Turkish strawberries in the so-called "blockade of Artsakh" and the 34-year blockade of Nakhichevan, devastated 8 enclave Azerbaijani villages.

24.02.23 11:20

From day to day, the Armenian media and online resources are running a so-called "chronicle of the blockade and genocide" of the Armenians of "Artsakh". "30-50-70 days of blockade! Starving population! Dying sick children" and other heart-breaking fabrications are regularly replicated to arouse sympathy from the world community. Although about 40 trucks with food and other humanitarian cargoes pass along the Lachin road every day.


It comes to paradoxical scandals: recently, vigilant Armenian "patriots" found Turkish strawberries in one of the markets in the zone of responsibility of Russian peacekeepers in "starving Artsakh". An angry hounding of "unconscientious" businessmen who dare to sell "enemy berries" began on social networks. The scandal then subsided a little, as it turned out that the same exact Turkish strawberries were being sold in the Republic of Armenia.


Recall that in February it is winter in the northern hemisphere and the South Caucasus and strawberries are an expensive exotic product. Especially imported strawberries. And if such product is freely delivered and sold to "artakh" which is blocked and dying of hunger, it means that there is no problem with other less exotic and simpler in this season foodstuff. After all, the last thing a real starving person will think about is fresh strawberries in winter. He does not care about luxuries and delicacies, he needs bread and the simplest everyday foodstuffs. And if strawberries are sold in markets in Artsakh which is "on the verge of genocide" and "starving", it means that there is no "genocide" and "terrible blockade". Furthermore, Karabakh's Armenian-populated towns and villages in the zone of responsibility of Russian peacekeepers are supplied with natural gas and electricity without any problems.


On the other hand, Armenian nationalists, who are screaming to the world about the "blockade of Artsakh", somehow forget that Armenia continues to blockade the Nakhijevan Autonomous Republic, preventing it from communicating with the main territory of Azerbaijan for 34 years now. During this time not a single car has passed through the territory of the Republic of Armenia (unlike dozens of trucks which Azerbaijan daily passes from Armenia through its territory to towns and villages of Karabakh populated by Armenians). Although unblocking the roads through Zangezur to Nakhichevan was one of the conditions for the functioning of the Lachin road.


If "symmetrical measures" are to be considered at all, then just as Azerbaijan is comfortable with the existence of predominantly Armenian-populated towns and villages on its territory and considers these people its citizens, the Republic of Armenia should ideally grant its citizenship to those Azerbaijanis who were born on its territory and the opportunity to live in their native places.


However, not a single town or village on the territory of the Republic of Armenia itself is left populated by Azerbaijanis, and there were dozens and hundreds of them, with entire districts having a predominantly Azerbaijani population. For some reason, no one in Armenia is raising the issue of returning the refugees to their homes and ensuring uninterrupted supply of these territories from Azerbaijan. Including those who scream about the "blockade of Artsakh.


Armenia has not only carried out ethnic cleansing and total expulsion of the Azerbaijani population within its internationally recognized borders.  Seven villages in the Gazakh region (Sofulu, Barkhudarli, Baghanis Ayrym, Gizilhajili, Yukhary Askipara, Ashagi Askipara and Kheirimli), including two Azerbaijani enclaves and one also enclaved village in the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic, Karki, have been under Armenian occupation for over 30 years.


The entire Azerbaijani population has been expelled from these villages, every last person.  This is, in fact, internationally recognised Azerbaijani territory. Armenia is obliged by all international laws to provide the Azerbaijani population of these villages with communication with the main territory of Azerbaijan through its territory. But those who shout about the "blockade of Artsakh" do not remember this for some reason.


It is interesting that the de-occupation of these enclave villages was agreed in the evening of November 9, 2020 at the end of the 44-day war. The enclave villages of the Gazakh district were expected to be transferred to Azerbaijani control around the end of November 2020, almost simultaneously with those of Kelbajar, Agdam and other districts of Karabakh.


However, the Armenian side asked to be "sympathetic" to domestic sentiment in Armenia, as handing over these villages and unblocking access to them immediately after the war would be perceived by Armenian revanchists as a clear defeat and "betrayal of power". This could have led to the overthrow of Pashinian.  Armenia asked that the de-occupation of the enclave villages and the return of refugees be postponed until communications between Armenia and Azerbaijan (including the Zangezur corridor) had been unblocked.


Azerbaijan then acceded to Pashinian's requests. The return of the enclave villages to Azerbaijan was agreed as part of the full unblocking of transport and communications routes and the opening of the Gazakh-Ijevan railway line.


As a result, when the trilateral peace agreement between Azerbaijan, Russia and Armenia was published on the Russian president's official website on the morning of 10 November 2020, its content differed from the original text of the draft agreement that had appeared on the website of the Armenian version of the Russian state news agency Sputnik on 9 November 2020. First and foremost, the reference to the unconditional and speedy return of the enclave territories of the Gazakh region to Azerbaijan was removed from the text.


Since then almost 2.5 years passed, but Armenia does not think to fulfill its obligations regarding de-occupation of villages of Gazakh region and village Karki of Nakhichevan AR. Nor does Armenia have any intention of opening the Zangezur corridor and ending the blockade of Nakhichevan.



Grigol Giorgadze

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