In the wake of Azerbaijan’s military assault in Nagorno-Karabakh, a massive wave of Armenians flooded the streets of Belgium’s capital, voicing their protest. They blamed the European Union for overlooking the plight of Armenians, driven by the lure of Azerbaijani gas supplies.
On Sunday, October 1, the European quarter of Brussels witnessed a sea of ethnic Armenians congregating for a demonstration. The rally organizers condemned Azerbaijan for orchestrating what they termed as “ethnic cleansing” in Nagorno-Karabakh. They implored the European Union to facilitate an “international and humanitarian presence in Armenia” while advocating for sanctions against Baku.
Accusations were hurled at the European Union for enjoying Azerbaijani gas benefits while remaining apathetic to the Armenians’ ordeal. One poignant banner among the crowd read, “Sold 2000 years of Armenian civilization for Azerbaijani gas.”
The turnout, as gauged by the organizers, was around 10,000 strong, with Armenians from various European nations including Germany, banding together in solidarity.
Following the skirmish on September 19, a staggering exodus of over 100,000 residents from Nagorno-Karabakh ensued. The region, as per international law, falls under Azerbaijani territory. A mere day post the military maneuver, the unofficial Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’s “authorities” declared an end to their resistance. Adding to the gravitas of the situation, the “leadership” of NKR, predominantly Armenian, disclosed on September 28 that the republic would dissolve come January 1, 2024.
The recent days have seen a fleeing surge of more than 100,000 Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh, constituting over three-quarters of the unrecognized republic’s populace, as per Yerevan’s calculations. Armenia pins the blame on Azerbaijan for plotting ethnic purges in the region. Contrarily, Baku assures to uphold Armenians’ rights and ward off violence.