AGBU is deeply concerned by the humanitarian crisis unfolding for the people of Artsakh, outraged by the brazen actions of Azerbaijan and stunned by the inaction of many in the international community.
Following the playbook of dictators and war criminals before him, Ilham Aliyev and his government are depriving ordinary civilians of the energy resources and transportation routes essential to human survival, and his regime is taking radical steps to isolate the people of Artsakh from the outside world. By blocking the only passage that connects Artsakh to Armenia and by cutting off the gas supply to the Armenian territories, Azerbaijan has left 120,000 ethnic Armenians with no access to heat, light, food, cooking fuel and medical supplies. Moreover, with no roads in and out for Armenians and humanitarian relief organizations -- including AGBU-- the Armenians of Artsakh are effectively put in a death trap of Azerbaijan's making.
The illegal barricade of the Lachin Corridor, the only road connecting Armenia and Artsakh, is in direct violation of recent agreements between Azerbaijan and Armenia as brokered by Russia, and a gross violation of the basic human rights. If the obstructions and gas shutdowns persist for much longer, there is bound to be loss of life, especially among the elderly and infants.
This week's photos and videos documenting the alleged Azeri citizen protesters in fact revealed Azeri special service soldiers and militants belonging to the ultra-nationalist and neo-fascist paramilitary movement known as the Grey Wolves. This once-safe road was supposed to be monitored by Russian peacekeepers since the November 9 trilateral agreement.
AGBU President Berge Setrakian described Azerbaijan's unconscionable tactics as a brazen attempt to cleanse indigenous Armenians from the region. "The world has seen this heinous scheme many times before and we implore the major political powers across the globe to take concrete measures to stop Azerbaijan for its illegal actions that violate the trilateral post-war agreements protecting the rights of the people of Artsakh. World leaders must not watch on the sidelines as they have historically done with the plight of the Armenians. Innocent lives are at stake as they were at the turn of the 20th century.”
AGBU has been committed to supporting Artsakh for three decades and it calls upon all Armenians worldwide to raise awareness of impending catastrophe for the Armenians of Artsakh among their local leaders and representatives — without delay. Time is of the essence.