Asbarez: Armenia Urges UN Security Council to Prevent Ethnic Cleansing in Artsakh, Deploy Peacekeepers

Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan addresses the UN Security Council on Sep. 21

Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan on Thursday urged the United Nations Security Council to act and prevent ethnic cleansing in Artsakh and send UN-mandated peacekeepers there to maintain the security and stability.

Mirzoyan was speaking at a special session of the UN Security Council, which was called at the initiative of France, to address the large-scale military attack on Artsakh on Tuesday.

The majority of diplomats representing member states, including the United States, France, Germany and others, condemned Baku for its brazen attacks against the population of Artsakh and called on Baku to immediately reopen the Lachin Corridor and unlock access of humanitarian assistance to the people of Artsakh.

Also speaking that special Security Council session was the European Union’s foreign affairs chief, Josep Borrell, who warned Baku against the forced displacement of the Armenian population in Artsakh.

In his address, Mirzoyan said that the intensity and cruelty of the Azerbaijani attack against Nagorno-Karabakh makes it clear that Azerbaijan’s intention is to complete the ethnic cleansing of the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Below is the complete text of Mirzoyan’s statement.


Mr. President,
Distinguished colleagues,

I thank the Security Council for convening this urgent meeting to discuss the security and humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh stemming from unprovoked and well-planned military attack by Azerbaijan.

While the UN General Assembly’s session is underway and all the members of international community are gathered here to look for ways to maintain peace and security worldwide, while we all speak about the imperative to condemn use of force, prevent further loss of human lives caused by man-made disasters, while each of us comes here to contribute to peace, in our region in South Caucasus on 19th September Azerbaijan unleashed yet another large-scale offensive against the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, in blatant violation of the international law and Trilateral Statement of November 9, 2020. Literally the whole territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, Stepanakert and other cities and settlements came under intense and indiscriminate shelling with use of missiles, heavy artillery, combat UAVs and aviation, including prohibited cluster munition. The intensity and cruelty of the offensive makes it clear that the intention is to finalize ethnic cleansing of the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh. 

Outcomes of this large-scale military operation clearly reveal their atrocious nature. Yet they are very preliminary as due to the targeted attacks against critical infrastructure, such as electricity stations, telephone cables and  stations and internet equipment, the population is completely cut-off from each other and is deprived of the possibility to present the real-time situation on the ground. Also, Azerbaijani troops control main roads in Nagorno-Karabakh which makes it impossible to visit and get information on the ground. 

For the time being there are confirmed cases of more than 200 killed and 400 wounded, including among civilian population, women and children, also accepted today by the
Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs. More than ten thousand persons became forcibly displaced, including women, children, and elderly, who stay in the open air, without food and other means for subsistence. Thousands of families have been separated. Add to this around twenty thousand displaced persons from the 2020 war to see that there are enormous humanitarian needs on the ground.

People are still starving due to the severe shortages of food imposed by the ongoing 10-month blockade.

The healthcare system has been paralyzed. Hospitals have no electricity and are in a critical shortage of medicine. People are deprived of the opportunity to receive even first aid. Without fuel, ambulances cannot operate to take the wounded to hospitals.

The images coming from Nagorno-Karabakh are truly shocking: women, children, elderly people left without shelter and food, moms desperately trying to find their lost children, wives crying from fear that Azerbaijan may imprison their husbands. It’s hard to believe that all this is happening not a hundred years ago but today in front of the international community in the 21st century. The social media is full of Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh searching for their children or relatives. The children that suddenly appeared to stay in shelters or even streets continue crying and asking their parents to take them home, refusing to recognize that they do not have a home anymore. During the shelling an eight-year boy has gone missing in one of the settlements of Nagorno-Karabakh, his brother ten years old was killed and his body has not been even possible to take out from the village. The other brother was injured. These are only examples of numerous cases. In the eyes of Azerbaijan these children are terrorists, and Azerbaijan’s actions, missiles, armored vehicles, artillery and UAVs were directed against those children, their parents and grandparents. 

The Azerbaijani social media segment is full of calls to find the missing children and women, to rape them, dismember and feed them to dogs. Azerbaijani users are sharing the profiles of Armenian women from Nagorno-Karabakh on social media making biddings on who will get those women to rape, when they are taken under Azerbaijani custody.

