On November 26, Azerbaijani troops entered the Armenian Sotk gold mine that is located in Gegharkunik region right on the border with the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
According to local sources, 80 Azerbaijani service members entered the gold mine and the nearby town, claiming that the area should be handed over to them. No clashes were reported near the gold mine. The residents of Sotk and the gold mine workers didn’t leave.
“There was no shooting or attack,” Hakob Avetyan, head of Sotk community, told Aysor.am. “ Negotiations are underway now.”
Avetyan noted that the issue can’t be resolved without the mediation by Russian peacekeepers, who were deployed in Nagorno-Karabakh earlier this month to implement the November 9 peace deal between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Earlier, the Ministry of Defense of Armenia denied that Azerbaijani troops had approached Sotk, in an attempt to calm the residents.
Representatives of the Armenian MoD and the Azerbaijani military are currently on the ground in Stok, working to demarcate the border line in town and the nearby gold mine.
“I don’t know how much of the mine will remain for us and what part will be passed on to them [Azerbaijanis],” Hakob Avetyan told Hetq.am.
The situation in Sotk is one of the many failures of Armenia’s leadership, which doesn’t seem does not seem to care about the country’s territorial integrity and its resources.
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