YEREVAN — Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan again discussed with French President Emmanuel Macron Azerbaijan’s continuing blockade of the Lachin corridor in a phone call on Monday.
Pashinyan’s press office said he briefed Macron on the “dire humanitarian situation” in Nagorno-Karabakh caused by the nearly two-month blockade.
“Emmanuel Macron emphasized the importance of the uninterrupted operation of the Lachine Corridor and indicated France’s readiness to continue contributing to the solution of this problem,” it added in a statement.
Macron urged Baku to “allow free movement along the Lachin corridor” when he phoned his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev on December 23. According to the French readout of the call, Aliyev expressed his “intention” to do so.
However, government-backed Azerbaijani protesters have since continued to block Karabakh’s land link with Armenia on ostensibly environmental grounds. Aliyev and other Azerbaijani officials have endorsed their actions.
Later in December, the leaders of France’s mainstream opposition parties said Paris should establish “humanitarian presence” in Karabakh and seek Western economic and political sanctions against Azerbaijan.
French parliament speaker Yael Braun-Pivet, who is affiliated with Macron’s LREM party, expressed serious concern about the Azerbaijani blockade during a January 12-13 visit to Armenia. But she spoke out against unilateral French sanctions, saying that possibilities of dialogue with Baku have still not been exhausted.
The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, made clear last week that the EU is not considering imposing sanctions on Azerbaijan because of the blockade.