Arbitration Proceeding against Armenia under the Energy Charter Treaty for its illegal exploitation of Azerbaijan’s energy resources
On 12 January 2024 the first procedural meeting in the inter-State arbitration brought by the Republic of Azerbaijan against the Republic of Armenia under the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) took place at the headquarters of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands. Azerbaijan was represented at the meeting by the delegation led by the Deputy Foreign Minister Elnur Mammadov.
Azerbaijan commenced the arbitration proceedings on 27 February 2023, seeking redress for Armenia’s breaches of multiple provisions of the ECT and principles of international law. Azerbaijan’s notice of arbitration explained that Armenia breached its international obligations by refusing to recognize and respect Azerbaijan’s sovereign rights over the energy resources located in the Garabagh region, Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territory that Armenia illegally occupied for nearly three decades.
Throughout the illegal occupation, Armenia wrongfully excluded Azerbaijan from accessing its energy resources, expropriated those resources for its own use and benefit, and deprived Azerbaijan of the opportunity to develop them. Azerbaijan was also prevented from harnessing the abundant hydropower, wind, and solar energy resources in the Garabagh region.
The arbitration was initiated pursuant to the ECT after the failure of several rounds of diplomatic negotiations between Azerbaijan and Armenia to achieve satisfactory resolution of the dispute. The case will be decided by the arbitration comprising three judges who have been appointed by two Parties. The arbitration has been asked to rule definitively on Armenia’s non-compliance with its legal obligations under the ECT, and to order just compensation according to the rules of international law.