UN official warns against new Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict

Dec 20, 2022, 8:05 AM | Updated: 10:13 pm
FILE - Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, left, and Arm...

FILE - Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, left, and Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan attention a news conference during their meeting in the Bocharov Ruchei residence in the Black Sea resort Sochi, Russia, on Nov. 26, 2021. A senior U.N. official urged the international community Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022, to prevent Armenia and Azerbaijan from resuming their conflict over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region as the two countries accused each other of violating a Russian-brokered peace agreement.(Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)

(Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A senior U.N. official urged the international community Tuesday to prevent Armenia and Azerbaijan from resuming their conflict over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region as the two countries accused each other of violating a Russian-brokered peace agreement.

U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for political affairs Miroslav Jenca said a renewed conflict would likely impact the wider south Caucasus region and beyond. He urged redoubled diplomatic efforts to achieve a lasting peaceful settlement between Armenia and Azerbaijan “before it is too late.”

The former Soviet countries have been locked in a decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, which is part of Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a separatist war there ended in 1994. During a six-week war in 2020, Azerbaijan reclaimed broad swaths of Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent territories held by Armenian forces. More than 6,700 people died in the fighting that was ended by a Russia-brokered peace agreement.

Jenca said there has been “a glimmer of hope” for progress in ongoing diplomatic efforts following renewed violence in mid-September that killed 155 soldiers from both countries. But regrettably, he said, tensions on the border and around areas put under control of Russian peacekeeping forces in the 2020 peace agreement “have not abated as hoped.”

He pointed to several incidents that have raised tensions, the latest reportedly involving protests near a Russian peacekeeping post on the Lachin road, the only artery between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.

Jenca said it has been reported that the protests were against what the demonstrators claimed is the illegal exploitation of mineral resources and the environmental impact on the surrounding area. He said the U.N. understands the protests were continuing Tuesday but it is not in a position to verify or confirm the allegations.

In recent days, he said, both Armenia and Azerbaijan have written to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and to the Security Council offering widely differing accounts of the situation, alleging violations of commitments by the other side, and challenging each other’s claims.

The U.N. welcomes the commitment of Russian peacekeeping forces “to facilitate and ensure the safe passage through the corridor,” Jenca said, citing media reports and statements from Russian peacekeepers indicating that some humanitarian and medical supplies have gotten through.

Armenia’s U.N. Ambassador Mher Margaryan told the council his country called the emergency meeting because since Dec. 12, the Azerbaijan initiated “massive campaign of state-sponsored protests along the Lachin corridor” has blocked the only supply route in and out of Nagorno-Karabakh creating “an evolving humanitarian crisis.”

At least 1,100 civilians have been stranded along the blocked highway for the past week, and transferring patients for urgent treatment in Armenian hospitals “has become impossible, which has already resulted in fatality of a critically ill patient,” he said.

“By orchestrating an unlawful blockade of the Lachin corridor under the made-up pretext of environmental concerns,” Margaryan said, “Azerbaijan has effectively targeted a population of 120,000 people by isolating them in precarious humanitarian conditions during the winter season.”

Azerbaijan’s U.N. Ambassador Yashar Aliyev told the council that under the November 2020 Russian-brokered deal the Lachin district was returned to Azerbaijan which committed to guarantee the security of people, vehicles and cargo moving along the road.

“Neither the government of Azerbaijan nor the protesting activists have blocked the Lachin road,” he said.

“Video clips shared on social media show unimpeded passage of the various types of vehicles, including ambulances and humanitarian convoys,” Aliyev said. “The claims regarding alleged humanitarian consequences of the situation are equally false. This is nothing other than another manifestation of reckless manipulation by Armenia of the situation for obvious malign political purposes.”

Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassador Anna Evstigneeva expressed concern about reports of blockage of the Lachin corridor, saying in recent days Russia “has been taking every effort to ensure prompt settlement of the situation.” As a result, she said, natural gas supplies have been delivered to Nagorno-Karabakh and traffic on the road was partly unblocked.

Russia calls on Armenia and Azerbaijan to observe the cease-fire and no-use-of-force agreements achieved under its mediation, “to demonstrate restraint, and keep from steps that may escalate tension,” Evstigneeva said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


A shopper checks out an item in a Target store in Pittsburgh on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. On Friday, t...
Associated Press

US inflation and consumer spending cooled in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge eased further in December, and consumer spending fell — the latest evidence that the Fed’s series of interest rate hikes are slowing the economy. Friday’s report from the Commerce Department showed that prices rose 5% last month from a year earlier, down from a 5.5% year-over-year […]
14 hours ago
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during the daily briefing at the White House ...
Associated Press

Musk, top Biden aides meet in Washington, talk electric cars

WASHINGTON (AP) — Tesla CEO Elon Musk and a pair of top aides to President Joe Biden met in Washington on Friday to discuss the electric vehicle industry and the broader goal of electrification. Musk and Biden did not meet, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. The two haven’t had the smoothest of relationships, […]
2 days ago
Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary General, center, Dani Dayan, Chairman of Yad Vashem, lef...
Associated Press

UN: Parts of internet becoming `toxic waste dumps’ for hate

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. chief warned on the day to remember victims of the Holocaust that “many parts of the internet are becoming toxic waste dumps for hate and vicious lies,” and urgently appealed for guardrails against hate speech. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Friday that anti-Semitism is everywhere, and it’s increasing in intensity. […]
2 days ago
Associated Press

Bolsonaro’s nephew probed by Brazilian police over uprising

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Brazil’s federal police searched the home of a nephew of former President Jair Bolsonaro on Friday in connection with the Jan. 8 storming of government buildings in the capital by far-right protesters. Police said Leonardo Rodrigues de Jesus, known by Bolsonaro supporters as Leo Índio, was one of the targets of […]
2 days ago
Snow blanketed the Northern Black Hills on Dec. 15, 2022, as a winter storm dumped about 3 feet in ...
Associated Press

S. Dakota tribes seek disaster declaration in storm recovery

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota’s congressional delegation wrote letters to President Joe Biden in support of the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations’ requests for a major disaster declaration following winter storms that left six people dead. The declaration would assist the tribes’ recovery from destruction that tribal leaders say could have been prevented if […]
2 days ago
Associated Press

How major US stock indexes fared Friday 1/27/2023

Stocks closed higher on Wall Street, marking the market’s third winning week in the last four. The S&P 500 rose 0.2% Friday, having given up much of its afternoon gain. The Nasdaq composite and the Dow also rose. American Express helped lead the way. It jumped after giving a profit forecast that topped expectations. Next […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
UN official warns against new Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict