, who are encouraged by the Azerbaijani government, which generally bans demonstrations and imprisons protesters,” Robertson wrote.
In the article, he also points out that many of the so-called environmental “protesters” who have been blockading the Lachin Corridor have tattoos that prove they are members of the Turkish nationalist Grey Wolves. Robertson added that the”protesters” are encouraged by the “dictator Ilham Aliyev.”