This was feasible, the clear signs were there. We have been alarming for a long time now. The international community refused to take it seriously enough. 

The current aggression came as a culmination of a 10-months-long blockade of the Lachin corridor and forced starvation imposed on the people of Nagorno-Karabakh. Severe shortage of food, medicine, fuel, natural gas, electricity and other essential goods had already brought the vulnerable people of Nagorno-Karabakh to the brink of humanitarian catastrophe. One should be naive to think that this was not precisely thought through ever since or even before the institutionalization of the inhumane blockade with the aim of bringing down the will and ability of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh to resist and maintain their lives and livelihood in their ancestral homeland. The Azerbaijani aggression that unfolded with explicit barbarity and deliberate targeting of civilian populations and infrastructure was the final act of this tragedy aimed at the forced exodus of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh.

  • When the International Court of Justice on February 22 and July 6, 2023, adopted legally binding orders and they were disrespected by Azerbaijan- this Council as an august body meant to ensure the implementation of ICJ orders failed to react adequately,
  • When Azerbaijan blocked the Lachin cCorridor and we called for urgent meeting of the UNSC in December 2022 – this Council failed to react adequately, 
  • When in April Azerbaijan installed illegal check-point in the Lachin cCorridor and later started to kidnap people, including ones under the protection of international humanitarian law,- international community failed to undertake adequate measures,
  • When Armenia called again for another UNSC urgent session in August 2023 – warning about the fragile security and humanitarian situation and calling the Council to use its toolbox to address all the issues and not let people of Nagorno-Karabakh behind, this Council failed to react adequately,

During the days prior to September 19’s Azerbaijani aggression when Armenia was raising alarm about feasible use of force by Azerbaijan and seeking for concrete measures and actions to prevent this scenario – international community reacted to our warning with skepticism.

Now when Azerbaijan has already restarted to use force against the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, when these this people are forcefully deported from their houses and are at danger to be forcefully deported from their homeland, when many who have been defending their families and their right to live in freedom and dignity in their homeland for the last 30 years are at danger of mass arrests and prosecution, when we have a situation where there is not an intent any more, but clear and irrefutable evidences of policy of ethnic cleansing and mass atrocities – the Security Council of the United Nations must act.

Despite accepting all demands of the Azerbaijani side in order to stop the bloodshed and ongoing talks today, the people of Nagorno-Karabakh were again subjected to attacks using different caliber weapons and mortars, thus forcing the civilians once again to seek shelter in the basements. We believe such attacks and further persecutions will continue unless there is a clear international action. 

By the way, regarding the mentioned demands, I would like to state very clearly and unequivocally that the Republic of Armenia was not part of those discussions and we resolutely reiterate that the claims and references to the presence of any military personnel of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh do not correspond to reality. 
In this attempt we clearly see the intention of some actors to involve the Republic of Armenia in military actions thus transferring the hostilities into our sovereign territories. The position of Armenia firmly remains the same: we should establish peaceful relations based on mutual recognition of sovereignty and territorial integrity, which certainly cannot be anyhow misinterpreted and used as a license for mass atrocities, including ethnic cleansings in Nagorno-Karabakh. The rights and security of the Armenian people of Nagorno-Karabakh must be properly addressed and internationally guaranteed.

There is also another very important aspect regarding the parties involved. As I noted some of you in your statements still make general calls to the sides of conflict. This approach and this terminology are not relevant any more. There are no more sides of the conflict but perpetrators and victims. There is no more conflict but a real danger of atrocity crime. Is it still possible to prevent it now? We are here because we believe so. Because we still believe in humanity, in international law and in the ability of the Security Council to act decisively when lives of thousands are at stake.

