By Artak Khulian
STEPANAKERT (Azatutyun) — Almost one month after Azerbaijan blocked the sole road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia, the authorities in Stepanakert decided on Monday, January 9, to limit the sale of some basic foodstuffs and other items that are increasingly in short supply.
Karabakh food stores largely ran out of stock already in December. Most of them now sell only locally produced dairy, bread and alcohol.
The authorities last week tapped their strategic reserves to start supplying retailers with imported staples such as sunflower oil, sugar, rice and salt. There have since been complaints by Stepanakert residents that not all shops are receiving such emergency supplies and that some are hoarding them.
The Karabakh government responded by announcing the mandatory rationing of products supplied by it. Officials said the new distribution system will take effect later this week through ration coupons that will be distributed to all Karabakh residents.
“The idea is to evenly distribute to the population the small amounts of food from the state reserves,” said Narine Aghabalyan, a government spokeswoman.