Armenia accuses Azerbaijan of 'ethnic cleansing' in Nagorno-Karabakh
Since 12 December, a group of Azerbaijanis has been blocking the only road into Karabakh from Armenia. As a result, the Armenian majority mountainous region of some 120,000 people has been running short of food, medicines and fuel
Yerevan: Armenia on Thursday accused Azerbaijan of conducting a ‘policy of ethnic cleansing’ and forcing ethnic Armenians to leave Nagorno-Karabakh.
Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said that Baku of exerting “economic and psychological pressure to provoke an exodus of Armenians from Karabakh.”
Since mid-December, a group of Azerbaijanis has been blocking the only road into Karabakh from Armenia to protest what they claim is illegal mining causing environmental damage.
As a result, the Armenian majority mountainous region of some 120,000 people has been running short of food, medicines and fuel.
Pashiyan said kindergartens, schools and universities remained closed in Karabakh due to the blockade, with thousands of students “being denied their fundamental right to education.”
“This is a policy of ethnic cleansing,” he told a cabinet meeting in the capital Yerevan.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Thursday rejected the accusation as “groundless, false, and absurd.”
He said Russian peacekeepers and the Red Cross had ensured the delivery of civilian goods to Karabakh.
“Thousands of civilian cars have entered and left Karabakh since 12 December,” he told a newly appointed French ambassador.
Since 12 December, Azerbaijani protesters who claim to be environmental activists opposed to illegal mining have occupied the Lachin corridor, a mountain road linking Karabakh to Armenia.
On Monday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Aliyev to reopen the Lachin corridor, and the European Union the same day launched a mission to help monitor Armenia’s volatile border with Azerbaijan.
When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, ethnic Armenian separatists in Karabakh broke away from Azerbaijan. The ensuing conflict claimed around 30,000 lives.
Another flare-up in violence in 2020 claimed more than 6,500 lives and ended with a Russian-brokered truce that saw Armenia cede territories it had controlled for decades.
Armenia has voiced dismay at what it sees as Moscow’s failure to prevent persisting tensions in the region including the Lachin blockade.
Moscow has sought to maintain its role as a powerbroker between the ex-Soviet republics despite being bogged down in its offensive in pro-Western Ukraine.
With inputs from AFP
Read all the Latest News, Trending News, Cricket News, Bollywood News,
India News and Entertainment News here. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Russia warns Armenia against allying with ICC after Putin arrest warrant
Armenia, a traditional Russian ally whose ties with Moscow have frayed badly since Putin gave the order to invade Ukraine in what he called a "special military operation", is moving towards becoming a state party to the Rome Statute, a move that would bring it under the jurisdiction of the ICC
Drones taking over fighter jets in air-to-air combat? Russia says 'yes' as it 'downs' Ukrainian Su-27
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk earlier predicted that future of wars would be carried out by UAVs and not fighter jets. 'The fighter jet era has passed. Drone warfare is where the future will be. It’s not that I want the future to be – it’s just, this is what the future will be,' he said