European Parliament adopts non–binding resolution calling for Azerbaijan sanctions over “ethnic cleansing”

EU lawmakers have accused Azerbaijan of carrying out “ethnic cleansing” against the Armenian residents of Nagorno-Karabakh, and urged the bloc to impose sanctions on Baku.

The European Parliament approved a resolution saying it “considers that the current situation amounts to ethnic cleansing and strongly condemns threats and violence committed by Azerbaijani troops”.

The lawmakers called on the EU’s 27 member states to “to adopt targeted sanctions against individuals in the Azerbaijani government” over the assault and alleged human rights breaches in Nagorno-Karabakh.

They also urged the bloc “to reduce the EU dependency towards gas exports from Azerbaijan” and demanded Brussels review its relations with the country.

The resolution – approved by 491 legislators to nine – does not compel the EU to act.

Meanwhile, some 50 European leaders have arrived in Granada, Spain, for a summit of the European Political Community, a forum aiming to foster cooperation across the continent. Meetings on the margins will focus on crises between Azerbaijan and Armenia and between Serbia and Kosovo, which have flared in recent weeks.

Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan is attending, but Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev is not expected to take part.

The European Union is to double its humanitarian support for Armenia to 10.4 million euros ($10.9m), European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has announced.

“We strongly support Armenia and support it in its humanitarian needs,” she said, adding the EU is also to provide 15 million euros ($15.8m) in budgetary support to Armenia.

“We will discuss what else we can do to support Armenia in this difficult situation.”

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has also expressed regret that Azerbaijan and Turkey decided not to attend a summit of European leaders.

“It’s a shame that Azerbaijan isn’t here and it’s a shame that Turkey, which is the main country supporting Azerbaijan, is not here either,” Borrell said, arriving at the meeting in Granada.

“Therefore, we are not going to be able to talk here about something as serious as the fact that more than 100,000 people have had to leave their homes in a hurry and running away from an act of military force,” he added.

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