HE Mr Abdullah Mohamed Almowed Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to the Republic of Azerbaijan has participated in a briefing was held for the diplomatic corps and military attachés accredited in Azerbaijan at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the participation of Hikmat Hajiyev, Assistant to the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Elnur Mammadov, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

During the briefing, detailed information was provided to the participants on protests of the representatives of civil society and environmentalists of Azerbaijan stemming from the obstruction of representatives of state institutions and specialists of the Republic of Azerbaijan into the territory for the purpose of preliminary monitoring of the natural resources, as well as the ecological situation in the territories of Azerbaijan, where the peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation is temporarily deployed. 

Hikmat Hajiyev, Assistant to the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan stressed that the illegal exploitation of natural resources in the mentioned territories of Azerbaijan should be stopped, and the exploitation of all natural resources should be carried out in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan. 

Creation of the working group on assessment of risks and potential damage to the environment, underground and surface water sources and elimination of the consequences of the damage, on-site inspection of all mineral deposits, including Gizilbulag gold and Demirli copper-molybdenum deposits, stopping of illegal exploitation, monitoring and inventorying in various directions, and organization of property cadastral records was mentioned.

Since December 3, 2022, a group of experts from the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, the State Property Service under the Ministry of Economy and AzerGold CJSC held negotiations with the command of the peacekeeping contingent on the illegal exploitation of mineral deposits, as well as on environmental and other secondary consequences in the territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan where the Russian peacekeeping contingent is temporarily deployed.

Notwithstanding the fact that, in accordance with the agreement reached on December 10, the representatives of Azerbaijan attempted to visit these two areas where minerals are illegally exploited, this visit was prevented.

H.Hajiyev said that the protest carried out by Azerbaijani civil society and environmental activists on the Shusha-Lachin road during the last two days is an indicator of the legitimate dissatisfaction of the Azerbaijani society, and this position should be respected.

 He has mentioned that the road to Lachin was closed not by Azerbaijani protesters, but by the peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation.

During his speech, Elnur Mammadov, Deputy Foreign Minister informed about the illegal exploitation of minerals, non-ferrous and ferrous metals, mineral waters, as well as other potable water resources and illegal economic activity during the occupation. Involvement of many foreign companies in such illegal activities, including "Base Metals" ("Vallex Group"), "GeoProMining", "GoldStar" and other companies, were brought to attention.

Detailed information was provided on the illegal extraction of gold in mineral deposit fields of Soyudlu in Kalbajar district and Vejnali in Zangilan district, appropriation of our natural resources, and the exposure of surrounding areas to pollution.
 Deputy Foreign Minister mentioned that the facts of illegal economic activities carried out in our formerly occupied territories, as well as illegal exploitation of natural resources have been recorded in reports and resolutions adopted by the OSCE, UN Development Program (UNDP), Environment Program (UNEP), Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).