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Azerbaijani "Environmenmtal Activists" Again Close Stepanakert-Goris Highway

A group of Azerbaijanis claiming to be "environmental activists" closed the Stepanakert-Goris highway linking Artsakh and Armenia today for the second time in nine days.

The Artsakh government's Information Center says it has reported the incident to Russian peacekeepers.

The group pitched tents on the highway, the sole artery linking Armenia and Artsakh, near the Azerbaijani-controlled town of Shushi.

Baku state media say the group wants access to two Karabakh gold mines to investigate illegal mining.

The Artsakh government has denied allegations of illegal mining, arguing that Baku wants to cut road transportation with Armenia and force Armenians to emigrate from Karabakh.

Artsakh President Arayik Harutyunyan, in a statement, said today’s closure of the road is unacceptable and accused Baku of terrorizing Karabakh Armenians.

“Our vital rights and interests are under attack. It’s highly unacceptable for us. This is an unprecedented challenge for our state and people, and I call on the entire society to unite and show calm, because one of the goals of the Azerbaijani authorities is to incite internal division and panic in Artsakh,” Harutyunyan said.

Harutyunyan said he is confident that Russian peacekeepers will take all necessary steps to prevent such ceasefire violations. He called on the international community to strongly denounce Azerbaijan’s aggression that seeks the ethnic cleansing of Karabakh Armenians.

 The Artsakh parliament also condemned the road closure, saying it violated the 2020 ceasefire agreement signed by Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The parliament called on the international community and Russian peacekeepers to prevent similar violations in the future.

Photo: Artsakh Info Center

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