Even at the UN the call is for Armenia to end its permanent victimhood cry and end misconduct in the Karabakh Region. Armenia cried wolf over the Lachin Border Crossing and the Lachin Corridor, but failed to impress representatives in the UN Security Council.
UN Security Council (UNSC) [16 AUGUST 2023-9397TH MEETING (PM)-SC/15384]: “Lachin Corridor Must Be Reopened for Humanitarian Aid, Security Council Hears, as Speakers Urge Armenia, Azerbaijan to Normalize Relations.”
The Lachin corridor, 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) wide, provides access from Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region to Armenia and the rest of the world, and it bypasses the town of Shusha, Azerbaijan. After the 2020 2nd Karabakh war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, according to the Trilateral statement between the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan and the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, the corridor was put under the control of the Russian Federation’s peacekeeping contingent.
The issue however is that Armenia plays the cat and mouse game – English-language idiom that means “a contrived action involving constant pursuit, near captures, and repeated escapes” – in every way it possibly can.
Lachin Border Crossing
To be able to have a hand on its security, establish control over its own borders, and prevent Armenia’s illegal acts in its sovereign territories, which Azerbaijan witnessed in the past 30 plus years, on April 23, 2023 the Republic of Azerbaijan installed a checkpoint at the Lachin border crossing at the Hakari Bridge.
The question is, why do the Armenians so much object to the Lachin border checkpoint? After all, through this border crossing Azerbaijan has been facilitating Armenian residents’ safe and affirmative passage free movement, according to international law on border crossings between countries. The same applies to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) personnel, as well as the Russian Peacekeeping contingent and humanitarian aid is not in short supply through the border crossing.
As for Armenia, for the purpose of continuing its illegal activities in Azerbaijan’s territories it constantly circulates false claims on the “worrisome and tense humanitarian situation in the region.”
The obvious reason is that for the past thirty plus years of Armenian illegal occupation of the Karabakh region, Armenia was also the master of havoc there. Now there is a new reality on the ground which Armenia refuses to accept. It refuses to accept it lost the war it started three decades ago and that the owner of the land it illegally occupied for decades – Azerbaijan – is back home; Armenia also refuses to accept Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and it wants to continue its hostilities.
What happened at UN Security Council August 16, 2023
First, it did not go well for Armenia’s crying wolf. In all likelihood Armenia expected the UNSC to go along with its false claims and request to condemn Azerbaijan. That did not happen.
Armenia’s PR move in the UN and beyond failed again. It was one more diplomatic defeat of and for Armenia. Sadly, around the world, Armenia told local media that Azerbaijan was carrying out illegal operations against Armenian citizens. They even convinced media that a genocide was either in progress or very likely to happen. That was all a lie.
Speakers at the UN called on both Armenia and Azerbaijan to normalize relations in order to arrive at a peace treaty. For Armenia, this is a hard pill to swallow.
Sérgio França Danese, Brazil’s envoy, reaffirmed his country’s commitment to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Armenia and Azerbaijan, within their internationally recognized borders. He also urged the parties to explore mechanisms to ensure unimpeded humanitarian access to Karabakh, including the feasibility of the Aghdam-Khankendi route, which Armenia opposes with its worldwide propaganda campaign and its imposed series of military and other obstructions for the normal functioning of Aghdam-Khankendi road for the delivery of goods to the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.
The Brazilian envoy noted the trilateral statement of November 9, 2020, that offers a road map for peacebuilding and called on the parties to adhere to their commitments made at that time and remain engaged in pursuing a definitive conflict’s solution.
Ferit Hoxha, Albania’s envoy, noted that his country welcomes Armenia and Azerbaijan efforts and commitment to a long-term negotiation plan for a comprehensive peace agreement; also the plan to construct a railway connection with the readiness of the European Union to contribute financially to it, however, with the caveat that, “the road is still uphill and bumpy.”
Mr. Hoxha highlighted the tensions near the Armenia-Azerbaijan border and that both countries sharply differ on the Lachin road position’s recent development. He further raised his concern over “a profound lack of trust” between the two rivals and called on both parties to delimitate, demine and demilitarize the border in order to provide the necessary sense of security, avoid accidents and incidents which – given the volatility of the situation – could quickly lead to heightened tensions and clashes.
