During the Munich Security Conference, held on 18 February 2023, the President of Azerbaijan made a number of statements aimed at disguising the criminal policy of Azerbaijan towards the people of Artsakh, and distorting the essence of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict by violating causal relationships.
In particular, the President of Azerbaijan once again tried to refute the obvious fact of the blockade of Artsakh, which has been recognized by the international community, with the exception of Azerbaijan itself. To prove their claims, the Azerbaijani president cited data on the passage for the entire period of the blockade of 2,500 vehicles of the Russian Peacekeeping Contingent and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and the evacuation of 100 patients to hospitals in Armenia through the ICRC. However, these data prove exactly the opposite of what Baku claims. During the 73 days of the blockade, fewer cars passed through the Lachin Corridor than during three usual days in the pre-blockade period. All vehicles passing through the Lachin Corridor belonged to either the Russian Peacekeeping Contingent or the ICRC. Other vehicles belonging to citizens of the Republic of Artsakh, state structures or carrying out commercial transportation are not able to pass through the Lachin Corridor. Seriously ill patients can only be evacuated to Yerevan through the ICRC, which once again indicates the lack of free passage through the Lachin Corridor. Moreover, at the beginning of the blockade, at least one seriously ill patient died due to the impossibility of his urgent transportation to Yerevan for further treatment. The fact that many citizens of the Republic cannot return to Artsakh, and hundreds of separated families are deprived of the opportunity to reunite, is another confirmation of the blockade imposed by Azerbaijan.
It should also be noted that during a conversation with Azerbaijani journalists following a trilateral meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, the Azerbaijani president stated about Baku's proposal to set up a checkpoint in the Lachin Corridor. It becomes obvious from his words that Baku had been hatching these plans long before the blockade was imposed. All these facts clearly prove that in addition to creating unbearable living conditions for the people of Artsakh, the blockade is also aimed at revising the provisions of the Trilateral Statement of 9 November 2020. Thus, Azerbaijan is clearly seeking to legitimize its intention to revise the provisions of the Trilateral Statement. These attempts must be resolutely rejected by all actors involved in the normalization of relations in the region. Full functioning of the Lachin Corridor should be restored in accordance with the Trilateral Statement of 9 November 2020, and without any preconditions.
Azerbaijan's attempts to interfere in the internal political life of Artsakh, as well as its vision of a dialogue between Stepanakert and Baku, are also absolutely unacceptable for the official Stepanakert. In this regard, we reiterate that a comprehensive settlement of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict must be achieved through negotiations that will ensure equal footing for the parties and will not contain conditions that prejudge the outcome of the negotiations. In this context, we consider it necessary to restore the international mediation format as an additional guarantee of the irreversibility of the peace process. We once again emphasize that the results of the illegal use or threat of force by Azerbaijan cannot serve as a starting point on the path to peace, stability and security.