The international community must realise that the time for fruitless discussions is long over. Artsakh MFA

We strongly condemn Azerbaijan’s deliberate and systematic attempts to induce hunger in the Republic of Artsakh to achieve its military and political objectives. We reiterate that intentionally obstructing the delivery of humanitarian cargo for the physical survival of the besieged people of Artsakh, as well as taking deliberate actions to cause hunger, suffering and deprivation to the civilian population, constitutes a grave violation of international law and qualifies as a war crime.

The combination of these criminal actions by Azerbaijan, carried out within the context of the ongoing eight-month inhumane blockade and attempts to forcibly subjugate the people of Artsakh to the jurisdiction of Baku, creates extremely dangerous conditions for the escalation of Azerbaijan’s ongoing crimes against humanity into the crime of genocide.

Against this backdrop, we consider as irresponsible any attempts to legitimise Azerbaijan’s internationally wrongful acts, including through direct or indirect endorsement of proposals that are part of Baku’s policy of non-compliance with its international obligations regarding the Lachin Corridor and the tightening of the blockade of Artsakh. Any support for the criminal agenda of Azerbaijan, which has deliberately created and systematically exacerbated the humanitarian crisis in Artsakh, not only intensifies the suffering of innocent people but also violates fundamental principles enshrined in international law, including the dignity and human rights of individuals. The civilised international community has long rejected justifications based on the supposed right to commit mass violations of human rights under the pretext of a state’s internal affairs. Moreover, it has held perpetrators of such crimes accountable before military tribunals and established legal frameworks to prevent such crimes in the future.

Any actions and proposals from Azerbaijan that undermine the dignity of the people of Artsakh must be categorically rejected. Human dignity is at the core of human rights and serves as a guarantee of their respect. Undermining the dignity of the people of Artsakh signifies a denial of their fundamental rights and paves the way for even more inhumane crimes by Azerbaijan.

We strongly urge key international actors genuinely interested in establishing a durable and just peace in Artsakh and the region as a whole to take decisive individual and collective actions to put an end to the blockade and criminal policies pursued by Azerbaijan. We once again insist that the United Nations Security Council fulfils its role entrusted by the nations of the world to maintain international peace and security and puts an end to the criminal and inhumane blockade of Artsakh. As a first step towards addressing the humanitarian catastrophe in Artsakh, we expect the UN Security Council to urgently demand the full and unconditional implementation of the ICJ Order issued on 22 February 2023, which was subsequently reaffirmed on 6 July 2023, to ensure unimpeded humanitarian access to Artsakh, and authorise the opening of a humanitarian air corridor.

We consider it absolutely unacceptable to passively and indifferently observe the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe in Artsakh, where the situation can sharply deteriorate at any moment. The international community must realise that the time for fruitless discussions is long over, and it is now time for concrete and urgent actions that prioritise the interests of people living under an existential threat.

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