The Ultimate Siege: What was it and Why?

Beginning: Provocation at the Khakari Bridge

A group of Azerbaijani border troops attempted to move towards the Khakari bridge and plant a flag on Armenian soil around 08:40 on June 15. The advance of the Azerbaijani servicemen and the attempt to hoist the flag was stopped by the Armenian side.

After the provocation at Khakari Bridge, Azerbaijan banned all humanitarian passenger and cargo transportation through the Lachin corridor. In particular, the International Committee of the Red Cross was transporting 25 patients and their relatives from Artsakh to Armenia, but vehicles were banned at the illegal Azerbaijani checkpoint. The patients and their relatives had to return to Stepanakert.

The movement of Russian peacekeepers with necessary food and fuel was also blocked. As a result, the humanitarian crisis in Artsakh worsened, causing new and severe problems for the population.
The World's Reaction and the Reaction of Baku

On June 22 the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe held hearings, at which harsh targeted assessments of Baku's genocide policy were voiced and another resolution was adopted. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova called on Baku to take steps to fully unblock the Lachin corridor for humanitarian purposes and not to hostage the Karabakh people to political differences with Yerevan.

Contemptuously ignoring the opinion of Europe and Russia, Azerbaijan continued regular shelling of the territory of Artsakh. The Azeri armed forces violated the ceasefire from 09:30 on June 18 to 01:08 on June 19 in Martuni and Martakert directions with the use of small arms. On June 22, shooting resumed in the Martakert direction.

Dictator Aliyev did not stop there. On the same day, the Azerbaijani side resorted to another provocation by blocking the Lachin corridor with a concrete barrier.

In fact, in addition to the illegal installation of a checkpoint and the blocking of the road by installing armored vehicles, Azerbaijan has now defiantly blocked the road, preventing any movement. This case once again demonstrated the criminal goals of the Azerbaijani authorities: the complete isolation of the people of Artsakh from the outside world, using all methods of repression.
Hope for the Few

On June 24, after four days of negotiations, Russian peacekeepers managed to bring a seriously ill one-year-old baby from Stepanakert to Yerevan. For four days Russian peacekeepers had been trying to persuade Baku to allow the baby, who was in extremely bad condition just because Artsakh had been completely besieged since June 15, to be brought to Yerevan. This case is a cruel illustration of the fact that the people of Artsakh wouldn't even have a hope for an adequate dialogue and negotiations with Baku.

On June 25, after a ten-day total blockade, 15 patients from Artsakh, along with 9 accompanying persons, were transferred to medical centers in Armenia through the mediation of the ICRC's Artsakh office. Many patients are still waiting to be transferred to the Republic of Armenia and returned to Artsakh.

It is planned to transport dozens more patients waiting for their turn, to bring back the patients sent to Armenia for treatment under the state order, as well as to deliver urgently needed medicines and medical supplies in the next few days.
Artsakh's Response

Due to the fact that Azerbaijan blocks the transportation of humanitarian goods from Armenia to Artsakh, the state has switched to a strict economic regime in all directions, including fuel.

Gasoline and diesel fuel are provided only in the most necessary cases: to organize agricultural works, to transport the sick to medical institutions, to provide centralized transportation of agricultural products from the regions to district centers and Stepanakert city, to organize public transport and urgent activities of some state bodies.

On June 26, the People's Movement for the De-blocking of the Corridor in Artsakh submitted its demand to the Artsakh Parliament. It was accepted by the Vice-Speaker Gagik Baghunts. Parliament must respond to the Movement's demand.

Recall, the Movement demanded that the National Assembly of the Republic of Artsakh to appeal to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to immediately open a corridor, respecting the 5 km zone according to the trilateral statement of November 9, 2020. Otherwise, in case the corridor is not opened, the Artsakh National Assembly should publicly declare the inability of the Russian peacekeepers to comply with their obligations and ask the OSCE countries and the French Senate to use all possible UN mechanisms for attracting additional international peacekeeping forces, as no other options for maintaining peace in the region are visible.


The above is taking place in a situation when there is no document signed by the Armenian authorities on the recognition of Artsakh as a part of Azerbaijan. In its assertions on Artsakh as Azerbaijani territory, Baku relies only on a verbal statement by Pashinyan. Aliyev continues to demand the signing of a document, but the process is clearly not moving forward.

It is also important that Azerbaijan has been trying to get ICRC to conduct its activities in Artsakh under the auspices of Baku representation, not of Yerevan for a long time.

Azerbaijan's goals are absolutely clear and Baku doesn't conceal them: to cut off all the contacts of Artsakh with Armenia and to make the Artsakh Armenians who have been living in hard conditions of the blockade for seven consecutive months agree to deliver needed products and goods from Azerbaijan. This would mean giving in to the so-called "integration", in other words, acquiescing to all the demands and conditions of the terrorist state.