Biden and other leaders can publicly accuse Aliyev of committing genocide and that will be enough to stop him, said Luis Ocampo, the former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, during a hearing in the US Congress, talking about what the international community can do to prevent genocide in Artsakh.
Russia, the guarantor of Armenia’s security and the signatory of the November 9 Trilateral Declaration, conclusively refused to fulfill its obligations and took the side of Baku, which is preparing a new act of the Armenian Genocide.
Against this background, the USA and the EU have intensified the discussions of the situation in the Berdzor [Lachin} corridor, but they are limited to statements and appeals. EU High Representative for Foreign Policy and Security Josep Borrell said that “the lack of an adequate solution can have a practical impact on the EU’s relations with Azerbaijan,” but immediately made a clear that the EU will not break the energy agreement with Baku.
What levers of influence do global actors have on Aliyev’s policy? After the 8-month long blockade, it becomes obvious that the international community does not want to use legal leverages, waiting for Aliyev to carry out the annexation of Artsakh and the deportation of its population.
Artsakh resistance disrupts those plans: everything would have been decided a long time ago, if the population of Artsakh agreed to “integrate” with Baku, open the road to Akna (Aghdam), or “voluntarily” dislocate. But Artsakh definitely does not agree with neither of these “options”.
This creates a situation that can be resolved in two ways: either international actors will force Aliyev to back out of his plans, or he will resort to military action. As of today, Aliyev shows readiness for military operations rather than backing out.
Azerbaijan does not have any document that would confirm its right to the Karabakh and Berdzor corridor. For three years after the war, Baku, the international mediators and even the official Yerevan were looking for such a document and found nothing, except the 1991 Alma-Ata poor declaration. It is not clear on what basis some people demand that Karabakh be part of Azerbaijan. If Aliyev had such a document, he would have engraved it on many monuments of his father. But there is no such document.
Therefore, the issue can be resolved either by force (which Baku is trying to do), or based on the right of self-determination. Does the world community still have the strength and will to defend its own values and solve the problem based on the right to self-determination?
It is not visible yet.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken had a telephone conversation with Ilham Aliyev and called for the opening of the Lachin (Berdzor) Corridor. Blinken also emphasized the need for dialogue and compromise between the parties. What does Blinken mean by compromise? Is the US convincing Aliyev to make concessions?
At the same time, hearings on the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh were held in the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the US Congress. The speakers unanimously claim that what is happening is a genocide of the Armenian population of Nagorno Karabakh.
On September 6, at the meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the blockage of the Lachin Corridor and the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh were discussed.
“As a first step, the Council of Europe should send a fact-finding mission to the Lachin Corridor and Nagorno-Karabakh. The PACE resolution on the Lachin Corridor also requested a fact-finding mission, and Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner Dunja Mijatović confirmed her readiness to travel to Nagorno-Karabakh,” said Armenian Ambassador to the CoE Khachatryan.
On September 6, the European Union also issued a statement. “The European Union has taken note of the readiness of the Azerbaijani authorities to deliver goods through the city of Aghdam (Akna). The EU is adamant that the Lachine Corridor should be unblocked in accordance with previous agreements and the decision of the International Court of Justice,” the statement said.
To remind, a few days ago, a statement was issued on behalf of the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, in which it is said that “Baku should explain to the people of Karabakh the rules for using the Lachin Corridor”. There is no such dreadful call in the latest EU statement.
Meanwhile, the Armenian side calls on the international community to restrain Azerbaijan’s possible military aggression. There are accumulations of Azerbaijani troops along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and the contact line of Nagorno-Karabakh. The Secretary of the Security Council of Armenia informed the heads of diplomatic missions accredited in Armenia about this. “Armen Grigoryan highlighted the efforts of international partners to prevent possible aggression by Azerbaijan,” the report says. The Ministry of Defense of Armenia also received the foreign military attachés accredited in the country.
In its turn, the Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention published a 126-page extraordinary report “On the Threat of Genocide by Azerbaijan in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh)”.
The Lemkin Institute advises members of the international community, including the UN member states that have influence over Azerbaijan, to recognize the threat of the Armenian Genocide in Artsakh and Armenia, to actively intervene to protect Artsakh from an armed attack by Azerbaijan, and to create an independent investigative team that will conduct a thorough documentation of the current situation in Artsakh, including the investigation of atrocities committed by Azerbaijani soldiers during and after the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War.
In addition, the Institute recommends considering the issue of the right of self-determination of the people of Artsakh as a fundamental principle of international law.