The Azerbaijani Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources refused from the OSCE project on investigation of the facts of environmental damage as a result of illegal utilization of the natural resources in the Azerbaijani territory under Armenian occupation, Huseyn Bagirov, the Minister for Ecology and Natural Resources, stated on Tuesday.
вЂњThe OSCE offered us [Azerbaijan] a project such ecological researches not only in the occupied territory, but also in the places the refugees are temporality settled. We refused flatly, as the work should not be carried out in this context,вЂќ he said. The Ecology Ministry said that such researches should be carried out only in the Azerbaijani territory under Armenian occupation with respect to inform the international community.
The minister announced that the Ministry was currently involved in the development of documents on study of the environmental damage in the areas under Armenian occupation. The document was designed for further presentation to the relevant bodies as an evident proving illegal development of gold mines by Armenia in the Azerbaijani territory under occupation.
Bagirov said that Azerbaijan is ready to bring an action on Armenia at the international court in connection with the illegal development of ferrous metal fields.
вЂњThe issue is resolved not only on the level of our Ministry, as it is linked with the state policy. The issue is also of interest of the foreign companies, which enjoy a right for development of the fields,вЂќ he underlined.
At present Azerbaijan has one contract with RV Investment on the development of gold mines. In compliance with the contract, signed on 21 August 1997 between Azergizil State Concern (currently liquidated) and R.V. Investment Group Services LLS (Azerbaijan holds 51% stake and the United States - 49%), it is planned to develop 9 gold mines of Azerbaijan with the initial reserves of 400 tons of gold, 2500 tons of silvers and 1.5 million tons of cooper. However, 3 fields are currently under occupation of Armenia (Gizilbulag, Soyudlu and Vejneli) in Zangilan and Kalbajar districts.