“I am deeply troubled by the recent attack of Azerbaijani forces on Armenian soldiers in Syunik, which resulted in the death of 4 soldiers and the injury of 6 more. That Azerbaijan has repeatedly violated the ceasefire agreement, while continuing its blockade of the Lachin Corridor, only increases the urgent need for action. The U.S. and international community must hold Azerbaijan accountable for their continuous acts of aggression to prevent another outbreak of war and ensure the people of Armenia can live in peace.” stated Congressman Schiff.
The statement comes after a group of Azerbaijani soldiers approached Armenian servicemen under the pretext of adjusting the border deployment points, provoked and opened fire with firearms and other weapons of different calibers in the area of Tegh village, in Armenia’s Syunik region, at around 4:00 pm on April 11, 2023.
On March 31, 2023, Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) led a bipartisan letter to the Honorable Lou Bono, the State Department’s Senior Advisor for Caucasus Negotiations, to express serious concern about Bono’s reported remarks during a recent trip where he ruled out using sanctions against Azerbaijan in response to Baku’s transgressions against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh).
Since December 12, 2022, Azerbaijan has imposed a blockade of the Lachin Corridor, the only road connecting Artsakh to Armenia. The effect has been devastating to the population, rendering 120,000 individuals without access to food, medical supplies, consistent gas and electricity, and essential human rights such as freedom of movement. Tens of thousands have been left without heating amid plummeting winter temperatures, which forced schools to close and deprived children of access to education.
In February, the International Court of Justice ordered Azerbaijan to lift the blockade – an order Baku has ignored as it continues to try and leverage the humanitarian crisis and violates the ceasefire agreement to seek concessions from Armenia.