Blockaded Nagorno Karabakh calls on international community to provide humanitarian air corridor


STEPANAKERT, JANUARY 7, ARTSAKHPRESS. Nagorno Karabakh State Minister Ruben Vardanyan is calling on the international community to provide Nagorno Karabakh with the opportunity of a humanitarian air corridor for food and other essential supplies.

In an interview to Sweden’s National Radio, Vardanyan was asked to comment on the so-called environmental reasons brought forward by the Azerbaijani side for closing the corridor, and the violation of the 9 November 2020 trilateral statement. Vardanyan said that Azerbaijan’s arguments are untrustworthy for everyone because “the whole world knows that nothing happens at the responsibility of environmentalists in an authoritarian country”.

“Can you recall when the last time in over a decade there was any ecological demonstration in Azerbaijan? We in Artsakh don’t have mechanisms to pressure a country who has signed a document affirming the right to freely use the corridor but is violating that very same document today. We request the international community to ensure the opportunity of a humanitarian air corridor for us, so that we’ll be able to bring food and other necessary essential goods. But Azerbaijan isn’t allowing this as well. Thus, we perceive this to be a state policy, a state position which explicitly shows that they want to expel us all and commit ethnic cleansing to get Artsakh without Armenians,” Vardanyan said.

In another interview to the British Byline Times, Vardanyan presented the situation resulting from the Azeri blockade. “Twenty-four days we are into this blockade,” he said. “We get a little bit of food from the Red Cross and Russian peacekeepers. But in reality, we don’t have basic foodstuffs. No fruit, no vegetables. We have a little grain and meat and some milk. Other things do not exist anymore.”  “No cigarettes,” he added.

He told Byline Times that he was among 5,000 natives of Artsakh who will be apart from their families this Christmas. “My wife and four kids planned our Christmas many months ago.”

 “For the first time in my life I am apart from my family at Christmas. Basically, we are hostages to Azerbaijan while we can’t get access to the road.” Vardanyan called on the international community to impose sanctions if Azerbaijan persisted with the blockade. 

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