EU takes ICRC warnings of a humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh seriously, says Klaar

The European Union's Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia Toivo Klaar on Wednesday (26 July) expressed support for a recent statement from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) that warned that the humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh "will further deteriorate" if their aid convoys to the region remain blocked.

Sharing a link to the original ICRC statement on his Twitter page, Klaar said that the ICRC "is doing a tremendous job in very challenging circumstances on the ground. It is important that they are able to operate freely. The EU is taking their warnings seriously."

Along with Russia and the United States, the EU has repeatedly urged Azerbaijan to reopen the Lachin Corridor connecting Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh. Baku has, in one form or another, since December last year gradually exerted more control over traffic along the road.

Following an incident on 15 June at an Azerbaijani checkpoint at the entrance to the Lachin Corridor installed in April, Azerbaijan banned ICRC aid convoys travelling to the Nagorno-Karabakh, reportedly aggrevating a looming humanitarian crisis in the region.

On 11 July, Azerbaijan banned Red Cross medical evacuations from Nagorno-Karabakh alleging smuggling attempts from Armenia into Azerbaijan, however Baku has since lifted the ban and required those patients to be checked by Azerbaijani medical personnel while passing through its checkpoint in the Lachin Corridor.

source: with agencies
photo: RFE/RL