On January 25, Head of the Press Service Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Aykhan Hajizada responded to the latest statement of the Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State Ned Price on his Twitter microblog on the need to remove the blockade of the Lachin Corridor.
During the briefing on January 24, Ned Price announced that the situation in Nagorno Karabakh is worsening.
“The worsening humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh has been a focus of not only the Secretary but others in this building. Ongoing obstruction of normal commercial and private travel along the Lachin corridor is causing shortages of food, fuel, and medicine for the residents who depend on the corridor for those very basic supplies,” Price said.
In response, the representative of the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan wrote: “Dear State Department Spokesperson, more than 1000 vehicles bringing supplies into the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan proves the opposite of what you said on January 24.”
After studying the tweet of the representative of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, the Fact Investigation Platform revealed that the latter has provided false information on the matter.
Since December 12, 2022, Azerbaijanis posing as eco-activists have blocked the Lachin corridor the only route connecting Nagorno Karabakh to Armenia, by placing tents there. With that action, Azerbaijan has violated Clause 6 of the trilateral statement of November 9, 2020. According to the statement signed by the leaders of Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan, the Lachin corridor shall ensure the communication between Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia and 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.
However, the Azerbaijani side continues to obstruct the transportation of humanitarian goods, violating the aforementioned clause of the statement. The latest example is 100 tons of humanitarian cargo of the Hayastan All Armenian Fund, which never reached Nagorno Karabakh due to the blockade by the Azerbaijani side.
It should be noted that before the blockade of the corridor, 400 tons of food and medicine were transported from Armenia to Nagorno Karabakh every day, while during the 45 days of the ongoing blockade, only a few dozen vehicles with humanitarian cargo have passed through the corridor, accompanied by the International Committee of the Red Cross or Russian peacekeepers.
FIP.am earlier referred to the consequences of the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno Karabakh caused by the closure of the Lachin corridor. The videos we have published testify to the lack of food and household goods in Nagorno Karabakh.
Due to shortages of food, since January 18, a coupon-based system for the sale and purchase of food to the population has been operating in Nagorno Karabakh. Coupons are provided for the purpose of making relevant in-store purchases.
It is obvious that the information of the Azerbaijani official about the traffic of “more than 1000 vehicles” carrying cargo is false.
Azerbaijan also continues to obstruct the movement of civilians through the corridor, despite the fact that, according to the statement of November 9, it shall guarantee the safety of movement of citizens in both directions.
Since the blockade of the corridor, the movement of the residents of Nagorno Karabakh outside the republic has been blocked. Patients who are in critical condition either cannot be transported to Armenia in order to receive proper medical care, or are transported exclusively under the escort of the Red Cross.
And on January 18, in the blocked section of the corridor, Azerbaijani “eco-activists” broke into a Russian peacekeeper-accompanied bus carrying children who had been deprived of the opportunity to return home to Nagorno Karabakh for more than a month, terrorized the children, hindering their free movement, which the Azerbaijani side was obliged to guarantee by the statement of November 9.
In the course of one and a half months, the second case of civilian traffic through the corridor was recorded on January 24, when 11 citizens were moved from Stepanakert to Yerevan with the mediation and accompaniment of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Thus, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan counters the US State Department official with an obvious lie, claiming that Price’s statement does not reflect the situation in the Lachin Corridor.