Hikmet Hajiev, a foreign policy advisor to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, has denied reports suggesting that Baku had reached an agreement with the breakaway province of Nagorno-Karabakh to simultaneously reopen roads to Azerbaijan and Armenia.
In a statement posted on the X platform (formerly Twitter), Hajiev clarified that Azerbaijan had indeed offered to reopen the roads simultaneously. However, he claimed that what he referred to as the “illegal regime” in Nagorno-Karabakh had refused this proposal.
Hajiev further explained that Azerbaijan would maintain “border and customs” control over the Lachin corridor, which connects Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia. He added that the road to Azerbaijan would be opened for aid shipments for the first time since 1988, a significant demand from Baku.
Nagorno-Karabakh, which declared independence from Azerbaijan following a war during the dissolution of the Soviet Union, is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan. However, its population is predominantly ethnically Armenian.
Azerbaijan regained control of significant territory during a war in 2020, leaving Nagorno-Karabakh almost entirely encircled. In December 2022, Azerbaijani civilians initiated a blockade of the last road linking Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia, leading to severe shortages of food, fuel, and medicine in the region.
Armenian state news agency Armenpress reported that Nagorno-Karabakh officials had agreed to Baku’s demands to reopen the long-closed road to Azerbaijan in exchange for the lifting of the blockade on the Lachin corridor. Nagorno-Karabakh officials cited “severe humanitarian problems” in the region as a key reason for accepting the deal.
Hajiev confirmed to Reuters that Nagorno-Karabakh authorities had indeed agreed to permit aid shipments from Azerbaijan in return for the reopening of the road to Armenia.