Mr. President, 
Against this backdrop, time and again, I appeal to the Security Council to demonstrate its credibility and reputation by undertaking the following urgent measures:

  • To condemn the resumption of hostilities and targeting of civilian settlements and infrastructure,
  • To demand full compliance with obligations under the international humanitarian law, including those related to the protection of civilians, in particular women and children, and critical civilian infrastructure;
  • To immediately deploy an interagency mission by the UN to Nagorno-Karabakh with the aim to monitor and assess the human rights, humanitarian and security situation.
  • To ensure unimpeded access of the UN agencies and other international organizations to Nagorno-Karabakh in line with the humanitarian principles.
  • To ensure full cooperation of the parties in good faith with the International Committee of the Red Cross to address the consequences of the military actions, including the removal and identification of the bodies, search and rescue of personnel missing in action, release of POWs, safe and unimpeded delivery of humanitarian assistance, in strict compliance with the international humanitarian law. 
  • To ensure the return of persons displaced in the course of the recent aggression, as well as persons and refugees displaced as a result of 2020 war, to their homes in the territory of Nagorno- Karabakh and adjacent regions under the monitoring and control of the UN relevant agencies, as it was foreseen in the Trilateral Statement of November 9, 2020.
  • To ensure immediate restoration of vital supplies, including food, medicine, fuel, gas and electricity.
  • To demand the immediate restoration of freedom and security of movement of persons, vehicles and cargo, along the Lachin corridor, in line with the ICJ orders.
  • To ensure a sustainable international mechanism of dialogue between representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh and official Baku to address the issues related to rights and security of the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh.
  • To demand exit of any Azerbaijani military and law-enforcement bodies from all civilian settlements in Nagorno-Karabakh NK to exclude panic, provocations and escalation, endangering civilian population until the results of the negotiations.
  • To exclude punitive action against Nagorno-Karabakh NK political and military representatives and personnel.
  • Create a possibility for a United Nations-mandated Peacekeeping Force to keep stability and security in Nagorno- Karabakh.

Mr. President,
Dear colleagues,

Let me mention that today we celebrate the Day of Independence of the Republic of Armenia and let me congratulate my compatriots on this very important and symbolic occasion. 

And I thank you.”

The effect of "positive and negative shock" on Armenia’s economy. Opinion

Sept 5 2023
  • JAMnews
  • Yerevan

Impact of Russian capital on the Armenian economy

About 60% of Armenia’s economy is concentrated in the capital. The positive effect of “the shock caused by the flow of re-locations and capital inflows from Russia” is more pronounced in Yerevan. This is the opinion of economist Narek Karapetyan.

“At the same time, uneven territorial development across the country and income distribution is a serious problem. The bad news is that economists have no recipes on how to fight it either,” he says.

The expert analyzed the situation in the country’s economy, touched upon the distribution of labor force in Yerevan and regions, inflation, the size of salaries, economic activity in certain sectors and its causes.

Armenia’s economic activity index increased by 10.4% in January-July 2023 compared to the same period last year. According to the data published by the Statistical Committee

  • the volume of industrial production increased by 0.5%,
  • construction volumes increased by 17.2%,
  • volumes of services provided increased by 14.9%.

The consumer price index increased by 3.6% compared to January-July 2022, while the price index of industrial products remained unchanged.

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According to economist Narek Karapetyan, an expert at the Amberd think tank, it is in the capital that new IT companies are opening, while important organizations of the financial sphere are located here, which ensured a significant increase in salaries last year.

He warns that the gap between Yerevan and the regions is getting deeper, but experts assess the situation differently:

“Some believe that more investments should be made in the regions. But there are also those who cite counterarguments and many examples that large investments have gone to zero because the regions turned out to be unattractive for economic activity.”

Karapetyan said that the Armenian government “will have a difficult homework” to find “the right recipes” and achieve an even territorial distribution of resources.

According to the expert’s assessment, this year’s agricultural products are slightly cheaper than last summer. But prices in general still remain at a “high level, as in 2019, 2020 and 2021”.

He reminds that the main sphere of activity in the regions is agriculture, as well as the public sector and industrial enterprises. According to Karapetyan, it is the rural population that faces economic problems due to regional security factors:

“For example, when there are problems with the operation of the Sotq mine [which is located in the zone bordering Azerbaijan and is subject to shelling], it is the regions that are affected, the people who work in Gegharkunik m and Ararat regions, where raw materials are processed.”

In the event of logistical problems at the Upper Lars checkpoint, the only land road connecting Armenia to Russia, once again the residents of the regions where agricultural products are produced and processed suffer.

