Artsakh State Minister’s Advisor Artak Beglaryan is demanding the UN Security Council to discuss the Azeri blockade of the Lachin Corridor. Beglaryan said it would allow exerting high level international pressure upon Azerbaijan.
Beglaryan, who himself is unable to return to Nagorno Karabakh amid the blockade, has been demonstrating outside the UN office in Armenia for already eight days.
Beglaryan said sanctions must be imposed against Azerbaijan.
He described the international reaction to the Azeri blockade as partially or entirely positive, however he assessed the result and effectiveness as negative.
“Regardless of what is being said, it is obvious that it doesn’t impact Azerbaijan’s behavior. And it is already the eight day that Azerbaijan continues the total blockade, collective captivity of the people of Artsakh. From this perspective I assess the international community’s actions as negative,” Beglaryan told reporters.
The Office of the Armenian Representative for International Legal Affairs appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, asking to impose provisional measures and make Azerbaijan unblock the Lachin Corridor. The ECHR gave Azerbaijan until December 19 to respond to the demand. However, Beglaryan said he can’t say for certain how long the court will discuss the issue and when the interim decision will be published.
“At the same time processes have started in the UNSC. It was announced that at the initiative of France the issue of Artsakh, namely the road, was discussed among other issues in a closed format. We expect and demand, and the Foreign Ministry of Armenia is also making efforts in this direction, for the UN Security Council to hold urgent, open-format discussions of this issue, so that the UNSC and members of the council express clear positions. This is one of the important formats through which it will be possible to exert international pressure on Azerbaijan,” Beglaryan said.
He said taking practical steps is more significant, meaning the initiation of possible accountability measures against Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijani authorities. “Without clear measures for accountability, sanctions, I am sure that the Aliyev regime won’t come to senses. And that impunity will always lead to new crimes,” Beglaryan said.
Beglaryan said that if not the collective international community then at least individual countries were to voice the threat of sanctions it could act as a restraining measure. However, he said it is unlikely that countries would do so, but at the same time not impossible.
“But it is regrettable that against this backdrop, when sanctions are needed, an energy supply agreement is being signed with Aliyev in Bucharest on December 17, which is a very major program. The President of the European Commission was present, and on the backdrop of the blockade she signs the agreement with Aliyev and welcomes Aliyev, this is already regrettable,” Beglaryan said.
Beglaryan said that it is clear that Azerbaijan has preconditions for opening the road, otherwise the road would be opened long ago. “They are expecting, demanding something, that’s why they are keeping it closed. They have deep goals both explicitly and covertly. The Russian side is working in this direction, they are mediating, there is a certain negotiations process,” Beglaryan said.
The Nagorno Karabakh side is also involved in the talks. Every dialogue is held with mediation efforts from the Russian side. Beglaryan said he is sure that Azerbaijan’s main deep goal is the exodus of Armenians from Artsakh, genocide, ethnic cleansing. While the Armenian side’s strategic goal must be the opposite – keeping Artsakh as an Armenian homeland, the stabilization of the situation and in long-term the strengthening and development of Artsakh together with Armenia, which would enable to seek sustainable, just and final solution to the conflict with support from the international community.
Speaking about the humanitarian crisis in Artsakh as a result of the blockade, Beglaryan said Artsakh still has reserves, but already fewer. Shortages of various items exist.