Azerbaijan disclosed a list Tuesday of foreign companies that illegally operated the country's mines during the Armenian occupation.
Ali Aliyev, the head of the National Geological Exploration Agency of the Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry, said at a news conference that the mines were illegally operated in Karabakh and surrounding provinces.
Aliyev named the companies as Canadian Sterlite Gold and First Dynasty Mines, Swiss Base Metals, Russian Geopro Mining Gold Company, Armenian Copper Programme -- cooperated with Swedish and Liechtenstein entrepreneurs, US Global Gold, and Indian Vedanta Resources.
For 37 days, members of Azerbaijani environmental non-governmental organizations and activists have been protesting the illicit exploitation of Azerbaijan's mineral resources in the area, where the Armenian population lives and Russian forces are temporarily deployed.
Relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan had been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
In the fall of 2020, during 44 days of heavy fighting, Azerbaijan liberated a significant part of Karabakh and a Russian-brokered peace agreement was subsequently signed, considered a triumph in Baku.
*Writing by Seda Sevencan
Source: Anadolu Agency