About the latest developments – according to the stories of ordinary people. Also, an expert’s commentary on support for socially vulnerable segments of the population and uneven distribution of income

Narek Karapetyan said that the growth of the average salary was ensured by the index for paying new employees who appeared in the country, and this “significantly raised the index”. Speaking of “new employees,” he is referring in particular to IT specialists who moved to Armenia from Russia:

“We are talking about 10-15 thousand workers who are non-residents. Their average salary is 1-2 million drams [$2600-5200]”.

The economist notes a certain decrease in prices when considering the indicators of the last 12 months. But emphasizes that the factor of the “high bar” of the previous year should also be taken into account. Then the prices, for example, for agricultural products were unprecedentedly high:

“Prices continue to remain at a high level. Inflation in the services sector also continues. Compared to last year we have about 4% growth”.

Karapetyan says the Central Bank is in no hurry to lower prices, although it has the appropriate tools to do so:

“The Central Bank Council is cautiously approaching the issue. The structure believes that the reason for high prices is the inflationary pressure of the still persisting demand. Perhaps, some deflationary phenomena are caused by the underlying factor [refers to the unprecedented high prices of previous years]”.

Over the past five years, the construction of residential complexes has noticeably intensified in the capital of Armenia.

Commenting on the situation in the industrial sector, the expert notes the impact of “one positive and two negative shocks”. He considers the opening of new Russian markets as positive:

“These are markets of great demand. Some industrial organizations are working beyond their capabilities to take advantage of this demand and get additional income, as well as to strengthen their place in these markets in the future”.

But, given the fact that we are talking about exporting organizations, immediately declares a “negative shock” in the form of the exchange rate:

“It affects the competitiveness of industrial enterprises, especially in European markets. Last year the dram appreciated by 18% against the dollar and almost 40% against the euro”.

According to him, another negative factor was “the shock experienced by the mining industry due to the decline in prices and exchange rate fluctuations, as well as the situation in the regions bordering Azerbaijan. In this regard, he again recalls the events in Sotk.

Karapetyan believes that in certain cases, such as in the manufacturing industry, government intervention and policies are very important. In particular, he advises to direct certain resources to those spheres, which have long-term importance, in this case he speaks about the manufacturing industry.

Opinion: Armenians are starving at Azerbaijan’s hands. Why isn’t Biden doing more to help?

Los Angeles Times
Aug 30 2023

AUG. 30, 2023 11:20 AM PT

Last year on World Food Day, President Biden reaffirmed his commitment to a world where “no child has to go to bed hungry, no parent has to worry about how to feed their family, and no one has to face food insecurity.” In that same speech, Biden highlighted how the United States had that year alone committed more than $9 billion in lifesaving humanitarian assistance to vulnerable communities around the world.

Sadly, Biden’s pledge is not reaching the Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh, who have been locked in a conflict over their homeland with Azerbaijan since the fall of the Soviet Union.

In this latest chapter, since last December the government of Azerbaijan, under the leadership of its petro-dictator Ilham Aliyev, has implemented an illegal blockade of the only road linking more than 120,000 Armenians, including 30,000 children, in Nagorno-Karabakh to the outside world. It is one of the world’s most overlooked and underreported humanitarian crises taking place today.

By limiting access to food, medicine, gas, electricity and other critical supplies to be delivered by the Lachin Corridor, Azerbaijan is on its way to making living conditions so unbearable that Armenians are forced to leave the region.

Earlier this month, a 40-year-old resident of Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, died of starvation, becoming the region’s first reported victim of chronic malnutrition and protein deficiency. The lack of food has also contributed to the number of early-stage miscarriages, which reportedly have nearly tripled this summer.

Using food as a weapon has become a popular tool for autocrats to disrupt the lives of innocent people while trying to force concessions that benefit their interests. Russia’s Vladimir Putin has effectively held the global food supply hostage by attacking Ukraine’s ports and crippling grain exports via the Black Sea, as together the two countries export 30% of the world’s wheat, 60% of the world’s sunflower oil and 20% of the world’s corn.

Azerbaijan is turning to a similar playbook in trying to force its will on the Armenian people by attempting to break their spirit and resolve through food. Biden has steadfastly held Russia accountable for its egregious behavior, and the State Department has been working with European Union officials to attempt to reopen the Lachin Corridor. But those efforts have so far failed.

