Aid Convoys Approach Karabakh as Bread Supplies Dwindle

Azerbaijani and French aid convoys arrived near Artsakh last week as the authorities in Stepanakert introduced new rules limiting bread purchases in the region.

Two trucks belonging to the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society carrying 40 tons of flour reached the Azerbaijani town of Aghdam last Tuesday after state-run news agencies said Baku intended to deliver the supplies to Stepanakert.

The convoy plans to use the long-shuttered route connecting the Nagorno-Karabakh town of Askeran and Aghdam, which Armenia ceded to Azerbaijan after the 2020 war, but as of Wednesday evening local time, the trucks reportedly remained stuck in Aghdam, with Russian peacekeepers deployed to the area blocking them from moving forward.

The Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society is Azerbaijan’s national affiliate of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and is separate from the International Committee of the Red Cross, which has been conducting medical evacuations from Nagorno-Karabakh throughout the blockade.

Meanwhile, more than a thousand Nagorno-Karabakh residents gathered in Askeran Tuesday night to set up preemptive barricades on the road in case the peacekeepers allow the trucks to move forward.

“They are slaughtering us, and then bringing us flour,” Askeran resident Alla Arzumanyan told CivilNet’s Nagorno-Karabakh correspondent.

A spokesperson for Nagorno-Karabakh President Arayik Harutyunyan insisted Tuesday his administration had not agreed to the delivery and would not accept the aid.

The reopening of the Aghdam road is seen as a step forward in Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s “reintegration” plan, which many in Nagorno-Karabakh fear will lead to ethnic cleansing.


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