WASHINGTON, DC – Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues leaders Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Gus M. Bilirakis (FL-12), David G. Valadao (CA-21), Adam B. Schiff (CA-28), Brad Sherman (CA-32), and 61 Representatives today introduced a congressional resolution condemning Azerbaijan for its blockade of Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) and urging the United States to take immediate steps to end the ongoing humanitarian crisis. Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) will introduce the Senate companion resolution.

“I stand with my colleagues today in condemning Azerbaijan’s ongoing blockade of Artsakh. It’s clear that Azerbaijan’s blockage of the Lachin Corridor is coordinated and intended to shut off the only supply route for much of Artsakh’s food, medical supplies and transport, and other essential goods,” said Congressman Pallone. “We stand united in telling Azerbaijan to end this intentional humanitarian crisis.”

“Azerbaijan’s blockade of the Lachin Corridor—the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) to Armenia—is inhumane and unacceptable,” said Senator Padilla. “This blockade has created a humanitarian crisis, rendering the 120,000 Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh without access to food, water, medicine, and other basic necessities. Our resolution would make it clear that the United States must take action to hold Azerbaijan accountable.”

“The coordinated efforts by the Azerbaijani government to block essential goods and services such as food, medical supplies, and transportation in and out of the Republic of Artsakh is unconscionable. We need to hold Azerbaijan accountable for their role in this humanitarian crisis,” said Congressman Bilirakis.

“The humanitarian crisis in Artsakh caused by the blockage of the Lachin Corridor grows more dire by the day, and the United States must take decisive action to help the tens of thousands of people cut off from their families, loved ones, and livelihoods,” said Congressman Schiff. “This bipartisan condemnation of Baku must be just the beginning — and signal the end of assistance to Azerbaijan. I will always stand with the people of Armenia and Artsakh and call on the President of the United States to use all diplomatic tools at our disposal to ensure the safety of the people of Artsakh amid the growing crisis in the region.”

“The United States must act. That’s why my Armenia Caucus colleagues and I have introduced a resolution that will put Congress on the record as unequivocally condemning this deadly blockade,” said Congressman Sherman. “Let’s be clear about what this is – an attempt by Azerbaijan to force Artsakh’s ethnic Armenian population out of their homes by making life in Artsakh impossible. The tactic is blockade. The effect is civilian deprivation. The object is ethnic cleansing.”

“The aggression from Azerbaijan towards the Armenian people in Artsakh is unacceptable. Not only are these actions in direct violation of international agreements, but they are preventing deliveries of food, medicine, and other basic necessities – a blatant violation of human rights,” said Congressman Valadao. “I am proud to cosponsor this critical resolution which strongly condemns the Azeri government’s appalling actions and calls on the United States to use every diplomatic tool at our disposal to end this dangerous blockade.”

Azerbaijan began its blockade of the Lachin Corridor – a vital lifeline that connects the Armenian people of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) with the Republican of Armenia – on December 12, 2022, under the guise of an environmental protest. Since then, severe shortages of food, medical supplies, drinking water, and other essentials have created a dire humanitarian crisis for the 120,000 people living in Artsakh. Further reports indicate that Azerbaijan has also sabotaged important civilian infrastructure such as power transmission lines and fixed-line internet.

This man-made crisis purposefully created by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev threatens to severely worsen the quality of life for the people of Artsakh. Unfortunately, the current international strategy to reopen the Lachin Corridor is simply not working. Despite clearly documented evidence of the blockade and the tragic impact it is having on innocent civilians, President Aliyev continues to lie to the United States and the international community by stating that there is no blockade. The Aliyev regime is taking premediated steps to remove the indigenous Armenian population from Artsakh and deprive them of the opportunity to live freely, democratically, and with dignity in the land of their ancestors – a clear sign of ethnic cleansing.

A copy of the resolution is available here.

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