The lack of leadership from the White House has led other actors on the world stage to fill that void. This month, Luis Moreno Ocampo, former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, released an explosive report stating that when assessing the Azerbaijani blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh, “there is a reasonable basis to believe that a genocide is being committed.” And, the report states, “Without immediate dramatic change, this group of Armenians will be destroyed in a few weeks.”

Having been victims of genocide in the 20th century, Armenians know all too well the horrors of such crimes against humanity and feel their voices and concerns are once again being ignored and sacrificed at the altar of realpolitik.

That type of international gamesmanship was evident at the United Nations earlier this month when the Security Council held an emergency meeting to discuss the worsening humanitarian situation after Armenia urged the global community to help end the blockade. While France and other countries used the opportunity to highlight the principles of international law and humanitarianism as reasons to lift the blockade, other delegations — such as Great Britain, which has significant oil investments in the country — held back on condemning Azerbaijan.

And despite the evidence on the ground, Azerbaijan’s U.N. representative claimed that Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh were happy and well-fed by sharing printouts of Instagram posts that allegedly showed Armenians getting married and celebrating birthdays.

For Biden, as a president who took office claiming that human rights would be central to his foreign policy, this tragedy threatens to stain his legacy.

So, what can he do? For starters, he can begin by unequivocally calling for an immediate end to the blockade and apply pressure on Azerbaijan through sanctions, as California Rep. Adam B. Schiff has called for. He can enforce Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act that bans U.S. aid to the Azerbaijani government — restrictions that he, like presidents before him, has waived each year since becoming president. And he can direct Samantha Power, the administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, to allocate more resources and money toward helping Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The U.S. enabling of Azerbaijan’s authoritarianism is now costing lives and giving Azerbaijan cover to do what it wants with impunity. Time is running out for the Armenian people living in Nagorno-Karabakh. If Biden truly believes that no child should go to sleep hungry, then he’ll need to act with far greater urgency to break Azerbaijan’s blockade.

Stephan Pechdimaldji is a communications strategist living in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a first-generation Armenian American and grandson of survivors of the Armenian genocide.

Azerbaijan slams French ‘interference’ on Nagorno-Karabakh

RFI, France
Sept 1 2023

Azerbaijan summoned France's ambassador Thursday and condemned its "direct interference" in Nagorno-Karabakh after several French councils sent a humanitarian aid convoy to blockaded Armenians in the enclave.

Baku has been accused of blocking the Lachin corridor – the only road link between the enclave and Armenia – since December, cutting off Armenian-populated settlements in the disputed breakaway region.

Azerbaijan said it had set up checkpoints on the short mountainous road for "security reasons", while Yerevan has demanded that the UN intervene to prevent a "humanitarian catastrophe".

On Wednesday, several French politicians, including Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, joined a 10-lorry humanitarian convoy financed by French local councils, which was stopped from entering the enclave.

Hidalgo wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that "no humanitarian aid can get into" Nagorno-Karabakh "in total violation of human rights".

"This is a humanitarian crisis."

The stand-off has riled Azerbaijan, which summoned the French ambassador Thursday.

"The ambassador received a note of protest over vehicles being sent to the Lachin border post… under the cover of 'a humanitarian convoy'," Baku said in a statement.

It also condemned the "provocative declarations (of French politicians) against Azerbaijan", which they said were stirred up by a "campaign of lies and manipulation by Armenia", a historic French ally.

  • Azerbaijan rebukes France for 'failure and inaction' over Armenia
  • France sends emergency aid to Armenian community in Nagorno-Karabakh

"This constitutes direct French interference in Azerbaijan's internal affairs," it added.

The Caucasus neighbours have been locked in a deadly dispute over the enclave – internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan – since the 1980s and fought two wars over the territory.

The second, in 2020, saw the defeat of Armenian forces and significant territorial gains for Azerbaijan.

Faced with international criticism, Baku insists that the Lachin corridor is not blocked to civilians, and said earlier this week that it was itself sending an aid convoy to Nagorno-Karabakh.


Armenian Film Society announces program for inaugural Armenian Film Festival

GLENDALE, Calif.—Armenian Film Society has announced the program for the inaugural Armenian Film Festival, which will be held in Glendale, California from September 6-10 at the Alex Theatre, Laemmle Glendale and Hero House.

