The causes and consequences of blocking the Lachin corridor

2023/01/07 | interview, political, top news

Strategic Council Online—Interview: Emphasizing that the Republic of Azerbaijan and Armenia should respect each other's territorial integrity and observe international standards, an expert on international issues said that what happened with the blocking of Lachin corridor is against the standards of international law. The Republic of Azerbaijan should be demanded to cancel the restrictions and at the same time clarify the ambiguities of the Moscow Agreement, which was signed with the presence of Russia and between Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, otherwise there is always the possibility of conflicts and disputes.

Mohsen Pakaeen told the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations that the blocking of Lachin corridor by Azerbaijan has caused criticisms and dissatisfaction of Armenia, adding that the Lachin crossing is the route that connects Karabagh to Armenia and this crossing is the only exit from Karabagh to Armenia, where food, welfare and livelihood facilities are usually transferred to Karabagh and if this crossing is closed, practically the Armenians of this region will go under economic siege and if this action is prolonged, it will lead to a humanitarian disaster.

He stated that this issue is very important, especially in the field of transporting medicine and food in the winter season, and added that Armenia declares that the Republic of Azerbaijan has completely closed the Lachin crossing, but the Azerbaijani side insists that this crossing is not closed. And only in some cases, restrictions have been established and it is claimed that Armenia smuggles minerals from these areas.

The former ambassador of Iran in Baku said that the reality is that the Armenians of Karabakh are currently in a tight spot, this situation may be due to the complete blockage of Lachin or restrictions on the movement of Armenians from Karabakh to Armenia and vice versa. In any case, this situation is not a good situation and these actions are against the standards of human rights, and as a result, many innocent people have been exposed to danger and harm.

Referring to the role of regional players and international organizations, Pakaeen said that Azerbaijan should be asked to cancel the restrictions and at the same time it has the right to monitor the mines in this region. Preventing misuse of mines should not be an excuse to close the crossing. Lachin region belongs to the Republic of Azerbaijan, and it has the right to exercise sovereignty over these regions, and if the claim of mineral smuggling is true, it can easily prevent this action.

Reminding that these Armenians are citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan and should not be put in  danger, regarding Baku’s goals of blocking the Lachin corridor, Pakaeen noted that it is possible that due to the non-opening of the Zangzor Corridor, the Republic of Azerbaijan is looking for a countermeasure to block the Lachin corridor. While Yerevan has announced that it is ready to open the Zangzor corridor on the condition that its belonging to the territorial integrity of Armenia is preserved. In any case, this corridor is located in Sivnik province of Armenia and is considered part of the territorial integrity of this country.

Emphasizing that the Republic of Azerbaijan and Armenia should respect each other’s territorial integrity and observe international standards, this expert on international issues said that “the Republic of Armenia should accept that Karabakh is under the sovereignty of the Republic of Azerbaijan and adopt the solution of the issues based on this acceptance. And the Republic of Azerbaijan must accept that the Sionik corridor is inside Armenia and Yerevan has the right to exercise sovereignty over it”.

Saying that the provocations of Turkey and the Zionist regime should not be ignored, Pakaeen added that Turkey, which has had a dispute with Armenia for more than a hundred years, is not interested in improving relations between this country and the Republic of Azerbaijan, and the existence of war, or at least not war and not peace is desirable for them. The Zionist regime, which sells weapons to Baku and has intelligence and security cooperation with Armenia, is not interested in ending this tension because it loses its benefits.

He said that Iran’s and Russia’s efforts as a joint mediator can help reduce the differences between Armenia and Azerbaijan to create a better situation in the region.

The former ambassador of our country in the Republic of Azerbaijan, referring to the negotiations held in the past days between Russia, the Republic of Azerbaijan and Armenia, explained the positions of Tehran and Moscow regarding the necessity of not changing the geopolitics of the region and paying attention to their red lines.

“Until the negotiations between Yerevan and Baku continue, and the parties do not seek to solve the problem through military means and there is no danger of threatening the geographical borders, Iran and Russia should try to reduce their problems through mediation. But if the military path is to be followed and the geographical borders are changed, which seems unlikely in the current situation, then other decisions should be taken into consideration.”

Pakaeen emphasized that it seems unlikely that Armenia will cede the Sionik corridor to the Republic of Azerbaijan by deviating from its territorial integrity, because in that case the connection between the north and the south of Armenia will be completely cut off and a large part of its territorial integrity will be lost. The resistance of Armenia is with the aim of not losing its territorial integrity, at the same time efforts should be made for the Armenians of the Republic of Azerbaijan who are present in Karabakh to have a way out, so that they can be freed from this siege.

“The ambiguities of the Moscow Agreement, which was signed with the presence of Russia and between Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, should be resolved and it should be clarified precisely which country’s territorial integrity the Zangzor corridor belongs to. Of course, the Russians have declared that this corridor is in the territorial integrity of Armenia, but this issue should be included in the agreements. At the same time, Nagorno-Karabakh should return to the Republic of Azerbaijan and Baku should pledge to respect the rights of the Armenian minorities of Nagorno-Karabakh and not create any problems for them. Otherwise, there is always the possibility of disagreements and scattered conflicts.”.

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