PM Pashinyan personally tries out Yerevan-Kapan flight ahead of official launch


YEREVAN, AUGUST 17, ARMENPRESS. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan visited Kapan on Thursday on board the Let L-410 Turbolet twin-engine aircraft which will be used for the regular Yerevan-Kapan passenger flights starting next week. 

“Today I visited Syunik Province on the Yerevan-Kapan flight. I also became acquainted with the conditions at the Syunik airport,” Pashinyan said on Facebook.

[see video]

China expresses readiness to contribute to regional peace and stability, calls for dialogue between Armenia, Azerbaijan


YEREVAN, AUGUST 17, ARMENPRESS. China supports every diplomatic effort and is ready to have its constructive contribution in establishing regional peace and stability, the Ambassador of China to Armenia Fan Yong said at a press briefing on August 17. 

Ambassador Fan Yong said that China is constantly paying attention to the latest developments around the Lachin Corridor and expresses concern about the current situation and its consequences.

“We always follow the news, and this issue is also very important to us. I think dialogue is the only way to resolve this issue, the two countries should speak and resolve this issue peacefully. We hope Armenia and Azerbaijan would strengthen dialogue and communication, with participation of respective parties, and will persistently solve the existing dispute between the two countries,” the Chinese Ambassador said.

The Ambassador added that the issue must be resolved in line with internationally recognized laws and norms of international relations, by maintaining regional peace and stability, as well as prosperity of the people. He said that China supports every diplomatic effort aimed at reaching this goal and is ready to have its constructive contribution in it.

Photos by Gevorg Perkuperkyan

AW: UN Security Council convenes emergency meeting on Artsakh blockade

Ararat Mirzoyan addresses U.N. Security Council (Armenia Foreign Ministry, August 16)

Armenia called on the United Nations to prevent genocide in blockaded Artsakh during an emergency meeting convened by the U.N. Security Council today.

“I do believe that this distinguished body, despite geopolitical differences, has the capacity to act as a genocide prevention body and not a genocide commemoration body when it might be too late,” Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan said. 

The meeting was scheduled following an appeal from the government of Armenia to address the “deterioration of the humanitarian situation” in Artsakh. Azerbaijan’s blockade of Artsakh has been ongoing since December 12, 2022, when government-sponsored protesters posing as eco-activists closed the Berdzor (Lachin) Corridor, the sole route connecting Artsakh with Armenia and the rest of the world. The blockade was tightened on April 23, 2023, when Azerbaijan set up an illegal military checkpoint along the corridor, placing all movement between Armenia and Artsakh under the control of Azerbaijani border guards. 

Artsakh leadership and international actors have warned that the humanitarian crisis in Artsakh is deteriorating significantly. Food, medicine and other basic supplies, which were already limited due to the blockade, have dwindled since Azerbaijani border guards barred deliveries of humanitarian aid in mid-June, which were previously supplied by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Russian peacekeeping mission. Azerbaijan has also blocked the ICRC from transporting patients requiring medical assistance to Armenia several times in the past two months.  

Several U.N. Security Council member countries called for the immediate resumption of humanitarian aid deliveries to Artsakh by the ICRC. 

“It is incumbent on the parties not to impede or politicize any principled humanitarian efforts,” said Edem Wosornu, the director of operations and advocacy of the U.N. Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. “Responding to humanitarian needs is not an act of legitimization of recognition. It does not take sides, and it does not yield to political influence,” Wosornu said, calling for humanitarian aid deliveries “through any available routes.”

The Azerbaijani government has proposed delivering humanitarian assistance to Artsakh via its territory through the Azerbaijani-controlled city Agdam. Artsakh’s leadership has rejected this offer, stating that there can be no alternative to reopening the Berdzor Corridor. 

Several member countries noted the possibility of delivering humanitarian aid via Agdam during today’s U.N. Security Council meeting. Dmitry Polyanskiy, deputy permanent representative of Russia to the U.N., said his country supports the use of alternative routes for the delivery of humanitarian aid, particularly the “opening of a parallel corridor through Agdam and Lachin for the movement of civilians and cargo.”

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the United States ambassador to the U.N., acknowledged the “possibility of compromise on additional routes for humanitarian supplies.” “Neutral, impartial, humane and independent humanitarian access and assistance, including medical transfers, must not be hindered, full stop,” she said. 

Silvio Gonzato, deputy head of the European Union delegation to the U.N., said that the EU has “taken note of the expressed readiness of Azerbaijani authorities to supply goods via the city Agdam. However, this should not be seen as an alternative to the opening of the Lachin Corridor.” 

Yashar Aliyev, permanent representative of Azerbaijan to the U.N., accused Armenia of rejecting the offer to deliver goods through Agdam, which he called evidence of Armenia’s “political hypocrisy.” “If Armenia were genuinely concerned about ordinary residents of the region, it would have never objected to the usage of the Agdam-Khankendi [Stepanakert] road,” Aliyev said. 

He claimed that international actors, including Russian peacekeepers and the ICRC, had reached an agreement to open traffic along this road. However, the agreement did not materialize due to Armenia’s objections. 

Mirzoyan said that there is “no alternative” to the Lachin Corridor, which he called the “agreed link between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.”

Mirzoyan also quoted former Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Luis Moreno Ocampo’s expert opinion from August 7 arguing that genocide is already underway in Artsakh. “There are no crematories, and there are no machete attacks. Starvation is the invisible Genocide weapon. Without immediate dramatic change, this group of Armenians will be destroyed in a few weeks,” Ocampo warned. 

Just one day prior to the U.N. Security Council meeting, the first case of death by starvation was recorded in Artsakh since the start of the region’s ongoing blockade by Azerbaijan.

Hemodialysis patients in Stepanakert (Artsakh Health Ministry)

40-year-old Karo Hovhannisyan died of “chronic malnutrition” and “protein and energy deficiency,” the Artsakh Human Rights Defender’s Office said on August 15. The office attributed his death to the “catastrophic consequences of the ongoing eight-month blockade of Artsakh by Azerbaijan.”

It added that the blockade primarily affected the “health situation of the most vulnerable groups in society – children, pregnant women, people with chronic diseases, people with disabilities and older persons.”

Health conditions have been deteriorating among Artsakh’s population. The Artsakh Health Ministry attributes worsening health indicators to the shortage of medicine and medical supplies, inadequate nutrition, stress, suspension of scheduled surgeries and restricted access to medical care in Armenia, all caused by the blockade. 

The Health Ministry has warned that medical supplies needed for hemodialysis will run out before the end of the month. The ministry appealed to the ICRC to conduct emergency evacuations of hemodialysis patients to specialized facilities in Armenia, warning that patients can die after a week of not receiving necessary treatment for kidney failure. Of the 41 patients receiving hemodialysis, 29 were evacuated to Armenia as of August 15. The remaining patients refused to be transferred, either because they have minor children at home or they are wheelchair-bound.

“I am bedridden. I have a caregiver at home. I want to live,” said 64-year-old Vera Hovsepyan, who has been receiving hemodialysis for the past five years. “I can’t go to Yerevan in this state and receive treatment, because I want to die in my wheelchair here in Artsakh and be buried in my own cemetery.”

“Patients who suffer from the terminal stage of acute and chronic kidney failure have been severely affected by the blockade as they can’t follow a special diet, adding additional dangers for their life and health,” said Kristine Avagimyan, head of the hemodialysis department at the Stepanakert hospital. 

Other health indicators have also worsened significantly since the start of the blockade, especially since June, when Azerbaijan prohibited the delivery of humanitarian aid to the region.

Deaths due to cardiovascular diseases more than doubled in July compared to the same month last year, according to official data. 

Deaths caused by malignant neoplasms, or cancerous tumors, have increased by more than 15-percent so far in 2023 compared to the same time period last year. Newly diagnosed cases of malignant neoplasms have increased by more than 24-percent. Health authorities attribute this data to the shortage of medication, changes in quality of life and severe limitations on adequate medical assistance. 

The incidence of strokes has increased by 26-percent, and heart attacks, by nearly 10-percent. 

Pregnant women have been especially vulnerable to the detrimental effects of the blockade on the healthcare system. Health officials have recorded cases of anemia among 90-percent of pregnant women under medical observation this year. This is a result of inadequate nutrition and a shortage of medication. 

There has also been an increase in the number of stillbirths. Most recently, a pregnant woman in the Haterk village of the Martakert region could not reach the hospital in time, due to the fuel shortage for ambulances, and lost her baby.

“The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Artsakh warns that in the event of the continued full siege of Artsakh by Azerbaijan, the mentioned and other indicators will further worsen, leading to the loss of many lives or a deterioration in their health,” the Artsakh Health Ministry said on August 8.

ICRC vehicles in Stepanakert (NKR InfoCenter)

Lillian Avedian is the assistant editor of the Armenian Weekly. She reports on international women's rights, South Caucasus politics, and diasporic identity. Her writing has also been published in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Democracy in Exile, and Girls on Key Press. She holds master's degrees in journalism and Near Eastern studies from New York University.

Prominent genocide scholars have submitted an open letter to the UN Secretary-General, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights…

"The Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute" Foundation
Aug 11 2023

H.E. António Guterres
UN Secretary-General,

Mr. Volker Türk
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights,

Ms. Alice Wairimu Nderitu
Special Adviser of the UN Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide,

UN Security Council Member States

9 August 2023

We, the undersigned scholars and experts on genocide, are writing to you with an overwhelming sense of urgency and concern about the potential for genocide in the Republic of Artsakh (also known as the Nagorno Karabakh Republic). As scholars deeply engaged in the study of genocide, we bear witness to the horrors of history, rigorously analyze past and present atrocities, working to prevent new genocides from occurring. Presently, we find ourselves profoundly concerned by the emergence of unmistakable warning signs of genocide in Artsakh. The most significant risk factor is the unlawful blockade of the Lachin Corridor, which serves as the vital link connecting Artsakh to Armenia.

Since December 2022, the Lachin Corridor, the sole lifeline connecting the Artsakh population to the outside world, has been unlawfully blockaded by Azerbaijani authorities. This distressing situation reached a critical juncture on June 15, 2023, when Azerbaijan sealed off this vital road, subjecting the Republic of Artsakh and its 120,000 residents to a dire state of siege. For the past two months, Artsakh has been forcibly deprived of its ability to access essential supplies such as food, medicine, and other critical goods. Even humanitarian relief efforts conducted by Russian peacekeepers and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have been obstructed, exacerbating an already grave humanitarian crisis.

The escalating humanitarian crisis has prompted the ICRC, the sole international organization with a presence on the ground, to issue a grave alert. In a public statement released on July 25 (, the ICRC unequivocally documented that“The civilian population is now facing a lack of life-saving medication and essentials like hygiene products and baby formula. Fruits, vegetables, and bread are increasingly scarce and costly, while some other food items such as dairy products, sunflower oil, cereal, fish, and chicken are not available.”

Furthermore, the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect has issued an alarming atrocity alert for Nagorno Karabakh(, highlighting the persistent risk of enduring mass atrocity crimes.

Considering the aforementioned circumstances and drawing upon additional pertinent information provided by various impartial organizations, human rights organisations, and other relevant stakeholders, we, as experts in the field of genocide studies, hold the view that compelling indicators exist that in the absence of prompt and resolute action, a genocide targeting the ethnic Armenian population of Artsakh is a looming possibility. The prevention of genocide and safeguarding vulnerable populations stand as fundamental obligations of the global community, as underscored by the United Nations Charter and the Genocide Convention of 1948, along with subsequent pledges undertaken by international actors. Guided by these principles, we strongly urge member states and UN bodies to promptly and resolutely step forward, exercising their responsibility to forestall any additional loss of innocent lives and preclude the occurrence of large-scale atrocities.

Specifically, we call upon the United Nations to activate its early warning mechanism, as stipulated within its mandates, to expeditiously address the tangible and imminent threat of genocide in Artsakh. We urge a concerted international effort to bring this grave situation to the attention of the UN Security Council. The Security Council should take decisive action to avert the progression of genocide by urgently removing the blockade on the Lachin Corridor, thereby reinstating unimpeded movement of persons, vehicles, and cargo along this life-supporting corridor in both directions. Security Council action should also support of the Provisional Measures order of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) of 22 February 2023 (reaffirmed 6 July 2023), which ordered Azerbaijan to ‘take all measures at its disposal to ensure unimpeded movement of persons, vehicles and cargo along the Lachin Corridor in both directions’. A Provisional Measures order is binding, and Azerbaijan remains in breach of its international law obligations by not complying with the ICJ’s order. Furthermore, we urge that the UN establish and send a fact-finding mission to Artsakh for a thorough analysis of data, on-site reporting, and engagement with local communities and organizations to identify and eliminate the consequences of the ongoing crime.

The prevention of genocide requires a collective effort, a unified resolve, and unwavering commitment from the international community. We urge the United Nations and its bodies to prioritize the prevention of genocide in Artsakh and take decisive action to protect the lives and dignity of thousands of innocent people.

Time is of the essence. We urge you to act swiftly and decisively, guided by the principles of the United Nations and the mandate to protect humanity from the scourge of genocide.

Respectfully signed,

Melanie O'Brien, Associate Professor of International Law, University of Western Australia; and President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars

Henry C. Theriault, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Worcester State University, Past President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (2017-2021)

Andrew Woolford, Professor, Head of Department of Sociology and Criminology, University of Manitoba, Past President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (2015-2017)

Israel Charny, Director of the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide in Jerusalem, Past President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (2005-2007)

Armen Marsoobian, Professor of Philosophy, Southern Connecticut State University, Past First Vice President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (2019-23)

Elisa von Joeden-Forgey, Chair of Department of Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Keene State College, Past First Vice President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (2015-17)

Hervé Georgelin, Assistant Professor, Department of Turkish Studies and Modern Asian Studies, National and Capodistrian University of Athens

Dr. Vasileios Meichanetsidis, Greek Genocide scholar

Central Bank of Armenia: exchange rates and prices of precious metals – 11-08-23


YEREVAN, 11 AUGUST, ARMENPRESS. The Central Bank of Armenia informs “Armenpress” that today, 11 August, USD exchange rate down by 0.05 drams to 386.00 drams. EUR exchange rate down by 1.45 drams to 424.29 drams. Russian Ruble exchange rate down by 0.04 drams to 3.92 drams. GBP exchange rate down by 2.18 drams to 490.88 drams.

The Central Bank has set the following prices for precious metals.

Gold price down by 26.05 drams to 23838.73 drams. Silver price up by 1.14 drams to 282.95 drams.

BTA. Bulgarian Academy, Sofia University Scientists Uncover 83-Million-Year-Old Animal Fossils

 16:12, 7 August 2023

YEREVAN,  AUGUST 7, ARMENPRESS/BTA. Scientists from the Institute of Geology at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) and Sofia University have discovered the remains of a variety of animals that inhabited Bulgarian lands over 83 million years ago. The paleontologists made the discoveries during the "Trun 2023" expedition of the of the National Museum of Natural History at BAS to the Late Cretaceous vertebrate fauna deposit near the southwestern town of Tran, the Museum announced on Monday. The scientists are currently reporting their first successful days of field work.

This year's fieldwork on site near Trun will continue until August 11, the team said. Some of the most interesting finds made so far include two vertebrae from large reptiles, probably dinosaurs.

(This information is being published according to an agreement between Armenpress and BTA.)

Hero or villain? Disney ignites fury with ill-fated series on Turkey’s revered Ataturk by Amberin Zaman

Aug 3 2023
Disney is thought to have caved to pressure from the US-based Armenian lobby to cancel the biopic on the founder of the Turkish Republic.
Amberin Zaman

Turks continue to vent their rage and cancel subscriptions by the thousands to Disney’s digital streaming platform, Disney+, after the entertainment giant decided not to air a highly anticipated series on the life of the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. The hashtag #Disneyiptalet — Turkish for “cancel Disney” — was top trending Thursday for the third day in a row since news of the cancellation emerged. Disney is thought to have caved to pressure from the US-based Armenian lobby, which has been campaigning for the six-part show to be axed.

Armenians, Greeks and Kurds across the globe are furious that the period drama whitewashes as they see things the carnage Ataturk oversaw as he forged a new nation from the remains of the Ottoman Empire — and mainly at their expense. Turks are every bit as furious that their revered leader is being accused of such sins. A spokesman for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) called Disney’s move “a disgrace.”  

