Blockade of Armenia

Blockade of Armenia


Since 1993 the Republic of Turkey has been taking War Measures against Armenia, as it is considered by the international law. By now the efforts of the Armenian government to remove the blockade from the western and eastern borders of the country have had no result. Here follow the article articles of international law on which Armenia's claim to open the borders must be based upon.

1. By the very first international agreement endorsed by the Turkish Republic, Lausanne, July 24 1923, it also took the commitments provided by the Statute and supplementary Protocol of the Convention signed at the Barcelona Conference, April 1921.

Article 101 of Lausanne Agreement states the following.

Turkey must observe the Statute on Freedom of Transit, adopted on the Barcelona Conference on April 14, 1921, as well as the Statute about exploitation of international water communications, adopted on the same conference, April 19, 1921.

The Statute on Freedom of Transit, mentioned in the Lausanne Agreement, says that a state, which has endorsed the document, has to provide freedom of transit by railway, water or land communications on the territory under its sovereignty and authority, irrespective of the persons' citizenship, the flag of the vessels, the origin of the goods, the starting or destination place, the entrance or exit or any other circumstance referring the ownership of the transport or of the goods, the storage of the cargo or the way of transportation.

According to another article of the Lausanne Treaty, number 104, Turkey is obliged to observe the recommendations on railway transit, endorsed April 20, 1921 on the Barcelona conference.

Turkey once again affirmed its loyalty to the aforementioned terms by endorsing the Barcelona Statute on Freedom of Transit on July 27, 1993.

2. On February 20, 1957 the UN General Assembly for the first time considered the issue of Land-locked countries and the expansion of international trade in its 1028 (XI) Resolution It Invites the Governments of Member States to give full recognition to the land-locked Member states in the matter of transit trade and, therefore, to accord them adequate facilities in terms of international law and practice in this regard.

3. On May 25, 1969 Turkey joined the Convention on Transit Trade of Land-locked States. According to the Convention's Principle I, the recognition of the right of each land-locked State of free access to the sea is an essential principle for the expansion of international trade and economic development. Principle III says that in order to enjoy the freedom of the seas on equal terms with coastal States, States having no sea coast should have free access to the sea. Moreover, Principle IV says that no that the transmittable goods must be exempted from any kind of taxation. Means of transport in transit should not be subject to special taxes or charges higher than those levied for the use of means of transport of the transit country.

The Convention's Article 2, Freedom of transit, also says that: 1. Freedom of transit shall be granted under the terms of this Convention for traffic in transit and means of transport. (...) Consistent with the terms of this Convention, no discrimination shall be exercised which is based on the place of origin, departure, entry, exit or destination or on any circumstances relating to the ownership of the goods or the ownership, place of registration or flag of vessels, land vehicles or other means of transport used).

According to Article 3, Customs duties and special transit dues, Traffic in transit shall not be subjected by any authority within the transit State to customs duties or taxes chargeable by reason of importation or exportation nor to any special dues in respect of transit).

Armenia has not joined yet the Convention on Transit Trade of Land-locked States, which considerably impedes Armenia to defend its own interests.

Nevertheless, as that Turkey offends the:

  • Articles 101 and 104 of the Lausanne Treaty,
  • The 2-nd article of the Barcelona Statute on Freedom of Transit,
  • The #1028 (XI) Resolution of General Assembly of the United Nations,
  • Principles I, III and IV, as well as the Article 2 and 3 of the Convention on Transit Trade of Land-locked States,

Taking into consideration that The United Nations shall promote solutions of international economic, social, health, and related problems; and international cultural and educational co-operation (Article 55b), and that The participating States will fulfill in good faith their obligations under international law, both those obligations arising from the generally recognized principles and rules of international law and those obligations arising from treaties or other agreements, in conformity with international law, to which they are parties (UN Constitution, part X), Armenia has all legislation background to claim removal of the economic blockade.

Moreover, Armenia, as a UN member state, "may bring any dispute, or any situation of the nature referred to in Article 34, to the attention of the Security Council or of the General Assembly", according to the UN Constitution. Article 34 of the UN Constitution also states: The Security Council may investigate any dispute, or any situation which might lead to international friction or give rise to a dispute, in order to determine whether the continuance of the dispute or situation is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security

The Republic of Armenia should draw the attention of the UN Security Council to the rough violations of international law by Turkey and remove the blockade.


In the summer of 1989, Popular Front leaders and their ever-increasing supporters managed to pressure the Azerbaijan SSR to instigate a railway and air blockade against Armenia, effectively crippling Armenia's economy as 85% of the cargo and goods arrived through rail traffic (this also cut off Nakhichevan from the rest of the Soviet Union).
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