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A group of Azerbaijanis in civilian clothes blocked the Stepanakert-Goris highway

1098769.jpg 13:06, 3 December 2022

YEREVAN, DECEMBER 3, ARMENPRESS. A group of Azerbaijanis in civilian clothes closed the Stepanakert-Goris highway with environmental pretext at the intersection of Shushi-Karintak, ARMENPRESS reports the information headquarters of Artsakh informs.

"It is obvious that with this move, Azerbaijan is resorting to provocation to interrupt the land connection between Armenia and Artsakh and subject the civilian population to psychological terror.

The command of the Russian peacekeeping troops stationed in Artsakh has been properly informed about the incident. The authorized state bodies of Artsakh are taking all possible measures to solve the situation," reads the message.




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Spanish MP gets acquainted with the consequences of the Azerbaijani aggression in Jermuk

1098764.jpg 12:16, 3 December 2022

YEREVAN, DECEMBER 3, ARMENPRESS. Member of the Congress of Deputies of Spain Jon Iñárritu visited Jermuk to get acquainted with the consequences of the Azerbaijani aggression against the sovereign territory of Armenia, ARMENPRESS was informed from the National Assembly of Armenia.

"In the Spanish parliament, we are involved in the processes related to the raising of Armenian issues. The Congress of Deputies of Spain unanimously adopted a statement that condemns the invasion of the sovereign territory of Armenia by the Azerbaijani forces and calls for a return to the initial positions," Iñárritu said.

The MP was accompanied by Tatevik Gasparyan, MP representing the "Civil Contract" faction of the National Assembly, head of the Armenia-Spain friendship group.

The parliamentarians visited the Jermuk sanatorium, the Kechut cemetery and the ropeway, which were affected by the Azerbaijani aggression.

The Spanish MP noted that upon his return to his country, he will present to his colleagues the damages suffered by the resort town as a result of the use of weapons of different calibers by Azerbaijan and everything he saw with his own eyes.

Deputy Mayor of Jermuk Vardan Sargsyan welcomed the guests and presented the situation and problems created in the region as a result of the Azerbaijani military aggression in September. According to him, the situation in the city is calm at the moment, but threats are always present.

Tatevik Gasparyan emphasized the importance of such visits, noting that they provide an opportunity to once again present the reality to the international community.




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This is also a blow to the Russian peacekeepers. Davit Babayan about blockade of Stepanakert- Goris highway by Azerbaijan

1098774.jpg 14:16, 3 December 2022

YEREVAN, DECEMBER 3, ARMENPRESS. By blocking the Stepanakert-Goris highway, Azerbaijan is trying to advance its anti-Armenian policy, to paralyze Artsakh, which is also a blow to the Russian peacekeeping mission, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Artsakh Republic Davit Babyan told ARMENPRESS, referring to another provocation by Azerbaijan.

He noted that there is no need to be surprised by such provocations of Azerbaijanis. "Everything is expected from them. They are trying to terrorize, they are trying to persistently advance their anti-Armenian policy, to paralyze Artsakh, they are violating international norms, this is a blow to the Russian peacekeeping mission, a blow to everything," the acting FM said.

According to him, the international community should draw very clear conclusions from all of this. "The international community should exert pressure on Azerbaijan, there is no other option. Condemnation is absolutely necessary, but steps must be taken, it is not right to be limited by words only," Babayan said.

Babayan assured that Artsakh is on its feet. All steps are being taken to resolve the situation. Russian peacekeepers are aware of the incident, all steps are being taken to restore communication.

Earlier it became known that a group of Azerbaijanis in civilian clothes closed the Stepanakert-Goris highway with environmental pretext at the intersection of Shushi-Karintak. Artsakh's information headquarters reported that it is obvious that with this, Azerbaijan is resorting to provocation in order to interrupt the land connection between Armenia and Artsakh and subject the civilian population to psychological terror.




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Road connecting Artsakh with Armenia unblocked

1098781.jpg 15:44, 3 December 2022

YEREVAN, DECEMBER 3, ARMENPRESS. The negotiations with the Azerbaijani side, which lasted more than three hours, gave a positive result. The only road connecting Artsakh to Armenia is bi-directionally open for all types of vehicles, ARMENPRESS reports the information headquarters of Artsakh informs.




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Dec 5 2022

What next for Christian Armenians?

  • Rebecca Tinsley

  • Dec 5th, 2022

The risk of ethnic cleansing facing Armenian Christians is being highlighted at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague this week. Lawyers will argue that while the world has focused on Russia's invasion of Ukraine this year, other conflicts are being overlooked. Nations should be held to their duty to prevent genocide under international law, rather than waiting to respond once mass atrocities have started, they say.

Professor Hannah Garry of the University of Southern California has filed a 200-page legal brief with the Office of the ICC Prosecutor, presenting detailed evidence of identity-based targeted killings in the Armenian enclave of Nagorno Karabagh, in Ethiopia and in Cameroon. She and her colleagues are calling for a preliminary examination of the conflicts in each country, where violence has been overlooked by the international community and the media.

Researchers at the University of Ghent recently announced that as many as half a million people may have been killed in the war in the Tigray area of Ethiopia. Despite a recent ceasefire, human rights groups report that Eritrean troops continue to loot and assault Tigrayan civilians. Meanwhile, for the third year in a row, the Norwegian Refugee Council cites the Anglophone Cameroon crisis as among the world's most neglected conflicts.

Christian heritage under threat

In August, a cross party group of parliamentarians warned of the increasing risk of violence in the enclave of Nagorno Karabakh where 94% of the population is Armenian. Azerbaijani armed forces are using drones, grenade launchers and anti-aircraft weapons against civilians in contravention of international law and in breach of the most recent ceasefire agreement. Moreover, Armenian Christian monuments and heritage sites are being destroyed in areas now under Azerbaijani control. The parliamentarians charge that the Azerbaijani armed forces are able to act with impunity while the world's attention is elsewhere.

Professor Garry cites Armenia, Ethiopia and Cameroon as examples of human rights violations that should invoke the duty to prevent genocide under the Responsibility to Protect doctrine adopted by UN member states in 2005. Human rights group have been frustrated that the doctrine, which obliges all countries to act proactively to prevent genocide before it begins, has not been enforced. The ICC Assembly of State Parties will be presented with Professor Garry's detailed legal evidence.

In a separate move, Lord Alton has urged the UK Foreign Office to refer the violence in Anglophone Cameroon to the ICC for investigation. For some years Alton has been championing a Genocide Determination Bill that would empower a competent court to make a preliminary ruling on whether or not genocide may be occurring in a given set of circumstances, or whether there is a serious risk of genocide, obligating the UK to refer cases to the ICC. At the end of October, the bill had its second reading in the House of Lords, reaching the committee stage. Previously, Alton's all party Genocide amendment, which was based on the bill, was adopted by the House of Lords with majorities of over one hundred, before it was defeated by the government.

As Lord Alton commented: "Despite the long-standing obligation to prevent genocide, in Article I of the Genocide Convention, States do little, if anything, to identify situations of serious risk of genocide and to act in order to prevent the risk morphing into repeated atrocities. States must up their game, turn grandstanding rhetoric into reality, and implement their duties under the Genocide Convention. Genocide prevention cannot be left to chance."


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Azerbaijan wants to cut Artsakh’s “last link with the world”
Azerbaijans-road-block-of-the-StepanakerAzerbaijan’s roadblock of the Stepanakert-Goris Highway on December 3, 2022 (Gegham Stepanyan, Facebook)

Armenian authorities are warning that Azerbaijan plans to cut off Artsakh’s only connection with Armenia through the Lachin corridor.

“Azerbaijan wants to cut that only and last link with the world, strangling Artsakh,” Artsakh President Arayik Harutyunyan said on December 7. Harutyunyan called for “additional international guarantees to ensure uninterrupted connection of Artsakh with Armenia and the external world” during his meeting with a delegation of French parliamentarians.

“We see the intention of the Azerbaijani side to close the Lachin corridor,” Armenian National Assembly speaker Alen Simonyan said on December 5. “The Lachin corridor is the only full corridor of humanitarian importance for the life-support of the Nagorno Karabakh Armenians.”

