Russia Tells UN Security Council that End to Blockade is Imminent
United Nations Security Council members urged an end to the nine-day-old blockade of the Lachin Corridor—the only road connecting Artsakh to Armenia—during a session on Tuesday that discussed Azerbaijan’s closure of the important road.
Russia, a permanent member of the Security Council, through its UN representative said that it anticipates the opening of the Lachin Corridor in the near future. Its peacekeeping forces reportedly have been engaged in negotiations with the Azerbaijani side to bring an end to the blockade.
“We anticipate that full transport capabilities will be restored in the near future. The Russian side, through its defense ministry, the command of the Russian peacekeeping troops, as well as the foreign ministry, has been taking all the necessary steps for a quick settlement of the situation in the Lachin Corridor,” said Russia’s representative. Regular contacts were organized with Armenian and Azerbaijani partners,” said Russia’s representative, who also took credit for the end to the gas blockade of Artsakh, which started a day after the closure of the Lachin Corridor.
Since December 12 Azerbaijanis claiming to be environmental activists have blockaded the Lachin Corridor alleging that Armenians in Artsakh were illegally mining the gold and copper reserves in the nearby mines.
The Russian representative claimed that parameters for Azerbaijan’s so-called environmental activists to visit the mines had been established.
Armenia’s representative to the UN, Ambassador Mher Margaryan said Azerbaijan’s environmental concerns were fake and just a pretext for Baku to advance its policy of depriving the Armenian population of Artsakh from its rights. He urged the Security Council to compel Baku to immediately open the Lachin Corridor.
“The alarming situation in Nagorno-Karabakh is close to becoming a humanitarian disaster. Despite the efforts of the [Russian] peacekeeping forces, the negotiations between the Nagorno-Karabakh authorities with the Azerbaijani side, which aim to restore the safe and uninterrupted operation of the corridor, have not brought any results to date. The coordinated nature of Azerbaijan’s operations, including previous incidents targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure, is further evidence that the closure of the Lachin Corridor is in fact a pre-meditated operation by the Azerbaijani authorities to cause civilian harm and large-scale destruction and advance a humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh,” Margaryan told the UN Security Council session on Tuesday.
“We call on the UN Security Council to take steps to demand that Azerbaijan fully respect the provisions of the tripartite statement of November 9, 2020 and immediately and unconditionally lift the blockade of the Lachin Corridor, removing all obstacles to the safe and secure transportation, as well as deploy a fact-finding mission to the Lachin Corridor in Nagorno-Karabakh to assess the existing humanitarian situation, ensure and unabetted access for UN agencies to Karabakh to fulfill their humanitarian objectives,” Margaryan added.
“Armenia calls on the Security Council to fulfill its duty to maintain international peace and security, take appropriate measures and unequivocally condemn Azerbaijan’s aggressive actions, which pose an existential threat to the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, to their right to live freely and with dignity, without fear of external repression,” said Armenia’s Ambassador to the UN.
Representatives of France, the United States, China, the United Arab Emirates and Albania were among those calling for the immediate end to the Lachin Corridor blockade.
With all of them calling for a peaceful resolution to the conflict, diplomats representing UN Security Council member states said the blockade of the Lachin Corridor is hindering and setting back any progress made toward peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan.