Japan ready to provide support for overcoming social problems of forcibly displaced persons from Nagorno-Karabakh


YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 26, ARMENPRESS. Japan is ready to make effort and provide support for overcoming the social issues of the forcibly displaced persons from Nagorno-Karabakh, Japan’s Ambassador to Armenia Masanori Fukushima said during a meeting with Armenia’s Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Narek Mkrtchyan.

Mkrtchyan and Ambassador Fukushima discussed a number of issues related to the ministry’s assistance program for the forcibly displaced persons from NK as well as issues related to cooperation in the direction of overcoming the social problems of the refugees.

Minister Mkrtchyan presented the Armenian government response to the humanitarian crisis in NK and attached importance to the role of cooperation with international partners. He said that the ministry will continue to actively work with partner organizations to jointly resolve the issues of the displaced persons.

Ambassador Fukushima expressed condolences over the developments in NK and said that the Japanese government stands ready to contribute necessary efforts and support the overcoming of the social problems of the forcibly displaced people from Nagorno-Karabakh.

American actor Mark Ruffalo raises awareness of Azeri genocidal blockade of Nagorno- Karabakh Armenians


YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 11, ARMENPRESS. Oscar and Emmy nominated American actor Mark Ruffalo has shared Kim Kardashian’s plea to U.S. President Joe Biden asking to stop another Armenian Genocide in Nagorno-Karabakh at the hands of the Azerbaijani government, noting that the issue doesn’t get media coverage.

“This is a serious issue that the media is not covering,” Ruffalo said on X, sharing Kim Kardashian’s post.

On September 8, Armenian-American reality TV star, entrepreneur Kim Kardashian and UCLA physician, Emmy-nominated film producer Eric Esrailian made a public plea to U.S. President Joe Biden, calling on him and other world leaders to stop the Armenian genocide in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh). 

In a piece published by the Rolling Stone, Kardashian and Esrailian appealed to U.S. President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Blinken, and their colleagues to take a stand immediately and pressure Azerbaijan to open the Lachin corridor without preconditions.

Armenians alarmed by reports of Azerbaijani military buildup

Sept 8 2023
Lilit Shahverdyan Sep 8, 2023

Over the past few days, footage has circulated across Azerbaijani social media appearing to show increased movement of Azerbaijani troops around Nagorno-Karabakh and along the border with Armenia. 

Military shipments from Israel to Azerbaijan appear to have increased simultaneously, raising fears among Armenians of another impending attack from Azerbaijan. 

At a government session on September 7, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan pointed to these developments and said that "the military and political situation in our region has been significantly aggravated over the past week."

"The rhetoric of anti-Armenian hatred has intensified in the Azerbaijani press and propaganda platforms. The policy of encroachment on the sovereign territory of Armenia continues," he added.

The military buildup has triggered particular alarm in Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian-populated territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan. The region has effectively been under Azerbaijani blockade since December, and the blockade has been particularly intense since mid-June. 

Armenian and Karabakhi officials have long spoken about Azerbaijani designs to ethnically cleanse the region using force if necessary. 

"It is obvious that Azerbaijan is preparing military operations, and simultaneously trying to exert psychological pressure on the governments and peoples of the Republics of Artsakh and Armenia, as well as to gauge the reaction of the Armenian parties and regional and global actors," wrote Artak Beglaryan, a former senior Karabakh official. (Artsakh is an alternative Armenian name for Nagorno-Karabakh.)

In case of an offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh, the local forces are unlikely to be able to mount much of a resistance given Azerbaijan's numerical and power dominance over the roughly 120,000 Karabakhis.

There have been numerous clashes since Azerbaijan's victory in the 2020 Second Karabakh War, both in and around Nagorno-Karabakh and on the border between Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia. Several of the latter have resulted in Azerbaijani troops taking up positions inside Armenia. 

Several previous escalations were preceded by Azerbaijani media reports about "revenge operations" or claims of Armenian forces preparing to stage acts of "provocation."

This time, Azerbaijani media is mirroring Armenian allegations. State channel AzTV suggested that Armenian reports of Azerbaijani military buildup and the Armenian defense minister's cancellation of a planned trip abroad are signs that Yerevan is laying the groundwork for its own escalation.

And Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry characterized Pashinyan's warnings as "an integral part of Armenia's false political manipulation." 

The EU's civilian monitoring mission deployed on the Armenian side of the border has reported to Brussels its concerns over "rising tensions and shootings in the border regions of Armenia and Azerbaijan" and stepped up its patrols. It has not sought to blame either side for the current spike in tension, though.

The current reports of Azerbaijani military buildup come on the heels of an Azerbaijani attack on September 1 near the Armenian border town of Sotk that left three Armenian soldiers dead. 

Five days after that, Armenia announced it would hold the Eagle Partner military exercises jointly with the United States on September 11-20. The Defense Ministry said the purpose of the drills was to prepare Armenian forces for international peacekeeping missions.

The US has become a key player in the Armenian-Azerbaijani peace processes since the 2020 war, overseeing an Azerbaijan-Armenia peace process together with the EU. 

A separate negotiating track is managed by Russia, which has maintained a 2,000-strong peacekeeping presence in Nagorno-Karabakh since the end of the war. 

Russia is also Armenia's traditional military and economic strategic partner, but Armenian leaders are more and more openly questioning the efficacy of the alliance given Moscow's refusal to help it against Azerbaijani incursions and the peacekeepers' alleged failure to protect the Armenians of Karabakh. 

While prospects for peace seem bleaker than ever, the Armenian prime minister reiterated in his September 7 remarks that he was ready to sign a peace treaty with Azerbaijan and end the decades of hostility between the neighboring countries. 

The Israel factor

Israel is one of Azerbaijan's strategic allies and key weapons suppliers.

In March 2023 Israel's Haaretz newspaper published a report detailing the extent of the Israel-Azerbaijan military partnership. It found that 92 military cargo jet flights took place between Ovda, a military air base in southern Israel, and airports in Azerbaijan between 2016 and the time of publication. 

The Armenian investigative outlet Hetq has been monitoring flights between Ovda and Azerbaijan since then. It recently found that one particular Azerbaijani Silk Road Airlines plane landed at Ovda and returned to Azerbaijan four times between August 15 and September 2. On two of these return flights, it landed in Ganja, a city close to Nagorno-Karabakh. 

Haaretz's article noted that over the years intensified Ovda-Azerbaijan flights coincided with periods of fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh, including the April 2016 escalation, the 2020 war, and several post-war escalations.

Elsewhere, a post on the site formerly known as Twitter by Turkish nationalist politician Sinan Ogan is being seen by Armenians as another ominous signal from a strategic partner of Baku's. 

It features an image of Ogan with the words "Khankendi is the Turkish world's pride" alongside an upside-down A, which is a symbol painted on Azerbaijani military vehicles. (Khankandi is the Azerbaijani name for Nagorno-Karabakh's de facto capital Stepanakert.)

Ogan, who is of Azerbaijani origin, placed third in the Turkish presidential election in May 23 and threw his support behind the incumbent and ultimate victor Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the second round. 

Heydar Isayev contributed reporting. 

Lilit Shahverdyan is a journalist based in Stepanakert. 

Nagorno-Karabakh Presidential Residence attacked by gunmen, suspects in custody


STEPANAKERT, AUGUST 28, ARMENPRESS. Two suspects are in custody in Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) after local law enforcement agencies launched a manhunt in the early hours Monday to apprehend the gunmen who attacked the Presidential Residence in Stepanakert.

Police said officers responded to a shots fired call at 03:05, August 28 to the Presidential Residence.

Two suspects aged 40 and 42, residents of Stepanakert, were taken into custody from Martuni Street by a quick reaction police task force.

Police said the suspects were intoxicated.

In a statement, Nagorno-Karabakh police said the gunmen had plotted the shooting, and fired shots in the direction of the building of the Presidential Residence and the on-duty security guards.

The Investigative Committee of Nagorno-Karabakh has launched a criminal case.

“Police officers revealed that around 03:00 on August 28, acting in conspiracy, and under the influence of alcohol, the suspects went to the Presidential Residence and fired shots in the direction of the building and the on-duty security employees,” police said.

Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin listed in Russian plane crash with no survivors


YEREVAN, AUGUST 24, ARMENPRESS. Russian authorities have confirmed that a private jet with Wagner Group founder Evgeny Prigozhin listed as a passenger crashed between Moscow and St. Petersburg on Wednesday, killing all on board, RT reported.

The Russian Emergencies Ministry confirmed that the jet plunged to the ground in Tver Region, and that all three crew and seven passengers on board were killed. The ministry said that the jet, an Embraer 135BJ Legacy 600, was traveling from Moscow to St. Petersburg at the time of the incident.
Rosaviatsiya, the Russian federal air transport agency, said that Prighozhin was on board, along with several high-ranking Wagner commanders.

Although Rosaviatsiya said that Prigozhin’s name was on board, it did not explicitly pronounce the Wagner chief dead.
In addition to Prigozhin, Rosaviatsiya said Dmitry Utkin – a former Russian special forces operator and alleged co-founder of the PMC – was also traveling on the jet, as was Valery Chekalov, whom the US considers to be the deputy head of Wagner. The remaining passengers listed were Sergey Propustin, Evgeny Makaryan, Alexander Totmin, and Nikolay Matuseev, identified by Russian news outlets as Wagner.

Russian authorities said they are investigating the crash.

To those who seek to destroy us, I see you

I didn’t realize it was a date – I never do. This skin, wrapped in so many layers, has forgotten where it begins. 

He was sweet – he always is. The conversation simmered as the cocktails flowed. A good date, by most people’s standards. 

But I returned home, heavy – as I always do – and sank my face beneath cold water. 

I turned off the faucet and opened my Instagram. Two young men – boys – had jumped off a bridge. Holding hands, they fell. All 301 feet. Back into history. Two fleshed-lovers, now at one with the river. 

My knees buckled and collapsed onto the cold tile. I streamed. This is the only time the layers come off. Alone, in grief, holding the pain of the ones who could bear it no longer. 

Love is cream, kati ser (milk’s love) – in the mouth, in the guts, in the bloodstream. Booze is a preservative. Kills the mold.

That was the last date I ever went on with a man.

In the Zulu language of South Africa, strangers greet each other, not with hello or a polite nod, but sawubonameaning, “I see you.”

What does it mean to be seen in this skin?

My cousin’s child is 16, Arsen’s age. She asks if I know any gay people. Yes, I tell her.

She pauses. “Are you friends with any of them?” I hear my uncle’s footsteps, his heavy gait, picking up pace. “Yes,” I say, flinging open the door.

Earlier that day, I sat by the edge of the pool with the cousin who raised me in the moments when my mother, an ocean away, could not. 

“It feels like the gays have disappeared lately,” she says. 

What do you mean? 

“With Nikol’s revolution, they were everywhere. But now, they’re gone.”

My silence invites more commentary.

“I understand that those people are born that way – it’s a sickness – but they shouldn’t be preaching anything to our children. They should be getting help.”

This cousin, my step-mama, often separated by half a world, now just inches from my feet, never felt farther away. 

Her husband is a journalist in Armenia. He often posts lengthy tirades about the LGBTQ+ community. Only, he’s not talking to his followers. His words are directed at us. A love letter, in reverse. 

“If you are gay, trans, no gender, every gender – I don’t care. If any of you come near my children, I will grab my gun and shoot you dead. I will kill you and I will sit in jail. This country is not yours to take.”

I meet my cousin in the eyes. “I see you,” I wanted to say. I only wished that she could see me, too.

“And what do you feel now ”

Two nights ago, a trans woman – my sister’s age – was stabbed inside her apartment then burned to a crisp. The authorities took their time starting an investigation. I read the comments. The love they turned inside out – and set ablaze.

Three years ago, to the date, I put on a lullaby from my ancestral land. One that many mothers sang to their babies on the marches, in the caves, where love reeked like spoilt milk. 

I laid down on the ground and wrapped a noose around my neck. It was not the first time.

During the genocide, a mother abandoned her wailing child – to save the rest. Drifting, she sang…

Rouri rouri rouri rouri rouri rouri rouri, lao.

My young one, may you grow old kindly.
May wild sheep feed you with their milk, to keep you alive.
May God and nature protect you in your loneliest hour.

As I faded away, I heard my dad’s screams, calling me back. Those final seconds never came. I was pulled back to shore by love’s cry. 

Nowhere to hide, nowhere to settle, nowhere to be free. The only way to find the light is to become it. To sway between the notes – of ghosts and angels. To become our own lullaby.

A cry that never reached Tigran, Arsen, Adriana. Their love, abandoned by the skin. In Armenian, our mornings begin with bari luys, “good light.”

We are used to queer bodies outlasting the light. May you come and go in shadow, they tell us.

In Armenia, the worst thing – the absolute worst thing – that anyone can be is queer.

In Turkey, the worst thing – the absolute worst thing – that anyone can be is an Armenian. 

Not a Kurd, not an atheist, not a communist, not even queer. 

Armenian. Listen to the tremors of my skin.

Last winter, I visited a dear Turkish friend. Someone who’s become something more, but a nameless more. A mooring on foreign lands.

A NYE gathering – a celebration of Turkish, Kurdish, Cypriot queers. The most marginalized bodies in Turkey, they tell us.

When my nameless-more was in the bathroom, I approached these bodies. They seemed safer than the Turkish bodies I met in the kabob shops in London, the taxi attendant in Istanbul, the ‘proud’ bodies outside Talaat Pasha’s house museum. 

The body, in nothing but a thong, who moments earlier, flexed glitter and joy, smiled back at me. “Are you Turkish?” he asked. “No, Armenian.” 

I watched the blank glare creep over his once-expressive face. I politely found an exit – as always.

Almost immediately, a lesbian couple appeared and asked where I’m from. “Sounds like an American accent.” 

“Yes, but I’m actually Armenian.” 

“I lived in NYC for awhile, worked in investment banking there. It was nice.” Strike two. 

Again, I watched the word disappear – not beneath a flag or angry chant – but behind leather belts and sticky glasses. Even in this room, our bodies were not the same. Mine might as well have been a ghost. One of the millions abandoned in their home country – out of sight, out of mind. 

Rainbows in the sky but bumpy waves on this ship – as always.

I didn’t hear much of the rest. My nameless-more reappeared and took the reins.

That night, I told her that I was grateful to be in her safe space. I did not tell her that it was not mine.

To be a queer Armenian means to be reviled by both Armenians and Turks. Queer Turks do not even see us. SawubonaSouth Africa is a long way from here.

Nowhere to hide, nowhere to settle, nowhere to be free. The only way to find the light is to become it. To sway between the notes – of ghosts and angels. To become our own lullaby.

Rouri is a survival song. The mother in the story could not destine her child to memory. So, she returned and found her babe, still swaddled, still breathing. 

The vibrations had kept him alive. 

Lilly Torosyan is a freelance writer based in Connecticut. Her writing focuses on the confluence of identity, diaspora and language – especially within the global Armenian communities. She has a master’s degree in Human Rights from University College London and a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Boston University, where she served on the ASA Executive Board. She is currently working on her inaugural poetry collection.

The soul of Armenia: Five essential reads

Aug 5 2023

Armenia is one of the oldest countries in the world, known best perhaps for being the first nation to officially adopt Christianity as its religion, in 301 AD. Beyond that, few people outside of the Caucasus can claim to have anything resembling a deep knowledge and understanding of the country.

We aim to put that right with this concise list of five books which offer a glimpse into the soul of a quite remarkable nation. All touch on the subject of the Armenian genocide of World War I, and are a testament to the resilience, cultural heritage, and indomitable spirit of the Armenian people.

The Sandcastle Girls, by Chris Bohjalian

Prepare to be swept away by this historical love story, steeped in the author’s Armenian heritage. Set against the backdrop of the Armenian genocide during World War I, the story follows Elizabeth Endicott, a young American nurse who volunteers to aid Armenian refugees in Syria. Amidst the chaos and tragedy, Elizabeth forms a deep connection with Armen, a young Armenian engineer. Their love story unfolds through letters and reveals the resilience of the human spirit in the face of unimaginable horrors.

The Forty Days of Musa Dagh, by Franz Werfel

Step into the pages of this stirring and poignant novel, based on real historical events and true heroes. As World War I rages through Europe, the Turks begin a systematic extermination of their Christian Armenian subjects. In defiance, Gabriel Bagradian, an Armenian officer in the Ottoman army, leads 5,000 villagers to the top of Musa Dagh, the mountain of Moses, where they face a Turkish army hell-bent on genocide. This epic tale of courage and resistance serves as a powerful warning against racism and scapegoating.

Black Dog of Fate, by Peter Balakian

Prepare to be captivated by this memoir that delves into the haunting legacy of the Armenian genocide. Peter Balakian, a poet, takes us on a personal and emotional journey as he uncovers his family’s history and the horrors inflicted upon the Armenian people. Balakian’s powerful storytelling intertwines his family’s experiences with the collision of ancient Near Eastern traditions and American pop culture. Through his poetic lens, he sheds light on the resilience and strength of a people scarred by tragedy.

The Spice Box Letters, by Eve Makis

Indulge your senses in this captivating novel that weaves together the past and present. Katerina inherits a scented spice box from her grandmother, Mariam, which contains letters and a diary written in Armenian. As Katerina unravels her family’s history, she uncovers Mariam’s journey through the Armenian genocide and her subsequent exile. Set against the backdrop of 1915 Turkey and 1985 Greece, this book is a testament to the power of memory, identity, and the enduring bonds of family.

The Art of Armenia, by Christina Maranci

An exceptional book that provides a comprehensive exploration of Armenian art. Maranci’s expertise in the subject shines through as she delves into the rich history and cultural significance of Armenian visual arts. The book takes readers on a fascinating journey through time, starting from the earliest evidence of artistic _expression_ in Armenia to the present day. Maranci skillfully examines various forms of art, including architecture, sculpture, painting, and manuscript illumination, giving readers a well-rounded understanding of Armenian artistic traditions.


As USAID Calls for Opening Lachin Corridor State Dept. Urges ‘Compromises’ for Peace

A convoy of trucks carrying 400 tons of humanitarian aid is blocked from entering Artsakh

The United States Agency for International Development called for the resumption of free movement along the Lachin Corridor, while the State Department said the “difficult compromises” were required to attain peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

USAID Administrator Samantha Power said food insecurity and shortage of medical supplies in Artsakh are “very troubling.”

“Food insecurity & shortages of medical supplies in Nagorno-Karabakh are very troubling. The Lachin corridor is critical for getting lifesaving supplies to the people of Nagorno-Karabakh. I join Secretary Blinken’s call for the free transit of commercial & humanitarian supplies through the corridor,” Power said in a social media post on Monday.

The State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said United States wants “difficult compromises” from Armenia and Azerbaijan in order to achieve peace, yet he continued to ignore the ongoing aggression by Azerbaijan against Armenians both in Armenia and Artsakh, including the blocking of 400 tons of humanitarian assistance that has been stuck at the Hakari Bridge for seven days.

“We continue to talk about a peace agreement and we continue to believe that a peace agreement is within reach. However, we have always said that for it to be within reach both parties have to make difficult compromises, and that’s why the Secretary has been remained engaged in talking to the leaders of both Armenia and Azerbaijan to encourage them to make those difficult compromises so they can reach an agreement,” Miller said at a press briefing on Monday.