Traffic-blocked-for-hours-by-Azerbaijan-Traffic blocked for hours by Azerbaijan on the Stepanakert-Goris Highway, December 3, 2022 (Gegham Stepanyan, Facebook)

The warnings come after a week of tensions along the route between Artsakh and Armenia, raising fears that the future of the Lachin corridor is under threat.

On December 7, a group of journalists working for Azerbaijani state media were blocked from entering Stepanakert by Russian peacekeeping forces, according to a video circulated on social media. Russian peacekeepers have restricted access by foreign journalists since their deployment to Artsakh and the Lachin corridor after the end of the 2020 Artsakh War between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan-blocks-the-Stepanakert-Goris-Azerbaijan blocks the Stepanakert-Goris Highway to Artsakh, December 3, 2022 (Artak Beglaryan, Twitter)

On December 3, a group of state representatives from Azerbaijan shut down a section of the Stepanakert-Goris highway near Shushi, obstructing travel between Artsakh and Armenia for nearly four hours. Azerbaijani authorities said that government employees traveled toward Shushi from Stepanakert to address “environmental damage” arising from “illegal exploitation of minerals” in Artsakh.

The road was reopened after several hours of negotiations mediated by Russian peacekeepers. During the road closure, Artsakh authorities said that it was “impossible to transport medical supplies and medicines to Artsakh” or “people with serious health issues from Artsakh to Armenia.”

It is obvious that by this step Azerbaijan is resorting to a provocation aimed at terminating the terrestrial connection between Armenia and Artsakh and subjecting the civilian population to psychological terror,” Artsakh officials said.

Following Saturday’s road closure, the Russian peacekeeping mission announced its plan to install new technical equipment along the Stepanakert-Goris road.

Head of the Russian peacekeeping force Andrei Volkov said that a customs station with special technical equipment would be set up on the first checkpoint in an interview broadcast on Azerbaijani public television. He said the agreement was reached as a result of negotiations between Russia and Azerbaijan.

Volkov’s interview sparked rumors in Artsakh and Armenia that an Azerbaijani roadblock would be placed on the Lachin corridor. During a meeting with the Artsakh State Security Service on December 5, Volkov said that the checkpoint or any other Russian checkpoint along the corridor, would not be controlled by Azerbaijanis. The Russian peacekeepers plan to install X-ray scanners at the checkpoint near Shushi to inspect vehicles and make sure prohibited items do not enter their zone of responsibility, according to Artsakh authorities.

Representatives from the Azerbaijan Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Economy and AzerGold met with Russian peacekeepers twice this week to discuss the “importance of conducting monitoring, inventory of property and environmental research in fields where illegal exploitation of minerals is carried out,” the Azerbaijan Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources said.

The Artsakh Environmental Committee responded that its “frequent monitoring has not identified any significant environmental risks associated with mineral use.”

“The Artsakh Republic takes care of the health of its population and the preservation of nature, despite the various difficulties as a result of the conflict and unrecognized status of the state,” the committee said on December 3.

On December 4, the day after the road closure, a physical altercation broke out between a group of Azerbaijanis in civilian clothes and residents in Artsakh. Officials say the Azerbaijanis “behaved rudely and provocatively” toward a group of Armenians during a pit stop in the Getavan community of the Martakert region of Artsakh while traveling along the Mataghis-Karvachar road. The passengers were “employees of the Azerbaijani armed forces and military police,” according to Artsakh authorities.

Russian peacekeepers have been deployed along the Lachin corridor since the end of the 2020 Artsakh War. Under the terms of the ceasefire, Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to construct an alternate route within the next three years, to which Russian peacekeepers would be redeployed. This past summer, the Armenian residents of Aghavno, Nerkin Sus and the town of Berdzor along the Lachin corridor were evacuated after Azerbaijan demanded that Armenians start using the new route, largely constructed by Azerbaijani workers.

In the weeks before the road closure, Azerbaijani authorities accused Armenia of conducting prohibited activities along the Lachin corridor. On November 24, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov said that Armenia buried mines in Artsakh transported along the Lachin corridor.

“The corridor is not being used for its intended purpose, and this must be stopped,” Bayramov told reporters, warning that Azerbaijan “will take all necessary steps.”

His Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan responded that the mines were not laid in Artsakh, but in parts of Armenia occupied by Azerbaijani forces during the border attacks of May 2021 and September 2022. He said the mines were laid “due to the constant high risk of new military aggressions by Azerbaijan.”

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has drawn parallels between the Lachin corridor and the so-called “Zangezur corridor.” The ceasefire agreement calls for the creation of a route connecting Azerbaijan and its exclave Nakhichevan through Armenia to guarantee “unimpeded movement of citizens, vehicles and goods in both directions.” Aliyev has demanded that Armenia provide a corridor free of passport or customs controls through its southernmost province Syunik. Armenian authorities have rejected this demand, stating that the ceasefire agreement does not call for the provision of a corridor, but of a transport route within Armenia’s jurisdiction, which it is ready to provide.

Lillian Avedian
Lillian Avedian is a staff writer for the Armenian Weekly. Her writing has also been published in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Hetq and the Daily Californian. She is pursuing master’s degrees in journalism and Near Eastern Studies at New York University. A human rights journalist and feminist poet, Lillian's first poetry collection Journey to Tatev was released with Girls on Key Press in spring of 2021.


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Jerusalem Post

Dec 7 2022

Armenia wants peace, if Azerbaijan withdraws, stops aggression - opinion

Armenia remains fully committed to a peace agenda. If Azerbaijan is serious about peace, the only way to show it is to return to negotiations instead of finding pretexts to avoid them.


If Azerbaijan were to immediately withdraw from the sovereign Armenian territory that it occupies and promise to halt further aggression the path could be cleared toward a comprehensive peace settlement with Armenia.

But you wouldn’t know that reading the recent op-ed in The Jerusalem Post by Azerbaijan’s ambassador to the UK (November 24) who avoids any mention that his country has attacked Armenia several times since 2020, the latest aggression just two months ago, and over that time it has seized around 140 square kilometers of Armenian territory.

The article starts with a reference to the Abraham Accords of 2020 and the full normalization of relations between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. It states that although the context in the Caucasus is different, “a similar emphasis on the dividends of peace stands as a key element in normalization between Armenia and Azerbaijan.”

Making comparisons to the Abraham Accords is a curious choice. None of the signatories occupies the land of another and since its signing two years ago the fruits of those accords make for interesting reading. Before referring to them it would make sense for Azerbaijan to mention that the UAE’s Education Ministry is preparing Holocaust learning materials for primary and secondary school students, and last year the region’s first Holocaust memorial exhibition opened in Dubai.

Thus, using the Abraham Accords as a misdirection, he tries, rather transparently, to drive an artificial wedge between Armenia and Israel: two ancient civilizations, both genocide survivor states, who continue to face existential threats to their survival. The fact of the matter is that Azerbaijan embodies the very values that are in contradiction with the letter and spirit of the Abraham Accords.

Azerbaijan wants to eliminate Armenia, Armenian identity

In Azerbaijan’s school system children are taught to hate Armenians. In one school textbook for nine to 10-year-olds a young girl is shown killing an Armenian soldier with an axe. Ironically, the ax murderer who was convicted by the Hungarian court for beheading a sleeping Armenian counterpart in Budapest is a national hero of Azerbaijan and according to the country’s ombudsman is “a symbol for the young generation.”

Azerbaijan’s ambassador also asks Armenia to stop dwelling on its past and yet his country seems determined to erase it. After years destroying thousands of Armenian religious monuments across the region which the US-based Caucasus Heritage Watch described as “a systematic, state-sponsored program of cultural erasure,” and the International Court of Justice ordered Azerbaijan to halt the destruction of Armenian heritage.

But it hasn’t stopped. For decades, various statements from Azerbaijan’s leaders are clear their intention to completely erase all traces of Armenian identity.

Make no mistake, Armenia is not an obstacle to peace but what sort of peace does Azerbaijan seek? Since the end of the Nagorno-Karabakh war in 2020, which President Aliyev admitted he launched, Armenia has accepted the five principles Azerbaijan has proposed as a basis for a settlement.

However, what Armenia guards against is Azerbaijan exploiting the border delimitation process for new territorial claims and occupation. For example, it continues to publish maps showing the south of Armenia as part of Azerbaijan. Armenia has confirmed its road network would be open for transportation between those two but that it would not whatsoever constitute an extraterritorial corridor that Azerbaijan could use as a pretext for further aggression.

The Azerbaijani ambassador’s op-ed pulses with references to normalization and the claim that “what we continue to witness is a pragmatic, reality-based Azerbaijani approach versus Armenia’s continued ideological and self-harming reluctance to become a fully integrated part of the region wherein it exists.” But as it appears, it is Armenia’s very existence with which Azerbaijan appears to have a major problem.

Furthermore, Azerbaijan’s claims to desire peace have been undermined by President Aliyev’s decision to pull out of a meeting in Brussels planned for today with Prime Minister Pashinyan, France’s President Macron and the president of the European Council, Charles Michel.

However, the same four leaders met in Prague last October where they all agreed that the quadrilateral format would again be used in Brussels. Armenia remains fully committed to a peace agenda. If Azerbaijan is serious about peace, the only way to show it is to return to negotiations instead of finding pretexts to avoid them.

The writer is the ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the UK.


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In pictures: Artsakh during Azerbaijani blockade

1099949.jpg 17:15, 17 December 2022

YEREVAN, DECEMBER 17, ARMENPRESS. In violation of the provisions of 9 November 2020 trilateral statement, Azerbaijan, for already the 6th day, is keeping the Lachin Corridor blocked.

The Corridor is the only road connecting Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) with Armenia and the outside world.

Despite the current situation, life goes on in Artsakh.

Here are photos taken by photographer Edgar Harutyunyan showing the life in Artsakh during the Azerbaijani blockade.












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President Praises Resilience of Artsakh’s People


On the fifth day of an ongoing blockade of the Lachin Corridor—the only road connecting Artsakh to Armenia—Artsakh’s President Arayik Harutyunyan issued a message to citizens praising the will and resilience of the people of Artsakh.

Below is a translated text of the message, which Harutyunyan posted on the Artsakh President’s Facebook page.

Dear compatriots,

It already has been five days since Azerbaijan has been keeping the 120,000 population of Artsakh in a total blockade with an attention-grabbing agenda—the fake pretext of concern for the environment—thus putting the Armenians of Artsakh on the brink of a humanitarian disaster.

However, as we have seen, the people of Artsakh have not succumbed and are honorably overcoming the current situation, which are do not correspond with 21st century norms and are unfathomable for civilized people. They are confronting difficulties, suffering and the humanitarian consequences arising from the situation.

To this end, on behalf of the people of the Artsakh Republic, I declare:

The people of Artsakh are supporters and advocates of peace, stability and neighborly relations between peoples in the region.

The people of Artsakh are open to discussing any issue or problem, to free dialogue, are willing to build and anticipate constructive relations formed on the basis of mutual respect of rights.

We consider coercion, protests and use of force unacceptable and we call for the complete rejection of the idea of depopulating Artsakh, which is an integral part of the Azerbaijani state policy, as a result of which the Artsakh Liberation Movement began. In that case only will the will to achieve peace be appreciated, and peace be sincere, real, and tangible.

The people of Artsakh have adopted a decision to resist the encroachment against their rights and to bear the physical deprivation inflicted on us with dignity, thereby neutralizing all possible attempts to impose concessions and conditions constraining the decision-making on Mother Armenia.

We express our gratitude to the Republic of Armenia and our compatriots in the Diaspora, both of which are speaking out and informing the international community about the crime being committed against the citizens of the Artsakh Republic, initiating legal processes, and simply encouraging and giving strength to the people of Artsakh.

“We convey our gratitude to the Russian peacekeeping contingent for remaining faithful to their mission. The peacekeepers have been standing by the people of Artsakh firmly and resolutely for days, without paying attention to provocations, blatant insults and contempt. We highly appreciate the conscious steps taken by the peacekeepers to alleviate the humanitarian problems of our people,” said Harutyunyan

We will continue our struggle and will never be used to put pressure on the Russian Federation or damage its reputation, because we are sure that the Russian Federation has the irrevocable will to solve the problems diplomatically and through dialogue.


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9 international organizations issue genocide warning for Nagorno Karabakh

1100066.jpg 10:30, 20 December 2022

YEREVAN, DECEMBER 20, ARMENPRESS. Christian Solidarity International and 8 other organizations issued a genocide warning for Nagorno Karabakh. They call on parties to the Genocide Convention to act through the UN Security Council to prevent genocide of the region's Armenians.

“On December 12, the government of Azerbaijan imposed a blockade on Nagorno Karabakh and its 120,000 Armenian residents, preventing food, medicine, gas, and other vital goods from transiting through the Lachin Corridor, the only land route into the region.

The government of Azerbaijan has long promoted official hatred of Armenians, has fostered impunity for atrocities committed against Armenians, and has issued repeated threats to conquer not only Nagorno Karabakh, but also Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, by force.

The present blockade is designed to, in the words of the Genocide Convention, “deliberately inflict conditions of life calculated to bring about the end of a national, ethnical, racial or religious group in whole or in part.”

All 14 risk factors for atrocity crimes identified by the UN Secretary-General’s Office on Genocide Prevention are now present.

The current Azerbaijani aggression against the Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh conforms to a long pattern of ethnic and religious cleansing of Armenian and other Christian communities in the region by the government of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Turkey, the Ottoman Empire, and their partisans.

We call on all contracting parties to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, particularly the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Russian Federation, to fulfill their obligations, through the UN Security Council, to prevent another chapter of the Armenian Genocide.

We also call on the UN Security Council to act to ensure unrestricted humanitarian access for all international organizations to Nagorno Karabakh, in accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention,” the statement reads.

Signatories include:

Christian Solidarity International

The Baroness Cox, Independent Member of the House of Lords

American Friends of Kurdistan

Armenian Bar Association

Armenian National Committee of America

Genocide Watch

Hellenic American Leadership Council

Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust

In Defense of Christians

International Christian Concern

The Philos Project

Prof Armen T. Marsoobian (First Vice President, International Association of Genocide Scholars)


Lela Gilbert, Fellow: Hudson Center for International Religious Freedom




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United Nations Security Council to discuss situation in Lachin Corridor

1100056.jpg 09:48, 20 December 2022

YEREVAN, DECEMBER 20, ARMENPRESS. The United Nations Security Council will hold a session on December 20 at the request of Armenia to discuss the situation around Lachin Corridor, the only road connecting Nagorno Karabakh with Armenia and the rest of world which Azerbaijan is keeping blocked since December 12.

The UNSC agenda for December 20 includes the discussion based on the letter by the Permanent Representative of Armenia to the UN addressed to the UNSC President.

Meanwhile, the Armenian foreign ministry spokesperson Vahan Hunanyan said in a statement: “Based on the appeal of the Republic of Armenia the situation in the Lachin Corridor will be discussed at the UN Security Council.”


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Nagorno Karabakh requests appropriate measures from int’l community to lift illegal blockade by Azerbaijan

1100120.jpg 17:07, 20 December 2022

YEREVAN, DECEMBER 20, ARMENPRESS. The Foreign Ministry of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) has again addressed the international community asking appropriate measures to lift the unlawful Azeri blockade of Artsakh.

“Since December 12, Azerbaijan has been blocking the only road connecting Artsakh to Armenia and the outside world, thereby putting Artsakh under illegal siege and deliberately creating unbearable living conditions for the 120,000 people of Artsakh.

Due to the blockade, the fundamental rights of the people of Artsakh have been violated. People are deprived of the right to freedom of movement, appropriate healthcare and supply of vital goods.

This situation created by Azerbaijan is the logical continuation of its long-standing Armenophobic policies.

Since the beginning of the blockade, the Artsakh Foreign Ministry has addressed numerous letters-statements to various countries and international organizations, providing reliable information about the ongoing situation and requesting appropriate measures and support to lift the illegal blockade of Artsakh.

Azerbaijan's policy is a challenge to the entire civilized world and must be strictly condemned,” the Artsakh Foreign Ministry said in a statement.




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German ambassador expresses concern over situation in Artsakh

1100206.jpg 14:35, 21 December 2022

YEREVAN, DECEMBER 21, ARMENPRESS. Minister of Healthcare of Armenia Anahit Avanesyan presented the risks of an emerging healthcare crisis in Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) resulting from the blockade of Lachin Corridor during a meeting with German Ambassador to Armenia Viktor Richter.

Avanesyan called for EU countries to raise their voice and prevent the possible disaster, the healthcare ministry said in a readout.

Ambassador Richter expressed concern regarding the situation in Artsakh and noted that the German government and human rights defender have also issued statements condemning the situation.

The meeting also discussed Germany’s support provided to Armenia’s COVID-19 response during the pandemic, and possibilities for enhanced cooperation in several areas – oncology, connection between hospitals, introduction of health insurance, PHC reforms and others.




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Dec 21 2022

UN official warns against new Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict


Wed, December 21, 2022 at 8:05 AM GMT+2

Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A senior U.N. official urged the international community Tuesday to prevent Armenia and Azerbaijan from resuming their conflict over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region as the two countries accused each other of violating a Russian-brokered peace agreement.

U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for political affairs Miroslav Jenča said a renewed conflict would likely impact the wider south Caucasus region and beyond. He urged redoubled diplomatic efforts to achieve a lasting peaceful settlement between Armenia and Azerbaijan “before it is too late.”

The former Soviet countries have been locked in a decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, which is part of Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a separatist war there ended in 1994. During a six-week war in 2020, Azerbaijan reclaimed broad swaths of Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent territories held by Armenian forces. More than 6,700 people died in the fighting that was ended by a Russia-brokered peace agreement.

Jenča said there has been “a glimmer of hope” for progress in ongoing diplomatic efforts following renewed violence in mid-September that killed 155 soldiers from both countries. But regrettably, he said, tensions on the border and around areas put under control of Russian peacekeeping forces in the 2020 peace agreement “have not abated as hoped.”

He pointed to several incidents that have raised tensions, the latest reportedly involving protests near a Russian peacekeeping post on the Lachin road, the only artery between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.

Jenča said it has been reported that the protests were against what the demonstrators claimed is the illegal exploitation of mineral resources and the environmental impact on the surrounding area. He said the U.N. understands the protests were continuing Tuesday but it is not in a position to verify or confirm the allegations.

In recent days, he said, both Armenia and Azerbaijan have written to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and to the Security Council offering widely differing accounts of the situation, alleging violations of commitments by the other side, and challenging each other’s claims.

The U.N. welcomes the commitment of Russian peacekeeping forces “to facilitate and ensure the safe passage through the corridor,” Jenča said, citing media reports and statements from Russian peacekeepers indicating that some humanitarian and medical supplies have gotten through.

Armenia’s U.N. Ambassador Mher Margaryan told the council his country called the emergency meeting because since Dec. 12, the Azerbaijan initiated “massive campaign of state-sponsored protests along the Lachin corridor” has blocked the only supply route in and out of Nagorno-Karabakh creating “an evolving humanitarian crisis.”

At least 1,100 civilians have been stranded along the blocked highway for the past week, and transferring patients for urgent treatment in Armenian hospitals “has become impossible, which has already resulted in fatality of a critically ill patient,” he said.

“By orchestrating an unlawful blockade of the Lachin corridor under the made-up pretext of environmental concerns,” Margaryan said, “Azerbaijan has effectively targeted a population of 120,000 people by isolating them in precarious humanitarian conditions during the winter season.”

Azerbaijan’s U.N. Ambassador Yashar Aliyev told the council that under the November 2020 Russian-brokered deal the Lachin district was returned to Azerbaijan which committed to guarantee the security of people, vehicles and cargo moving along the road.

“Neither the government of Azerbaijan nor the protesting activists have blocked the Lachin road,” he said.

“Video clips shared on social media show unimpeded passage of the various types of vehicles, including ambulances and humanitarian convoys,” Aliyev said. “The claims regarding alleged humanitarian consequences of the situation are equally false. This is nothing other than another manifestation of reckless manipulation by Armenia of the situation for obvious malign political purposes.”

Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassador Anna Evstigneeva expressed concern about reports of blockage of the Lachin corridor, saying in recent days Russia “has been taking every effort to ensure prompt settlement of the situation.” As a result, she said, natural gas supplies have been delivered to Nagorno-Karabakh and traffic on the road was partly unblocked.

Russia calls on Armenia and Azerbaijan to observe the cease-fire and no-use-of-force agreements achieved under its mediation, “to demonstrate restraint, and keep from steps that may escalate tension,” Evstigneeva said.


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