The Russian Federation envoy, whose country provides the peacekeeping contingency in the region, also called for the delimiting and demarcating of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, and stressed that Armenian-Azerbaijani reconciliation is unthinkable without reliable security guarantees and the full human rights observance of the Nagorno-Karabakh’s inhabitants. He offered his Government’s compromise-based proposal to de-escalate tensions which entails a parallel corridor opening connection through Aghdam and Lachin.
Turkey’s (Türkiye) delegate emphasized Azerbaijan’s voiced concerns over Armenia’s abuse of the Lachin Corridor by supplying armed groups and conducting illegal mine exploitation – ecological genocide – in Karabakh. The Turkish delegate emphasized Azerbaijan’s obligation to observe humanitarian considerations in its territory, adding that medical evacuations through the road are readily available.
Armenia’s Ongoing Cry Wolf
Obviously Armenia presents a humanitarian difficulty in its provocative political campaign to undermine Azerbaijan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The International Court of Justice rejected Armenia’s recent request for an interim measure of removing the border checkpoint. It also dismissed Armenia’s allegations that the Lachin border checkpoint is illegal.
It must be pointed out that immediately after the end of the 2020 war, Azerbaijan offered logistics and infrastructure to the ICRC for the delivery of goods to the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. Armenia however rejected and prevented the ICRC from delivering humanitarian assistance.
For almost 30 years Armenia has blatantly disregarded a series of UN Security Council (UNSC) statements that demanded the full, immediate, and unconditional withdrawal of its occupying forces from Azerbaijan. Armenia’s current appeal to the Council is part of a campaign to manipulate and mislead public opinion.
Armenia Used ICRC to Smuggle into Karabakh
Odiously, Armenia resorted to the “unprecedented action” of using the ICRC to smuggle certain technologies, such as microchips, to the Karabakh region. The ICRC has to acknowledge this, since it is a serious blow to its humanitarian mandate and the possibility of achieving cordial coexistence in the region.
As of the 2020 end of war, residents who consider themselves ethnic Armenians, who remained living in the Karabakh region, are considered residents of Azerbaijan. The Government of Azerbaijan has declared often enough its commitment to guarantee and secure their access to necessary goods and services.
Armenia’s leadership has made some verbal statements recognizing the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, including the Karabakh region. This created a ground for cautious optimism to end the conflict for once and for all.
It is time for Armenia to convert these statements into real action and end the questioning of Azerbaijan’s sovereignty under the pretext of humanitarian needs. Azerbaijan is pursuing a policy of integration of ethnic Armenian residents of the Karabakh region as equal citizens, guaranteeing them the rights and freedoms as set out in Azerbaijan’s constitution and international human rights mechanisms.
Armenia’s Pursuit of Hostilities
After the 2nd Karabakh War ended with Armenia’s defeat in November 2020, Armenia never fully met the commitment it signed on in the November 10, 2020 trilateral statement. Armenia is playing a silly cat-and-mouse game.
I have not been to Lachin nor have seen the border crossing checkpoint but I regularly follow Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry evidential reports and its videos on social media.
It appears that Azerbaijan’s intention is to achieve peace, but Armenia has a different agenda. Armenia uses any means it can find in its magical sack to avoid arriving at a final peace agreement and ending all hostilities. All Armenia is doing is challenging Azerbaijan’s patience.
Azerbaijan created cordial movement conditions for the ethnic-Armenian residents of Karabakh while also considering its security aspects.
Armenian origin people still living in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan are accompanied by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) staff when crossing the border check-post. There is plenty of food in the Armenian enclave, enough to open restaurants there.
All this proves that Armenia’s claims that the Lachin corridor is blocked by Azerbaijan and the ethnic Armenian enclave is suffering a humanitarian crisis are lies, slander and pure propaganda.
It seems that the ethnic Armenians of the Karabakh region would easily integrate as citizens of Azerbaijan. However, it is obvious that some radical elements within their own intentional subverting agenda are hindering the good intention process.