BAKU, Azerbaijan, February 1. Members of the Russian Community of Azerbaijan and the Russian Youth Association joined the peaceful protest of environmental activists on the Lachin-Khankendi road, Vice-Chairman of the Russian Community Anastasia Lavrina said, Trend reports.
"From day one of the rally, the Russian community of Azerbaijan has supported legitimate demands of Azerbaijani environmental activists on the Lachin-Khankendi road. Since December 12, 2022, representatives of Azerbaijani NGOs have been peacefully protesting on the mentioned road demanding an end to the illegal exploitation of mineral deposits in this area. Today we have personally joined this action," Lavrina noted.
"Karabakh is an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan, and let those who condemn our actions ask themselves: would they allow the illicit exploitation of minerals and the environmental destruction in their territories? Of course not," the vice-chairman added.
The peaceful protest 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 over 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 and prevented for the entire process to carry on.