The Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament has strongly condemned the recent attack by the Azeri military on the disputed province of Nagorno-Karabakh, describing it as “pre-planned and unjustified”. In response to the attack, the committee has recommended that the European Council impose sanctions on Azerbaijan if they refuse to call off the assault.
The Azeri military declared “counter-terrorism measures” in Nagorno-Karabakh, while reports from the Armenian side claimed that missile and artillery strikes were carried out on the region’s capital, Stepanakert, as well as tank attacks along the border with Azerbaijan. However, the Azeri side has countered these claims, stating that Armenian troops in Nagorno-Karabakh initiated the attack. The Armenian government denies these allegations.
The international community, including the United States, European Union, and Russia, has called for an end to hostilities and urged both sides to find a peaceful resolution to their differences. Officials from Nagorno-Karabakh have made an appeal to their counterparts in Azerbaijan to cease fire and engage in negotiations to resolve the situation.
Nagorno-Karabakh, which has a predominantly ethnically Armenian population, declared independence from Azerbaijan in the final years of the USSR. The region fought a full-scale war for its sovereignty in the 1990s and has been supported by Armenia since then. In 2020, a second conflict erupted over the enclave, resulting in the loss of some territory to Azerbaijan. This left Nagorno-Karabakh connected to Armenia only through the Lachin corridor, a mountain road that serves as the sole supply route to the territory. However, the corridor was blockaded by Baku-backed environmental activists last year, exacerbating the already tense situation.
Armenia has accused Azerbaijan of using the blockade as a means of carrying out “ethnic cleansing” in Nagorno-Karabakh. The Foreign Affairs Committee echoes these concerns, condemning Azerbaijan’s role in the blockade and asserting that it has caused a major humanitarian crisis.
It is crucial for both parties involved to prioritize dialogue and diplomatic efforts, as further escalation of the conflict would only lead to more suffering and loss of life. The international community, through the European Council and other diplomatic channels, must continue to exert pressure on Azerbaijan to cease hostilities and engage in meaningful negotiations. The path to lasting peace and stability lies in dialogue, compromise, and respect for the rights and aspirations of all people in the region.