The Lachin Corridor

Azerbaijan Sets Up Checkpoint at Lachin Corridor

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YEREVAN (Combined Sources) — On April 23, Azerbaijan set up a checkpoint at the Lachin Corridor, close to the Armenian border and in the control zone of Russian peacekeepers, next to the Hakar River bridge.

Baku announced that passport control will be carried out in cooperation with Russian peacekeepers.

However, on April 24, according to Nagorno Karabakh Observer’s posts on Twitter, the Russian peacekeepers seemed to be blocking the work by the Azerbaijani forces for a time. The group posted a video shot from Armenia showing a Russian truck stopped in front of the Azerbaijani troops.

Armenia called on Russia to “eventually fulfill the assumed obligations.”

The Security Council of Artsakh appealed to the parties that signed the tripartite declaration of November 9, 2020, especially Russia, “expecting effective steps in the shortest possible time.”

The US State Department has called to restore the free passage of people and goods through the Lachine Corridor. The United States is deeply concerned that Azerbaijan’s establishment of a checkpoint in the Lachine Corridor is undermining efforts to build confidence in the peace process, US State Department Deputy Spokesman Vedant Patel said .

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France also called on Azerbaijan to fulfill its international obligations, in particular, to apply the interim measures mentioned in the decision of the International Court of February 22, which are mandatory (to restore the free movement of goods, people and goods through the Lachin Corridor).

The Kremlin has announced the need to make additional efforts in connection with the installation of an Azerbaijani checkpoint in the Lachin corridor, the Russian Interfax agency reported.

Work at the Lachin Corridor

Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman of the President of Russia, in response to questions from journalists said, “Russia continues its mediation efforts and mainly to implement all the provisions of the previously signed tripartite documents. Russia will continue to work with Yerevan and Baku in that direction.”

“We continue contacts. The situation is really complicated, it requires additional efforts, and most importantly, it requires the mentioned countries to understand that there is no alternative to the implementation of the mentioned agreements,” said Peskov.

The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that any unilateral step is unacceptable. The Foreign Ministry also noted the increase in the number of ceasefire violations and called on Yerevan and Baku to implement the agreements.

“We express our serious concern about the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, the Armenian-Azerbaijani contact line in the area ofresponsibility of the Russian peacekeeping troops, as well as the dialogue between the official Baku and Yerevan. We note with extreme concern the increase in the number of violations of the ceasefire regime and various types of incidents, as a result of which there are regular victims on both sides,” the MFA text said.

French Statements

France called on Azerbaijan to restore the free movement of goods, people and goods through the Lachin Corridor through a statement by the spokesperson of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs.

“France regrets Azerbaijan’s installation of a checkpoint at the entrance to the new Lachine Corridor, which violates the obligations assumed by the ceasefire agreements and disrupts the negotiation process. France calls on Azerbaijan to fulfill its international obligations, in particular, to apply the interim measures mentioned in the February 22 decision of the International Court, which are mandatory. France also calls for the restoration of the free movement of goods, people and goods through the Lachine Corridor in both directions and for the restoration of the continuous supply of gas and electricity to the population,” the statement published on April 23 stated.

The US State Department also called for the restoration of the free passage of people and goods through the Lachine Corridor. The United States is deeply concerned that Azerbaijan’s establishment of a checkpoint in the Lachine Corridor is undermining efforts to build confidence in the peace process, US State Department Deputy Spokesman Vedant Patel said.

Raising the Azerbaijani flag at Lachin

The Security Council of Artsakh appealed to the parties that signed the tripartite declaration of November 9, 2020, especially Russia, “expecting effective steps in the shortest possible time.”

In addition, the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell assessed Azerbaijan’s installation of a checkpoint in the Lachin Corridor as an act contrary to the EU’s call to reduce tensions, he told members of the EU Foreign Affairs Council.

“We discussed Azerbaijan’s decision of unilaterally installing a checkpoint at the entrance to the Lachin Corridor, which contradicts our call to reduce tension. Issues should be resolved through dialogue,” Borrell said.

He emphasized that Azerbaijan should build trust with the Armenian side as a basis for progress towards the normalization of relations.

(CivilNet and Armenpress contributed to this report.)

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