“Aghdam is the road of death.” Artsakh residents block road to Azerbaijan

Nagorno-Karabakh residents have set up a roadblock on the road connecting Karabakh to Azerbaijan to prevent the entry of vehicles from Azerbaijan. Local police confirmed on Wednesday that the road connecting the Nagorno-Karabakh town of Askeran and the nearby Azerbaijani town of Aghdam is closed. Signs held by protesters read “Aghdam is the road of death” and “Charles Michel, the Aghdam road is not a humanitarian corridor.”

The roadblock comes days after a tripartite meeting with Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders in Brussels, after which EU Council President Charles Michel noted Azerbaijan’s “willingness to provide humanitarian supplies via Aghdam” to Nagorno-Karabakh.

For more than seven months, Azerbaijan has been blocking the Lachin corridor, the only road connecting Karabakh to Armenia and the rest of the world which was previously used to transfer limited humanitarian aid into the region. Over the last month, Azerbaijan has escalated the situation to a total humanitarian blockade, preventing the delivery of any humanitarian aid by Red Cross and Russian peacekeeping vehicles.

Before those negotiations, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov had told the Red Cross his country is ready to send “essential goods” to Nagorno-Karabakh through Aghdam. In a statement on Wednesday, Nagorno-Karabakh’s Interior Ministry said it “ensures that no vehicles, let alone humanitarian supplies, pass through the police checkpoint in Askeran to Akna [Aghdam] or back.”

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