Russian aid arrives in Nagorno-Karabakh amid humanitarian crisis

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Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. — X/@mfa_russia
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. — X/@mfa_russia

Russian aid shipments carrying food and medicine arrived in the Nagorno-Karabakh region which is currently facing a humanitarian crisis, Maria Zakharova, a Russian foreign ministry spokesperson, announced on Tuesday via Telegram.

"Russia continues to contribute to the resolution of a challenging humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh," according to Zakharova.

The country is actively assisting in resolving the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh "based on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s initiative concerning the parallel reopening of the Lachin and Agdam routes for humanitarian transport," she added. 

While giving details about the aid sent to the crisis-hit Nagorno-Karabakh region, Zakharova elaborated that "shipments of food and medicine were delivered to the region simultaneously from both directions."

After Baku closed the only route connecting the mountainous territory with Armenia last year — the Lachin corridor guarded by Russian peacekeepers — Armenia accused Azerbaijan of escalating the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh, France 24 reported.

The assertion has since been denied by Azerbaijan, which claims Nagorno-Karabakh could obtain all the supplies it required through Azerbaijan.

According to Baku, the separatist leaders simply rejected its proposal to reopen the Lachin corridor and the Aghdam road, which connects Nagorno-Karabakh to the rest of Azerbaijan, at the same time.

The aid from Russia follows an agreement by the Armenian separatist government announced on Sunday to allow "simultaneous deliveries of humanitarian cargo" via both routes.

Zakharova also expressed gratitude to the International Committee of the Red Cross for its efforts and the support from the Russian peacekeeping contingent and the foreign ministry.

She added: "We anticipate continuing and regular unimpeded humanitarian shipments for the benefit of the local people."

She continued by expressing anticipation for the humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh to improve gradually, paving the way for a dialogue between Baku and Stepanakert.

The 47-year-old also expressed hope that dialogue between the two regions may resume the systematic implementation of the trilateral agreements between leaders, aiming to normalise Armenian-Azerbaijani relations.

She said: "We are fully committed to maintaining peace and stability in the South Caucasus."