Founded in 2015 by husband and wife Armen and Mary Karaoghlanian, Armenian Film Society shines a spotlight on Armenian films and filmmakers. The nonprofit organization is hosting its first film festival this year on the occasion of the centennial of Armenian cinema.

“Armenian Film Society has always been about celebrating Armenian filmmakers. 2023 marks 100 years of Armenian cinema, and by hosting our film festival on the centennial, we hope to usher in the next 100 years of Armenian cinema,” says founder and CEO Armen Karaoghlanian.

The opening night film is the premiere of Michael Goorjian’s Amerikatsi at the Alex Theatre on Wednesday, September 6. The closing night film is a special 15th anniversary screening of Sev Ohanian’s debut feature film, My Big Fat Armenian Family, also screening at the Alex Theatre, on Sunday, September 10.

The festival will also feature several panels, including a discussion with director Michael Goorjian and producer Arman Nshanian about filming in Armenia, as well as a discussion and book signing event with legendary producer Howard Kazanjian, whose credits include The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Return of the Jedi.

The Armenian Film Festival will also feature a total of 12 short films, including Garin Hovannisian’s Nowhere and Ophelia Harutyunyan’s It Takes a Village…, both of which won top prizes at LA Shorts this year and are now qualified for the Academy Awards, as well as Milena Mooradina’s Cycles, a student film that is a semifinalist for a Student Academy Award.

“The Armenian Film Festival is an all-Armenian film festival–that is, every film, every year, will always have an Armenian connection. We want to celebrate our artists, while also making the festival accessible to non-Armenians who can discover our stories,” says founder and president Mary Karaoghlanian.

Full program and ticket information can be found on Armenian Film Society’s website.


Aug 24 2023

Burbank, CA — Yesterday, Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) spoke at a press conference hosted by the Pan Armenian Council of Western USA (PAC WUSA). This conference launched a 24-hour nationwide hunger strike to demonstrate unity with the 120,000 residents of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) facing a dire humanitarian crisis caused by Azerbaijan’s ongoing illegal blockade of the Lachin Corridor, the only road connecting Armenia and Artsakh. 

Joining Schiff were key community figures, including Congressman Brad Sherman, Los Angeles City Council President Paul Krekorian, and Glendale Mayor Dan Brotman. The purpose of the press conference was to demand tangible action by President Biden’s Administration to end the illegal blockade of the Lachin Corridor by Azerbaijan’s tyrannical regime, ensuring security and stability for Artsakh, as well as invigorating a recommitment for its right to self-determination.

Azerbaijan intends to open Lachin Corridor only for outbound transit, warns Pashinyan


YEREVAN, AUGUST 24, ARMENPRESS. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has said that he’s received information that Azerbaijan intends to re-open the Lachin Corridor only in one direction to allow outbound transit.

Speaking at the Cabinet meeting on August 24, Pashinyan said that Azerbaijan continues its illegal blockade of the Lachin Corridor and the humanitarian aid sent by the Armenian government, the private sector as well as French regions remains stranded at the entrance of Lachin Corridor.

“At the same time, the humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh remains tense. The only change in the situation is that a certain movement of people requiring treatment and other citizens has begun along the Lachin Corridor through the Red Cross and the Russian peacekeeping contingent in Nagorno-Karabakh. At the same time, we have received credible information that plans are being developed to unilaterally open the Lachin Corridor, meaning to allow only exit from Nagorno-Karabakh,” Pashinyan said.

The Armenian PM said that numerous residents of Nagorno-Karabakh remain stranded in Armenia and are unable to return home – 5,000 persons as a result of the blockade since December 2022 and 30,000 persons as a result of the unfulfillment of clause 7 of the 9 November 2020 trilateral statement.

Asbarez: Armenia Requests Emergency UN Security Council Session on Artsakh

The UN Security Council discussed Azerbaijan's blockade of the Lachin Corridor during a session on Dec. 20

Armenia on Friday appealed to the United Nations Security Council requesting it to convene an emergency session to address the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Artsakh that has been caused due to Azerbaijan’s now eight-month blockade of the Lachin Corridor, the Armenian foreign ministry reported.

