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Nagorno-Karabakh seeks self-determination amid ongoing Azerbaijani blockade

The Nagorno-Karabakh region, predominantly populated by ethnic Armenians but legally part of Azerbaijan, has expressed its determination to continue seeking self-rule, despite a prolonged blockade by Azerbaijan.

The regional leader, Araik Arutiunian, stated that self-determination is an international right, and reiterated that Karabakh’s struggle, which started in 1988, would persist.

Arutiunian, who communicated via a virtual press conference from Stepanakert, urged Armenian leaders to exercise caution when discussing recognizing Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity.

He emphasized that this does not deter the will of the Karabakhs to continue their fight.

Nagorno-Karabakh seeks self-determination amid ongoing Azerbaijani blockade. (Photo Internet reproduction)
Nagorno-Karabakh seeks self-determination amid ongoing Azerbaijani blockade. (Photo Internet reproduction)

The Nagorno-Karabakh leader also expressed the region’s readiness for dialogue with Azerbaijan, despite the latter’s seven-month blockade of the only route linking Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia and the wider world.

He insisted on Baku respecting Karabakh’s rights and stressed that the current issue to be resolved is primarily humanitarian, due to the effects of the blockade on the region’s 120,000 inhabitants.

Arutiunian implored the international community and signatories of the tripartite declaration – Russia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan – to urgently address the humanitarian crisis emerging from the Nagorno-Karabakh blockade.

Meanwhile, Azerbaijani authorities have indicated a willingness to offer aid to Nagorno-Karabakh through Azerbaijani territory.

In response, Arutiunian noted that any potential relief would be contingent on agreements made by international stakeholders.

However, he expressed skepticism over Azerbaijan’s commitment to fulfill its international obligations, given their history of blocking the route linking Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian also voiced his concern, advocating for international intervention to end the Nagorno-Karabakh blockade, similar to past measures taken in Sarajevo.

He asserted that Azerbaijan’s blockade contradicts their international obligations.


Nagorno-Karabakh has been a source of conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan for decades.

The 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war led to a significant territorial gain for Azerbaijan, who recaptured many areas previously held by Armenian forces around the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

A ceasefire was agreed upon in November 2020, mediated by Russia, which also deployed peacekeeping forces in the region.

Despite the ceasefire, tensions remain high, with sporadic clashes reported and continued political disputes over the region’s final status.


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