BAKU, Azerbaijan, January 30. The peaceful Armenian population living in Karabakh should realize that Ruben Vardanyan, who was sent to the region, does not need peace on this land, an article in a German Politico newspaper said, Trend reports.
As the author of the article said, the timing of arrival of Ruben Vardanyan, a fugitive Russian billionaire of Armenian origin, who recently took over separatists in Karabakh, is very peculiar.
The Russian billionaire oligarch, who later renounced his Russian citizenship, being an opportunist by nature, saw an opportunity to make a profit: two inactive gold mines reopened just a few weeks after his arrival, the author said.
"He came just as Azerbaijan was set to begin talks with the region’s Armenian leadership, who had sent signals to Baku’s negotiators that they recognized their future lay as a protected minority inside Azerbaijan," the article said.
According to the article, the concern is that Vardanyan will now use his influence to turn the public opinion of the Armenian community of Karabakh against peace, which would be disastrous for the interests of both Baku and Yerevan.
"The danger here is that all this may lead other malign actors to see that the terms of the Russian ceasefire and peacekeeping agreement aren’t worth the paper it’s written on, increasing the risk of soldiers, military contractors, and new landmines moving freely over the legal borders of Azerbaijan as well," the author explained.
And if this happens, the threat of a new conflict will increase dramatically, the author pointed out.
Meanwhile, the peaceful protest of Azerbaijani non-governmental organizations on the Lachin-Khankendi road against the illicit exploitation of Azerbaijan's mineral resources in the area of Russian peacekeepers' temporary deployment has been going on for fifty days.
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.