Azerbaijan to make sure monitoring of illegal exploitation of its natural resources takes place - minister

Monitoring of Azerbaijan's natural resource exploitation is of most importance and will be carried out, Azerbaijani Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Mukhtar Babayev told reporters today, reports.

He noted that while Azerbaijani lands were occupied by Armenia, the country's natural resources were plundered, and environmental terrorism was committed against its nature and forests.

"Monitoring will be conducted. Great efforts are being made over all the requirements put forward by Azerbaijan, and their implementation will be achieved in the foreseeable future," Babayev added.

Meanwhile, peaceful protest on the Lachin-Khankendi road against the illicit exploitation of Azerbaijan's mineral resources in the area of Russian peacekeepers' temporary deployment near Shusha, has been going on for over a month.

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.

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