We welcome the call in the European Parliament resolutions of 15 March 2023 addressed to the Azerbaijani authorities to ensure the free and secure movement along the Lachin Corridor, as prescribed by the Trilateral Statement of 9 November 2020, and to comply with their obligations under the Order of the International Court of Justice of 22 February 2023. In this regard, we support the call of the European Parliament on the EU Council to impose targeted sanctions against Azerbaijani government officials, if the Order of the International Court of Justice of 22 February 2023 is not immediately implemented.
We consider it important that in its resolutions the European Parliament has clearly acknowledged that the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict, which has lasted for more than three decades and has resulted in tens of thousands of casualties, immense destruction and the forced displacement of thousands of people, remains unresolved.
In particular, members of the European Parliament expressed their legitimate and justified concern over the fact that the ceasefire statement of 9 November 2020, introduced following the 44-day war waged by Azerbaijan in 2020, has not been fully implemented, deadly military clashes continue to erupt periodically, the ceasefire has been violated repeatedly resulting in hundreds of casualties and the occupation of new territory by Azerbaijani troops, including the territory of the Republic of Armenia, and since 12 December 2022, civilian traffic between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh along the Lachin Corridor has been blocked, which has a negative impact on deliveries of food and other essential supplies to Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh).
In its resolution on EU-Azerbaijan relations, the European Parliament also recognised and condemned Turkey's expansionist and destabilising role in the South Caucasus, which manifested itself, among other things, in sending Syrian mercenaries to the conflict zone to fight on the side of Azerbaijan, and expressed the position that for Turkey to play a constructive role in the region, it should reconsider its unconditional support for Azerbaijan and take tangible steps towards normalising relations with Armenia.
We share the position of European Parliamentarians that sustainable and lasting peace cannot be achieved through military means and the threat or use of force, but requires a comprehensive political settlement in accordance with international law, including the principles enshrined in the UN Charter, the 1975 OSCE Helsinki Final Act, in particular non-use of force, territorial integrity and equal rights and self-determination of peoples, as well as the Basic Principles of the OSCE Minsk Group of 2009.
In this regard, we concur with the European Parliament members that comprehensive peace requires an end to all violence and addressing the root causes of the conflict, including those related to ensuring the security and the rights of the Armenians of Artsakh and determining its final status, and the issue of the prompt and safe return of all refugees and internally displaced people to their homes.
We are confident that the resolutions of the European Parliament, including its recommendation to impose targeted sanctions against Azerbaijani government officials, will become an important contribution to the common efforts to end the blockade and stop Azerbaijan's criminal plans to commit ethnic cleansing and genocide in Artsakh.