Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Thursday said that only Russia and its peacekeeping contingent must be in charge in the Lachin Corridor, after calling Azerbaijan’s installation of a check point on the road a violation of the November 9, 2020 agreement.
“The Russian peacekeeping contingent must keep the Lachin Corridor under its control and thus ensure its normal function. Meaning, no one other than Russia should carry out control in the Lachin Corridor. And Azerbaijan must not impede free traffic along the corridor. This is precisely what is enshrined in the November 9, 2020 trilateral statement,” Pashinyan said during a cabinet meeting.
He added that the rights and security of the Armenians in Nagorno Karabakh must become subject of negotiations between Stepanakert and Baku in an international format.
Pashinyan called the check “a gross violation of point 6 of the November 9, 2020 trilateral statement.”
“Azerbaijan continues to escalate the situation in the region, this time by installing a checkpoint in the Lachin Corridor linking Nagorno Karabakh with Armenia. And if so far the Lachin Corridor was closed under the pretext of an environmental campaign, now it is already officially closed by Azerbaijan,” said Pashinyan.
“This provocative step aims to not only increase the tension in the region but also worsen the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno Karabakh,” Pashinyan added.
Saying that the international community had given a clear assessment of Azerbaijan’s actions, presumably referring to calls on Baku to end the blockade by the U.S., EU and Russia, Pashinyan said that the current situation is yet another step in Azerbaijan to ethnically cleanse Nagorno-Karabakh.
He again called for the urgent deployment of an international fact-finding mission to the Lachin Corridor and Karabakh.
“Azerbaijan’s efforts for turning Nagorno Karabakh into a new [execution site] of Armenians must be stopped. And the only reliable way for doing so is the presence of representatives with broad international mandate in Nagorno Karabakh. As a first step, it is necessary to deploy an urgent international fact-finding mission to Lachin Corridor and Nagorno Karabakh,” Pashinyan said.
He added that any possible peace treaty between Armenia and Azerbaijan must clearly stipulate the terms of the delimitation and also clear mechanisms for ruling out any escalation.