ArmInfo.Azerbaijan's blocking of the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia, the Lachin (Kashatagh) corridor, over the past 9 months has created difficult humanitarian conditions for its residents - ethnic Armenians. USAID Administrator Samantha Power, stated today, on September 26, in a conversation with reporters in Kornidzor, pointing out the shortage of food and medicine.
At the same time, she stated that international humanitarian organizations did not have the opportunity to be present on the ground to assess the real situation, since the authorities of Azerbaijan did not give them an entry permit. Power also added that hostilities over the past week have further worsened an already dire humanitarian situation. In this vein, she once again emphasized the need for access for humanitarian organizations in Artsakh.
Pointing to the need to evacuate those wishing to leave Nagorno-Karabakh, Power said that "the United States will provide $11.5 million in support to Armenia for the humanitarian needs of people displaced from Nagorno-Karabakh."
She also added that the United States will support the Armenian government, local authorities, and volunteers who warmly welcome those who come from Nagorno-Karabakh. "We will work with them to be able to provide the necessary support to those families who need it. We are talking with those displaced in Armenia, finding out who would like to return or visit the graves of relatives. Freedom of movement is absolutely necessary," she said, without specifying how is that "freedom" supposed to be ensured in the context of Nagorno-Karabakh being transferred to Azerbaijan's control?
Meanwhile, when asked by a Politico journalist whether she could classify what is happening today in Artsakh as "ethnic cleansing", taking into account that she wrote a book about ethnic cleansing, Power stated the urgent need for the presence of international organizations in Nagorno-Karabakh, since dozens of people continue to remain there thousands of ethnic Armenians who continue to remain there under these difficult conditions.
"We have already heard from eyewitnesses about violence on the part of Azerbaijanis, the suffering of the population, the fear from the Azerbaijani authorities. Our focus is on the most vulnerable groups, providing assistance to them if they want to leave Nagorno-Karabakh," Power said. When asked whether the time had come to impose sanctions against Azerbaijan amid the ethnic cleansing in Artsakh, Power once again noted that she arrived in Armenia on behalf of the US President to assess the humanitarian needs of the population leaving Nagorno-Karabakh.
The USAID representative as if not listening to the question about sanctions, only assured that she would convey what she saw here to the presidential administration and a decision would be made on further measures. According to her, several measures are now being considered, but she did not specify which ones.
On September 19, Azerbaijan, under the pretext of an "anti-terrorist operation," undertook another act of aggression against Artsakh. As a result of enemy aggression, hundreds of Artsakh residents were injured, more than 200 deaths were reported, including civilians, and more than 10,000 were evacuated.
On September 20, Artsakh fell. Azerbaijan began the forcible subjugation of the NKR. On September 20, late in the evening it became known that Azerbaijan had deliberately shot at the car of the Russian peacekeeping contingent, killing 5 people, including the deputy commander of the RPC. Today, there were reports that one soldier was killed and another was wounded as a result of shooting at another RPCvehicle. On September 21, a meeting between representatives of Baku and Stepanakert was held in Yevlakh. Azerbaijan demanded the disarmament of the Artsakh Defense Army, the surrender of all military personnel and the abolition of all government bodies.
On September 22, the process of abolishing the Artsakh Defense Army began. There are reports that the enemy side exterminated the population of the villages captured on September 19-20. During search operations from September 21 to 24, the NKR Ministry of Internal Affairs discovered the bodies of 105 Artsakh residents, including brutally murdered children and elderly people.
As of the morning of September 26, more than 13 thousand forcibly displaced Artsakh residents had already arrived in Armenia. The night before it also became known that Artsakh was connected to the energy system of Azerbaijan. Protests demanding the resignation of the RA Prime Minister continue in Yerevan and regions.
We add that as a result of the explosion that took place in the fuel depot near Stepanakert yesterday, according to preliminary data, more than 290 people were injured, 20 more died, there are still missing people.
The EU stated that it would allocate an additional 5 million euros to assist internally displaced people from Artsakh. Earlier today, USAID Administrator Samantha Power, who is on a visit to Armenia, said that "the United States will provide Armenia with support in the amount of $11.5 million for the humanitarian needs of people displaced from Nagorno-Karabakh."
In addition, as ArmInfo previously reported with reference to the Swedish Ambassador to Armenia, Sweden, through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), allocated 15 million Swedish kronor to the International Committee of the Red Cross to meet the humanitarian needs of the population of Nagorno-Karabakh.