Turkey's state broadcasting watchdog, RTUK, announced Wednesday that it had launched a probe “based on the public information” that Disney+ had decided to pull the biopic. "Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of our Republic of [Turkey], is our most important social value," RTUK head Ebubekir Sahin said. 

Last month, Disney+ Turkey announced it would be airing the series on Oct. 29 to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of the founding of the Republic.

The company has since scrambled to staunch the damage, saying it will air the show as a documentary on the Fox Channel television station in Turkey and as two separate films in movie theaters. The statement has had little impact, with Turkish celebrities and politicians — including members of the main opposition Republican People’s Party founded by Ataturk — leading the chorus of protest.

Many say that none of this should come as a surprise, as Disney should have known better than to venture into such a minefield.

“Turkey is an increasingly controversial country in Western politics. Disney is a US-based company. It was inevitable that a production about a great Turkish leader would spark controversy abroad,” said Selim Koru, editor of the KulturKampf newsletter and an analyst at The Economic and Research Foundation of Turkey, an Ankara-based think tank.

“Even if Disney ends up releasing its production, it’s probably going to run into domestic criticism. Turkish viewers are unlikely to be satisfied with an American production of so sensitive a topic,” Koru told Al-Monitor. “It’s really not rocket science. Disney should have known better.”

James Jeffrey, a former US ambassador to Turkey and head of the Wilson Center’s Middle East Program, agrees. “Ataturk for almost all Turks is still seen as a combination of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson — the Ottoman soldier who won the iconic Dardanelles campaign then later liberated the nascent Turkish Republic from Russian, French, Italian, Greek and British invaders,” Jeffrey said.

Numerous world leaders have hailed Ataturk for his statesmanship, among them Winston Churchill. “The tears which men and women of all classes shed upon his bier were a fitting tribute to the life work of a man at once the hero, the champion and the father of modern Turkey,” the former British prime minister wrote of his Turkish contemporary and erstwhile foe.

For most Turks young and old, if it had not been for Ataturk, there would be no Turkey. To show their gratitude, every Nov. 10 at 9:05 a.m. — the date and time marking Ataturk’s passing 85 years ago — millions of Turks across the country observe a minute of silence. Traffic halts and sirens blare to honor Ataturk’s memory.

“Ataturk Envy?

The AKP and some of its supporters might have reacted differently a decade ago to Disney’s missteps.

Turkey’s Islamists have long reviled Ataturk as “an enemy of Islam,” a “drunk” and a crypto-Jew for abolishing the caliphate, forcing women to cast off their veils, introducing universal suffrage and switching the alphabet from Arabic to Latin, as he sought to set Turkey on a determinedly pro-Western and secular path. Their feelings were reflected by the late Necip Fazil Kisakurek, an Islamist nationalist poet and a virulent anti-Semite whom Erdogan famously described as his role model. Hugh Pope, a co-author of “Turkey Unveiled” who covered Turkey for many years, suggested in a recent essay for POLITICO that Erdogan suffers from “Ataturk envy.”

Thus it came as no surprise that when the AKP first came to power in 2002, the personality cult erected around Ataturk began to crack. Among these cracks was a burgeoning debate on the once-taboo subject of the Armenian genocide. Turkey denies that more than a million Ottoman Armenians died as a result of a deliberate policy to eradicate them as the empire collapsed. Rather, the official narrative goes, several hundred thousand of them died as a result of starvation and disease as they were forcibly relocated to the Syrian desert in the midst of war in 1915.

The wall of silence around the bloody suppression of Kurdish rebellions, the internment of Jews in labor camps in the 1940s and pogroms against Greeks began to crumble. Ataturk’s role came under scrutiny as Erdogan pushed through a dizzying raft of reforms aimed at securing Turkey’s membership in the European Union. Critics say Erdogan’s true aim was to defang the Turkish military and concentrate power in his own hands. He has largely succeeded. But Ataturk remains as strong as ever.

“The greatest compliment to his legacy is that President Erdogan, the most powerful Turkish leader since Ataturk and ideologically 180 degrees opposite, has had to tolerate and exploit the undying public adoration of 'Ataturk,' literally 'father of the Turks,'" Jeffrey observed.

