JANUARY 12, ARTSAKHPRESS. Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) State Minister Ruben Vardanyan says the struggle of the people of Artsakh in conditions of the blockade of Lachin Corridor is not simply a struggle against the blockade, but rather a struggle for their most important right – the right to live on their own land.
“We are blockaded for already 32 days,” Vardanyan said during a Stepanakert-Yerevan video bridge press conference. “This means that we have problems, related to food, infrastructures, healthcare and other issues. Unfortunately there are those who died, and we can’t bury them,” Vardanyan said.
Addressing the false statements from Azerbaijan claiming that there are no problems in Artsakh, Vardanyan said that the Azeri side simply doesn’t want to accept reality. By Azeri estimates, 400 vehicles passed along the corridor during the past month, whereas before the blockade more vehicles were passing in a single day. Thus, with its own statements the Azeri side is confirming that Artsakh is in crisis, Vardanyan said. He said that many families remain separated due to the blockade.
“But at the same time I’d like to say that this all has united us even more. The people and the state are united in these difficult times. Realizing the seriousness of the situation, the spirit of overcoming hardships awakened in us. The December 25 rally, and the preceding meetings in regions showed that the people are ready to stand with us and withstand all this. This is not a struggle against the blockade, but rather a struggle for our most important right, that we have the right to live on our land, in our homeland, with our laws, our values, and we must not obey the terms of others. The decisiveness over this matter is growing stronger day by day among our people,” Vardanyan said.
The Lachin Corridor is blocked by Azerbaijan since 12 December 2022. The corridor is the only travel and supply route for the 120,000 Armenians of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh). The blockade has caused a humanitarian crisis. Shortages of essential products such as food and medicine prompted Nagorno Karabakh authorities to introduce rationing. Hospitals are keeping planned surgeries on hold. 1,100 residents of Nagorno Karabakh, including 270 children who were in Armenia when the road was blocked are unable to return to their homes. Furthermore, Azerbaijan has barred repair crews from accessing the area where the only high-voltage power line supplying Artsakh with electricity from Armenia was damaged on January 9.