At the extraordinary session of the National Assembly on December 20, Artur Khachatryan, deputy of the Armenia faction, declared that the Shushi-Karintak section where the Azerbaijanis blocked the Goris-Stepanakert road, is not in the Lachin corridor.
“There is a Goris-Stepanakert road and there is a small section of Goris-Stepanakert called Lachin Corridor. … The Turks have blocked the road not near Berdzor, but inside Karabakh, in the Shushi-Karintak section. There are certain issues starting from Lisagor. […] I reiterate: it is not the Lachin corridor, it is in the Karintak-Shushi section of the Goris-Stepanakert road,” said Khachatryan.
In response to Artur Khachatryan, Ruben Rubinyan, deputy of the Civil Contract faction, stated that the opposition deputy is wrong. According to Rubinyan, the Lachin corridor stretches all the way to Stepanakert. He quoted clause 6 of the November 9 statement which reads: “The Lachin corridor (5 km wide) which will ensure the communication between Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia and at the same time will circumvent the city of Shushi, shall remain under the control of the peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation.”
“It’s clear, isn’t it, why it is written that the city of Shushi is circumvented? So that those 5 kilometers do not apply to Shushi, and this is the clearest proof that the Lachin Corridor stretches from the border of Armenia to Stepanakert. …[ ].. Please forget this thesis once and for all, because that part is in Lacin Corridor. That road, along with the rest of the Lachin Corridor, is under the direct control of the Russian peacekeeping contingent,” Rubinyan claimed.
Fact Investigation Platform has studied what is known about the Lachine Corridor in open sources.
Before the 44-day war, the issue of the Lachin Corridor was discussed at different stages of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict which was supposed to ensure the connection of Artsakh (on the territory of the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast) with the Republic of Armenia.
Moreover, the dimensions, control and status of the corridor were different in different negotiation documents. However, the situation changed after the war in 2020 when the Nagorno-Karabakh territories came under the control of Azerbaijan, including Shushi-Karintak, the section through which the Goris-Stepanakert road passes.
November 9, 2020 statement did not specify what boundaries the Lachine Corridor includes. In its clause 2, it is specified that peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation shall be deployed along the line of contact in Nagorno-Karabakh and along the Lachin Corridor.
Clause 6 states that the Lachin corridor (5 km wide) which will ensure the communication between Nagorno Karabakh and the Armenia and at the same time will circumvent the city of Shushi, shall remain under the control of the peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation.
“The Republic of Azerbaijan shall guarantee safe movement of citizens, vehicles and cargo in both directions along the Lachin corridor,” the statement reads.
It is noteworthy that a map of the territory under the control of the Russian peacekeeping contingent is published on the website of the Russian peacekeeping contingent.
According to it, the Lachin Corridor runs up to the Shushi region, that is, the border of the former NKAO.
Thus, Artur Khachatryan’s claim is wrong: after the 44-day war, the Lachin Corridor passes through the Shushi region as well. Additionally, while the November 9 statement does not specify the precise boundaries of the Lachin Corridor, it does mention that it will circumvent the city of Shushi implying that the Lachin Corridor does not have the boundaries it had before 2020, and now stretched up to Stepanakert.