STEPANAKERT (Azatutyun) — Nagorno-Karabakh’s leadership continued to strike a defiant note on Monday, December 19, as the only road connecting the region to Armenia remained blocked by Azerbaijan for the eighth consecutive day.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan expressed serious concern, meanwhile, about growing shortages of some basic goods and other humanitarian problems in Karabakh resulting from the blockade.
“People of Nagorno-Karabakh are stuck on roads in the cold, families are finding themselves on different sides of the blockade,” Pashinyan wrote on Twitter. “Citizens with serious health problems are deprived of medicine and health services.”
“We have been in a blockade for 168 hours,” the Karabakh premier, Ruben Vardanyan, said in a daily video address to the population. “Life goes on. We are going ahead with our decision to act in a way that would preserve our dignity.”
Vardanyan spent the weekend touring two districts of Karabakh and meeting with local residents.
“They [the Azerbaijani authorities] didn’t realize that this blockade is uniting us and making us stronger,” he said in the town of Martuni on Sunday. ”They are only now realizing that they gave us strength.”