Friday, August 23 2019 11:26
Naira Badalian

Armenian Prime Minister leaves for Jermuk

Armenian Prime Minister leaves for Jermuk

ArmInfo.Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure Suren Papikyan left for Jermuk today, August 23.   "Let's go to Jermuk," Pashinyan wrote on his Facebook page and  released a photo in which he and Papikyan are sitting in the cockpit  of the premier helicopter. Judging by another premiere in the social  network, they are already in Jermuk.

It should be noted that the visit of the head of government is most  likely connected with the protests of the city residents against the  development of the Amkulsar gold mine. The latter is located 10  kilometers in a straight line from Jermuk. After Pashinyan gave a  green light to the program during a Facebook live broadcast on August  19, saying that according to the authorities, Amulsar does not harm  Sevan and the environment, residents of the surrounding areas and  Jermuk assured that they will take part in unlimited protests, but  not will continue to operate the mine.

It is noteworthy that, according to the report of the Office of the  Armenian Ombudsman, a working group left for Jermuk today in order to  clarify the situation surrounding the exploitation of the Amulsar  field, on behalf of the Commissioner for Human Rights. Meetings are  planned with residents of the Gndevaz community, which is the zone of  direct impact of the project, the resort town of Jermuk, citizens on  duty in the mine, in order to interfere with operation.

Recall that on August 14, the Investigative Committee of Armenia  presented an expert opinion on the Amulsar project of the consulting  company Earthlink & Advanced Resources Development (ELARD).  Based on  the conclusion of the examination, the SC of Armenia stated that  there is no direct connection between the underground waters located  on the territory of the Amulsar project and the thermal hot springs  of Jermuk. There is also no connection with the waters of the Sevan  basin. Moreover, as indicated in the UK, during an earthquake, a  certain concentration of acid drainage can penetrate into the basin  of Lake Sevan through the Spandaryan and Ketchut reservoirs. However,  the combination of this concentration will be insignificant on the  scale of Lake Sevan. The third important conclusion: the impact on  the Arpa, Vorotan and Darb rivers can be mitigated if Lydian Armenia  takes 16 environmental mitigation measures proposed by experts.  According to Hayk Grigoryan, the head of the IC, Lydian Armenia  representatives have already expressed their readiness to implement  15 of the proposed 16 events: they are already carrying out 10  events, 5 will be ready to conduct in the near future. Residents of  the resort town of Jermuk, environmentalists and activists opposed to  the development of the mine did not agree with the conclusions and  came out to protest.

As a result, on the eve of the morning, Prime Minister of Armenia  Nikol Pashinyan held a discussion with interested parties. The  latter, after the meeting, stated that they were dissatisfied with  the meeting and would continue their struggle, guided by the motto:  "Amulsar should remain a mountain and a point." Activists in protest  decided to block Baghramyan Avenue, many moved to the building of the  National Assembly of Armenia, a brawl took place between police  officers and participants in the protest. As a result, for the  failure to comply with the legal requirements of police officers, six  citizens were subjected to drive. On the issue, the prime minister  also held a closed meeting with deputies of the My Step faction.   Already in the evening, during the promised "live broadcast," the  Prime Minister said that according to the government, Amulsar does  not harm Sevan. "He will work according to the highest environmental  criteria.  If we do not fulfill the conditions set by us, we will be  taken lightly. I'm on 99.9% sure that the field does not pose a  threat to the ecology of the Republic of Armenia. Therefore, we must  fulfill the conditions that we set, "he said, concluding by  bewildering by disobedience actions arranged by citizens. However, on  August 21, the Prime Minister decided to send the conclusion of ELARD  on the Amulsar project to the Ministry of the Environment, "with the  request to find out whether the conclusion really contains data that,  according to the legislation of Armenia, require a new environmental  impact assessment."

Lydian Armenia is a subsidiary of British Lydian International. The  Amulsar project is the largest industrial project in Armenia today  for the development of the Amulsar gold deposit with a total value of  $ 370 million. In August 2016, the start of the project involving the  construction and development of the deposit took place.

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