In a significant development, Russian aid shipments laden with essential food and medicine have arrived in the embattled Nagorno-Karabakh region, which has been grappling with a severe humanitarian crisis. The announcement was made by Maria Zakharova, a spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, through the popular messaging platform Telegram on Tuesday.
Zakharova underscored Russia’s unwavering commitment to alleviating the challenging humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh. She emphasized that the country is actively engaged in efforts to address the crisis, building upon the initiative put forth by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. This initiative centers on the simultaneous reopening of the Lachin and Agdam routes to facilitate the transport of humanitarian aid.
Providing more insight into the aid dispatched to Nagorno-Karabakh, Zakharova explained that shipments of vital food supplies and medical assistance were simultaneously delivered to the region from both directions.
The humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh had escalated following the closure of the sole route connecting the mountainous region with Armenia last year, the Lachin corridor, which was guarded by Russian peacekeepers. Armenia had accused Azerbaijan of exacerbating the crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh after the closure, as reported by France 24.
However, Azerbaijan has vehemently denied these allegations and maintained that Nagorno-Karabakh could obtain all necessary supplies through Azerbaijan. According to Baku, separatist leaders in Nagorno-Karabakh had rejected its proposal to reopen both the Lachin corridor and the Aghdam road, which links Nagorno-Karabakh to the rest of Azerbaijan, simultaneously.
The Russian aid shipments follow an agreement announced by the Armenian separatist government just days prior, allowing for “simultaneous deliveries of humanitarian cargo” via both routes.
Zakharova also expressed her gratitude to the International Committee of the Red Cross for its unwavering efforts, as well as the support from the Russian peacekeeping contingent and the foreign ministry. She affirmed Russia’s commitment to continuing and regular unhindered humanitarian deliveries for the benefit of the local population.
Furthermore, Zakharova expressed her hope that the humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh would gradually improve, creating opportunities for dialogue between Baku and Stepanakert. She also underscored the importance of such dialogue in resuming the systematic implementation of trilateral agreements among leaders, aimed at normalizing Armenian-Azerbaijani relations.
In her closing remarks, Zakharova emphasized Russia’s full dedication to maintaining peace and stability in the South Caucasus region.