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Nagorno-Karabakh receives first aid in months, but route to Armenia remains closed

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A truck carrying humanitarian aid from the Russian Red Cross has arrived in Nagorno-Karabakh, the disputed territory that is claimed by both Armenia and Azerbaijan. The aid delivery, which took place on September 12, was the first one in nearly three months, since Azerbaijan blocked the only road connecting the region with Armenia.

The truck entered Nagorno-Karabakh from the Azerbaijani city of Aghdam, using a road that had not been used for decades. The aid included food, blankets, and hygiene and childcare products. The truck was accompanied by a vehicle from the Azerbaijani Red Crescent and escorted by Russian peacekeepers.

However, the Lachin road remains closed by Azerbaijan, which accuses Armenia of using it to smuggle weapons into Nagorno-Karabakh. Dozens of trucks sent by Armenia and France are still waiting on the Armenian side of the border, unable to cross into the region. Azerbaijan has insisted that all humanitarian aid should go through its territory and be monitored by international organizations.

The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh has been tense since last year’s 44-day war, which ended with a Russian-brokered ceasefire that restored Azerbaijan’s control over most of the surrounding territories that had been held by Armenian forces since 1994. The war killed more than 6,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands more.

The Russian peacekeepers, who are deployed along the line of contact and the Lachin corridor, are supposed to guarantee the security and humanitarian access of Nagorno-Karabakh’s population. However, their role has been questioned by both sides, especially after several incidents of violence and provocation along the border.

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