Cyprus calls on Azerbaijan to "immediately" restore traffic and energy supply to Nagorno-Karabakh

Cyprus Azerbaijani soldiers block lachin corridor december 2022

Azerbaijan has been called on to "immediately" restore traffic and energy supply to the indigenous Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) region by the Republic of Cyprus.

The Cypriot foreign ministry said in a statement that it was "concerned about reports of traffic disruptions in the Lachin Corridor, which have resulted in the blockade of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh and the disruption of the supply line to the region."

"The concern is also intensified by information about the interruption of natural gas supply," the statement continued.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus calls on Azerbaijan to immediately proceed with the full restoration of traffic and energy supply in order to avoid further deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the region," it added.

Elsewhere, the EU has called on the Azerbaijani authorities to ensure freedom and security of movement along the Lachin corridor in Nagorno-Karabakh, in line with the trilateral statement of 9 November 2020.

On the morning of 12 December, Azerbaijani forces blocked the road from Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia, thus blocking the corridor linking Armenia with Nagorno Karabakh.

The European Union says it has been following “with serious concern” the developments around the Lachin corridor since the beginning of December.

“Restrictions to such freedom of movement cause significant distress to the local population and create humanitarian concerns,” said a statement by Peter Stano, Lead Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

“Other concerns can and should be addressed through dialogue and consultations with the parties involved. The EU reiterates its call for restraint and stands ready to contribute to the above-mentioned efforts," he added.

A group of Azerbaijanis presenting themselves as environmental activists are facing off against Russian troops on the Lachin corridor, the only route to Armenia for Nagorno-Karabakh’s majority Armenian population.

The soldiers patrol the route under a truce brokered by Russian President Vladimir Putin to end a 2020 war launched by Azerbaijan that killed thousands of Armenians.

United States Congressman Frank Pallone described the Azerbaijani hostile actions in Nagorno Karabakh as "deplorable”.

“Azerbaijan's hostile actions in Nagorno Karabakh are deplorable. The Azeri blockage of the sole road connecting the people of Artsakh to Armenia poses huge risks to vulnerable populations,” Pallone tweeted, sharing the statement by the US Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues condemning the Azeri actions.

In an earlier tweet, Congressman Pallone called on the US State Department and the UNHRC to take action to protect the life of Armenian POW Vigen Euljekian and all other Armenian POWs held by Azerbaijan.

“Azerbaijan has unlawfully held Armenian POW Vigen Euljekian captive for more than 2 years. The Aliyev regime has subjected him to inhumane treatment and various human rights abuses. State Department and UNHRC must take action to protect his life and the lives of all Armenian POWs,” Pallone tweeted.

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