A large demonstration in Stepanakert on December 25 protested the blocking of the Lachin Corridor

Armenia’s Electricity Supply to Karabakh Disrupted

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STEPANAKERT (Azatutyun) — Authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh have resorted to rolling blackouts, saying that electricity supplies from Armenia to Karabakh carried out through Azerbaijani-controlled territory have been disrupted.

The local power grid operator Artsakhenergo reported on Tuesday, January 10, that a section of the high-voltage transmission line coming from Armenia was knocked down on Monday for still unknown reasons. It said the “accident” occurred near the town of Lachin handed back to Azerbaijan last summer.

“Because of the unconstructive position of the Azerbaijani side, at the moment we are unable to visit and inspect that section and organize repairs,” Artsakhenergo said in a statement. “Therefore, a decision was made to supply electricity to the republic from local generating stations with appropriate restrictions.”

The restrictions will take the form of rolling blackouts, added the statement. It did not specify the likely length of power cuts which were already reported from Karabakh on Monday evening.

The Azerbaijani authorities did not immediately comment on the supply disruption which came almost one month after they blocked the sole road connecting Karabakh to Armenia, causing growing shortages of food and other essential items in the Armenian-populated region.

The day after the beginning of the blockade, Karabakh’s leadership accused Baku of also blocking Armenia’s gas supplies to Karabakh. The supplies were restored three days later. The United States and the European Union were quick to express serious concern over their disruption.

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The Western powers have repeatedly urged the Azerbaijani side to unblock the Lachin Corridor. Baku has dismissed their calls and defended Azerbaijani protesters continuing to occupy a section of the corridor on ostensibly environmental grounds.

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