Azerbaijani activists are protesting along Lachin corridor, the road that connects Armenia to Karabakh, as Baku says its mining sites in the region are being illegally exploited by Yerevan.
Azerbaijan has said protests blocking the supply route to ethnic Armenians in Karabakh for more than two weeks would be suspended if monitors were given access to what it calls illegal mining sites in the enclave.
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov told a news conference on Tuesday that Baku had for more than a year been demanding access to monitor mining sites in Karabakh that it says are being illegally exploited.
A crowd of Azerbaijanis has been engaged in a standoff with Russian peacekeepers since December 12 along the Lachin corridor, the road that crosses Azerbaijani territory and connects Armenia to Karabakh.
The blocking of the road, which supplies food, fuel and medicine, has prompted the United States and the European Union to urge Baku to reopen it.
Asked on what condition the protests could be suspended, Bayramov said: "The demand of the Azerbaijani side and the environmental activists is that the state organs of Azerbaijan must have the possibility to visit, conduct monitoring and observe the situation at mining sites."
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Azerbaijan – Armenia tensions
Ethnic Armenian leaders in Karabakh accused Azerbaijan of orchestrating a fake protest to blockade the territory. However, Baku says the activists are genuine and their protest is justified.
Azerbaijan and Armenia have fought two wars in the last 30 years over Karabakh, which is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan.
Efforts by Russia, the United States and the EU to bring about a lasting peace deal between Armenia and Azerbaijan have made only slow progress since the last war in 2020.
More than 200 Armenian troops and around 80 Azerbaijanis were killed in border fighting that began in September.
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