The International Court of Justice building in The Hague, March 7, 2022.
The Hague – The International Court of Justice, the highest judicial body of the United Nations, today ordered Azerbaijan to ensure free passage through the Lachin Corridor. It currently represents the only land route vital for supplies between Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave controlled by Armenian separatists. Press agencies informed about it. The two countries have been enemies over the Karabakh dispute for decades.
The corridor has been blocked since December 12 by hundreds of Azerbaijanis who describe themselves as environmental activists. Azerbaijan denies that it is deliberately blocking the connection between Armenia and Karabakh and says that the demonstrators are legitimately protesting against illegal mining in the mountain enclave. .
Azerbaijan “must take all measures at its disposal to ensure the unrestricted movement of people, vehicles and goods in both directions of the Lachin Corridor,” presiding judge Joan Donoghue said during the hearing in The Hague. It is necessary to end the blockade, which could cause “irreparable damage”, the judge added.
The two hostile former Soviet republics, which fought a short war in 2020, called on the court to intervene in the conflict. Armenia has accused Azerbaijan of “ethnic cleansing” through the blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh before the UN's highest court.
The European Union on Monday began the deployment of an observation mission on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Risk of escalation remains high , despite recent progress in peace talks between Baku and Yerevan and increased Western efforts to find a peaceful settlement in a region Russia considers part of its traditional sphere of influence, AFP noted.
After the fall 2020 war, which it ended Russian mediation, are in the area of the Russian peacekeeping force. But they haven't put an end to the blockade yet.