The main goal of the rally on Azerbaijan's Lachin-Khankendi road is to stop environmental disasters, Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov told reporters, Trend reports.
Bayramov noted attempts to create the impression of a ‘blockade’ in connection with the peaceful protest rally on the Lachin-Khankendi road.
The minister also noted the obvious position of Azerbaijan.
"This is due to the fact that the Azerbaijani side is doing everything possible. The protesters don’t intend to create a humanitarian catastrophe," he explained. "All conditions are created for the unhindered passage of vehicles. As a responsible state, we provide information about the steps taken. It’s wrong to discuss an idea taken out of context."
"Azerbaijan undertakes to ensure safe passage along the Lachin-Khankendi road. The transportation of ammunition and mines along the road is unacceptable," Bayramov added.
The peaceful protest of Azerbaijani non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on the Lachin-Khankendi road against the illicit exploitation of Azerbaijan's mineral resources in the area of Russian peacekeepers' temporary deployment 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 but also prevented for the entire process to carry on.