The ongoing picket of Azerbaijani eco-activists, youth, and NGOs representatives on the Khankandi-Shusha road in protest at the illegal exploitation of mineral deposits in Karabakh by the separatists under the temporary control of the Russian peacekeeping contingent is underway, Azernews reports.
Amid the ongoing claims and black PR of the Armenian officials, the media, and pro-Armenian circles about the alleged blockage of the Lachin road, the vital road remains open for civil vehicles of locals and Russian peacekeepers.
In a similar vein, due to the biting freeze in the area, volunteers of the Regional Development Public Association gathered warm clothing for the protesters at the venue.
In the meantime, determined and resolute to compel the Russian peacekeepers to honor their commitment and provide the Azerbaijani experts with unhindered access to the mineral deposit sites, the protesters continue their vigil, chanting “End the eco-terror”, and “End the environmental crimes!” slogans throughout the protest.
In remarks about the protests, the head of the Baku City Youth and Sports Department, a member of the Azerbaijani Olympic Committee, Rafiq Abbasov, noted that the ecological terror on Azerbaijani territories is of great concern to society and should be put to an end.
“The road closure is out of question as photos and videos from the scene confirm that humanitarian convoys and supply vehicles are moving along this road. The pickets are demanding that conditions be created for Azerbaijani specialists to conduct monitoring. From the point of view of the regulatory framework and international law, Azerbaijan has every right to do this,” he added.
To recap, the pickets on the Khankandi-Shusha section of the road are urging the Russian peacekeepers to prevent the separatists and their foreign patrons from brazenly plundering Azerbaijani mineral resources. The current situation in the area is a direct result of the Azerbaijani public dissatisfaction with illegal economic activities, theft of natural resources, and environmental damage to the territory of Azerbaijan.
Following discussions with the command of the Russian peacekeeping contingent on December 3 and 7, 2022, Azerbaijani specialists from the Ministries of Economy, Ecology, and Natural Resources, the State Service for Property Issues under the Ministry of Economy, and AzerGold CJSC were to conduct primary monitoring on illegal exploitation of mineral deposits on Azerbaijani territory in Karabakh. However, the monitoring failed due to the provocation of ethnic Armenians.