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Russia says humanitarian aid should flow into Nagorno-Karabakh unhindered

Russia wants humanitarian aid for Azerbaijan's breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh to be let in without obstacles, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Tuesday.

Tensions over the predominantly ethnic Armenian-populated enclave escalated in December when Azerbaijan began what Yerevan said was a blockade of the Lachin corridor, the one road linking Karabakh to Armenia, on which the breakaway region is dependent.

Baku later installed a checkpoint there.

Azerbaijan says the checkpoint is necessary to prevent the smuggling of military supplies into the enclave and denies it has imposed a blockade.

But Karabakh residents say Baku's actions have caused acute shortages of food, fuel and medical supplies, and Armenian politicians have accused Azerbaijan of trying to ethnically cleanse the enclave, something Baku denies.