On June 7, AGBU Europe launched an appeal calling on the European Union and European aid organizations to engage with the population of Nagorno-Karabakh.
“Nagorno-Karabakh (NKR) is a landlocked mountainous territory in the South Caucasus, home to 150,000 people. It is one of the several unrecognized states that emerged from the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, and the Republic of Azerbaijan claims sovereignty over NKR. It is one of the most impoverished areas in the periphery,” reads the text of the petition on Change.org.
“The inhabitants of this small unrecognized state have been under continuous threat of war and isolation for more than 20 years, which has caused considerable hardship. A blockade continues to impact the daily life of the people, who also suffer from the highest mine-related casualty rate in the world,” it says.
The EU does not provide direct aid to the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, in contrast to other territories under dispute, such as Northern Cyprus, Abkhazia or Transnistria, which have received substantial benefits from EU engagement and aid.
“We call on all those who believe in Europe to sign onto this appeal. We stand ready to work with European institutions as well as with international NGOs to find ways to respond to the needs of the civilian population in Nagorno-Karabakh,” says Nadia Gortzounian, President of AGBU Europe.
Despite the isolation and economic hardship, Nagorno-Karabakh focuses on the development of democracy. It is making considerable efforts to improve institutions and strengthen civil society.
AGBU Europe has published a video and information package aimed at explaining the case for EU engagement in NKR.