The Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov told his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov that Armenia keeps manipulating the world with a claim of an alleged "tense humanitarian situation" in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.
“By continuing to manipulate the allegedly "tense humanitarian situation" and "blockade" in the region, Armenia, instead of following the agreements reached to resolve issues related to the use of the Lachin road and other alternative routes to meet the needs of the Armenian residents, is obstructing the peace process,” Bayramov said in a phone conversation on August 15, the website of the Azerbaijani foreign ministry reported.
The Azerbaijani minister noted that the intensification of Armenia's military-political provocations against Azerbaijan contrary to the norms and principles of international law has dealt a serious blow to the normalization process between the two countries.
In his turn, Lavrov stressed the importance of adherence to the commitments enshrined in the trilateral statement of November 10, 2020, signed by the leaders of Azerbaijan, Russia and Armenia.
On August 15, at a briefing for representatives of international organizations and foreign military attachés accredited to Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijani defence ministry gave detailed information on the facts regarding the latest activities of illegal Armenian armed detachments and the remains of the Armenian armed forces in the territory of Azerbaijan, where the Russian peacekeeping contingent is temporarily deployed.
It was noted that the use of Lachin road for illegal military transportation is unacceptable. The Aghdam-Khankandi road proposed by the Azerbaijani side as an alternative will accelerate the timely delivery of necessary goods to the Armenian residents living in the Karabakh economic region, as well as their reintegration into the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Furthermore, Azerbaijani presidential assistant Hikmet Hajiyev said during his visit to Aghdam together with foreign diplomats on August 16 that “Agdam-Askaran-Khankandi road is ready, functional, and open for delivery of all necessary goods. From Aghdam it is just 23 km to Khankandi”.
This shorter road has a much greater daily capacity of over 17,000 vehicles. Both the European Union and the International Committee of the Red Cross have acknowledged this route can be used.
However, this four-lane rebuilt Aghdam-Khankandi Road has been repeatedly refused by the Karabakh separatists, the road was even barricaded with concrete on the order of their leaders. A proposal by Baku to have supplies convoyed by the Red Cross using the Aghdam-Khankandi Road was rejected by the separatists.
According to Report, nine vehicles belonging to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) passed in the direction of Khankendi-Gorus on August 15. There were 29 people in these vehicles, six of whom were ICRC members, nine drivers, nine patients, four accompanying persons and a medical worker.
Free crossing of people of Armenian origin was once again ensured at the Lachin border checkpoint accompanied by the staff of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). This testifies to the absence of any obstacles and difficulties in passing through the Lachin checkpoint, and once again proves that Armenia's claims about Azerbaijan's "blockade" of the Lachin road are lie and slander.
It should be noted that the UN Security Council will convene an emergency session on 16 August at the request of Armenia to discuss the situation on the Lachin road, which connects the Armenian residents living in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan with Armenia.
Azerbaijan installed a checkpoint at the entrance of the Lachin road on the border with Armenia in April 2023, following regular illegal shipments of arms and ammunition from Armenia to the Karabakh region through the highway. From August to November 2022, a total of 2,728 landmines produced in Armenia in 2021 were detected and neutralized, 1,119 of which were in the Kalbajar and Lachin districts along the border area with Armenia, and 1,609 in the territory of the Karabakh Economic Region of Azerbaijan.
The illegal supplies by Armenians, under the aegis of the temporary Russian peacekeeping mission in the Karabakh region, through the Lachin road and other roads bypassing it, continued despite multiple warnings and local control measures taken by Baku, necessitating the urgent installation of the checkpoint.
Currently, the checkpoint enables free and safe movement to and from the Karabakh region, based on the legislation of Azerbaijan. It was temporarily closed twice in May and June for investigation purposes following bloody provocations committed by the Armenian military. From April to July, more than 1,927 people freely crossed the Armenia-Azerbaijan border using the Lachin checkpoint.