Comment on the Recent Statements Made by the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia


We took note of the tweet made on 9 March 2023 by Toivo Klaar, the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia.

However, his statements regarding the situation related to the blocking of the Lachin Corridor, made earlier on 8 March in an interview with Azerbaijani media, raise serious questions regarding their compliance with the status of a neutral mediator, to which the EU Special Representative claims.

Speaking about the alleged legitimacy of Azerbaijan's approaches to the Lachin Corridor, the EU Special Representative clearly ignores the general context of the events taking place. And the context is that Azerbaijan has been illegally blocking the Lachin Corridor for almost three months, in violation of not only their obligations under the Trilateral Statement of 9 November 2020, but also fundamental rights of the people of Artsakh. Under the pretext of the need for control over the Lachin Corridor, on 5 March, the Azerbaijani armed forces resorted to a terrorist attack, killing three Artsakh police officers and seriously wounding another.

It should be emphasized that all of Azerbaijan's arguments regarding the blocking of the Lachin Corridor, including the claim that the corridor was allegedly used for military purposes, after a thorough consideration have been rejected by the UN International Court of Justice, which ordered Azerbaijan to ensure unimpeded movement of persons, vehicles and cargo along the Lachin Corridor in both directions. We recall that the decisions of the International Court of Justice are legally binding, which was also confirmed by senior representatives of the EU.

Such statements supporting the illegal claims of Azerbaijan are perceived by the authorities of this country as an indulgence of their criminal policy of ethnic cleansing of Artsakh, which is based on the denial of the Artsakh people’s inalienable rights to life, self-determination, freedom and peaceful development. Azerbaijan is seeking to create conditions where nothing would prevent Baku from establishing control over the entire territory of Artsakh by force and completing their criminal plans to ethnically cleanse Artsakh.

If the EU Special Representative is indeed concerned about actions that escalate tensions in the region, then we strongly recommend paying attention to Azerbaijan's continued military provocations, aggressive and belligerent rhetoric, as well as deployment of new military bases and other military infrastructure in the occupied territories of Artsakh.

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