A delegation of the Security and Defence Subcommittee (SEDE) travelled to Armenia from 19 to 22 June to assess the security situation and the prospects for peace.
The six-member ad hoc delegation from the Subcommittee on Security and Defence, led by Chair Nathalie Loiseau (Renew, FR), met with leading members of the government, members of Armenia’s National Assembly as well as representatives of the international community.
Accompanied by the new civilian CSDP Mission in Armenia (EUMA), the MEPs also made a field visit close to the Lachin corridor, to observe the situation surrounding the illegal blockade.
“Our timely visit enabled us to assess the fragile security situation on the ground in Armenia. We urged Azerbaijan to withdraw immediately from all parts of the territory of Armenia and to respect its international legal obligations, including by ending the illegal blockade of the Lachin corridor. We commend the EU’s efforts to support the normalisation process between the two countries, but this requires all sides, and in particular Azerbaijan, to end its hostilities and make a genuine commitment to the peace process. It is essential to end the suffering of the local populations and it would also bring stability and security which serves the interests of both Armenia and Azerbaijan as well as the whole of the South Caucasus region,” Chair Nathalie Loiseau (Renew, FR) said at the end of the visit.
Lift the blockade of Lachin corridor
While observing the complete blockage of people and goods passing through the Lachin corridor, creating an unfolding humanitarian crisis, MEPs heard testimony from children and adults suffering from the humanitarian consequences of the illegal blockade, where they cannot return to their families and homes in Nagorno-Karabakh.
They called on Azerbaijan to immediately lift its illegal blockade and allow free access, especially humanitarian assistance, to end the suffering.
In a deteriorating security context, MEPs called for a genuine and lasting breakthrough in the recently resumed high-level talks between the two countries. Tensions, hostilities, ceasefire violations and cross-border attacks from Azerbaijan continue to threaten the fragile peace process.
MEPs also welcomed the deepening of EU-Armenia relations and increased EU engagement in the area of security. They encouraged Armenia to further develop its Political and Security Dialogue with the EU to deepen this partnership.
EU civilian mission in Armenia (EUMA)
MEPs assessed the important role, in difficult circumstances, of the EU’s new civilian CSDP Mission in Armenia (EUMA) and urged for its presence to be enhanced along the Azerbaijan-Armenia border. They urged Azerbaijan to establish a direct line of communication with the mission on the ground.
They thanked EUMA monitors for their professional conduct in monitoring the Armenian side of the border in these difficult conditions, and will return to Brussels with recommendations for enhancing the important work of EUMA, including necessary resources and communication.
In addition to the Chair, the delegation consisted of the following Members: Arnaud Danjean (EPP, France), Michael Gahler (EPP, Germany), Gheorghe-Vlad Nistor (EPP, Romania), Lars Patrick Berg (ECR, Germany), Fabio Massimo Castaldo (Non-Attached, Italy).