Azerbaijan has set up a checkpoint on the only land link between Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave, sparking an angry response from its arch-rival Yerevan. Armenia accused Azerbaijan of violating the peace deal by establishing check point.
The move, announced by the Azerbaijani border service on Sunday, fuels tensions between the ex-Soviet Caucasus nations that fought two wars over Azerbaijan’s Armenian-majority region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
This Content Is Only For Subscribers
According to Baku, the checkpoint was established at the entrance of the Lachin-Khankendi road “to prevent the illegal transportation of manpower, weapons, mines” and “shall be implemented in interaction with the Russian peacekeeping force”.
Under the Russia-brokered ceasefire that ended the 2020 conflict, Azerbaijan is required to guarantee safe passage on the Lachin corridor, which is patrolled by Russian peacekeepers.
However, Yerevan denounced the move as a “gross violation” of the ceasefire agreements and accused Baku of creating obstacles for civilians and humanitarian aid.
In December, Azerbaijani activists blocked the Lachin corridor to protest what they claim was illegal mining. Yerevan accused Baku of staging the demonstrations and creating a humanitarian crisis in the mountainous enclave.