The Republic of Armenia (“Armenia”) regrets the attempt by the Republic of Azerbaijan (“Azerbaijan”) to further its public relations agenda through initiating an arbitration under the Energy Charter Treaty (“ECT”). Azerbaijan’s claims concerning the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict have nothing to do with the ECT’s obligations pertaining to investment and trade in the energy sector. Azerbaijan’s attempt to distort the scope and purpose of the treaty is particularly regrettable at a time when the Energy Charter Conference is finalising negotiations on the modernisation of the ECT. Such misuse of the ECT undermines all Contracting Parties’ efforts to ensure that the ECT remains fit for purpose as a framework for sustainable investment and trade in the energy sector.
Azerbaijan’s notice of arbitration comes less than one week after the International Court of Justice ordered Azerbaijan to “ensure unimpeded movement of persons, vehicles and cargo” along the only road connecting the 120,000 ethnic Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh to the outside world. Azerbaijan has failed to heed the international community’s calls to give effect to the Court’s binding Order and to put an end to the manufactured humanitarian catastrophe in Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan instead appears intent on diverting attention by initiating unsubstantiated proceedings under the ECT.
Azerbaijan’s regrettable actions will not deter Armenia’s commitment to the ECT, to the work of the Energy Charter Conference, and to the promotion of sustainable investment and trade in the energy sector.