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Are we really asking Russia to ‘keep the peace’ in a completely different conflict?

The UN Security Council should step in and put a stop to Azerbaijan’s aggression, argues Geoffrey Robertson

Sunday 05 February 2023 18:07 GMT
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Armenia, too, has woken up to the danger of the Kremlin’s ‘support’
Armenia, too, has woken up to the danger of the Kremlin’s ‘support’ (AP)

Russia, Britain, the US, France and China have the power to stop a hostile second-rate authoritarian nation – Azerbaijan – blockading a country in order to starve its 120,000 occupants. The blockade constitutes a crime against humanity, and is contrary to a number of treaties, but the Azeris have gotten away with it for two months and counting.

The location of the dispute is a corridor that extends from landlocked Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia, via the town of Lachin, surrounded by Azerbaijani territory. It is a vital link for 400 tonnes of essential goods conveyed each day to the Karabakh Armenians, as well as permitting the movement of citizens, schoolchildren, and ambulances. It would of course be faster by air, but the Azerbaijan government has threatened to shoot down any passenger or transport plane that tries to land at Stepanakert, the Karabakh capital.

The country is a prisoner of Azerbaijan, and of history. It originally belonged to Armenia, and has always been populated mainly by Armenians, renowned for their early Christian churches and unique carpets.

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