PLENARY SPEECH – Humanitarian consequences of the blockade in Nagorno-Karabakh

Madam President, Commissioner, Colleagues

On December 15th, 2022, I made a statement as the Chair of the Delegation for Relations with the South Caucasus, expressing concern by the actions of the Azerbaijani state authorities and purported environmental protester. I urged Azerbaijani authorities to end the blockade of the Lachin corridor and fulfil its obligations under trilateral statement of November 9th, 2020.

More than a month has passed and Azerbaijani inaction has led to a severe humanitarian crisis, including one death. 120 000 Armenians live under effective blockade, hundreds of families remain separated, people are deprived of essential goods and services, children do not go to school. Recently we witnessed a new wave of high-level inflammatory rhetoric calling to discriminate against Armenians and urging them either to take Azerbaijani citizenship or leave Nagorno-Karabakh.

These statements and inaction are inappropriate for a state that considers itself EU’s (reliable energy) partner.

I urge Azerbaijani side to respect its international commitments, to end the blockade of the Lachin corridor and humanitarian crisis, to provide unimpeded access of international organizations to Nagorno-Karabakh to assess the situation and provide humanitarian assistance and to start negotiations on comprehensive peace agreement that must guarantee the rights and security of the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Dear colleagues, I would like to thank co-authors of the Resolution and encourage this House to adopt this Resolution unanimously.

Finally, I would like to conclude on a personal note and address Azerbaijani officials who have started witch-hunt against me personally. I want to tell you that you will neither frighten me, nor silence me. Your baseless attacks expose your weakness. You have gone below low. But I will not go low, I will follow Michelle Obama’s example – when you go low, I go high.

Thank you!

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