Azerbaijan could reopen Lachin Corridor on certain condition
The Lachin Corridor remains closed until now but could reopen as Azerbaijan reassesses its position following hints that Armenia could accept Russian aid through an alternative route that crosses Azerbaijan.
On condition that leaders of Nagorno-Karabakh accept aid from Azerbaijan and not only from Armenia, the Azeri government agreed to reopen the Lanchin corridor linking Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh, according to information citing a senior Azerbaijani official in POLITICO on Saturday.
The announcement comes after authorities in the Armenian-controlled exclave, also known to Armenians as the Republic of Artsakh, announced earlier in the day that it would accept humanitarian shipments from the Russian Red Cross via an alternative route.
The chosen route was through Aghdam, located within Azerbaijani government-held territory, which pushed Azerbaijan to reconsider its position.
In turn, Hikmet HAjiyev, the foreign policy adviser to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev announced that “Azerbaijan expressed its consent as a goodwill gesture to ensure simultaneous opening” of the Lachin Corridor to allow for the transportation of ICRC cargo, reaffirming that "In the Lachin checkpoint, Azerbaijan’s customs and border regime must be observed."
The Lanchin Corridor stands as the sole roadway linking Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia, without which Armenia loses its only access to the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh. Consequently, severing this corridor has created hardships in the area, affecting the import of essential resources such as oil, electricity, food, and medical supplies. Nevertheless, both the corridor and the region have garnered international attention, given the substantial interests of multiple stakeholders in this region, which is geographically adjacent to Iran.
Azerbaijan builds up military forces on border: Armenian MoD
The Armenian Defense Ministry stated on Friday, underscoring the precarious situation prevailing at the border with Azerbaijan due to the apparent buildup of Azerbaijani military forces.
The mounting tension has raised concerns, prompting the Armenian Armed Forces to take measures aimed at maintaining stability and deterring potential provocations. "The situation continues to be tense as a result of the accumulation of Azerbaijani armed forces during the last two days. Hence, the Armenian Armed Forces continue to take necessary actions to stabilize it and prevent provocations," the Armenian MoD said in an official statement.
This recent escalation follows a recurring pattern of periodic exchanges of fire along the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The most significant flare-up in hostilities took place on September 12, 2022, leaving regional observers wary of a possible repeat of such confrontations.