The European Union remains extremely concerned about the continued restrictions on free movement along the Lachin corridor. It is alarmed at the potentially serious humanitarian and security consequences facing the population of Nagorno-Karabakh as a result of this situation, which has continued for almost two months.
The European Union reiterates its appeal to the Azerbaijani authorities to guarantee free and safe movement along the Lachin corridor, in accordance with the trilateral statement of 9 November 2020. The restrictions in place are causing significant distress to the local population and giving rise to humanitarian concerns.
The European Union also underscores the urgency of restoring all energy supplies and telecommunications services to the affected local population. It reiterates its deep concern over the latest cuts in gas supply to Nagorno-Karabakh, especially in the current winter weather conditions. It calls upon Azerbaijan to ensure an uninterrupted gas supply. Similarly, it stresses the urgency of facilitating and authorizing the necessary repair work on the electrical grid in order to avoid further power cuts for the local population. The European Union likewise calls upon Azerbaijan to ensure that telecommunications services to Nagorno-Karabakh remain uninterrupted.
The European Union reaffirms that all disputes must be dealt with through negotiation as opposed to any fait accompli on the ground. It urges that all the commitments made both in the trilateral statements and in the Prague quadrilateral statement, and also in the framework of the mediation efforts conducted notably under the auspices of President of the European Council Charles Michel and United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken, be fully implemented in good faith.
For its part, the European Union remains determined to help in easing tensions and to pursue its commitment to lasting peace and security in the South Caucasus. To this end, at the request of the Armenian Government and in full transparency with the Azerbaijani Government, it had decided on 23 January to deploy a civilian mission to promote stability in the border areas of Armenia, build trust on the ground and create an environment conducive to the normalization efforts between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which it will continue to support in conjunction with its international partners, including the OSCE.
The candidate countries North Macedonia (1), Montenegro (1), Serbia (1) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (1), the European Free Trade Association countries and members of the European Economic Area Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, as well as Andorra and San Marino, align themselves with this statement.
(1) North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.