Armenian diplomat accuses Azerbaijan of blocking the only available road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia.
Armenia appealed to the UN Security Council to convene an emergency meeting over what it called a “deteriorating humanitarian situation” in Nagorno-Karabakh after accusing Azerbaijan of blocking supplies to the disputed region.
“The severe shortage of essential goods including food, medicine and fuel has been particularly exacerbated since 15 June 2023, when Azerbaijan completely blocked the Lachin corridor – the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia and the outer world – by denying any form of access to Nagorno-Karabakh, including humanitarian,” Armenia’s permanent representative to the UN, Mher Margaryan, wrote in a letter.
“The continued deliberate obstruction of natural gas and electricity supply to Nagorno-Karabakh by Azerbaijan has been detrimental for the affected population and their livelihoods.”
On Aug 11,Republic of #Armenia🇦🇲appealed to @UN Security Council w/ request to convene emergency meeting on deterioration of humanitarian situation as result of total blockade inflicted upon civilian population of #NagornoKarabakh.
— MFA of Armenia🇦🇲 (@MFAofArmenia) August 12, 2023
The Caucasus neighbours have been locked in a dispute over the enclave, internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan, since the 1980s and fought two wars over the territory. The second, in 2020, saw the defeat of Armenian forces and significant territorial gains for Azerbaijan.
“The Armenian government demands the intervention of the UN Security Council as the main organ for safeguarding global security,” Margaryan said.
For months, Yerevan has accused Baku of stopping traffic through the Lachin corridor – a short, mountainous road linking Armenia to Armenian-populated settlements in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
In his letter, Margaryan referred to “serious shortages” of food, medicine and fuel in the majority Armenian-populated region and cuts in electricity and gas supplies.
“This situation has led to rising mortality due to several illnesses,” said Margaryan, citing patients suffering from conditions, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
“The population of Nagorno-Karabakh today stands on the edge of a veritable humanitarian catastrophe,” he warned, accusing Azerbaijan of “deliberately creating unbearable living conditions for the population”.
That, he wrote, amounted to an “atrocity” designed to force them from their homes.
Armenia and international aid groups, meanwhile, have been warning that the humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh is dire and deteriorating with shortages of food, medicines and energy.
The two neighbours have been unable to reach a lasting peace settlement despite mediation efforts by the European Union, United States and Russia.
No immediate response was available from officials in Azerbaijan.