“The situation around the Lachin corridor is serious and solutions have to urgently be found,” Toivo Klaar, the special EU envoy to the South Caucasus, tweeted before holding talks with Armenian leaders.
“I look forward to discussions to explore ways forward,” he said. “The EU goal remains a comprehensive Armenia-Azerbaijan settlement.”
Klaar went on to meet with Defense Minister Suren Papikian. According to the Armenian Defense Ministry, they discussed the blockade and other “recent developments in the region.”
The EU envoy was due to hold a separate meeting with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian later in the day.
Meanwhile, Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan met with David McAllister, the chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Relations, at the start of a working visit to Brussels.
Mirzoyan again charged that by blocking the Lachin corridor Azerbaijan is seeking to subject Karabakh’s population to “ethnic cleansing.” He said that the international community should put a stronger pressure on Baku in order to prevent a “humanitarian catastrophe” in Karabakh.
In a resolution adopted last week, the European Parliament urged Baku to “immediately reopen” the sole road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia, saying the blockade violates a Russian-brokered ceasefire that stopped the 2020 Armenian-Azerbaijani war.
The EU as well as the United States and Russia have repeatedly made similar statements since Azerbaijani government-backed protesters blocked the vital road on December 12. The Azerbaijani government has dismissed their calls, saying that the protesters are right to demand that Baku be allowed to inspect “illegal” mining in Karabakh.
So far Yerevan has been reluctant to negotiate with Baku over the reopening of the Lachin corridor, arguing that the 2020 truce accord commits the Azerbaijani side to guaranteeing safe traffic through it.
“With regard to the Lachin corridor, I think that everything was discussed and signed through the November 9  document,” parliament speaker Alen Simonian told reporters on Monday.
Citing Klaar’s tweet, Tigran Grigorian, a Yerevan-based political analyst, suggested that this stance is “unacceptable to the EU as well.”
“I think it’s possible that Yerevan will after wall backpedal on its position and hold some EU-mediated negotiations with Azerbaijan over the situation,” Grigorian told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service.