ARF Western USA Central Committee Statement on Artsakh Blockade

ARF Western USA Central Committee Statement on Artsakh Blockade

For over a month, Azerbaijan has been carrying out a genocidal blockade of Artsakh by shutting down the single road connecting Artsakh to Armenia and the outside world.  As reaffirmed once again by Nikol Pashinyan’s recent statements, the capitulant regime in Yerevan has washed its hands of Artsakh.  The only obstacle between the complete annihilation and ethnic cleansing of Artsakh by the Turkish-Azeri tandem are a couple thousand Russian peacekeepers, who were deployed to Artsakh per the terms of a tripartite declaration signed by Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia on November 9, 2020.  However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the Russian peacekeeping contingent has neither the mandate nor the means to use force to deter Azerbaijan’s transgressions against Artsakh. 

Azerbaijan’s primary geo-political objective in the region is to ethnically cleanse Armenians from their historical lands, not just in Artsakh, but in Armenia as well. Not only are Artsakh and its population completely vulnerable to the genocidal ambitions of Azerbaijan, but its dictator Ilham Aliyev also openly lays claims to the sovereign territories of the Republic of Armenia.  In fact, nearly a hundred square kilometers of the Republic of Armenia’s internationally recognized sovereign territories were occupied by Azerbaijan just a few months ago. This after the capitulant regime in Yerevan, in the name of peace, ceded several strategically important border regions to Azerbaijan, regions that Azerbaijan then used to launch attacks against Armenia, take even more land and create the preconditions for the ongoing blockade of Artsakh.

Azerbaijan, encouraged by Turkey, is taking full advantage of the fact that Russia is entangled in a protracted war in Ukraine and cannot risk involvement and escalation in another conflict.  At the same time, Western powers, including the United States, have not displayed sufficient resolve to pressure Azerbaijan into ending the humanitarian crisis caused by its genocidal actions.  While we acknowledge that various international structures along with certain elected officials in the United States have issued statements calling for Azerbaijan to end its illegal and inhumane blockade, enough has not been done.

After relative stability for over two decades, the survival of the Armenian people on a small portion of its historical lands depends on the necessity to forge new monumental victories, such as those in Bash Abaran, Sardarabad and Karakilisa over a century ago.  History has shown that the only way the Armenian people can truly defend their nation from Pan-Turkic and other foreign agendas is through unity and by pooling our resources and power; not under the fake banner of supposed “pan-Armenian” initiatives co-opted by self serving individuals, but as a genuine all-encompassing Armenian voice of strength.

We must not only come to the immediate aid of our 120,000 compatriots in Artsakh by doing all that we can to end the genocidal blockade, but we must also ensure that such gross violations of their basic human rights are never repeated.  The only way to guarantee this is to ensure that Artsakh can never be a part of Azerbaijan, and why Artsakh declared its independence 30 years ago, in accordance with one of the most fundamental rights outlined in the United Nations Charter, the right to self-determination.  Even prior to its declaration of independence, the Artsakh Republic’s predecessor, the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast had passed a resolution per the laws of the U.S.S.R. to unite with the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic.  The undeniable fact is that Artsakh has never been a part of a sovereign Azerbaijani state.

As such, in support of the will and the voice of the people of Artsakh, expressed through their referendums, and their multiple unanimous parliamentary announcements and statements, we expect tangible measures from the governments of the United States, Armenia, Russia and the larger international community to:

– End the Blockade

– Provide for Humanitarian Passage in the Interim

– In the US, Enforce Section 907 to Stop All Aid to Azerbaijan

– Sanction Azerbaijan and Ilham Aliyev

– Recognize Artsakh’s right to self determination

We commend any genuinely all-Armenian actions and initiatives that aim to propel this effort forward, and stand ready to couple our own efforts with those who champion the aforementioned measures and uphold Armenian interests above all else.

Armenian Revolutionary Federation
Western United States of America Central Committee