Azerbaijan demands that the illegal exploitation of natural resources in its territories should be stopped

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BLACKSEA-CASPIA

Azerbaijan demands that the illegal exploitation of natural resources in its territories should be stopped

Azerbaijani civilians protesting on the road from Azerbaijan to Armenia are trying to prevent the illegal transportation of looted natural resources without obstructing the movement of civilian or humanitarian vehicles. On the contrary, they facilitate the movement of civilian vehicles, especially emergency vehicles. As seen in videos shared on social media, a supply convoy for the peacekeeping forces was moving freely on the road. Regulations for the safe movement of citizens, goods and vehicles on the Lachine road remain unchanged and there are no restrictions in this regard.

Photo: Embassy of Azerbaijan

Illegal exploitation and looting of Azerbaijani natural resources continues in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, where Russian Federation peacekeepers are currently stationed.

The facts about the illegal exploitation of minerals, metals, timber, drinking water and other water resources are reflected in the reports and resolutions adopted by the OSCE, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Environment Program (UNEP) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

Meanwhile, these activities, carried out without adequate environmental oversight, have led to devastating environmental consequences, such as deforestation, land erosion, turbidity of rivers, and also chemical pollution of water, soil, flora and fauna.

On December 3, officials from the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Ecology of Azerbaijan, as well as representatives of environmental monitoring groups, met with the command of the Russian peacekeeping contingent to conduct a preliminary assessment of mineral deposits illegally exploited by Armenians in the Azerbaijani territories under the surveillance of Russian peacekeepers. The negotiations resulted in an agreement to provide on-site monitoring by Azerbaijani experts at the Ghazalbulag gold deposits and the Demirli copper-molybdenum deposits.

But on December 10, the prearranged visit was blocked by local Armenians and Russian peacekeepers, causing this way a legal protest on the Shusha-Lachin road by representatives of Azerbaijani civil society and environmentalists, whose demand was to stop the illegal exploitation of natural resources and the resulting this ecological terror.

Azerbaijani civilians protesting on the road from Azerbaijan to Armenia are trying to prevent the illegal transportation of looted natural resources without obstructing the movement of civilian or humanitarian vehicles. On the contrary, they facilitate the movement of civilian vehicles, especially emergency vehicles. As seen in videos shared on social media, a supply convoy for the peacekeeping forces was moving freely on the road. Regulations for the safe movement of citizens, goods and vehicles on the Lachine road remain unchanged and there are no restrictions in this regard.

According to the protesting representatives of the Azerbaijani civil society, Armenia should end its illegal activities on the territories of Azerbaijan and stop the use of Lachin road for military purposes, transportation of mines and looted natural resources.

The illegal exploitation of natural resources and the severe ecological impact are not hypothetical for the Azerbaijani society. Real environmental impacts such as deforestation and soil erosion, suspended sediment pollution (turbidity) of rivers and chemical pollution of water, soil, flora and fauna have been inflicted.

In addition, Azerbaijan provided numerous evidences of misuse of the Lachin road, which is used to transport anti-personnel mines to Azerbaijani territories. Armenia has committed to ending hostilities against Azerbaijan, but Azerbaijanis, mostly civilians, continue to suffer the consequences of recent landmines by Armenia, which signed the Joint Declaration on 9/10 November 2020, committing to end military hostilities actions. Since the signing of the tripartite declaration in November 2020, 276 people have become victims of landmines. 46 people were killed, 35 of them civilians.

Adequate understanding of the current situation on the ground is lacking. Fostering dialogue between Azerbaijani authorities and local ethnic Armenians remains vital. Conducting and maintaining such a dialogue is extremely necessary and is in the interest of ordinary residents of Armenian origin. Their security, human rights, as well as their cultural, religious or linguistic rights are guaranteed by the Government of Azerbaijan in accordance with its constitution and relevant international obligations. Azerbaijan is the most interested party in the dialogue for the finalization of the reintegration process.

Source: Embassy of Azerbaijan