Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev admitted such a desire after his weekend talks in Munich with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian mediated by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Aliyev said he suggested during the trilateral meeting that checkpoints be set up on that road as well as a would-be corridor to Azerbaijan’s Nakhichevan exclave.
“The idea of setting up checkpoints on Armenia’s border and at the starting point of the Lachin corridor was really floated [at Munich],” said Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan. “But our response was explicit.”
“Our position was expressed shortly after the blockage of the Lachin corridor and it remains the same: regulations for the Lachin corridor were already negotiated and signed, including by the president of Azerbaijan … And renegotiating them under the threat of another use of force is unacceptable to us,” he told a joint news conference with Luxembourg’s visiting Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn.
Mirzoyan referred to the Russian-brokered agreement that stopped the 2020 war in Karabakh. The agreement placed the Lachin corridor under the control of Russian peacekeeping forces and committed Azerbaijan to guaranteeing safe passage through it.
Yerevan maintains that the continuing Azerbaijani blockade is a gross violation of this arrangement. Russia, the United States and the European Union have cited it in their repeated statements urging Baku to unblock Karabakh’s land link with Armenia and the outside world.
Speaking in Munich, Aliyev again defended Azerbaijani government-backed protesters blocking the Lachin corridor on ostensibly environmental grounds.
Mirzoyan said that in return for reopening the vital Karabakh road Baku hopes to force the Armenian side to agree to an extraterritorial corridor to Nakhichevan that would pass through Armenia’s southeastern Syunik province. He ruled out such a concession while reaffirming Yerevan’s readiness for conventional Armenian-Azerbaijani transport links.