March 29
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Yesterday, Azerbaijan again closed the natural gas supply pipeline to Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), while it was restored a day ago. This was announced by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan at Thursday’s Cabinet meeting of the Armenian government.

"Before that, Azerbaijan had [re]opened the pipeline seven days ago, whereas closed [it] four days before that. Since December 12, Azerbaijan has stopped gas supply to Nagorno-Karabakh seven times. Moreover, this statistic does not express the whole picture because various events take place between gas supply stops and restorations," the PM added.

According to him, such events can sometimes happen several times a day, or every few days.

"Moreover, this is not the [Azerbaijani] ‘environmentalists,’ but a state action [by Azerbaijan] because if the ‘environmentalists’ are present and visible at the Lachin corridor, they were not observed in the gas pipeline. Since December 12, 2022, Azerbaijan has carried out about 27 similar actions with the pipeline supplying gas to Nagorno-Karabakh.

Azerbaijan's illegal blockade of the Lachin corridor, which has an ‘environmental’ cover, has led to real environmental problems in Nagorno-Karabakh because, as you know, Azerbaijan has blocked as well the supply of electricity to Nagorno-Karabakh. And since the local capacity to produce electricity is not enough, the Nagorno-Karabakh authorities have to carry out scheduled power outages for 6-8-10 hours a day, depending on the weather. Under these conditions, our compatriots in Nagorno-Karabakh have to use wood to heat their houses, which leads to forest cutting, which has the potential to turn into a serious environmental disaster, especially if we take into account that it snowed at night in Nagorno-Karabakh and the air temperature drops to -5 degrees [Celsius].

Accordingly, with this, the so-called environmental goals of Azerbaijan evaporate into the air once again," Pashinyan said, adding that the closure of the Lachin corridor has led to an environmental crisis, too.

"These actions of Azerbaijan have one goal: to break the will of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh to live in their homeland, which we believe is unbreakable. Nevertheless, we need to increase our efforts to focus international attention on humanitarian and now also environmental crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh, which is the result of aggressive and provocative actions of Azerbaijan," he said.

Pashinyan thanked the countries and international organizations that have expressed an objective position on the crisis unfolding in Nagorno-Karabakh.

"I believe it is necessary to make the illegal blockade of the Lachin corridor, the humanitarian and environmental crisis established in Nagorno-Karabakh become the subject of more institutional international discussion because only the undiminished activeness of the international community is the way to curb Azerbaijan's aggressiveness and provocative practices," said the Armenian PM.

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