"Ethnic cleansing in NK is no longer a theoretical possibility" - Pashinyan
Pashinyan on the humanitarian crisis in NK
“The meeting in Brussels, unfortunately, did not produce concrete results on the issue of unblocking the Lachin corridor and overcoming the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh,” the Prime Minister of Armenia said.
He stressed that the implementation of ethnic cleansing by Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh is “no longer a theoretical possibility, but a specific program that is being carried out by illegally blocking the Lachin corridor.” Nikol Pashinyan talked about the “manifestations of this program” in the morning at a government meeting, which is always broadcast live. The Prime Minister of Armenia claims that in the current situation “the need to send an international fact-finding mission to the Lachin corridor and NK has become even more acute.”
“The most constructive way out of the situation”
The most constructive scenario for resolving the situation the Armenian prime minister considers “the formation of a mechanism for international dialogue between Stepanakert and Baku.”
According to Pashinyan, the need to resolve the issues of the rights and security of the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh through the Stepanakert-Baku dialogue, as well as the need to open the Lachin corridor, was also emphasized by the President of the European Council in a statement following the talks in Brussels.
“We were convinced and continue to believe that without international participation and mechanisms this dialogue cannot be effective, if only because Baku continues its aggressive and threatening rhetoric against the Armenians of NK, the deep goal of which is to carry out ethnic cleansing here,” Pashinyan said.
According to him, this is already a “concrete program”, the manifestation of which is the complete cessation of the supply of electricity, natural gas, food and other essential goods. He says that Baku’s goal is to make it impossible for Armenians to live in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Pashinyan believes that the task of the Armenian side is to draw more attention to the humanitarian crisis that has arisen in Nagorno-Karabakh through diplomatic channels, as well as in international media and social networks.
“Pashinyan failed to prevent the agenda promoted by Aliyev.” Opinion from Yerevan
Political scientist Tigran Grigoryan is disappointed with the final statement of the head of the European Council on the Pashinyan-Aliyev meeting. He says, “it is not clear what the Prime Minister of Armenia was doing during these negotiations”
Information about the situation in NK
It has been reported from NK that the situation has reached a critical point. The Armenian authorities also declare a severe humanitarian crisis, emphasizing that “there is an increase in mortality.”
The Information Headquarters of the NK reports that over the past 4 days, 0 tons of essential goods have been imported. During the same period, only 3 entries and exits of Red Cross vehicles were recorded:
“Due to the suspension of planned operations, 1,640 citizens have lost the opportunity to solve their health problems through surgical intervention. In the last 4 days alone, 30 such cases have been registered.”
A statement from the headquarters summarizing the situation states that since the beginning of the blockade, 620 patients have been transported from NK to Armenia through the mediation and escort of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and another 70 by Russian peacekeepers.
Consequences of the blockade:
- The Red Cross and Russian peacekeepers imported about 15 times less essential goods than they should have received (5,715 tons instead of about 87,600 tons);
- Azerbaijan completely or partially blocked gas supplies from Armenia for a total of 152 days,
- electricity was completely cut off for 190 days,
- only 3,900 people were unable to return to their homes, including 550 children,
- according to preliminary estimates, about 11 thousand people lost their jobs and incomes,
- the damage to the economy amounted to about $416 million.
- 860 commercial companies (20.1% of the total) suspended their activities due to the impossibility of working under the blockade.
- construction work was stopped, including 32.6 km of roads, 3717 apartments.
Since December 12 last year, Azerbaijan has been blocking the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with the outside world. Since June 15, the import of even humanitarian goods has been banned. Responding to the calls of international partners to unblock the Lachin corridor, Baku declares that it is ready to “meet the needs of Armenian residents” using the route through Aghdam, that is, through its own territory. The Azerbaijani “Armenian integration agenda” was also promoted at the latest talks between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Brussels. The head of the European Council stated following its results that Azerbaijan is ready to carry out deliveries to NK through Aghdam.
In response, residents of the unrecognized republic held a protest action and blocked the Askeran-Agdam road with concrete barriers. They stated that they are categorically against the import of Azerbaijani products into NK, this is a “red line” for them.
“Artsakh is starving, while peacekeepers supply everything for themselves by helicopters”
More than a week has passed since the NK Ombudsman stated that the peacekeepers are bringing everything they need by helicopters, while the residents are in critical condition. Moreover, the Lachin corridor is blocked by the Azerbaijanis, despite the obligation of the RMC to ensure unimpeded passage to the road. The command of the Russian peacekeeping contingent has not yet commented on these statements addressed to them.
A group of officials from the unrecognized republic, including the state minister, the ombudsman, the interior minister, and the leader of the Free Motherland parliamentary faction, met with Alexander Lentsov, commander of the peacekeeping forces, on July 14.
“Lentsov admits that there is a humanitarian crisis in Artsakh, which is getting worse every minute,” State Minister Gurgen Nersisyan said after her.
According to him, Lentsov admitted that the blocking of the Lachin corridor violates the tripartite statement of November 9, 2020, according to which hostilities in Karabakh were stopped. The Russian general assured that “steps will be taken to solve the problems that have arisen.”
However, there were no changes or progress after the meeting with the commander of the peacekeeping forces. There is also no explanation as to why Russian peacekeepers, who are able to carry out air transportation, cannot deliver humanitarian cargo for local residents.
Pashinyan on the humanitarian crisis in NK