Azerbaijanis have moved about 50 meters back in the area of the Sotk mine, Sotk community head Hakob Avetyan told Public Radio of Armenia.
He emphasized that it was done as a result of border adjustments.
“The Azerbaijanis had advanced and deployed in this area by an approximate calculation. As a result, about 60 percent of the mine had passed to them. Now they have moved about 50 meters back. They are still in the mine area, but the opportunities for the Armenian side to exploit the mine have slightly increased,” Avetyan said.
According to the head of the community, in any case, it will be impossible for the Azerbaijani side to operate the mine in the area under their control, as it will require excessive costs, resources, infrastructure and a train line.
Now the rival is only physically present in the mine area. The Armenian armed forces are stationed in the middle part of the mine between the two countries, as a result of which there is no problem with the safety of the mine workers, the mayor stressed.
At the same time, Avetyan confirmed that about 280 out of more than 700 workers at the mine have been fired, as the volume of mining work has also been reduced.
The Mayor of Sotk said that public hearings are underway to replace the open pit mine with a closed one. The initial conclusion is positive.
In the past, during the closed operation, there were strong underground structures, which can still be useful today. The mine is currently operating normally but to a limited extent. The equipment left in the territory of the Azerbaijani side has been transferred to the Armenian territory.