Armenia asks the International Court of Justice to order Azerbaijan to withdraw from a vital corridor

Today, Wednesday, Armenia asked the International Court of Justice, the highest court of the United Nations, to order Azerbaijan to withdraw “all personnel” who have been deployed since April 23 along a vital corridor to the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

On April 23, Azerbaijan set up a checkpoint at the entrance to the Lachin corridor, the only road linking Armenia and the separatist region, and before that, Yerevan accused Baku for 6 months of blocking the vital road.

On February 22, the International Court of Justice ordered Azerbaijan to guarantee freedom of movement along the vital route to supply the population in Nagorno-Karabakh, a region inhabited mainly by Armenians who declared secession from Baku with the support of Yerevan.

Armenia asked the ICJ to order Azerbaijan to “proceed with the withdrawal of all personnel deployed in or along the Lachin Corridor since 23 April 2023,” according to a statement from the court.

Yerevan also asked the International Court of Justice to order Baku to “refrain from deploying any personnel in or along the corridor”.

The establishment of Baku’s checkpoint in April escalated the already strong tensions between the two former Soviet republics, which fought two wars, the first in the early 1990s and the second in 2020.

And last Monday, the Russian news agency “Tass” quoted the Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, as saying that his country is ready to recognize that the Nagorno-Karabakh region is part of Azerbaijan, if the latter guarantees the security of the population of Armenian origin.

Russia sponsored a ceasefire agreement that ended the fighting in 2020, and peacekeeping forces were deployed in the region, but the Armenian army announced last week that a soldier was killed by Azerbaijani forces, and an Armenian and an Azerbaijani soldier were killed in other clashes two weeks ago.

The two former Soviet republics have appealed to the International Court of Justice to intervene in the dispute.

In December 2021, the court called on the two countries to stop racial hatred and avoid exacerbating the dispute between them.

The International Court of Justice is based in The Hague and adjudicates disputes between countries. Its decisions are final, but it has no power to enforce them.

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