ArmInfo. The parameters and mode of operation of the Kashatagh (Lachin) corridor were determined by the Tripartite Statement dated November 9, 2020, in accordance with paragraph 6 of which unhindered land communication between the Republic of Artsakh and the Republic of Armenia was fixed. Control over the corridor should be carried out exclusively by the Russian peacekeeping contingent.
This was stated by the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Artsakh Sergey Ghazaryan in an interview with the Russian Internet edition "The Moscow Times" in response to a question whether he admits that the efforts of Stepanakert and Yerevan at the diplomatic level can force Baku to remove the checkpoint from the corridor.
In this vein, he stressed that the position and actions of the Azerbaijani side completely contradict both the spirit and the letter of the Tripartite Statement mentioned above. "In this regard, ensuring strict and unquestioning compliance by Azerbaijan with all the agreements reached within the framework of the Trilateral Statement, including on the Kashatagh corridor, becomes an urgent task. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to unite the efforts of not only Stepanakert and Yerevan, but also those participants in the Trilateral Statement who are really interested in ensuring stability and compliance with established obligations," the diplomat said.
In addition, Ghazaryan continued, international actors who welcomed the Trilateral Statement and now consider it as the cornerstone of the current security architecture in the region should also do their bit to ensure the stability of the region.
In this vein, he recalled that this document does not imply any presence of Azerbaijan in the corridor, not to mention the exercise of any control functions by it. "This point of view was confirmed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation on February 28, 2023, who, following a meeting with his Azerbaijani counterpart, clearly emphasized that the creation of a checkpoint in the Kashatagh corridor was not envisaged by the Tripartite Statement. Legally binding decisions of the International Court of Justice confirm the obligation of Azerbaijan" to ensure the unhindered movement of people, vehicles and goods along the Lachin corridor in both directions, "which excludes the presence of a checkpoint in the Kashatagh corridor," he recalled.
Ghazaryan drew attention to the fact that since the closure of the corridor - first under the pretext of "eco- protest", and then the establishment of a checkpoint unilaterally on April 23 in violation of the Trilateral Statement - Azerbaijan has been consistently trying to break the existing natural deep ties between the people of Artsakh and Armenia, to deprive them of their identity , self-sufficiency and opportunities for development.
"Azerbaijan systematically and systematically creates unbearable living conditions in the NKR in order to force the people of Artsakh to accept its ultimatum conditions. Blocking the Kashatagh corridor and imposing Azerbaijan's position on the people of Artsakh by starvation and coercion are part of the genocidal policy of official Baku. Therefore, we are talking about the responsibility of the international community and , first of all, global actors for the prevention of the crime of genocide and we proceed from the fact that these states and organizations have the appropriate resources and tools to prevent such a crime against humanity.We hope that they will use the full range of opportunities to avoid catastrophic consequences. once again emphasize that the prevention of genocide is not only a right, but also an obligation of all members of the international community," the chief diplomat of Artsakh expressed his conviction.
To clarify whether there is a certain group of officials in Stepanakert responsible for negotiating with the Azerbaijani side, Ghazaryan recalled that since the end of hostilities in 2020, mediated by the Russian Federation, meetings were periodically held between the Artsakh and Azerbaijani sides, during which a number of technical and humanitarian issues, including the restoration of vital infrastructure.
"As for the discussion of political issues, including those related to a comprehensive settlement of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict, we have always emphasized the need for an agreed international format, within which it will be possible to start searching for mutually acceptable, balanced solutions that will ensure a lasting, just and dignified peace" , the NKR Foreign Minister noted, adding that his department, in cooperation with other authorized structures of the country, develops and submits relevant proposals, recommendations and position on the negotiation process to the President for consideration.
When asked about the red lines of the leadership of Artsakh in these negotiations, Ghazaryan stated that the people and authorities of Artsakh know the price of peace and the price of war better than anyone else.
"We are ready to discuss the whole range of complex and painful issues, provided that the course and outcome of the negotiations should not be predetermined. And given that there are numerous violations of both individual and collective rights of the people of Artsakh on the Azerbaijani side, clear international guarantees should be defined for realization of the rights of the people of Artsakh, including the right to self-determination," the minister said.
To clarify whether the use of such a term by Azerbaijan as "integration of the Armenians of Karabakh" is acceptable for him, the head of the NKR Foreign Ministry stated that, first of all, it should be noted that Baku uses the term "integration" as a screen behind which hides the current policy being implemented. violent subjugation of the people of Artsakh with their subsequent expulsion from their historical homeland. Therefore, the evaluation of terms is impossible without taking into account the purposes for which they are used.
"We believe that it is more correct to talk about the search for mutually acceptable and balanced formulations that will be aimed at developing solid and fair solutions and will serve the interests of the world," Ghazaryan summed up.