Statement on the establishment of an Azerbaijani checkpoint on the Lachin corridor
Monday, 24 April, 2023, 12:18
On 23 April, after keeping Artsakh under inhumane blockade for more than 4 months by its agents, Azerbaijan illegally set up a checkpoint on the bridge over the Hakari River in the Lachin Corridor. We once again emphasise that Azerbaijan's actions aimed at establishing control over the Lachin Corridor are in direct contradiction to paragraph 6 of the Trilateral Statement of 9 November 2020. The signature of the President of Azerbaijan under the Trilateral Statement is a direct and unequivocal consent of the state of Azerbaijan to transfer exclusive control over the Lachin Corridor to the Russian peacekeeping forces. Since the establishment of ceasefire in 2020, Azerbaijan has repeatedly violated almost all provisions of the Trilateral Statement. However, the official statement of the Azerbaijani side about setting up a checkpoint indicates Baku's intention to abandon their obligations assumed by this document. In this regard, we expect an unequivocal and adequate response and effective measures both from the wider international community, signatories of the Trilateral Statement and, first of all, the Russian Federation as the guarantor of the implementation of the Statement, to prevent the installation of the Azerbaijani checkpoint, to unblock the Lachin Corridor and ensure the physical security of the people of Artsakh and the implementation of the obligations undertaken by Azerbaijan under the Trilateral Statement. It is obvious that by setting up a checkpoint, Azerbaijan is trying to give new impetus to its policy of ethnic cleansing of Artsakh in an environment of complete impunity and permissiveness. Not only does the leadership of Azerbaijan not hide its genocidal actions, but also announces them in advance without any condemnation or opposition from the international community. It is noteworthy that the massive violations of the rights of the people of Artsakh by Azerbaijan are being committed while international mediators are making efforts, statements and calls for peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan, in fact, uses the Armenia-Azerbaijan negotiation process as a tool to exclude the implementation by the States involved of possible measures aimed at preventing their criminal policy. The lack of an adequate response by the States, which, although not being parties to the Trilateral Statement, bear primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security, including the prevention of ethnic cleansing and genocide, as well as any proposal to discuss the illegal demands of Azerbaijan, are tantamount to condoning the genocidal policy of Azerbaijan. Moreover, any attempts to legitimise the illegal demands of Azerbaijan, by offering them as possible topics for discussion, in fact, serve to encourage the criminal plans of Baku. In the current circumstances, it is imperative for the UN Security Council to take decisive measures to prevent the genocidal policy of Azerbaijan. Therefore, we demand that the member states of the UN Security Council implement their obligations under the UN Charter and international law and put an end to Azerbaijan's criminal policy of ethnic cleansing of Artsakh and destruction of its people.