PACE held a debate on the humanitarian consequences of the blockade of Artsakh, not without scandal from the Azerbaijani delegation.
French parliamentarian Bertrand Bouyx noted the crucial importance of this debate.
"This debate is crucial. It is impossible to imagine a situation because life is becoming impossible in the enclave. As EU members we have to keep the advantage on both sides, we have to maintain the economic situation of both sides, but at the same time, we should remember that our continent is a community that respects human rights.
British MP Jill Mortimer said that if Armenia and Azerbaijan want to live peacefully as neighbors, they must find a way to talk to each other honestly. "I understand that the origin of the conflict comes back almost a century. But what have these wars achieved? They must find a way to talk to each other. I urge both governments to engage in the OSCE format and secure the stability. We must avoid humanitarian disasters. I urge all parties of the trilateral statement to open the movement along the corridor. I urge the countries to save these people from catastrophe. The opening of the Lachin corridor will be the new chapter," she said.
"When humanitarian issues are involved we have to be rigid. This alarming situation may threaten the fragile peace process. It has disaster consiquences for the situation not only in Armenia and Azerbaijan but the whole South Caucasus. After all, we all deserve a better future in Europe. Living people starving and freezing is an act of genocide. We are on the tipping point of Genocide. Every single person there deserves to live and preserve its fundamental rights" said Cyprus representative Constantinos Efstathiou.
According to Finnish MP Kimmo Kiljunen, there is a serious humanitarian crisis.
"The desperate conflict of two nations who have for centuries been close to each other. Now we have a discussion about such a blockade of the corridor and blockade of Karabakh. There is a major humanitarian crisis. Unfortunately, we have parties in this situation totally differently. We hear that the Lachin corridor is closed and no transport can pass there and Karabakh is isolated also, the gas line and power lines have been cut. It's a major problem the other side is saying that it actually controls the military vehicle going so there are no problems. that's their argumentation. There is confusion, we should observe the situation. We are ready to do this. We are ready to go into the region and asses the situation as much as we can," he said.
Turkey's representative Zeki Hakan Sidali, of course, rushed to defend the Azerbaijani "brothers."
"The priority for all of us is that peace should prevail in the South Caucasus. In the last two months, there is a new tension rising in the region. Azerbaijani MPs have repeatedly stated that there is no problem accessing food in the region, there is a problem of the management, Who does benefit from such behavior. You must act on facts, not perceptions. Whatever approach we choose today, we leave it for tomorrow. We must set an example for the whole world. Don't look at someone to find faults," he said.
Azerbaijani MP Kamal Jafarov, acting in the best traditions of Baku, preferred the position of an ostrich, burying his head in the sand, saying that "there is no blockage, then it's an information blockade. If there is a crisis it's a political one. It's a Ruben Vardanyan plan. He was sent from Moscow with an open and clear agenda to damage the peace process and throw Pashinyan from power and become PM of Armenia. The number of cars passing across the corridor is 3 times more than the member of this assembly. But the number of cars passing through Zangezur corridor is zero," the Azeri politician shared his fantasies.
Responding to the Azerbaijani MP, Ruben Rubinyan, deputy speaker of the Armenian parliament, suggested to assume that this is all an evil Armenian plot, a global conspiracy, which somehow convinced the whole world, the Americans, Russians, Europeans, Iranians, OSCE, CoE that there is a blockade which does not exist in reality. This means that Azerbaijan must agree that this organization, the PACE, must send a fact-finding mission to the Lachin corridor immediately, because this is the only way for our Azerbaijani colleagues to prove that they are making false accusations. And when he says "they", he means himself, his Armenian colleagues and all his other colleagues who are not Armenians. If the Azerbaijani MPs don't agree with that, it means that they have genocidal intentions, they intend to cleanse Nagorno-Karabakh of its Armenian population, and that means that the PACE must act accordingly and take measures to prevent that.
The Azerbaijani delegation could not resist the temptation to cause a scandal. The head of the delegation Samad Seyidov accused the organization of bias because there was not enough time for his speech. Jumping up to his seats, Seyidov said he had a comment on the order of the meeting. He said in indignation that during this important discussion he was not given time to speak, adding that it is a biased attitude. Despite PACE President Tiny Kox's attempts to reason with him, Seyidov continued shouting that the Armenians could speak and he could not, although more than one member of the Azerbaijani delegation had spoken before. As a result, his microphone was turned off, and the chairman of the meeting warned him that next time he would not tolerate any disruption of the meeting on his part. The chairman stressed that time for statements was limited, and added that he was absolutely serious with Mr. Seyidov. The chairman stressed that this is not how they work.
By the way, in addition to Seyidov, eight other delegates who were on the list of speakers did not speak.