Jeffrey was alluding to Erdogan’s selective appropriation of Kemalist ideology to justify his increasingly autocratic tilt but also to placate the military. Insulting Ataturk is a crime punishable by up to three years in prison. Fatih Tezcan, an Islamist journalist and diehard Erdogan fan, is among those behind bars for committing the offense.

A Mixed Legacy

Taner Akcam is the most prominent Turkish historian to assert that the Ottomans perpetrated genocide against Armenians, as is widely accepted by numerous governments, international bodies and academics worldwide.

Akcam asserts that Ataturk was directly responsible for successive massacres of Kurds, Alevis and Greeks in the early days of the Republic. Ataturk was not, however, involved in the Armenian genocide, Akcam contends.

“Not only did Mustafa Kemal [Ataturk] have no direct link to the genocide, he also made numerous comments condemning it,” Akcam told Al-Monitor. He labeled the Young Turks who masterminded the bloodletting “murderers” and argued that prosecuting them for their crimes was a political and legal necessity. In interviews that he gave to the Los Angeles Examiner in 1926 and 1927, Ataturk "openly decried the massacres inflicted on Christians during the war years,” Akcam said. Yet, he gave away Armenian properties to Young Turk families and prevented Ottoman Armenians and Greeks displaced by the war from returning to Turkey while “systematically expelling Armenians inside the country,” Akcam added.

Khatchig Mouradian, a professor at Columbia University who has written extensively on the genocide, said, “Ataturk may have not been a perpetrator of the genocide, but he set in motion a vision, policies and practices that consolidated its gains and are nurtured to this day.”

“A portrayal of Ataturk that ignores this legacy is no less brazen than embracing America’s founding fathers without contending with slavery and the genocide of Native Americans,” Mouradian told Al-Monitor.

“If a documentary would approach all these dimensions in a balanced way, it would of course be nice,” Akcam said.

Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect issues Atrocity Alert for Nagorno- Karabakh,calls on Baku to end blockade

 12:54, 3 August 2023

YEREVAN, AUGUST 3, ARMENPRESS. The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect has issued an atrocity alert for Nagorno-Karabakh amid the ongoing blockade by Azerbaijan.

Atrocity Alert is a weekly publication by the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect highlighting situations where populations are at risk of, or are enduring, mass atrocity crimes.

The organization called on Azerbaijan to immediately lift the blockade of the Lachin corridor and allow for unhindered and safe passage of civilians and goods along the corridor, as well as guarantee unimpeded humanitarian access in line with international law and the order by the International Court of Justice.

 “For more than seven months Azerbaijani authorities have blockaded the Lachin corridor, the sole road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia, precipitating a humanitarian crisis. The blockade has deprived over 120,000 ethnic Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh, including 30,000 children, of life-saving resources such as food, medicine, electricity and fuel. On 28 July Armenian authorities accused Azerbaijan of denying transport of over 400 tons of humanitarian aid into Nagorno-Karabakh. In a statement issued on 25 July the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) reported that despite persistent efforts, ‘the last time the ICRC was allowed to bring medical items and essential food items into the area was several weeks ago’,” the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect said in a press release.

The organization mentioned Nagorno-Karabakh President Arayik Harutyunyan’s request to Luis Moreno Ocampo, former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, for an expert opinion on the blockade. “While the opinion has no legal implications, it may help determine if the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh merits further investigation,” the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect added.

“Deprivation of resources indispensable to survival imposes excessive burdens upon civilians that may eventually result in immense suffering and loss of life. Under International Humanitarian Law, all sides must allow and facilitate the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief for civilians in need, including medical supplies and essential food. The intentional and unlawful denial of humanitarian assistance may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity,” the organization further said. 

The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect called on Azerbaijan to immediately lift the blockade and comply with ICJ orders. 

“Azerbaijani authorities must immediately lift the blockade of the Lachin corridor and allow for unhindered and safe passage of civilians and goods along the corridor, as well as guarantee unimpeded humanitarian access in line with international law and the order by the ICJ. States must engage in further dialogue with all parties, as well as support calls from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to establish an independent fact-finding mission to assess the humanitarian situation,” the organization said.

