BAKU, Azerbaijan, January 24. There is a lot of false information spread about the situation on the Lachin-Khankendi road, Azerbaijani Ambassador to France Leyla Abdullayeva said in an interview with the French website Revue Conflits, Trend reports.
"The road is not closed! Trucks are passing through it, there are many videos showing the free movement of peacekeepers' vehicles, vehicles of the Committee of the Red Cross. Azerbaijan has even created "hot lines" so that Armenian residents can call in case of emergency. The Azerbaijani government wants to emphasize by this that, if necessary, it is nearby, ready to help, respond to their humanitarian needs," the ambassador said.
Abdullayeva noted that Azerbaijani environmental activists are holding a rally in this territory against illegal military and commercial activities, including the illegal exploitation of natural resources, causing serious damage to the environment.
The ambassador added that the tripartite statement notes that the Lachi-Khankendi road should be used for humanitarian purposes, however, during these two years, Armenia has been using this road to transfer weapons, mines and military personnel to the territory of Azerbaijan.
"Over the last period, more than 2,700 Armenian-made mines have been found on the territory of Azerbaijan. These mines were produced in 2021, in the period after the signing of the tripartite declaration. Armenians transported anti-personnel mines along the road to prevent the return of former Azerbaijani IDPs to their native lands. After the Armenian occupation in 1994, hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis were displaced from these territories. We intend to restore this region as soon as possible so that people can return to their lands. Of course, Armenia does not want to accept the post-conflict situation, so it continues to transfer weapons, militants and mines to the territory of Azerbaijan in order to prevent the return of former internally displaced persons," she said.
Peaceful rally of Azerbaijan’s non-governmental organizations (NGO) on the Lachin-Khankendi road close to the Russian peacekeepers temporarily deployed area near Shusha has been going on for the forty-fourth day.
Previously, following the talks with the Russian peacekeepers' command on December 3 and 7, 2022, a group of experts from the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, the State Property Service under the Ministry of Economy, and AzerGold CJSC were going to begin preliminary monitoring of the illicit mineral resource exploitation, as well as emerging environmental implications on Azerbaijani lands, where the Russian peacekeepers are temporarily deployed, on December 10, 2022.
The expert team was expected to inspect the environmental condition at the 'Gizilbulagh' gold deposit and the 'Damirli' copper-molybdenum deposit, monitor various areas, organize cadastral property records, assess potential risks and threats to the environment, as well as to underground and surface water sources.
However, when arriving in the monitoring area, the expert group, accompanied by Russian peacekeepers, faced provocations. The planned initial inspection and monitoring did not take place due to the fact that the Russian peacekeepers not only did not create necessary conditions but also prevented for the entire process to carry on.