Artsakh President Arayik Harutyunyan welcomed Yerevan’s appeal saying that it is important for the international body to be aware of the impeding genocide against the people of Artsakh.

“It is commendable that, having taken into account the calls by the authorities of the Republic of Artsakh, among others, the Republic of Armenia sent a letter to the President of the UN Security Council to convene an emergency meeting of the Security Council regarding the deterioration of the humanitarian situation resulting from the total blockade inflicted upon the civilian population of Nagorno-Karabakh. It’s important that the letter officially underscores, among others, the goal of genocide prevention,” Harutyunyan said, lauding also the recently released statement by a group of UN experts calling on the Azeri government to lift the blockade.
Harutyunyan added that his latest urgent appeal to the international community, and the former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Luis Moreno Ocampo’s expert opinion concluding that the blockade constitutes genocide, were widely covered by the international media and raised awareness.

The Nagorno-Karabakh president also welcomed the statement by genocide scholars calling for immediate UN intervention.

“Of course, statements have been made by other international organizations and countries as well, with a visibly increasing perception of the urgent need to take effective international actions. Certainly, time is of the essence for our people, and the delays cause death and suffering,” Harutyunyan added.

Mher Margaryan, Armenia’s Permanent Representative the UN, in a letter addressed to the President of the UN Security Council highlighting that as a result of Azerbaijan’s actions “people of Nagorno-Karabakh are on the verge of a full-fledged humanitarian catastrophe.”

“These actions of Azerbaijan constitute a flagrant violation not only of the Trilateral Statement of November 9, 2020 but also of international humanitarian law and are in direct breach of the Orders issued by the International Court of Justice on February 22 and July 6, 2023, according to which Azerbaijan should ‘take all measures to ensure unimpeded movement of persons, vehicles and cargo along the Lachin Corridor in both directions,’” Margaryan said in his letter.

“Deliberately creating unbearable conditions for the population is nothing more than an act of mass atrocity targeting the indigenous people of Nagorno-Karabakh and forcing them to leave their homes and homeland. Such an infliction of collective punishment upon the people of Nagorno-Karabakh constitutes an existential threat to them should they be left alone vis-a-vis the Azerbaijani aggressive policy,” the letter added.

“Under current circumstances, the Government of Armenia is requesting the intervention of the UN Security Council as a principal body of safeguarding global security and preventing mass atrocities including war crimes, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity and genocide,” said Margaryan, calling for Armenia’s participation if and when such a Security Council session is called.

Opinion A humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding in the Caucasus

Washington Post
Aug 11 2023

Accept Azerbaijan’s political control or leave Nagorno-Karabakh. That’s essentially what Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev is telling the Armenian population of this remote enclave that lies within Azerbaijan’s borders.

But leaders of the Armenian majority there argue that Aliyev’s tactics amount to genocide — and many residents appear ready to starve rather than submit.

Aliyev was emphatic in an Aug. 2 interview with Euronews: “People who live in Karabakh … they live in Azerbaijan. They should choose whether to live as citizens as [an] ethnic minority … or to leave. So this is their choice.”

In an apparent effort to enforce sovereignty, Azerbaijan has been blockading the road from Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh, known as the “Lachin Corridor” since June 15. Without this route, the Armenian population has lost access to food, fuel, medicine and other essential supplies. The Azerbaijanis say they are ready to ship food from Azerbaijan, but Armenians fear it might be a trap — a first step toward integration by force — and they have blocked the Azerbaijani entry routes with concrete barriers.

Arayik Harutyunyan, the president of “Artsakh,” as Armenians call this region, appealed for international support against what he called a “genocidal policy” in a statement this week: “The blockade of the Lachin Corridor is not an isolated incident. It should be regarded as part of a planned, large-scale and coordinated policy by Azerbaijan aimed at the destruction of the people of Artsakh as a whole.” He requested a meeting of the U.N. Security Council.

State Department officials have been working with European partners and Russia to try to reopen the Lachin Corridor and end the humanitarian crisis. The plight of residents there has raised growing international concern for the welfare of Nagorno-Karabakh’s 120,000 residents. Luis Moreno Ocampo, a former prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, issued a report this week alleging that “there is a reasonable basis to believe that a genocide is being committed.”

