Azerbaijani Eco-activist' protests against illegal exploitation of mineral deposits in the areas under the temporary control of Russian peacekeepers continue for more than 12 hours

Representatives of Azerbaijan's non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been protesting near Shusha, close to the post of Russian peacekeepers, since the morning of December 12, reports.

The protesters demand the arrival of Commander of the Russian peacekeeping contingent Andrei Volkov stating that they are not going to leave anywhere.

The protest is being held against the inadmissibility of Azerbaijani specialists to the territory, to monitor the illicit exploitation of Azerbaijani deposits.

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, despite the group's arrival, accompanied by Russian peacekeepers, in the monitoring area, it faced provocations in both directions. Thus, the planned initial inspection and monitoring didn't take place due to the fact that Russian peacekeepers not only didn't create the necessary conditions for this but also participated in a deliberate violation of this process.

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