Following Azerbaijan’s military seizure of Nagorno-Karabakh, the European Parliament is set to adopt a strong resolution today condemning Baku’s unjustified attack against the mountainous South Caucasus enclave. As requested by the Socialists and Democrats, the Parliament is calling on the EU to comprehensively review its relations with Baku. The EU should suspend the negotiations on a new EU-Azerbaijan agreement, and reduce EU dependency towards Azerbaijan gas exports.
For the S&Ds, the EU cannot morally accept negotiating a future partnership agreement with a country that blatantly violates principles of international law as well as its international obligations and is thus neither a reliable nor a trustworthy partner, as it was presented when Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the energy partnership with Azerbaijan. The S&Ds therefore urge to reconsider the ‘strategic partnership’ with Azerbaijan in the field of energy and to suspend oil and gas imports from Azerbaijan in case of military aggression against the territorial integrity of Armenia.
The S&Ds urge Baku to ensure the rights and security of Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians, and return to negotiations as the only way forwards a sustainable resolution of the decade long conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The S&Ds also call on the EU to substantially increase its humanitarian aid to Armenia.
“We have to stop with appeasement: there must be immediate consequences for the Aliyev regime. Azerbaijan’s actions, starting with military actions and concluding with forced displacement of the ethnic Armenian population from Nagorno-Karabakh, amounting to de facto ethnic cleansing, are not acceptable. The EU must stand behind its core values – respecting human rights and international law, and its commitment to a rules-based international order,” said Marina Kaljurand, S&D MEP and chair of the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with the South Caucasus.
“First, we must reconsider our relations with Azerbaijan and make them conditional. A country taking military action cannot be considered an EU ‘strategic economic partner’, as Baku wishes to brand itself. The EU has political leverage and has to use it! The EU’s strong response should also include the sanctioning of responsible Azerbaijani authorities, halting visa facilitation agreements, and the suspension of the gas deal,” Kaljurand added. “Second, Armenia today needs the EU’s substantial humanitarian and political support more than ever before, not only to deal with the immediate challenge of taking care of the refugees, but also to withstand Russia’s pressure and discourage any further aggression from Baku. It is time to upgrade the current partnership agreement with Yerevan as a sign of the EU’s political and economic support”.
“I urge Azerbaijan to refrain from any further violence or hate speech against an already vulnerable population and I call on Armenia and Azerbaijan to conclude a peace agreement that will bring lasting peace and stability to the region, as well as the safety and the rights of Armenians who decide to return to their homes in Nagorno-Karabakh,” concluded Kaljurand.