U.S. officials believe that Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh are managing to survive only because of backyard gardens and other home-produced food. They fear that within two months, as winter approaches, the population could face starvation. Armenians dread a repetition of the Ottoman genocide of 1915, an ever-present historical memory for Armenians around the world.

The blockade of fuel supplies is already having a crippling effect inside Nagorno-Karabakh. According to an Armenian official, “even ambulance vehicles are not able to operate within Nagorno-Karabakh because there is simply no fuel.”

The humanitarian crisis surrounding the Lachin Corridor is the latest chapter of a decades-old struggle over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave. Armenia won control in 1994, but skirmishes continued for the next 25 years. Azerbaijan regained power in a 2020 war that left Armenia dazed and defeated. Russia brokered the deal that ended that war and has a nominal peacekeeping force in Nagorno-Karabakh. But Moscow’s ability to maintain peace and stability has been severely weakened by the Ukraine conflict.

The Armenian government in Yerevan, headed by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, has said it is ready for a broad peace agreement with Baku. The two sides have held repeated negotiating sessions, including three in the United States organized by the Biden administration. But this diplomatic process has been ruptured by the Lachin crisis.

An Armenian diplomat told me this week in an email message that her government continues to seek normalization with Baku. But she said Yerevan wants “international guarantees” that a peace deal will be “fully implemented,” and “guarantees of rights and security of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh.”

The Lachin crisis is a distillation of what has been the core issue from the beginning. Nagorno-Karabakh had long been recognized internationally as part of Azerbaijan; but the Armenian majority there wants some form of political self-determination, rather than dictation from a hostile government in Baku. There’s abundant food waiting at various border crossings. But Azerbaijan needs to build some trust by ending the Lachin barricade that started this crisis.

When I visited Stepanakert, the de facto Nagorno-Karabakh capital, in April 2016, I saw a monument to the spirit of resistance there that Baku evidently wants to break. On the road to the airport stood an immense stone statue of an old man and woman, seemingly buried in the hillside. The name of the monument was “We Are Our Mountains.”

The message to the world was simple, as I wrote at the time: We aren’t moving. That’s still true. Nagorno-Karabakh may be part of Azerbaijan legally, but it’s going to be populated by ethnic Armenians who need protection of their human rights. It’s time for all parties to accept both sides of that equation.

David Ignatius writes a twice-a-week foreign affairs column for The Washington Post. His latest novel is “The Paladin.”  Twitter 

Armenpress: Ireland reiterates EU’s call for immediate reopening of Lachin Corridor


YEREVAN, AUGUST 11, ARMENPRESS. On August 11, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan had a telephone conversation with Tánaiste, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence of the Republic of Ireland Micheál Martin.

Minister Mirzoyan briefed his counterpart on the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh resulting from Azerbaijan's illegal blockade of the Lachin corridor highlighting that the situation is close to turning into a real humanitarian catastrophe, the foreign ministry said in a readout. 

The Foreign Minister of Armenia emphasized that since June 15, Nagorno-Karabakh has been under a total blockade, under the conditions of which the fundamental rights of 120,000 people of Nagorno-Karabakh, including 30,000 children, are being grossly violated. Particularly the acute shortage of food and medicine was mentioned. Ararat Mirzoyan stressed that by such actions, Azerbaijan continuously demonstrates its real intention: to implement ethnic cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Touching upon the principled positions of partners, including Ireland, voiced on international platforms so far, Ararat Mirzoyan stressed the importance of immediately lifting the blockade of the Lachin corridor in accordance with the legally binding Orders of the International Court of Justice of February 22 and July 6, as well as the need for consistent steps aimed at preventing the implementation of Azerbaijan's intentions.

During the telephone conversation, the interlocutors also touched upon the issues of the Armenia-EU partnership, including the activities of the EU Civilian Monitoring Mission in Armenia.

Commenting on the call, Micheál Martin then posted a statement on social media platform X, stressing that he had an important call with the Armenian foreign minister regarding the humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, during which he reiterated the EU’s call for an immediate reopening of the Lachin Corridor and ensuring access of ICRC aid. Martin added that Ireland calls on everyone to participate in the comprehensive, sustainable peace talks.