An artist's interpretation of Russian forces acting as peacemakers in the region.

Source: Meydan TV

Caption: An artist's interpretation of Russian forces acting as peacemakers in the region.

Friday Wrap-up: Pandemic, peacemakers and polyethylene bags

The week of 16-20 November saw coronavirus restrictions reinforced in Azerbaijan, Russian peacemakers have cleared the Lachin corridor. A group of journalists were given an exclusive look at the city of Fuzuli, and polyethylene bags and single-use plastics will be banned in the country.

Coronavirus restrictions in Azerbaijan reinforced

The coronavirus restrictions have been furthered until 28 December 2020 in order to combat the spread of the virus. While not enacting official restrictions as neighboring country Turkey has, the Azerbaijani government has recommended those over 65 not leave their homes. A total of 87,163 cases have been reported so far. Of them, 60,869 recovered, and 1,079 people died. The number of active patients was 25,215.

An exclusive look at Fuzuli

Journalists were taken to Fuzuli as part of a government-organized trip to view the city, now under Azerbaijani control. Very much remains of what was once a vibrant town until the early 1990s and the First Karabakh War. In a first, Meydan TV was also granted access to the trip. You can read our take here.

Fuzuli, the dead city

Source: Meydan TV

1,960 Russian peacemakers will remain in region

Russian peacekeepers have cleared the Lachin corridor and the area in Nagorno-Karabakh up to Stepanakert. Civilian traffic in this area has been restored and more than 1,200 residents have returned to Stepanakert. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko stated that there are no current plans to change the number of peacemakers, and when asked about the timeframe for resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, stated "No, there is no deadline. The status issue is very sensitive." Russia signed a trilateral peace agreement with Armenia and Azerbaijan on the night of 9-10 November, which included clauses that allow Russian forces to act as peacemakers in the region.

Polyethylene bags and single-use plastics to be banned

The import, production, trade, catering and service of plastic bags up to 15 microns, as well as disposable plastic mixing rods, forks, knives, plates and cups by entrepreneurs will be prohibited in Azerbaijan, according to draft amendments to an environmental law. The bill is expected to come into force on 1 January 2021 for polyethylene bags, and on 1 July 2021 for other disposable products.

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