EU parliament urges sanctions on Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh

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The European Parliament has passed a resolution calling for sanctions on Azerbaijan’s political and military leaders over the alleged human rights violations and ethnic cleansing of Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The resolution, adopted on Thursday, October 6, 2023, with 491 votes in favor and only nine against, condemned Azerbaijan’s “pre-planned, unjustified military attack” on the disputed region in September, which resulted in the death of more than 200 people and the displacement of more than 100,000 ethnic Armenians.

The resolution also accused Azerbaijan of violating the trilateral ceasefire agreement signed in November 2020, which ended the six-week war between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh. The agreement was brokered by Russia and Turkey, and left most of the territory under Azerbaijani control.

The resolution demanded that the EU and its member states “adopt targeted sanctions against the individuals in the Azerbaijani Government” responsible for the atrocities in Nagorno-Karabakh and called for an independent investigation into “the abuses committed by Azerbaijani forces that could constitute war crimes.”

The resolution also expressed solidarity with the ethnic Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh “who have been forced to flee their homes and ancestral lands” and “considers that the current situation amounts to ethnic cleansing.”

The resolution urged the EU to suspend all imports of oil and gas from Azerbaijan “in the event of military aggression against Armenian territorial integrity” or “attacks against Armenia’s constitutional order and democratic institutions.” The resolution also called for the EU to reassess its energy partnership with Baku, which aims to diversify the bloc’s gas supply away from Russia.

The resolution was welcomed by Armenian officials and activists, who praised the EU parliament for standing up for human rights and justice. However, it was denounced by Azerbaijani authorities and lawmakers, who rejected the allegations as baseless and biased. They accused the EU parliament of interfering in their internal affairs and undermining the peace process.

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