Russia has claimed that it is working hard to resolve the dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Lachin corridor, the sole road linking Armenia to the Armenian-populated enclave of Nagorno Karabakh.
Demonstrators posing as environmental activists impeded traffic by erecting tents, due to which the mountainous route into Azerbaijan has been closed since December 12. In Nagorno-Karabakh, some 120,000 ethnic Armenians rely on the blocked route for their food, fuel, and medical needs.
International tension has been simmering from the deadlock and on Monday, the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken demanded the rapid restoration of the passage.Since it holds a dominant position in the area, Russia has peacekeeping forces stationed there along the Lachin corridor. Armenia is frustrated by its inability to reopen it.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Russia “continues painstaking and difficult work with both Armenia and Azerbaijan,” when asked to comment on Blinken’s remarks. But he did not elaborate as to what exactly Russia’s action will be.
Armenia claims that the demonstration was planned as an intentional blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh by the government of Azerbaijan. However, Azerbaijan refutes it, asserting that the protesters are legitimately protesting against unlawful mining.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the two nations have fought two wars over Nagorno-Karabakh, which is recognised internationally as a part of Azerbaijan but is mostly populated by ethnic Armenians.