Armenian Parliament’s ‘Civil Contract’ faction deputy Maria Karapetyan gave a speech at the autumn session of the OSCE PA.
The speech reads:
This year the connection between security and economy has taken a new relevance for the whole world and this Parliamentary Assembly. I want to speak for the South Caucasus then. Armenia is a country that lives under an economic blockade by Azerbaijan and Turkey for already three decades.
The November 9 announcement that ended the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war has a special point dedicated to de-blocking all economic and transport links in the South Caucasus. This point gives hope that Azerbaijan would indeed turn the page of conflict as it often claims and start an era of cooperation in the South Caucasus.
Azerbaijan has so far halted back the de-blocking of all economic and transport links and insists on a special connection through Armenia without security and customs oversight of Armenia: a special corridor as they call it. To justify this claim Azerbaijan refers to the Lachin corridor stipulated by that same November 9 statement, the corridor that Armenia uses to transport goods and humanitarian aid from Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh.
The Lachin corridor is indeed not a road it is a special humanitarian corridor. It is 5 kms wide and it leads only to Nagorno-Karabakh and does not go anywhere else onward. It leads to dead end.
It is solely used to transport goods and humanitarian aid from Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh. The Armenians in the NK are surrounded by their own defense forces and the Russian peacekeepers. These two are there only because the Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh are also under a siege by the Azerbaijani army. The Lachin corridor is therefore is not part of an economic project but a humanitarian corridor ensuring that Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh have access to food. Now coming back to de-blocking of communications in the South Caucasus, Armenia is ready to open all, I underline, all of its roads for Azerbaijan to use. Azerbaijan has said that it believes that the citizens of Azerbaijan may fear passing through the roads of Armenia and coming into contact with the border and customs officers of Armenia. While we are okey with outsourcing the border and customs to a third party service provider, we believe that it would be right if Azerbaijani officers control the border of Azerbaijan, and Armenian officers control the border of Armenia. And most importantly, the de-blocking of all transport and economic links should happen in the spirit of ending conflict and starting cooperation and not in the spirit of isolation. Thank you very much.”