1000 packages for 120 thousand people in blockade: Russia's aid to unrecognized NK
Russia sends humanitarian aid to NK
The humanitarian cargo sent by Russia to the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh has been delivered to its destination. One Russian Red Cross truck entered the territory of the unrecognized republic on the Aghdam-Askeran road. It is reported from the ground that the humanitarian aid was allowed to enter on condition that the Lachin corridor, the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia, would also be opened. However, Azerbaijan continues to insist that cargo transportation through Lachin will be possible if the route through its territory, i.e. through Aghdam, is opened.
Earlier, the MK Information Headquarters reported that an agreement had been reached according to which the transportation of humanitarian cargoes by Russian peacekeepers and the International Committee of the Red Cross through the Lachin corridor would also be restored. But Baku clarified that the entry of Russian cargoes is a separate agreement and should not be confused with their proposal to open Agdam and Lachin simultaneously.
According to Armenia’s parliamentary opposition, the international community, including Russia, should oblige Azerbaijan to unblock the Lachin corridor. Some MPs claim that Russia is negotiating with the parties to the conflict to restore movement along the corridor.
“The Aghdam-Askeran road opened with a certain condition”
NK Information Headquarters reports that the delivery of the humanitarian cargo of the Russian Red Cross was allowed by the local authorities.
Askeran Mayor Hayk Shamiryan told journalists that at first local residents gathered and did not allow the truck to pass, but then agreed with the authorities’ arguments. They were explained that the entry of Russian goods was allowed based on “the need to alleviate acute humanitarian problems caused by the blockade by Azerbaijan”.
The Askeran district administration said that they continue to block the Aghdam-Askeran road for two trucks of the Azerbaijani Red Crescent, which brought humanitarian aid.
The Russian cargo was allowed to enter on the condition “that the agreement with the Russian side will be observed, i.e. only the Russian truck will pass and the Lachin corridor will be unblocked.”
The initiative of the Russian Federation to provide humanitarian aid to NK along the Agdam road was announced on September 9, a few hours after the presidential election of the unrecognized republic. The Azerbaijani Red Crescent reported that the transportation is carried out within the framework of the memorandum of cooperation signed with the Russian Red Cross.
Earlier, Azerbaijani Red Crescent vehicles brought 40 tons of flour to Aghdam. But NK Armenians blocked the road to Askeran with concrete barriers and refused to accept aid from Azerbaijan. People said that “it is not 40 tons of flour, but 40 tons of blood”.
What the Russian truck brought
A truck from the Russian Red Cross brought 1,000 packages of Russian-made essential goods, such as food, bedding and hygiene items.
The 1,000 aid packages are intended for 120,000 people who have been under blockade for 9 months – since December 12 last year. Since June 15, Azerbaijan has banned the delivery of all types of humanitarian aid. And for a month and a half, trucks with 400 tons of aid from the Armenian government have been idling at the entrance to the Lachin corridor. The Azerbaijani authorities have also prevented humanitarian cargo sent here from various cities and regions of France from entering the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The Armenian government’s humanitarian aid has been idle since July 26. On August 30, a representative delegation from France arrived at the entrance to the Lachin corridor with 10 trucks of aid. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo stated that the trucks contained “food, milk powder, baby food, as well as generators, solar panels – everything that will allow to hold out and endure.” After Baku refused to allow the delivery of these cargoes, some of them, needing special storage conditions, are stored in Armenia’s Syunik region.
“Important progress towards the opening of the Aghdam road”
Head of the Press Service of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Aikhan Hajizadeh regards the transfer of Russian humanitarian aid along the Agdam road as “progress” and “a positive step”.
Hajizadeh said that Azerbaijan is ready to create conditions for the transportation of goods through the border crossing “Lachin” through the ICRC. But this should happen in accordance with border and customs procedures. He also recalled Baku’s main condition for the functioning of the Lachin corridor – to open the road through Agdam.
“To force Azerbaijan to open the corridor”
Seyran Ohanyan, leader of the Hayastan opposition faction of the Armenian Parliament, said that the international community, first of all Russia, should take “practical and clear steps” and “force Azerbaijan to open the Lachin corridor”.
Tigran Abrahamyan, secretary of the opposition faction “I Have Honor” said that intensive work is being carried out in this direction, the matter is “about unblocking the corridor as soon as possible.” He claims that Russia is negotiating with the leadership of the unrecognized NKR, as well as the Azerbaijani authorities:
“The main route for supplying Artsakh should be the Lachin corridor. If Azerbaijan does not take these steps in a short time, the claims of the Artsakh side that it is Azerbaijan that has taken a destructive position, is the aggressor and is trying to use any situation to make the use of force a decisive factor will become much more convincing”.
The delivery of Russian cargo via the Aghdam road is being discussed in Armenian Telegram channels:
- “Traitorous Russia together with the criminal regime of Azerbaijan are keeping the Berdzor (Lachin) road in blockade and piercing the road to Stepanakert through occupied Akna [Aghdam]. Russia is leading Artsakh Armenians to integrate with murderers and Armenophobes.”
- “The Russian Trojan horse is now in Stepanakert’s social security warehouse, locals are calling on all really concerned and patriotic citizens of Stepanakert to come here.”
- “The new “leadership” of Artsakh, having barely taken office, immediately bowed to Moscow and played along with the Russian-Turkish tandem, crossing out Armenia’s diplomatic efforts. If Russia cared about the fate of Artsakh’s residents, it would have found a way to force Baku to unblock the Berdzor corridor. But Russia instead preferred a tandem with Baku, at the same time selling through its agents the ‘election’ of a new ‘leadership’ in Stepanakert.”
- “For a reasonable part of the Armenian society, after all these betrayals, manipulations and lies on the part of Putin’s Russia, it has long been obvious that the only vector where the Armenian-Russian “alliance” should be directed is the direction of the “Russian ship”. And the dwarf today in fact gave a command to Azerbaijan and Russian agents in Armenia.
Russia sent humanitarian aid to NK