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Statement by High Representative Josep Borrell on the humanitarian situation on the ground  

The European Union is deeply concerned about the serious humanitarian situation affecting the local population in the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast. The movement through the Lachin corridor remains obstructed for more than seven months, despite Orders by the International Court of Justice to reopen it. Medical supplies and essential goods are in short supply or have already run out, with dire consequences for the local population.

It is incumbent on the Azerbaijani authorities to guarantee safety and freedom of movement along the Lachin corridor imminently and not to permit the crisis to escalate further.  We took note of the expressed readiness of the Azerbaijani authorities to also supply goods via the city of Aghdam. This should not be seen as an alternative to the reopening of the Lachin corridor.

The EU also notes that ICRC activities in the region have been heavily impacted and calls for their full resumption, including medical evacuations and humanitarian supplies. The EU stresses that humanitarian access must not be politicised by any actors. The European Union, and in particular President of the European Council Charles Michel, has been heavily engaged in supporting the normalisation process between Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as in promoting a dialogue between Baku and Stepanakert/Khankendi.

This also requires the genuine commitment of all sides to negotiated outcomes and a future built on common interests and mutual trust.