Q - Today, the president of Nagorno-Karabakh, Samvel Shahramanyank, stated that the republic will cease to exist, citing the extremely tense political and military situation. The people of Nagorno-Karabakh are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the conditions of reintegration set by Baku. What is France’s reaction to this?
A - We hold Azerbaijan fully responsible for the fate of the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh, whose security and rights must be ensured. As the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs recalled during her speech before the UN General Assembly last Thursday, a diktat imposed by force on an unarmed civilian population cannot serve as a political solution.
In light of this, we are extremely concerned by the massive exodus of these people, tens of thousands of whom have been forced to flee their land and their homes following Azerbaijan’s military offensive and the nine-month-long illegal blockade, which have taken place under Russia’s conspirational watch.
Azerbaijan must re-establish unhindered international humanitarian access for UN agencies, in particular from Armenia, and must immediately ensure that there is full and unhindered humanitarian access in order to help those affected.
France maintains its strong commitment to Armenia and the Armenian people and its support for the Nagorno-Karabakh refugees. As the Minister announced yesterday, France will provide an additional €7 million in financial aid to NGOs, UN agencies, and the Red Cross Movement in Armenia to host these individuals and provide them with social, medical, and financial services. This financial aid comes in addition to the €5.5 million that France has already allocated since the beginning of 2023, bringing the total amount of support provided to refugees and displaced persons in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh in 2023 to €12.5 million.