The French region of Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes intends to break the blockade of NK
Humanitarian convoy to head to NK
“The attention of the whole world is fixed on Ukraine, and there is a great danger that Armenia and Artsakh will be forgotten,” Laurent Wauquiez, President of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Regional Council of France, said in Yerevan. As part of a visit to Armenia, a French delegation of 40 people visited the Syunik region, where the Lachin corridor begins.
Wauquiez described the blockade there as a total violation of human rights and urged everyone not to ignore the “criminal blockade, not to allow the population to die in silence.”
Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes is a region in southeast central France with a population of approximately 8 million people.
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“We intend to send a convoy with humanitarian cargo to NK”
Laurent Wauquiez told reporters during a press conference that he intended to send a convoy to NK, an initiative by his region and the Armenian community of France. A column with the regional flag of the French region of Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes will try to break through the blockade and deliver humanitarian aid to the unrecognized republic.
“Either the column will pass, and then we will open a small door of hope, or the column will not be able to pass. And this will give us the opportunity to present this issue to international and European organizations, to declare that international law is once again violated and measures must be taken,” Wauquiez said.
“I was there, I saw it, I understand what is happening”
Wauquiez said that he did not know “any other corner on the planet where 120,000 people are under a total blockade and to whom such a barbaric attitude is manifested.”
On March 29, Wauquiez posted a video standing at a closed barrier to the Lachin corridor. He said that the Armenians of the region “have been cut off from the whole world for more than 100 days”, and said that Azerbaijan had not opened the road even after the decision of the Hague court.
“Behind me are people who have been doomed to starvation. This must be known. There is a false excuse that all eyes are now on the other side [referring to Ukraine], and therefore they have forgotten what is happening here. This is an absolute violation of human rights,” Wauquiez said on Twitter.
He believes that Azerbaijan is “carrying out serious propaganda work to justify its actions.” He says that a large delegation came to Armenia with him, which visited Syunik, bordering Azerbaijan, in order to get acquainted with the situation on the ground.
“All members of our delegation will be able to say: I was there, I saw, I understand what is happening. The very next day, the Azerbaijani armed forces advanced to the places where we were and occupied them on the sovereign territory of Armenia.”
The National Security Service of Armenia reported info on the advancement of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces on the section of the road connecting the territory of Armenia with the Lachin corridor. According to the report, on the night of March 30, under the pretext of switching to an alternative route of the Lachin corridor, the Azerbaijani military moved forward from 100 to 300 meters from the border at five points.
“Azerbaijani gas is more acceptable?”
According to Wauquiez, the reaction of the international community is inadequate to what is happening. He says that he shares the feelings of Armenian society and is equally upset by the inaction of international partners:
“It was decided that Russian gas will no longer be purchased after the occupation of some territories of Ukraine. Is Azerbaijani gas more acceptable? Why were there no repercussions for what happened here? Why are there no sanctions against the Aliyev regime?”
“Whoever attacks Syunik will attack my region”
According to Wauquiez, the Armenian region of Syunik, bordering Azerbaijan, “is the key to the integrity of Armenia.” He believes that a “great struggle” for civilization and democracy is now unfolding.
“This is not a dispute between two states where borders are not specified, this is a complete disregard for human rights protected by all international conventions, this is a desire to destroy a nation, its culture, its history, its memory,” he stated.
During the visit of the French delegation, an agreement was signed on cooperation between the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region and the Syunik region of Armenia in the fields of healthcare, agriculture and education.
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Humanitarian convoy to head to NK