"Azerbaijan carries out large-scale construction and demining works in the territories liberated from occupation at the expense of its internal capabilities without the support of any external force."
This was stated by MP Vugar Iskandarov in his statement to AZERTAC.
Fakt Yoxla examined whether Azerbaijan carried out demining operations in the territories liberated from occupation at the expense of its own resources without the support of external forces.
Support for mine clearance by foreign forces means projects implemented with the financial support of international organizations and foreign countries.
United Nations (UN)
In 2021, the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) allocated 2 million US dollars to the conflict-affected regions of Azerbaijan. This amount is spent on health care, shelter, support equipment, psychological and social support, as well as demining the areas. So, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the organization's Mine Action Service (UNMAS) conducted a joint assessment with ANAMA to find out the extent of areas with mined and unexploded military munitions in the regions affected by the conflict. Furthermore, UNDP, UNMAS, and UNICEF are working together with the government of Azerbaijan to increase mine risk awareness, support the demining strategy, and strengthen the activities of ANAMA.
On April 1, 2022, UN Resident Coordinator Vladanka Andreeva said in her speech at the International Conference “Mine Action – The Path to Reaching Sustainable Development Goals” that UNDP has been supporting ANAMA since 1999. With funding from numerous donors, more than 33 million square meters of land have been cleared of mines.
European Union (EU)
On February 7, 2023, the European Union together with the UN started a demining project. So, the EU allocated 4.25 million euros to the project "Support for Increasing the Capacity of the Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA) for the Safe Return of Internally Displaced Persons" covering 20 villages. In general, the largest international donor for demining in Azerbaijan is the EU with 8 million euros.
United States of America (USA) and Canada
The United States allocated aid in the amount of 500,000 US dollars in November 2021 and 2 million US dollars in September 2022 for the implementation of humanitarian demining operations in the areas affected by the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict.
In December 2021, the non-governmental organization MAG (Mines Advisory Group) of Great Britain signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ANAMA. This humanitarian demining project was implemented with funding from the US and Canada.
On the basis of the agreement signed in 2021 with ANAMA, the Marshall Heritage Institute of the USA has donated more than 70 deme detection dogs to Azerbaijan.
In March 2022, a grant agreement was signed between the Japanese Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Junichi Wada, and the president of the International Eurasian Press Fund (IEPF), Umud Mirzayev, acting as a beneficiary organization, on the project "Provision of Supplies for Demining of Tartar District". Within the framework of the project, IEPF’s Community Mine Action team, acting on the instructions of ANAMA, will provide 11 mine detectors, 11 sets of protective clothing, and 1 pickup truck manufactured by the Japanese company Mitsubishi for use in clearing mines and unexploded ordnance located in Tarter district. It will speed up the mine clearance process in Azerbaijan. The Embassy of Japan allocated 88,224 USD for the project.
In September 2021, the United Kingdom provided half a million pounds in aid to help clear landmines and secure the area in conflict-affected areas.
In October 2021, the French National Commission allocated 500,000 euros for demining operations in Azerbaijan.
Thus, various international organizations and countries have provided assistance to Azerbaijan in order to clear mines in the territories liberated from occupation.
Fakt Yoxla concludes that the claim of MP Vugar Iskandarov is False.