Armenia fears Azerbaijan plans to commit collective punishment in NK, calls on civilized world to intervene
YEREVAN, AUGUST 28, ARMENPRESS. The Foreign Ministry of Armenia called out the Azerbaijani authorities on Monday for derailing the ongoing peace efforts after three residents of Nagorno-Karabakh were kidnapped by Azeri border guards in the Lachin Corridor.
In a statement, the foreign ministry warned that Azerbaijan could be planning to subject the entire people of Nagorno-Karabakh to collective punishment.
“Today, on August 28, Azerbaijani law enforcement agencies in the illegally installed checkpoint in Lachin Corridor kidnapped residents of Nagorno-Karabakh Alen Sargsyan, Vahe Hovsepyan and Levon Grigoryan. The transport was agreed upon in advance and was being carried out with Russian peacekeeping escort, who were to control the uninterrupted connection between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh through Lachin Corridor in accordance with clause 6 of the 9 November 2020 trilateral statement. The abovementioned persons were being transported to the Republic of Armenia to continue their studies. This step by Azerbaijan, which was preceded by the kidnapping of 68-year-old Vagif Khachatryan on July 29, who was being transported to the Republic of Armenia by the International Committee of the Red Cross for urgent medical treatment, constitutes a gross violation of the 9 November 2020 trilateral statement, the binding decisions of the UN International Court of Justice and is an explicit disregard for the unequivocal and targeted calls by the international community, including the members of the UN Security Council. These incidents, which happened under various fake pretexts, bring about substantiated fears that Azerbaijan is overtly planning to subject to collective punishment the entire people of Nagorno-Karabakh, who in the 1990s and in 2020 was forced to withstand large-scale aggressions unleashed by Azerbaijan and defend its right to live peacefully in its own homeland. The policy of mass deprivation of all fundamental rights of the entire population of Nagorno-Karabakh regardless of age, gender or health condition, subjecting them to starvation, blocking supplies of medications, essential products, gas and electricity, terrorizing the entire people through targeting civilians with snipers and kidnappings and blocking the Lachin Corridor showcases the Azerbaijani leadership’s true intentions, i.e., to avoid dialogue with Nagorno-Karabakh at all cost and instead continue its policy of ethnic cleansing. Instead of supporting the steps aimed at establishing peace and stability in the region the Azerbaijani side is explicitly investing its entire efforts in the direction of derailing them. Preventing the ongoing mass crime, with the use of every available instrument is the direct obligation of all actors having influence on the situation and overall, the civilized world,” the foreign ministry said.