STEPANAKERT — The Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) Foreign Ministry issued a statement following Azerbaijani side’s obstruction of the return of more than two dozen of Artsakh citizens to their homes from Armenia. The statement reads as follows.

‘On 4 April, another flagrant violation of the rights of the citizens of Artsakh took place that indicates the true goals pursued by Azerbaijan, which has been holding the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh Republic) under a complete blockade for more than 110 days.

The Azerbaijani side refused to let through the Lachin Corridor vehicles of the Russian Peacekeeping Contingent with citizens of Artsakh who remained in Armenia due to the blockade and were deprived of the opportunity to reunite with their families.

The Azerbaijani side stopped the vehicles on the blocked section of the Lachin Corridor and for 5 hours subjected the people in the vehicles, mainly women, children and elderly persons, to psychological terror and intimidation. Subsequently, Azerbaijan made an attempt to turn the suffering of the people into a show of hypocritical pseudo-humanism.
This egregious incident clearly demonstrates that the Azerbaijani authorities have embarked on the next level of practical implementation of their criminal plan to ethnically cleanse Artsakh and expel its people from their historical homeland.

These intentions were publicly announced by the President of Azerbaijan on 10 January 2023, in an interview with the Azerbaijani media. Subsequently, the Azerbaijani political leadership repeatedly voiced the threat that the people of Artsakh should either obey the Armenophobic authorities of Azerbaijan or leave their homeland.
In an environment of complete impunity, the criminal actions committed by Azerbaijan against the people of Artsakh are becoming increasingly threatening both in nature and scale.

The inaction of the international community in the face of such serious violations of human rights is tantamount to tacit approval, if not complicity in the inhumane actions of official Baku. Immediate and decisive action by the United Nations Security Council, which has the appropriate mandate and tools, is an absolute necessity to immediately end the illegal blockade and stop the crimes of Azerbaijan against the people of Artsakh, which continue before the eyes of the international community.’

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