In November 2020, the governments of Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire, which ended six weeks of fighting over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Following the ceasefire, a peacekeeping force of Russian troops were deployed to the Lachin Corridor, the only road that leads into Nagorno-Karabakh.
Late last year, however, the government of Azerbaijan began blockading the Lachin Corridor, violating the ceasefire with Armenia. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, all humanitarian assistance through the Lachin Corridor has been stopped for several weeks. This action has led to a humanitarian crisis for the tens of thousands of people in Nagorno-Karabakh, who are being forced to survive on dwindling supplies.
“We urge the government of Azerbaijan to restore free movement through the corridor – so commercial, humanitarian, and private vehicles can reach the population of Nagorno-Karabakh,” said U.S. Representative to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield.
“We are deeply troubled by the closure of the Lachin Corridor, which has cut off access to essential goods and exacerbated the humanitarian situation. Access to food, medicine, baby formula, and energy should never be held hostage,” she said.
Just ending the blockade of the Lachin Corridor is not enough to protect the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, said Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield:
“I want to stress the need for the parties to continue talks aimed at a lasting, peaceful resolution to the conflict – and the normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan … And let me be clear: peace in the region must include protections for the rights and security of individuals in Nagorno-Karabakh.”
“We support any format that allows Armenia and Azerbaijan to continue dialogue toward a peaceful resolution to the conflict,” said Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield. “The United States is committed to promoting a peaceful, democratic, and prosperous future for the South Caucasus region.