The U.S. Embassy in Armenia said the Special Envoy to the Caucasus Louis Bono will visit the region later this week to discuss “U.S. support for the peace process and the best way to achieve a lasting and dignified peace.” It did not elaborate.

The Armenian Service of Voice of America reached out to the State Department for comment about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Artsakh, as well as the recent kidnapping and detention of Artsakh patient, Vagif Khachatryan, who was abducted while on a Red Cross medical transport mission on Saturday.

“The United States is aware of the detention of Vagif Khachatryan at the Lachin corridor checkpoint, who was being transported to Armenia for treatment under the escort of an international humanitarian organization,” the State Department told Voice of America
“The United States remains deeply concerned about Azerbaijan’s continued closure of the Lachine corridor to commercial, humanitarian, and private vehicles,” the State Department added, saying that “halting humanitarian movement further worsens the humanitarian situation and undermines efforts to build confidence in the peace process.”

“The free movement of commercial, humanitarian and private vehicles through the Lachine corridor must be restored immediately,” the State Department’s said. “We consistently claim that peace in the region must include the protection of the rights and security of the people of Nagorno Karabakh. We welcome dialogue guided by this goal.”

Meanwhile the Senate Foreign Relations Committee urged the U.S. and its allies to exert pressure of President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan as the humanitarian in Artsakh worsens.

“The ICRC has served as a lifeline to Nagorno Karabakh. Then Azerbaijan cut off its last remaining source of essential food & medicine.   More than 7 months into Azerbaijan’s blockade, the time is now for the US & its allies to exert pressure on Aliyev. Lives hang in the balance,” a post on Monday on the committee’s social media platforms said.

Former Senator Sam Brownback called for U.S. sanctions on Azerbaijan.

“It is getting progressively worse for Christians in Nagorno-Karabakh. The Lanchin [sic] Corridor is closed, in spite of an agreement to keep it open. Azerbaijan must be sanctioned for their humanitarian abuses before it gets even worse. #SaveKarabakh,” Brownback, who now serves as at-large ambassador for International Religious Freedom group, said in social media post.

PACE President calls for fact-finding mission given deteriorating situation in Nagorno- Karabakh


YEREVAN, JULY 31, ARMENPRESS. Tiny Kox, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), issued the following statement today:

"Given the further deterioration of the humanitarian and human rights situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, I recall the Assembly’s request of 20 June, to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, to organise a fact-finding mission to Azerbaijan as early as possible, with the aim of assessing the situation where Armenians live and have been affected by the absence of free and safe access through the Lachin corridor since 12 December 2022.

I join the call for dialogue voiced by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe on 28 July 2023, and urge both Azerbaijan and Armenia, as Council of Europe member States, to finally live up to their mutual commitment, made on their accession in 1991, to de-escalate tension and restore peace between their countries.”

CoE Secretary General reiterates call to restore free movement along Lachin Corridor

 18:20, 28 July 2023

YEREVAN, JULY 28, ARMENPRESS. Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić has ‘strongly reiterated’ her previous calls to restore the free movement along the Lachin corridor.

In a statement released Friday, Burić expressed ‘extreme concern’ about the ‘serious humanitarian and human rights situation’ in Nagorno-Karabakh.

 “I am extremely concerned about the serious humanitarian and human rights situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and my thoughts go to the residents who are bearing the brunt of this situation. I strongly reiterate my previous calls to restore the free movement along the Lachin corridor. I draw attention to the interim measures indicated by the European Court of Human Rights concerning the Lachin Corridor seven months ago. I also call on both sides to engage in a genuine dialogue with a view to rapidly ensuring free and safe passage through the Lachin corridor. This dialogue should lead as well to de-escalating tensions and restoring peace, also in line with the commitments undertaken by Armenia and Azerbaijan upon acceding to the Council of Europe more than 23 years ago,” Burić said in the statement.

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.

An Armenian humanitarian convoy carrying emergency food and medical aid to Nagorno-Karabakh remains blocked by Azerbaijan at the entrance of Lachin Corridor for the second day.