YEREVAN (Azatutyun) — Azerbaijan seeks to renounce a 2020 Russian-brokered ceasefire agreement with Armenia and renew hostilities against Nagorno-Karabakh, the region’s ethnic Armenian leader warned over the weekend.
In an August 6 interview with Karabakh’s Public Television Arayik Harutyunyan also cautioned Armenia against taking any steps that would “question the self-determination” of Karabakh Armenians.
Speaking about the current blockade of Karabakh by Azerbaijan Harutyunyan claimed that it was already a siege warfare employed by Baku.
“Azerbaijan continues to exert pressure to extract maximum [concessions]. Azerbaijan is seeking to hold Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians in some sense hostage, while simultaneously committing genocide and putting pressure on the Armenian authorities and international actors in terms of having a more privileged version of the Zangezur road,” the Karabakh leader said, referring to what Armenians perceive as Baku’s plans to get an extraterritorial corridor to its western Nakhichevan exclave via the southern part of Armenia.
Armenia insists that a road via its Syunik province (also called Zangezur in both Armenia and Azerbaijan), which is part of the 2020 ceasefire agreement, should remain under Armenian sovereignty. In contrast, Yerevan stresses that the Lachin corridor must remain under the control of Russian peacekeepers in accordance with the terms of the trilateral statement that put an end to a 44-day Armenian-Azerbaijani war in Nagorno-Karabakh in which nearly 7,000 soldiers were killed. from both sides.
Yerevan and Stepanakert accused Baku of violating the terms of the agreement by installing a checkpoint at the Lachin corridor in April and then tightening the effective blockade of the Armenian-populated region in June.