U.S. Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Bob Menendez warned U.S. lawmakers that Azerbaijan’s blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh has all the hallmarks of genocide and pledged to hold Azerbaijan accountable.
The Senator called on the Biden Administration to enforce Section 907 and stop all security assistance to Azerbaijan. He went on to call for sanctions against the Aliyev regime for war crimes and ethnic cleansing.
“To the men organizing and carrying out this brutal campaign, we will hold you accountable for your crimes, even if it takes a lifetime – you will pay a price, you will face justice – and I certainly will not rest until you do so,” Menendez said in the U.S. Senate.
The Lachin Corridor, the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh, which is home to 120,000 Armenians, to Armenia and the rest of the world, has been blocked by Azerbaijan since late 2022.
The Azerbaijani blockade constitutes a gross violation of the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire agreement, which established that the 5km-wide Lachin Corridor shall be under the control of Russian peacekeepers. Furthermore, on February 22, 2023 the United Nations’ highest court – the International Court of Justice (ICJ) – ordered Azerbaijan to “take all steps at its disposal” to ensure unimpeded movement of persons, vehicles and cargo along the Lachin Corridor in both directions. Azerbaijan has been ignoring the order ever since. The ICJ reaffirmed its order on 6 July 2023.
Azerbaijan then illegally installed a checkpoint on Lachin Corridor.
Many experts and officials have said that the Azeri actions constitute genocide.