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Pashinyan: No food is being supplied to Nagorno-Karabakh

Pashinyan: No food is being supplied to Nagorno-Karabakh

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan gave an interview to Euronews TV, Armenian Government’s Press office reports.

Euronews – Let’s talk about the situation on the ground. You mentioned the Lachin Corridor. The International Court of Justice, the European Court of Human Rights, the US, the European Union have all demanded guarantees over the freedom of movement in the Lachin Corridor. What do you know about what’s happening there, which is a crucial gateway for the people inside of Nagorno Karabakh.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan – Regarding the International Court of Justice. I want to view it separately from the other factors you listed, because the decision of the International Court of Justice is legally binding, that is the highest international Court, the decisions of which have the highest legal force. Based on Armenia’s application, on 22 February 2023 it decided that Azerbaijan must do everything within its reach to ensure the free movement of vehicles, goods and citizens in both directions through the Lachin Corridor. And on July 6 the court reiterated, confirmed its decision.

This is very important for the logic of the international legal order because the decision of the highest international court is nor followed. In terms of law and legality, I think this is a bad message, it’s a food for thought for the international community. Anyway, we will be raising this issue in international instances.

Now about what’s happening in Nagorno Karabakh. There is a humanitarian catastrophe in Nagorno Karabakh. What is a humanitarian catastrophe? No food is being supplied to Nagorno Karabakh. There is no external supply of food. A number of essential commodities are not being supplied, baby food is not supplied, medication is not available, no hygiene supplies, no other essential goods are there, natural gas supply to Nagorno Karabakh was interrupted by Azerbaijan, electricity supply to Nagorno Karabakh was interrupted by Azerbaijan, the supply of fuel was interrupted by Azerbaijan. So in this sense, there is a real threat of hunger, we are facing there as well as health problems, and so on and so forth.

Euronews – Azerbaijan keeps denying they are doing any of them, keeping insisting that the Aghdam road is accessible.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan – I don’t know what you are referring to, because I am speaking about the document that I signed, which has the status of an international document. It reads clearly that the Lachin Corridor, which is under the control of the Russian peacekeepers, and that’s not just a road but a 5-km wide area, must be out of Azerbaijan’s control and it must ensure a link between Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia.

In principle, it may sound absurd, but the road from the moon to Nagorno Karabakh is open too, but I cannot refer to institutions unknown to me. I am speaking about what is documented. And that road is now closed, if anyone doubts, he can right now take a trip and try to reach Nagorno Karabakh. By the way, the ICRC announced yesterday that it is no longer able to deliver humanitarian relief to Nagorno Karabakh because of the Lachin Corridor being closed. What does this mean? This means that the ICRC officially declared that humanitarian aid needs to be delivered to Nagorno Karabakh, otherwise they wouldn’t say they are unable to do that, secondly, it accepts that they cannot do it because the Lachin Corridor is closed. This was followed, if I am not mistaken, the announcement of “Freedom House”, saying it’s necessary to ensure access of humanitarian goods to Nagorno Karabakh.

Yesterday the Government of Armenia decided and today this relief is on-route, 400 tons of humanitarian goods are currently on-route to Karabakh. Let’s see if this reaches Nagorno Karabakh. Ander the trilateral statement and the International Court’s decision, that aid must reach them. Let’s see if it reaches Nagorno Karabakh.

Going back to the humanitarian crisis, of course in Nagorno Karabakh, especially in this season, there are some agricultural activities, however, the Azerbaijani army are shooting at farmers and equipment. After 2020, we have had cases of a tractor driver being killed by an Azerbaijani sniper while carrying out agricultural work. But there are no longer tractors operating, because there is no fuel. And because of the absence of fuel, people cannot harvest the crop, if by some miracle they harvest the crop, grains for instance, this harvest cannot reach, cannot be transported to flour mills because of the absence of fuel, if by some miracle they turn it into flour, then because of the absence of fuel, it cannot be delivered to bakeries to bake bread. Because there is no electricity or gas, if by some miracle the flour reaches the bakeries, they cannot bake bread at industrial volumes. If somehow some bread is baked, again because of the absence of transportation, that bread is hard or impossible to deliver to the shops. If it gets delivered to the shops, there is no public transport, and there is no private transport, again because of the absence of fuel, for the people to go and buy that bread from the shop. If somehow they manage to get to the shop, because of this blockade, all enterprises have shut down, all people have lost their jobs and people do not have income to buy bread in the shop. If by some miracle they have income to buy bread, the queues are so long and the goods are so scarce that if by some miracle you reach the shop, that miracle after miracle, after this chain of miracles, if they reach the shop, they may never get to buy that limited goods.

Think of baby food. Imagine, young mothers cannot feed babies with baby food. Many of them may have not breastfed from the beginning, they started with formula, and one day baby food just disappeared.


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