Kvien posted on Twitter photographs of her and Syunik province Governor Robert Ghukasian standing at an Armenian border checkpoint leading to the corridor that has been blocked by Azerbaijani government-backed protesters for the last three months.
“Syunik governor Ghukasian reported the effects of the ongoing blockage, including the impact on hundreds of separated families,” she wrote. “The Lachin corridor should be opened immediately.”
The United States has repeatedly called on Baku to lift the road blockade that has caused serious shortages of food, medicine and other essential items in Karabakh.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken insisted on the restoration of “free and open commercial and private transit through the Lachin corridor” when he hosted talks between Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s leaders in Munich on February 18.
The Azerbaijani side has dismissed such calls, also made by the European Union and Russia, claiming that the lifeline road is not blocked and that the protesters are right to demand an end to “illegal” mining in Karabakh.
“We will continue to press this matter,” Louis Bono, the U.S. special envoy for South Caucasus peace talks, told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service on Tuesday.
But he made clear that the U.S. is not considering imposing sanctions on Azerbaijan. “Sanctions would be counterproductive,” he said at the end of a visit to Yerevan.
Bono met with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Baku earlier this week.
The U.S. State Department spokesman, Ned Price, reiterated on Thursday that Washington will do “everything we can” to support a peaceful settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict.
“We’re going to continue to do that by working bilaterally with these countries, trilaterally with Armenia and Azerbaijan, supporting their own efforts at dialogue and diplomacy, but also through all appropriate mechanisms to help these countries themselves conduct the diplomacy and reach the agreements that we hope that they will be able to make,” he said.