STEPANAKERT — NKR State Minister Ruben Vardanyan is calling on the international community to provide Nagorno Karabakh with the opportunity of a humanitarian air corridor for food and other essential supplies.

In an interview to Sweden’s National Radio, Vardanyan was asked to comment on the so-called environmental reasons brought forward by the Azerbaijani side for closing the corridor, and the violation of the 9 November 2020 trilateral statement. Vardanyan said that Azerbaijan’s claims do not sound credible to anyone, because the whole world knows that nothing happens in an authoritarian country “under the responsibility of environmentalist,”

“Can you recall when the last time in over a decade there was any ecological demonstration in Azerbaijan? We in Artsakh do not have mechanisms to put pressure on a country that has signed a document confirming the right to freely use the corridor, and violating it. We demand that the international community provide us with a humanitarian air corridor so that we can bring food and basic necessities. However, Azerbaijan does not allow this either. Therefore, we perceive this as a state policy, a state position that very clearly shows that they want to get us all out of here and carry out ethnic cleansing in order to get Artsakh without Armenians,” Vardanyan said.

In another interview to the British Byline Times, Vardanyan presented the situation resulting from the Azeri blockade. “Twenty-four days we are into this blockade,” he said. “We get a little bit of food from the Red Cross and Russian peacekeepers. But in reality, we don’t have basic foodstuffs. No fruit, no vegetables. We have a little grain and meat and some milk. Other things do not exist anymore.” “No cigarettes,” he added.

He told Byline Times that he was among 5,000 natives of Artsakh who will be apart from their families this Christmas. “My wife and four kids planned our Christmas many months ago.”

“For the first time in my life I am apart from my family at Christmas. Basically, we are hostages to Azerbaijan while we can’t get access to the road.” Vardanyan called on the international community to impose sanctions if Azerbaijan persisted with the blockade.

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