Lachin Corridor, the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia and the rest of the world, has been blocked by Azerbaijan since late 2022. The Azerbaijani blockade constitutes a gross violation of the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire agreement, which established that the 5km-wide Lachin Corridor shall be under the control of Russian peacekeepers. Furthermore, on February 22, 2023 the United Nations’ highest court – the International Court of Justice (ICJ) – ordered Azerbaijan to “take all steps at its disposal” to ensure unimpeded movement of persons, vehicles and cargo along the Lachin Corridor in both directions.  Azerbaijan has been ignoring the order ever since. The ICJ reaffirmed its order on 6 July 2023.

Azerbaijan then illegally installed a checkpoint on Lachin Corridor. The blockade has led to shortages of essential products such as food and medication. Azerbaijan has also cut off gas and power supply into Nagorno Karabakh, with officials warning that Baku seeks to commit ethnic cleansing against Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh. Hospitals have suspended normal operations.

Over 60 French legislators call on Macron to sanction Aliyev, provide support to Nagorno- Karabakh

 17:50, 31 July 2023

YEREVAN, JULY 31, ARMENPRESS. Over 60 French senators and deputies have called on President Emmanuel Macron to impose sanctions against Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and his regime for attempted ethnic cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The call to action, calling for French support to Nagorno-Karabakh, was authored by Gilbert-Luc Devinaz and Pierre Ouzoulias and co-signed by 59 other legislators.

“The Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh is on the verge of disappearing,” the legislators warned in a call published in Le Monde.

“Nagorno-Karabakh, which represents in South Caucasus what we claim we embody, deserves more than a careless look. It simply deserves to exercise its citizens’ right to self-determination. It justifies France’s role and activities in the region, confirms our country's lawfulness to act, and a forceful occupation cannot in any way question its existence. In a letter sent to his wife Melinee, Missak Manouchian had written, ‘At the time of my death I declare that I don’t have hatred for the German people or anyone else. Everyone will get what they deserve, be it in the form of either punishment or reward. The German people and all other peoples will live in lasting peace and brotherhood after the war’.

"We ask Emmanuel Macron to impose sanctions against Ilham Aliyev and his regime, without any hate for his people, so that the Armenians and Azerbaijanis will finally be able to coexist in peace and brotherhood in South Caucasus, where they live side by side,” reads a part of the letter of the French political factions.

It added that the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh is trying to not only survive in South Caucasus but also embody the democratic values which France considers to be its own values.

“Whereas we haven’t initiated any step or support in this relation in withstanding the attempts of ethnic cleansing by Azerbaijan,” the French legislators stated.

Lachin Corridor, the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia and the rest of the world, has been blocked by Azerbaijan since late 2022. The Azerbaijani blockade constitutes a gross violation of the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire agreement, which established that the 5km-wide Lachin Corridor shall be under the control of Russian peacekeepers. Furthermore, on February 22, 2023 the United Nations’ highest court – the International Court of Justice (ICJ) – ordered Azerbaijan to “take all steps at its disposal” to ensure unimpeded movement of persons, vehicles and cargo along the Lachin Corridor in both directions.  Azerbaijan has been ignoring the order ever since. Moreover, Azerbaijan then illegally installed a checkpoint on Lachin Corridor. The blockade has led to shortages of essential products such as food and medication. Azerbaijan has also cut off gas and power supply into Nagorno-Karabakh, with officials warning that Baku seeks to commit ethnic cleansing against Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh. Hospitals have suspended normal operations.

Nagorno-Karabakh man arrested by Azeri border guards was intoxicated and lost – NSS

 10:11, 2 August 2023

STEPANAKERT, AUGUST 2, ARMENPRESS. The Nagorno-Karabakh man who was arrested by Azeri authorities on Tuesday accidentally crossed into Azeri-controlled territory while intoxicated, the National Security Service of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) said in a press release on Wednesday.

“Citizen of the Artsakh [Nagorno-Karabakh] Republic Rashid Beglaryan, born 1962, who was recently residing in the village of Hin Shen in the region of Shushi, was intoxicated when he left the village on August 1, got lost and appeared in Azerbaijani-controlled territory and was subsequently arrested by Azerbaijan,” the NSS said.

Nagorno-Karabakh authorities have notified the Russian peacekeepers on the incident.

The National Security Service said that an investigation is underway to determine the circumstances.