Ruben Vardanyan does not need peace in Karabakh – German publisher

BAKU, Azerbaijan, January 30. The peaceful
Armenian population living in Karabakh should realize that Ruben
Vardanyan, who was sent to the region, does not need peace on this
land, an article in a German Politico newspaper said, Trend reports.

As the author of the article said, the timing of arrival of
Ruben Vardanyan, a fugitive Russian billionaire of Armenian origin,
who recently took over separatists in Karabakh, is very

The Russian billionaire oligarch, who later renounced his
Russian citizenship, being an opportunist by nature, saw an
opportunity to make a profit: two inactive gold mines reopened just
a few weeks after his arrival, the author said.

“He came just as Azerbaijan was set to begin talks with the
region’s Armenian leadership, who had sent signals to Baku’s
negotiators that they recognized their future lay as a protected
minority inside Azerbaijan,” the article said.

According to the article, the concern is that Vardanyan will now
use his influence to turn the public opinion of the Armenian
community of Karabakh against peace, which would be disastrous for
the interests of both Baku and Yerevan.

“The danger here is that all this may lead other malign actors
to see that the terms of the Russian ceasefire and peacekeeping
agreement aren’t worth the paper it’s written on, increasing the
risk of soldiers, military contractors, and new landmines moving
freely over the legal borders of Azerbaijan as well,” the author

And if this happens, the threat of a new conflict will increase
dramatically, the author pointed out.

Meanwhile, the peaceful protest of Azerbaijani non-governmental
organizations 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
fifty days.

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

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.

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