Lachin Debates in the South Caucasus

Similar Posts

This post is also available in: Türkçe Русский

Due to its geopolitical location, the South Caucasus acts as a bridge between Central Asia and Europe. Moreover, since the countries of the region have abundant energy resources and the pipelines necessary for energy transfer run through this region, this issue has been placed on the agenda of the West. The South Caucasus, which has both geostrategic and geopolitical significance, has become a stable geography after the Second Karabakh War in terms of regional balances and dynamics, but also an arena of competition between global and regional powers.

As is well known, the 30-year occupation of Karabakh by Armenia, in violation of international law, ended with the Second Karabakh War. As a result, policy toward the South Caucasus began to be reconsidered. The salient points under the agreement are the victory of Azerbaijan and the presence of the Russian peacekeeping force stationed in the region for a period of five years. Moreover, thanks to the ceasefire, negotiations have been launched to normalize relations between the parties and ensure security. However, Armenia takes some actions to balance for the losses of its defeat on the field at the table.

In addition to Armenia’s border violations and armed attacks in the region, the illegal operation of mines in Azerbaijan in December 2022 also caused unease in Baku. After Azerbaijan announced that mines in Karabakh were being used illegally by Armenia, Azerbaijani environmental activists began protests in the Lachin Corridor.[1]

The administration of Yerevan, on the other hand, claimed that with the closure of the Lachin corridor, entrances and exits were blocked, the region was not supplied with food and the gas supply was cut off, and in this context people were condemned to hunger and cold. In summary, Armenia, using the protest demonstrations as an excuse, stated that the Armenian citizens in the region are experiencing a “humanitarian crisis”.

Moreover, it is a noteworthy development that Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced at the cabinet meeting that he would initiate a discussion in the United Nations  (UN) Security Council on sending an additional multinational peacekeeping force to Karabakh.[2] Armenia’s appeal to the international delegation shows that it complains that Russia does not fulfill its duty in the region under the control of the Russian peacekeeping force. It can be stated that with this appeal Armenia is trying to draw the attention of the international public to the region. As a result of the developments in the region, the UN stated that the conflicts could affect the entire Caucasus region;[3] while the U.S. announced that it was concerned about what was happening in the region.[4]

It is very important that Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, which are important non-governmental organizations (NGOs) at the global level, also speak out and report on this issue. ​In particular, Amnesty International’s demand that Azerbaijan end the blockade of the Lachin Corridor,[5] is aimed at putting pressure on Baku. Undoubtedly, this situation harms the relations between Europe and Azerbaijan.

At this point, it should be noted that Azerbaijan argues that it is acting in accordance with international law, that Lachin is Azerbaijani territory and that the state has the right to control the region. In fact, the Baku administration has not closed Lachin, but it has not allowed the passage of ammunition.[6] Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ceyhun Bayramov also said that his claims that Armenians are under a blockade and that there is a humanitarian crisis are unfounded.[7] The best proof of this is that the vehicles of the Russian peacekeeping forces and the International Organization of the Red Cross can easily pass the road. In fact, the claims of Yerevan do not correspond to the truth.

Although tensions in the Lachin Corridor were initially revealed by the illegal operation of mines in the region, their trade, and damage to the environment, it soon became an international issue. It is clearly seen, by presenting the problem of the Lachin Corridor as a “humanitarian crisis,” Armenia is trying to gain the attention and support of Europe and the United States. Because in this way Armenia will dwarf the illegal mining activities in the region. Indeed, it can be said that Yerevan is partially successful in this regard. Russia, on the other hand, is unhappy with the escalation of tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Therefore,  it is understood that the obstacles to peace and tranquility in the region still continue. The Laçin corridor is one of the most concrete and topical examples of this.

[1] “Azerbaijani Activists Protest Carrying of Weapons Through Lachin Corridor”, Hürriyet Daily News,, (Date of Accession: 20.01.2023).

[2] “Ermenistan, Karabağ’da Gıda Sıkıntısı Nedeniyle Azerbaycan ve Rusya’yı Suçladı”, Euronews,, (Date of Accession: 21.01.2023).

[3] “Laçın Yolu Protestoları: BM Yetkilisi, Dağlık Karabağ’da Olası Yeni Çatışmalara Karşı Uyardı”, Euronews,, (Date of Accession: 21.01.2023).

[4] “Ermenistan ve Azerbaycan Arasındaki Gerginlik Giderek Tırmanıyor”, Kamu Gündemi,, (Erişim Tarihi: 21.01.2023).

[5] “Amnesty International: Azerbaijan Must End Blockade of Lachin Corridor”, Newsfeed,, (Date of Accession: 20.01.2023).

[6] “Джейхун Байрамов: Перевозка боеприпасов по Лачинской дороге недопустима”, Azertac,, (Date of Accession: 20.01.2023).

[7] “Azerbaycan, Ermeni Nüfusunun Yaşadığı Bölgeye Doğalgaz Tedarikinin Durdurulduğu İddialarını Yalanladı”, TRT Avaz,, (Date of Accession: 20.01.2023).

Göksu ÇANA
Göksu Çana, 2018 yılında TOBB Ekonomi ve Teknoloji Üniversitesi İktisadi ve İdari Bilimler Fakültesi Siyaset Bilimi Bölümü'nden mezun olmuştur. 2022 yılında İtalya'daki Padova Üniversitesi İnsan Hakları ve Çok-Düzeyli Yönetişim Bölümü'nde yüksek lisans eğitimini tamamlayan Çana, halihazırda ANKASAM'ın çalışmalarına katkı sağlamaktadır. Çana'nın başlıca ilgili alanları; göç ve uluslararası güvenliktir. Çana iyi derecede İngilizce bilmesinin yanı sıra İspanyolca da öğrenmektedir.