WASHINGTON, DC — The Lachin corridor must be opened now, no more delay, Acting Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Yuri Kim said during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the crisis in Nagorno Karabakh.
“We are deeply concerned by the continued closure of the Lachin Corridor and the impacts this closure is having on the people of Nagorno-Karabakh,” said Kim. She emphasized that the State Department views the “status quo as completely unacceptable” and that they will “not stop working until we have a resolution.”
“We have consistently said that that Corridor must be open to commercial, humanitarian, and private traffic,” she continued. “We have conveyed that message both publicly and privately to all levels of government in Azerbaijan on numerous occasions. Access to food, medicine, baby formula, and energy should never be held hostage.”
Kim stated that there should be no more delays and that it’s “essential for these supplies which have been ready to move in weeks to finally be delivered to the people of Nagorno-Karabakh now.”
She continued that the State Department is encouraging “all sides to work constructively” as the “only path forward is through dialogue.” Kim added: “We believe peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan would have cascading benefits for the region.”
Assistant Secretary Kim also said that “we have made clear that the rights and security of ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh must be protected. This is an essential element of any durable and dignified peace agreement.”
Concluding her statement, Kim said that the US will not support any effort or action to “ethnically cleanse or commit other atrocities against the Armenian people of Nagorno-Karabakh,” reiterating that the “current humanitarian situation is not acceptable.”