According to reports from the defacto authorities of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, repairs on a damaged gas pipeline began earlier today (16 March).
The pipeline supplies natural gas from Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh and was damaged last week in yet unspecified circumstances. Stepanakert claims that Baku has been intentionally preventing repair teams from beginning work on restoring gas flow. The pipeline, which is the only source of gas for the territory, is of vital importance given that the majority of inhabitants in the area rely mainly on gas to heat their homes amid current winter temperatures which regularly reach below freezing.
The statement said that following negotiations between the government of Armenia, the Russian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh, and the Azerbaijani side, an Azerbaijani repair team had begun work on fixing the damaged section of the pipeline. It is unclear how long it will take before supply is restored.
The report adds that "authorities are making every effort to make this happen as soon as possible. At the same time, we call on all consumers to be vigilant and ensure that there is no gas leakage during the restoration of gas supply and emergencies".
Earlier this week, the EU’s special representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia, Toivo Klaar, said that he was concerned about the situation, and called for the pipeline to be repaired “as soon as possible”. Yesterday, Klaar discussed these issues in a meeting with the Armenian prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan.