It is already 18 days that Azerbaijani eco-activists hold peaceful protests on the Lachin-Khankandi road. The final purpose of the protest is the same since the first day- Suspension of ecologic massacre and illegal exploitation of mineral fields in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, which is under temporary control of Russian peacekeepers… As a result of the closing of the Lachin-Khankandi road by Russian peacekeepers due to the protest, it was impossible to send non-ferrous metal ores produced illegally in Karabakh to Armenia for processing. As a result, Base Metals company, illegally exploiting gold and copper-molybdenum deposits in the region announced yesterday that it suspended mining activity.
The statement of the company also noted that they decided to appeal to international organizations for conducting environmental expertise.
It is a ridiculous statement. Who, and how can conduct expertise in Azerbaijani territory without its consent and permission? The monitoring of those mines should be conducted only by Azerbaijan’s state bodies and will be conducted.
Base Metals company provided about 30-40 percent of the incomes of the so-called “government” in Karabakh during the years of the occupation. This fact also shows that the separatists-terrorists looted how rich fields of Azerbaijan during these years.
This Armenian company registered in Liechtenstein is a subsidiary of the Vallex Group conglomerate, which was “recognized” for its irreversible environmental damage inflicted to the environment during the exploitation of mineral deposits in Armenia. Base Metals attended to the illegal exploitation of the “Gizilbulag” copper-gold deposit near Heyvali (Drmbon) village in 2002. Shortly, this marauding company, which announced yesterday that it has stopped its mining activities, set the wheels of the “Artsakh economy” in motion during the occupation period. After Azerbaijani soldiers ensured security in Karabakh, Base Metals which designed illegal mining activities on the barbaric exploitation of ecology started experiencing a nightmare. The protest of eco-activists practically paralyzed the company.
Based on the current situation of “Base Metals” company we can say that any current economic activity in Karabakh won’t be able to maintain its existence if it’s against the will of Azerbaijani people in the near future. Therefore, like those with separatist intentions recognized military-political reality at the very time, accepting economic reality matters for, in the first place, Azerbaijan’s Armenian citizens.
Generally, such illegal economic activities are never in one direction. Their existence outside the law prompts them to continue their traditional behavior in the economic, social, political, and health sectors.
For instance, in the end, illegal exploitation of mines in Karabakh shouldn’t only be considered as looting of the Azerbaijani people’s wealth. Incomes earned from here don’t only conclude with some people getting illegally rich but at the same time, as in the example of the European Parliament, it motivates illegal lobbying activities and corrupt operations in a number of countries and organizations. In the end, the loser is not only the Azerbaijani people which are looted of their wealth but the West where its officials and public institutions have been degraded.
At the same time, there are credible reports regarding the mentioned companies participating in money laundering operations.
The next aspect of the problem is related to health. Now it is as clear as day that various mine companies that operate in Armenia have become Armenian people’s murderers.
Those companies shouldered the main role of turning Armenia into a cancer paradise. According to the World Life Expectancy research center, Armenia already ranks first in the world in terms of the number of cancer deaths in relation to the population. Based on the statistics, 230 out of every 100,000 people in this country die from cancer.
And it is noted on WHO’s information that cancer is already the second main death cause in Armenia and 21% of death cases are resulted by cancer. It is noted that the increase is expected to increase further by 2040.
Since the 1990s, the number of children with cancer in Armenia has increased 4 times. Armenian experts believe that one of the main reasons for these terrible statistics is the mining industry. Thus, the use of cyanide in the processing of rocks, discharge of high concentrations of harmful chemicals such as chromium, cadmium, lead, arsenic, etc. into rivers and seeping into the soil instead of being collected in safe reserves ultimately cause the population to become infected with various diseases, toxic substances mixed with drinking water and agricultural soil cause various pathologies, including cancer.
In fact, Armenians themselves regularly protest against these illegal and barbaric mining activities of the Armenian companies. For example, in 2018 and then, there has been even a physical collision between Armenian eco-activists who protested against the same exploitation of the Amulsar deposit and the police. All of these are facts showing the approach of the Armenian companies to the mining industry.
In addition, there are facts that Armenia intentionally pollutes the rivers of Azerbaijan with toxic substances. Therefore, it is impossible for the people of Azerbaijan to turn a blind eye to the continuation of such environmental terrorism by Armenians.
However, the statement of the terrorist remnants about the suspension of exploitation of the deposits cannot be a reason for the eco-activists to stop their protest action on the Khankendi-Lachin road. They will continue their peaceful protest action until achieving their goals. Because the requirements that are chanted in the protest action yet remain unfulfilled. Azerbaijani state bodies should carry out monitoring of the deposits and damage caused to Azerbaijan throughout the years as a result of the illegal exploitation must be determined. Alongside this, individuals and companies that illegally exploited and looted Azerbaijan's mineral deposits and natural resources for 30 years and then should be brought to criminal responsibility.
Emissary of Moscow Vardanyan and other separatist remnants should understand that as it is said in one Russian saying, "These are yet blooms, berries the berries are yet to come". From now on, no one can exploit Azerbaijan's nature, and natural deposits and loot its natural resources without the consent of Azerbaijan and carry them abroad. Those days have gone...