Aid agency Red Cross refutes Karabakh link road smuggling claims

Published: Updated:
Read Mode
100% Font Size
2 min read

The Red Cross insisted Tuesday that no unauthorized material had been found in its vehicles after Azerbaijan accused the organization’s Armenian branch of smuggling.

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

The International Committee of the Red Cross insisted that access to the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region inside Azerbaijan must continue, after Azerbaijan on Tuesday shut the Lachin corridor, the only road linking the region with Armenia.

The Armenian-populated region has been at the center of a decades-long territorial dispute between the Caucasus arch-foes, which have fought two wars over the mountainous territory.

“The ICRC is aware of concerns raised about the transport of unauthorized goods across the Lachin corridor and does not support any such activity,” the Geneva-based organization said in a statement.

“No unauthorized material has been found in any vehicle belonging to ICRC. All cargo is subject to customs checks by the Republic of Azerbaijan.

“However, we regret that without our knowledge four hired drivers tried to transport some commercial goods in their own vehicles which were temporarily displaying the ICRC emblem.

“These individuals were not ICRC staff members and their service contracts were immediately terminated by the ICRC.”

The five-kilometer-wide Lachin corridor is policed by Russian peacekeepers to ensure free passage between Armenia and Karabakh.

“Our work along the Lachin corridor is always strictly humanitarian,” the ICRC said.

“This essential work, which has allowed more than 600 patients to be evacuated for medical care, and for medical supplies, food, baby formula and other essentials to reach health care facilities and families, must be allowed to continue.

“This work is always done with the agreement of the sides and makes a difference to the lives of thousands of people.”

Read more:

Iran and Sudan’s foreign ministers meet in Azerbaijan, after 7 years of severed ties

Armenia PM Pashinyn, Turkey’s Erdogan hold rare phone call

Four Armenian soldiers killed by Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh: Separatists

Top Content Trending