On 19 January, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) Sergey Ghazaryan sent a letter to Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejcinovic Buric, regarding the ongoing blockade of Artsakh by Azerbaijan.
In his letter, the Foreign Minister presented the humanitarian situation in Artsakh caused by the blockade, as well as the deliberate disruption by Azerbaijan of Artsakh’s energy infrastructure aimed at increasing the suffering of ordinary people.
He stressed that with their deliberate actions, the Azerbaijani authorities are depriving the people of Artsakh of the opportunity to exercise their basic human rights guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights, which constitutes an act of state terrorism.
He noted that Azerbaijan, which unduly remains a member state of the Council of Europe after its barbaric military campaign against Artsakh in 2020, has been employing fake “protests” as a hybrid war tactic to achieve its publicly declared goal of annihilation of the people of Artsakh.
In this context, he called on the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, the leadership of the organization and its member States to prevent the genocidal policies of Azerbaijan, promptly and resolutely employ the full arsenal of Council of Europe’s instruments to urgently lift Azerbaijan’s illegal and inhuman blockade of Artsakh. He also emphasized the need to impose sanctions on Azerbaijan by suspending its right to representation in the organization due to a clear violation of the organization's charter.
Copies of the letter were also sent to the President of the Parliamentary Assembly, the Commissioner for Human Rights and the Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
Since December 12, the sole road connecting Nagorno Karabakh to Armenia - the Lachin Corridor - has been blocked by self-described Azerbaijani environmentalists. Karabakh residents have reported food and fuel shortages, while hospital patients don't have access to essential medicines, with only a handful allowed transfer to facilities in Armenia proper.