Azerbaijani NGOs Accuse Armenia of Ruthless Exploitation of Karabakh Mines

Representatives of Azerbaijani NGOs have accused Armenians of ruthless exploitation of the mines in the southern Caucasus’ Karabakh region, Anadolu Agency reported on Tuesday.

According to the information one NGO representative cited, around 70 percent of the Armenian administration’s income is obtained from mines in this region belonging to Azerbaijan.

The representative added that one mine in the region controlled by the Russian peacekeeping contingent and has been ruthlessly exploited and almost by the Armenians, requesting that the commander of the Russian forces promises to allow Azerbaijani experts to conduct inspections in the mines.

The tense situation in Karabakh continues due to the blocking of the road connecting Khankendi with Armenia by Azerbaijani activists who demand to meet with Russian peacekeeper commander Andrei Volkov.

Demanding that the illegal operation of the mines of Azerbaijan is prevented, another NGO representative stressed that they would continue their protests until their demands are listened to and met by relevant authorities.

After its officials were prevented from entering the area a day before despite the agreement that was allegedly reached during the negotiations between the two sides, Azerbaijan sent on Sunday a diplomatic note to Russia with regard to the illegal exploitation of natural resources in the Karabakh region.

The statement from the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry noted the observed looting of natural resources and illegal exploitation, especially in the Demirli copper-molybdenum and Kyzylbulag gold mines.

According to environmentalists and experts from the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan, the reserves of the Demirli deposit are estimated at 100 million tons of copper while the reserves of the Kyzylbulag deposit are 47.9 million tons of copper and 13.6 units of industrial gold.

Their report says that this territory contains over 150 deposits of various minerals, including six deposits of mercury, five of gold, two of copper, one of tin and zinc, etc.

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