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The situation in the Lachine Corridor requires immediate action; Statement of PACE co-rapporteurs


24 February, 22:30

The co-rapporteurs of the Armenian monitoring of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Kimmo Kiljunen (Finland) and Boriana Aberg (Sweden), made a statement after their visit to Armenia on February 17-19 to assess the situation around the Lachin Corridor and the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.

"The situation in Lachin Corridor requires immediate action. Today, the residents of Nagorno-Karabakh cannot move freely, and we were informed that 954 people are still blocked on both sides of the corridor. Only vehicles of the International Committee of the Red Cross and Russian peacekeepers are allowed to move through this corridor, which is insufficient to meet the population's needs. Moreover, it is essential that the products can arrive in time for the sowing season. The free movement of all vehicles should be urgently restored by the Tripartite Statement of November 10, 2020.

In addition, repeated gas and electricity supply interruptions in Nagorno Karabakh have severely violated residents' rights. Many have already lost their jobs; children are also deprived of education because the schools had to be closed.

We recall our joint statement with the co-rapporteurs on the issue of Azerbaijan of December 16, 2022, which called for the restoration of free movement through the Lachin Corridor, as well as the decision of the European Court of Human Rights of December 21, 2022, which called on the Azerbaijani authorities to take all measures To ensure the safe movement of seriously ill patients in need of medical assistance in Armenia and other people in difficult situations on the road through the "Lachin Corridor."

We also take note of the decision of the International Court of Justice of February 22, 2023, which states that "Azerbaijan shall take all measures at its disposal to ensure the unimpeded movement of people, vehicles, and goods through the Lachin Corridor in both directions." We invite all members of the Assembly to bring this situation to the attention of their respective national parliaments and join our call for an immediate end to the illegal blockade of the Lachine Corridor.

As for the situation on the border of Armenia and Azerbaijan, we have observed the consequences of the attacks of the Azerbaijani troops on the civil infrastructures in the city of Jermuk and the village of Sotk. We noted that evidence of cluster munitions in civilian areas was collected and preserved for further examination. We were shown the presence of Azerbaijani combat positions in the sovereign territory of Armenia, sometimes beyond the disputed borders.

We welcome deploying the EU civilian mission to the border, noting the significant tangible impact of the previous task in task tensions. We call on both sides to advance border demarcation discussions and agree on a mirror withdrawal of troops from the border as an immediate confidence-building step.

As before, we are very attentive to future events and reaffirm our readiness to provide all political support at the parliamentary level, which is necessary to achieve a long-term peaceful settlement," the statement said.

In addition, it is noted that during the visit, the co-informants were in the cities of Jermuk, Goris, and Vardenis and their surroundings, as well as at the entrance to the Lachin Corridor from the Armenian side. They met with local officials and residents of Nagorno-Karabakh, who are blocked in Goris due to the continuous obstruction of the Lachin corridor.


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