Official Baku has condemned the Spanish government for its “unacceptable” decision to “support a separatist regime established by Armenia on the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan.”
The criticism came after Madrid announced its humanitarian assistance to residents of Nagorno-Karabakh, whose president appealed to the international community last week to prevent the starvation of the region. It has been under a de facto blockade imposed by Azerbaijan for months.
In a post on its Twitter account, Spain’s embassy in Russia stated that the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) had decided to provide support to a thousand people displaced from Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia. The embassy wrote, “The AECID is activating its humanitarian action ‘Acontraelhambre’ (‘Action Against Hunger’) to aid 1,000 people in Armenia who have been displaced due to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. A total of 250 families will receive financial, psychological, and social assistance.”
Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman Aykhan Hajizade responded by saying, “Baku strongly condemns this unconstructive approach. It is perplexing to observe a country combating separatism on its own territory while endorsing separatism in other countries. Spain’s support for the illegal separatist regime established by Armenia on the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan is unacceptable. We firmly denounce this unconstructive approach.”
Spain did not provide an immediate response to this criticism. Later on Tuesday, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry summoned Spain’s charge d’affaires in the country regarding the matter.
Amid severe shortages of basic foodstuffs, medical supplies, and fuel experienced by Nagorno-Karabakh’s Armenians, Armenia officially asked the United Nations Security Council last Friday to convene an emergency meeting about the worsening humanitarian situation in the region.
Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union, and Cooperation Jose Manuel Albares Bueno was among the top foreign diplomats with whom Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan held phone conversations over the past several days to address the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh due to the Azerbaijani blockade.
During his conversation with Bueno, Mirzoyan reportedly stressed “the gravity of the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and the absence of essential medical care resulting from the complete blockade of the Armenian-populated region since June 15, particularly affecting sensitive groups such as 30,000 children, 20,000 elderly individuals, and 9,000 persons with disabilities.”