YEREVAN (PanARMENIAN.Net) — Following their visit to Armenia on February 17-19 to assess the situation on the border with Azerbaijan and at the entrance of the Lachin Corridor, the co-rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) for the monitoring of Armenia Kimmo Kiljunen (Finland, SOC) and Boriana Åberg (Sweden, EPP/CD) made a following statement, saying that the situation in the Lachin corridor requires immediate action.
“As of today, inhabitants of Nagorno-Karabakh cannot travel freely out of the region and, as we were informed, 954 are still stranded on either side of the corridor. Only International Committee of the Red Cross and Russian peacekeepers’ vehicles are allowed to travel along this corridor, which is clearly insufficient to fulfill the needs of the population. Moreover, it is vitally important that goods can get through in time for the sowing season. The free circulation of all vehicles must be restored urgently in accordance with the Trilateral Statement of 10 November 2020,” the co-rapporteurs said on Friday, February 24.
“Furthermore, the repeated disruption of gas and electricity supply to the territory has resulted in serious violations of the rights of the inhabitants: many people have already lost their jobs and children are deprived of education since schools had to close.”
They recall the joint statement with co-rapporteurs for Azerbaijan of December 16, 2022, which urged the restoration of freedom of movement along the Lachin corridor, and the European Court of Human Rights’ decision of December 21, 2022, calling on the authorities of Azerbaijan to take all measures to ensure safe passage through the Lachin Corridor of seriously ill persons in need of medical treatment in Armenia and others who were stranded on the road.
“We also take note of the International Court of Justice’s order of February 22, 2023 indicating that “Azerbaijan shall (…) take all measures at its disposal to ensure unimpeded movement of persons, vehicles and cargo along the Lachin corridor in both directions.” We invite all members of the Assembly to bring this situation to the attention of their respective national parliaments and join our call for the immediate cessation of the unlawful and illegitimate obstruction of the Lachin corridor,” they added.
“Regarding the situation on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, we observed the consequences of attacks from Azerbaijani troops on civilian infrastructures in the city of Jermuk and the village of Sotk. We noted that evidence of the use of cluster ammunitions in civilian zones had been collected and kept for further expertise. We were shown the presence of Azerbaijani military positions within Armenian sovereign territory, sometimes well beyond any disputed border line.