ICJ Orders Azerbaijan to Restore Uninterrupted Movement Through the Lachin Corridor

ICJ proceedings.
Image: CIJ_ICJ (Twitter)

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), UN’s highest court has ordered Azerbaijan to reopen the route connecting Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia.

ICJ proceedings
Armenia lawyers. Image: CIJ_ICJ (Twitter)

 

Azerbaijani government-backed protesters had blocked off the road on the 12th of December, 2022 causing Armenia to petition the court.

 

During January court proceedings, attorneys for the Azerbaijani government contested the closing of the Lachin route.

ICJ proceedings
Azerbaijani defense. Image: CIJ_ICJ

The ICJ determined that the Lachin Corridor link between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia has been severed.

 

“According to the evidence available to the Court, the blockage on the Lachin Corridor has delayed the transport of hospitalized individuals of Armenian nationality or ethnicity from Nagorno-Karabakh to medical institutions in Armenia for urgent medical care,” it stated.

 

Data reveals that the entry of necessary items into Nagorno-Karabakh has been impeded. This has resulted in shortages of food, medication, and other life-saving medical supplies.

 

A Russian-brokered deal halted the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in 2020 and obligates Azerbaijan to provide safe travel along the region’s sole land route to the outside world. It stated that Baku should “take all steps to ensure the flow of people via the Lachin Corridor.”

 

Meanwhile, the panel of 15 ICJ justices denied Armenia’s plea for a second injunction against the suspension of Armenian power and gas supplies to Karabakh via Azerbaijani territory.

 

“The Court finds that Armenia has not shown adequate proof. Azerbaijan has been accused of interrupting delivery of natural gas and other services to the Nagorno-Karabakh people.

 

The ICJ also denied Azerbaijan’s appeal to restrict Armenia from placing land mines in the Lachin corridor. Yerevan has frequently refuted the Azerbaijani charges, claiming they are a pretext for halting the essential highway.

 

Both countries requesting injunctions against each other.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have both requested injunctions against the other as part of respective 2021 UN court cases. The resolution of the legal issue might take years. In addition, commentators argue that the International Court of Justice judges have no actual means of implementing their temporary rulings.

 

Yeghishe Kirakosian, an attorney representing the Armenian government in international tribunals, stated that Yerevan will keep the International Court of Justice informed of Baku’s compliance with its most recent order.

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