Protests near Azerbaijan’s Shusha triggered by Russian peacekeepers’ failure to fulfill their mission: MP
The protests held Monday near the Azerbaijani district of Shusha, close the post of the Russian peacekeeping contingent temporarily stationed there, unequivocally result from the failure of peacekeepers to fulfill their mission, Arzu Naghiyev, a member of Azerbaijan’s Milli Majlis, told News.Az.
Azerbaijani activists and members of environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are holding protests on the section of the road under the control of Russian peacekeepers. The protesters demand an end to environmental terrorism and illegal exploitation of deposits in Azerbaijan’s Karabakh economic region.
MP Naghiyev noted that the Russian peacekeeping contingent must fulfill its mission to build peace between the parties under its mandate and that of the United Nations.
“A selective attitude toward the parties is not in line with the mandate of the Russian peacekeepers. However, they continue to escort the equipment across the border and support separatist forces,” he said.
The lawmaker stressed that the Russian peacekeepers, with the support of Armenian separatists, prevented the representatives of Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources from conducting monitoring.
Naghiyev continued: “They make it possible for terrorists from abroad to cross the border and talk about installing a small border checkpoint. Preventing the protests of Azerbaijani NGO representatives on the Shusha-Khankandi road and the entry of Azerbaijani citizens without any weapons into the territory of Azerbaijan is not compatible with any mandate. Holding a meeting with these NGO representatives, arranging an appropriate route and ensuring their safety is the mandate of the Russian peacekeepers. The NGO representatives do not have weapons, what provocation will they resort to?”
The Azerbaijani MP noted that the responsibility for a possible incident entirely lies with the Russian peacekeeping contingent.
MP Naghiyev also underscored the need for the joint Russia-Türkiye monitoring group to issue a political statement on this situation.
“At the same time, the Russian peacekeeping contingent should fully fulfill its mission, create conditions for monitoring of the Azerbaijani side and ensure the safety of the NGO representatives who are holding protests,” he added.