A new border post in an area under tension. Azerbaijan announced on Sunday that it had installed a first checkpoint at the entrance to the Lachin corridor, the only road linking Armenia to the disputed region of Nagorny Karabakh. The country says it acted “in response” to a similar decision made by Yerevan on Saturday.
Such a measure, a first since the short war between Azerbaijan and Armenia in 2020, was also put in place “to prevent the illegal transport of labour, weapons and mines from the territory of Armenia for illegal formations of Armenian bandits on the territory of Azerbaijan,” they said.
“On April 22, Ministry of Defense surveillance cameras recorded the entry into Azerbaijani territory of two containers for military purposes and a convoy of Armenian military vehicles, contrary to the trilateral declaration and the norms and principles of international law”, supported Azerbaijani diplomacy in a press release, denouncing “threats and provocations” from Yerevan.
Clashes continue to break out
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry argued that the installation of a checkpoint “will serve for transparency on the movements (…), the rule of law, and thus, to ensure the safety and security of the movements”. Armenia and Azerbaijan, two former Soviet republics in the Caucasus, clashed in a short war in 2020 for control of the enclave of Nagorny-Karabakh.
This conflict resulted in an Armenian military rout and a Russian-sponsored ceasefire agreement. Deadly clashes in Nagorny-Karabakh or on the border between the two countries, however, continue to break out periodically. For several months, Armenia has also been warning of a “humanitarian crisis” in Karabakh due to an Azerbaijani blockade in the Lachin corridor area which has caused shortages of medicines and food and power cuts.