The blockade, launched by the Azerbaijan Popular Front with apparent backing from Azerbaijan's government, is intended to force Armenia to abandon efforts to annex Nagorno-Karabakh, an enclave of Christian Armenians in Muslim Azerbaijan. Eighty-five percent of Armenia's freight and almost all of the materials needed for reconstruction in the earthquake zone, as well as food for the builders, goes through Azerbaijan.
Under orders from Moscow to end the blockade, Azerbaijan has released several thousand of the more than 30,000 railway cars of freight that had been held there for as long as a month. Many of these contained construction materials for Leninakan. Deliberately Damaged
"Three years-we will need at least three years," Spartak N. Petrosyan, first secretary of Leninakan's Communist Party committee, said. "We were among those hit the very hardest by the earthquake, but the goal of rehousing everyone within two years was ambitious and probably just achievable. We have lost more than a month of good weather with the blockade. Now, that two-year goal is completely out of reach.