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Home » EU Hypocrisy on Azerbaijan Deafening

EU Hypocrisy on Azerbaijan Deafening

by Tavit Ardzruni
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On September 27, 2020, Azerbaijan invaded the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh), which is an exclave inside Azerbaijan that is inhabited by 120,000 Armenians. In 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Oblast held a referendum, with 99.98% of voters approving the decision to become independent, after Azerbaijan had started pogroms and used genocidal rhetoric against the Armenian minority population. The Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh was able to defend itself against Azerbaijani aggression in the 1st Nagorno-Karabakh War (1988-1994), and there was a frozen conflict until 2020.

The invasion initiated by Azerbaijan in September 2020 lasted until November 9, 2020, and the war was halted due to a ceasefire agreement. Over the past three years, Azerbaijan has been dismantling Armenian churches and bulldozing any Christian religious sites or monuments that the Armenians have built, some of which are hundreds of years old. It was known that this would happen because Azerbaijan is said to have committed “the worst cultural genocide in the 21st century,” when the Guardian investigated that Azerbaijan systematically erased any trace of Armenian or Christian history in Nakhichevan to use as evidence that Armenians never lived in that region. Currently, the remaining territory of Nagorno-Karabakh is connected to Armenia by a single road known as the Lachin Corridor.

On December 12, 2022, Azerbaijani citizens claiming to be “eco-activists” started a blockade to prevent the movement of people from Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia via the Lachin Corridor. As this was ongoing, the Azerbaijani government cut off gas to the 120,000 Armenian civilians inside Nagorno-Karabakh in the middle of winter in an attempt to cause a humanitarian crisis. After this event, the UN Chief urged the reopening of the Lachin Corridor, while Greece, France, the Netherlands, Canada, and the United States made statements urging Azerbaijan to unblock the corridor.

Since December 2022, the only road (Lachin Corridor) connecting Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh has been blockaded, especially now that Azerbaijan has installed a checkpoint preventing all movement. While Nagorno-Karabakh is isolated from the rest of the world, the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh are facing starvation as there is no delivery of food. Hospitals and medical clinics have urged that they are running out of medicine and medical supplies, and that this blockade has caused an increase in miscarriages and deaths. Many Armenians who need to use the Lachin Corridor to reach hospitals in Armenia are being prevented from being transported due to the closure of the Lachin Corridor. The International Committee of the Red Cross arrived and attempted to help, but also stated that Azerbaijan has not given permission to bring any form of aid or supplies into Nagorno-Karabakh.

The Armenian government has asked the UN Security Council for help to prevent a genocide, but there have only been words and no actions.

Luis Moreno Ocampo, former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, warned that Azerbaijan is preparing genocide against Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh via starvation. For the past several weeks in Kornidzor, Armenia near the Lachin Corridor, 20 trucks carrying nearly 400 tons of food, medicine, and medical supplies have been prevented from entering the Lachin Corridor and are currently hoping for help from the international community to impact Azerbaijan’s decision of blockading Nagorno-Karabakh.

While Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry has made statements trying to defend why food, medical supplies, medicine, and essential needs aren’t allowed to be transported to Nagorno-Karabakh, it is evident that Azerbaijan is planning to conduct a genocide of Armenians based on the actions and rhetoric of the Azerbaijani government. Azerbaijan first became an independent state in 1918, and it wasn’t until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 that it once again became an independent country. The Azerbaijani government has been commanded by the Aliyev family since 1993, and its government is said to be one of the most autocratic and totalitarian nations in global rankings. In 1999, President Heydar Aliyev stated that “the people of Azerbaijan saw the help of Turkey and we are grateful for that. Particularly in 1918-1919, when Ataturk cleansed his land of Armenians.” This is in reference to the Armenian Genocide in which Turkey killed 1.5 million Armenians. In 2004, Vladimir Kazimirov as co-Chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group stated that “Azerbaijan has actually started pursuing a policy of a total ‘cold war’ against Armenians. Any contacts with Armenians, even those on a societal level, are rejected and those who maintain contact are prosecuted.” In 2004 Ramil Safarov, a lieutenant in the Azerbaijani military, beheaded an Armenian in his sleep in Hungary, and was transferred to Azerbaijan with the promise of serving his sentence there, but was instead met with open arms by President Ilham Aliyev, given state awards/ribbons, financial assistance, and a home as a reward for the beheading. Azerbaijan’s former prime minister, Novruz Mammadov, commented on this matter, saying “this is great news for all of us. It is very touching to see this son of the homeland, who was thrown in jail after defending his country’s honor and dignity.” Azerbaijan’s Chief of Political Analysis, Elnur Aslanov, commented “heroes like Ramil Safarov with his bravery brought the second breath to the Azerbaijani society and people.” Azerbaijani MP Zeynab Khanlarova commented “Safarov is not just a hero of Azerbaijan, but an international hero. A monument should be made of him. He did the right thing to take the life of an Armenian.” In 2004, Colonel Ramiz Melikov of the Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan stated that “in 25 years, there will be no state of Armenia. These people have no right to live in this region.” In 2005, when a delegation of German officials from Bavaria visited Azerbaijan, the mayor of Baku, Hajibala Abutalybov exclaimed “Azerbaijan’s objective is the total annihilation of Armenians. You as Nazis exterminated Jewish people in the 1930s and 1940s, correct? Then you should understand us.”

There has been repeated evidence of Azerbaijan’s intentions of wanting to commit genocide. Now that Nagorno-Karabakh is surrounded and the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh to the rest of the world is blockaded, Azerbaijan is planning a slow genocide via starvation. Since December, EU officials and MPs have voiced “concerns” and issued verbal statements in solidarity with the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, but no EU country or heads of state of EU countries have made an effort to call for intervention in Azerbaijan to protect the Nagorno-Karabakh population. French MEP François-Xavier Bellamy stated that the EU’s decision on Nagorno-Karabakh is becoming a case of Parliament vs. the Commission, and that the Parliament has voted to support introducing sanctions on Azerbaijan but the European Commission has made the decision to not listen.

In July 2022, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visited the capital of Azerbaijan to announce the agreement to double Azerbaijani gas imports to the EU. She also stated that the European Union decided to diversify away from Russia and to turn towards more reliable, trustworthy partners, such as Azerbaijan. In the same speech she added that “the European Union is committed to a secure, stable and prosperous South Caucasus.” Azerbaijan is the main destabilizer in the South Caucasus, has a historical record of human rights abuses, war crimes, and is considered to be on par with Afghanistan, Iraq, Cuba, Syria, and North Korea on freedom indexes.

The European Union is well aware of the ethnic cleansing that Azerbaijan wishes to impose on Nagorno-Karabakh, so the hypocrisy of the EU is deafening. If the EU wishes to maintain its image as a protector of human rights, democracy, and liberty, its leaders need to reverse their decision to maintain idle and apathetic to a potential genocide that could be prevented. The EU choosing to bolster totalitarian regimes hellbent on exterminating Armenians over promoting democracy, self-determination, and peace gives the impression that the European Union is in decay due to its indifference to Western values and morals.

Source : The Armenian Mirror-Spectator

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