PACE condemns Armenia for environmental damage, not occupation
The adoption of a report in the PACE on Armenia's abuses in using the Sarsang reservoir is a positive effort to reflect the true situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict for the European public, but too many members abstained in the vote process on the second report into the escalation of violence in Nagorno-Karabakh and other occupied Azerbaijani territories, which didn't allow the document to be adopted. It means that the Council of Europe is still not ready to consider the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict from the perspective of the rule of law and human rights.
Political scientists, MP Asim Mollazade and Rasim Musabekov, spoke about this in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza. Both political scientists welcomed the positive vote on the first report.
"I think that this report is important, first of all, from the standpoint of the protection of the rights of Azerbaijan, as well as the disclosure of blackmail by the authorities occupying the Azerbaijani territories and the depriving the Azerbaijani population of their water resources. At the same time, the abuse of the Sarsang reservoir may lead to an environmental disaster: at any time the occupants threaten to blow up the dam and flood a large part of Azerbaijan. I think that the attraction of the European public's attention to the problem is quite an important issue," Asim Mollazade said.
He also expressed the hope that other documents that reflect the situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan will appear after this report. "At a minimum, the European public is already informed about the problems with the Sarsang reservoir, and we must consistently continue to seek political support for the settlement of the conflict, describing the threats in different directions and such factors as environmental catastrophe," Asim Mollazade said.
Rasim Musabekov agreed with him. "This is very important, taking into account that the Sarsang dam has not been repaired more than 25 years. It is not even technically maintained in the proper way, nobody examines it. If something happens to the dam, the Tartar settlements, located downstream of the river, will be flooded. The second point is that this dam was built for water management needs in order to accumulate water in summer and use it to irrigate farmland, located downstream of the Tartar river. Armenia that controls the reservoir now uses it for energy purposes: in winter Armenia sheds water to generate electricity, but there is no water in summer when our farmers need in it. Based on the fact that water must be used not only in the interests of Armenia, but also Azerbaijan, the issue was raised before the PACE session and I am delighted that the delegates have shown objectivity in this matter,'' he told.