Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: Statement by Martin Schüepp, ICRC Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia

“The International Committee of the Red Cross welcomes the news of a ceasefire in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict after weeks of escalation and upheaval for tens of thousands of civilians. Any initiative that offers respite to an exhausted civilian population is to be welcomed. The impact of this escalation on civilians has been devastating and it has turned lives upside down.

We are present across the region, working to support the victims of this conflict, who have dealt with enormous pain and loss over the past weeks. We plan to step up our assistance in coming days as our assessments show that medical assistance, food, blankets and personal and domestic hygiene items are still needed by many.

We also remain ready to act as a neutral intermediary between the sides and to facilitate any future handover of detainees and human remains. Even in the deadliest of conflicts the ICRC sees how shared humanitarian objectives can help parties find common ground, whether through return of prisoners, evacuation of the wounded, cross-line humanitarian activities, or respectful transfer of remains. It is our hope that this ceasefire will allow for the swift realization of some of these processes."

Note to editors:

1. The International Committee of the Red Cross is an independent, neutral organization ensuring humanitarian protection and assistance for victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence. It acts in response to emergencies and promotes respect for international humanitarian law and its implementation in national law.

2. ICRC teams are working across the region to assess humanitarian needs. Over the past six weeks, we have worked with our partners from the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and in coordination with local authorities to provide emergency medical supplies and blankets to hospitals, and cash, heating and sanitation systems, food and hygiene items to people sheltering from or fleeing the fighting. We are delivering mental health and psychosocial services to those most affected and instructing the population in how best to avoid risks linked with the presence of explosive remnants of war.


For further information, please contact:
Ilaha Huseynova, ICRC Baku, tel: +994 50 316 00 24,
Zara Amatuni, ICRC Yerevan, tel: +374 99 011 360,
Eteri Musayelyan, ICRC Nagorno-Karabakh, tel: +374 97 29 80 85,
Ruth Hetherington, ICRC Geneva, +41 79 447 3726,