PARIS—Over 60 French senators and deputies have called on President Emmanuel Macron to impose sanctions against Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and his regime for attempted ethnic cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh. The call to action, which seeks French support for Nagorno-Karabakh, was authored by Gilbert-Luc Devinaz and Pierre Ouzoulias and co-signed by 59 other legislators.
“The Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh is on the verge of disappearing,” the legislators warned in a call published in Le Monde. “Nagorno-Karabakh, which represents in the South Caucasus what we claim we embody, deserves more than a careless look. It simply deserves to exercise its citizens’ right to self-determination. It justifies France’s role and activities in the region, confirms our country’s lawfulness to act, and a forceful occupation cannot in any way question its existence. In a letter sent to his wife Melinee, Missak Manouchian had written, ‘At the time of my death, I declare that I don’t have hatred for the German people or anyone else. Everyone will get what they deserve, be it in the form of either punishment or reward. The German people and all other peoples will live in lasting peace and brotherhood after the war’.”
“We ask Emmanuel Macron to impose sanctions against Ilham Aliyev and his regime, without any hate for his people, so that the Armenians and Azerbaijanis will finally be able to coexist in peace and brotherhood in the South Caucasus, where they live side by side,” reads a part of the letter from the French political factions.
It added that the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh is trying not only to survive in the South Caucasus but also to embody the democratic values which France considers to be its own values.
“Whereas we haven’t initiated any step or support in this relation in withstanding the attempts of ethnic cleansing by Azerbaijan,” the French legislators stated.
The Lachin Corridor, the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia and the rest of the world, has been blocked by Azerbaijan since late 2022. The Azerbaijani blockade constitutes a gross violation of the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire agreement, which established that the 5km-wide Lachin Corridor shall be under the control of Russian peacekeepers. Furthermore, on February 22, 2023, the United Nations’ highest court—the International Court of Justice (ICJ)—ordered Azerbaijan to “take all steps at its disposal” to ensure unimpeded movement of persons, vehicles, and cargo along the Lachin Corridor in both directions. Azerbaijan has been ignoring the order ever since. Moreover, Azerbaijan then illegally installed a checkpoint on the Lachin Corridor. The blockade has led to shortages of essential products such as food and medication. Azerbaijan has also cut off gas and power supply into Nagorno-Karabakh, with officials warning that Baku seeks to commit ethnic cleansing against Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh. Hospitals have suspended normal operations.