Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan has met with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to discuss the current dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, regarding access through the Lachin Corridor.
Senator Gavan is Vice President of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
He was appointed Rapporteur by the Committee on March 23rd last to investigate the issue of free and safe access through the Lachin Corridor.
Senator Gavan said:
“I want to thank Prime Minister Pashinyan for taking the time to present his views on the current situation to me.
“My aim is to establish the facts regarding whether there is free and safe access through the Lachin Corridor and, if required, to make recommendations as to what steps are needed by both states.
“The Armenian Government has maintained that there has been a blockade preventing access through the Lachin Corridor, which is the only open communication route between the region of Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia since December 2022.
“They have also alleged that the Armenian community living in that region, which lies within the internationally recognised border of Azerbaijan, has had gas and electricity cut off for most of the same period.
“Azerbaijan has denied these claims and alleged systematic and large scale misuse of the Lachin road for illicit purposes which it claims constitute security threats.
“On April 23rd last The Republic of Azerbaijan established a border checkpoint at the beginning of the Lachin Corridor. This unilateral action by Azerbaijan has taken place amidst increasing tensions around the issue of access through the Corridor.
“The open and safe access to this Corridor was established and agreed in the Trilateral Statement of 9 November 2020 signed by Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia to end the 44 day war between the two States.
“I intend to present my report at the upcoming June session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.”