WASHINGTON — This week Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Vice-Chair of the Congressional Caucus for Armenian Issues, spearheaded a letter signed by 29 Members of Congress, requesting President Biden to break Azerbaijan’s blockade of Artsakh, cut off U.S. assistance to Azerbaijan, and send U.S. humanitarian aid to Artsakh.
The letter condemns Azerbaijan’s blockade of the Lachin Corridor, the lifeline connecting Artsakh to Armenia, and, by extension, to the outside world. The blockade was imposed by the Aliyev regime on December 12, 2022 and has affected 120,000 Armenians — including 30,000 children — who are without access to food, medical supplies, transport, and other essential goods, ultimately “depriving them of their right to free movement.”
The letter emphasizes that “Azerbaijan is once again weaponizing basic human necessities to further degrade already strained living conditions for the Armenians living in Artsakh,” and if the situation continues, “a humanitarian crisis with potentially tragic consequences is imminent.”
In addition, Azerbaijan’s actions are a “direct violation of the trilateral ceasefire agreement of November 9, 2020, which outlines an obligation to guarantee the secure movement of citizens, vehicles, and cargo in both directions through this route known as the Lachin Corridor.”
The people of Artsakh have not yet recovered from the Fall 2020 44-day war, launched by Azerbaijan with the full and open support of Turkey, and appeals for robust U.S. humanitarian assistance have fallen short.
“The federal government has failed to provide adequate aid, which makes decisive action by the Administration now all the more important,” the letter stated, underscoring Azerbaijan’s continued “belligerence, which has followed a well-documented pattern of abuse against the Armenian population of Artsakh, motivated by the bombastic rhetoric of the Aliyev regime.”