BAKU, Azerbaijan, Feb.23
By Jani Babayeva – Trend:
Mining of almost all the previously occupied Azerbaijani territories by Armenia, even in non-military areas, and it’s refusing to provide maps of the minefields to Azerbaijan are the fact confirmed by various authoritative sources, Russian historian, political analyst, professor Oleg Kuznetsov told Trend.
“According to the Center for Humanitarian Demining, since November 23, 2020, Russian peacekeepers in Karabakh have neutralized almost 25,000 explosive objects, cleared of mines, other explosive devices and unexploded ordnance, almost 1,500 hectares of territory, four and a half hundred kilometers of roads, one and a half thousand houses and structures,” Kuznetsov said.
According to him, over the thirty years of the Armenian presence in this territory, numerous minefields were created in front of the field fortifications, which covered all approaches.
“After the battles, a significant amount of unexploded munitions also remained, which must be found, neutralized, and disposed of,” added the analyst.
“This (heavy mining of the liberated territories) presents not just a very big threat to the life, health, and safety of people, since after the end of the 44-day war (from late Sept. through early Nov.2020) many cases of mine explosions, killing and injuring both military servicemen and civilians, have already taken place, but also a serious obstacle to the reintegration of previously occupied territories into the economic life of Azerbaijan,” he further said.
Commenting on the fact that the Armenian side, within the post-war settlement, doesn’t transfer the maps of minefields in the liberated territories to the Azerbaijani side, Kuznetsov noted that this means of defeated party’s unwillingness to reveal all its secrets to the war winner and an attempt to loudly slam the door before leaving the regional stage, or maybe the intention to turn the issue of sharing the mining maps into a bargaining item in negotiations or to obtain any benefits.
“In any case, the Armenian side is driven by the desire to continue the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, to somehow avenge the defeat and take moral revenge for losing the war,” he concluded.
Following over a month of military action to liberate its territories from Armenian occupation from late Sept. to early Nov. 2020, Azerbaijan has pushed Armenia to sign the surrender document. A joint statement on the matter was made by the Azerbaijani president, Armenia’s PM, and the president of Russia.
A complete ceasefire and a cessation of all hostilities in the zone of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict were introduced on Nov. 10, 2020.
Armenian Armed Forces launched a large-scale military attack on positions of the Azerbaijani army on the front line, using large-caliber weapons, mortars, and artillery on Sept. 27. Azerbaijan responded with a counter-offensive along the entire front.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, the Armenian Armed Forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.