MEP Martin Sonneborn

Compliance with ICJ Order Must Be Precondition for Any EU-Azerbaijan cooperation – MEP Martin Sonneborn

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YEREVAN (Armenpress) — Member of the European Parliament Martin Sonneborn (Germany – Die PARTEI ) said in an interview on July 24 that Azerbaijan’s “total blockade” of Nagorno Karabakh is “intolerable” and that Baku is ‘terrorizing’ the civilian population as part of its agenda of ethnically cleansing Armenians from the region.

“Azerbaijan put the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia under total blockade. The situation is intolerable. We see videos of empty shelves in supermarkets and hear the news about the lack of fuel for ambulances. People are dying. Azerbaijan is terrorizing the civilian population as a part of its agenda of ethnically cleansing Armenians from the region,” MEP Sonneborn told Armenpress correspondent Lilit Gasparyan in Brussels.

He noted that Azerbaijan is disregarding the international community’s calls to open the road and is tightening the blockade.

“Although the European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and numerous governments called upon Azerbaijan to open the Lachin corridor, Azerbaijan keeps tightening the blockade and does not even allow the International Committee of the Red Cross to deliver humanitarian aid. The United Nation’s highest judicial body, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), stated in a legally binding order that Azerbaijan must facilitate unimpeded transport of cargo and persons along the Lachin corridor. While the European Parliament requested sanctions for Azerbaijani government officials in case they do not comply with the court’s order, Council President Charles Michel recently welcomed an Azerbaijani proposal to provide humanitarian aid from their side. This is a disastrous signal since it rewards Azerbaijan once again for its non-compliance with international law. Compliance with the binding ICJ order must be a precondition for any EU-Azerbaijan cooperation. Since the European Union does not exercise pressure regarding the court’s order, it is complicit with Azerbaijan’s inhuman agenda,” the MEP added.

Lachin Corridor, the only road connecting Nagorno Karabakh with Armenia and the rest of the world, has been blocked by Azerbaijan since December 2022. The Azerbaijani blockade constitutes a gross violation of the 2020 Nagorno Karabakh ceasefire agreement, which established that the 5km-wide Lachin Corridor shall be under the control of Russian peacekeepers. Furthermore, on February 22, 2023 the United Nations’ highest court – the International Court of Justice (ICJ) – ordered Azerbaijan to “take all steps at its disposal” to ensure unimpeded movement of persons, vehicles and cargo along the Lachin Corridor in both directions. Azerbaijan has been ignoring the order ever since. Moreover, Azerbaijan then illegally installed a checkpoint on Lachin Corridor. The blockade has led to shortages of essential products such as food and medication. Azerbaijan has also cut off gas and power supply into Nagorno Karabakh, with officials warning that Baku seeks to commit ethnic cleansing against Armenians in Nagorno Karabakh. Hospitals have suspended normal operations and the Red Cross has been facilitating the medical evacuations of patients.

 

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