Brussels, 14 July 2023 – More than 470 European non-governmental organizations and associations have sent an open letter to the top decision-makers of the European Union and the Council of Europe, urging them to take immediate and effective steps to lift the ongoing illegal blockade of Artsakh by Azerbaijan. The letter is addressed to the Presidents of the European Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament as well as to the leaders of the Member states of the Council of Europe.
The signatories point out the unbearable living conditions caused by Azerbaijan’s deliberate blockage of the lifeline connecting Artsakh to the Republic of Armenia, leaving 120 000 Armenians of Artsakh in a total blockade for more than 7 months.
“In the name of respect for human rights, the values that European democracies claim to stand for, in the name of the sovereign right of peoples to self-determination” the European organizations ask their leaders to take six concrete actions, such as
- demand once again that Azerbaijan immediately stops violating the November 9 ceasefire statement and remove the checkpoint on the Hakari-bridge installed in blatant violation of the binding order of the ICJ and international commitments, unblock the Lachin Corridor, secure the free and safe movement of people and goods to and from Artsakh;
- impose economic and political sanctions on Azerbaijan and its leaders for non-compliance with international provisions, for the occupation of part of the territory of the Republic of Armenia, for Azerbaijan’s war crimes and for the blockade vis-à-vis Artsakh;
- use all their leverage to prevent any control of Baku over Artsakh since this inevitably means the ethnic cleansing of the native Armenian population of Artsakh;
- recognize the right to self-determination of the native Armenian population of Artsakh as indispensable and use the leverage at their disposal to ensure that the status of Artsakh reflects the democratic expression of will of its native Armenian population and enables sustainable peace as well as security;
- set up an air corridor in order to provide emergency economic and humanitarian aid to Artsakh and to guarantee the safety of air links from Stepanakert airport;
- put pressure on Azerbaijan to immediately and unconditionally withdraw all its troops from the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia and stop its aggressive stance towards Artsakh and the Republic of Armenia as a prerequisite for peace talks.
The letter is sent to the EU leaders, notably to the President of the European Council Charles Michel in the run up to the trilateral meeting between him, the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan and the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev to take place in Brussels on 15 July 2023.