We strongly condemn Armenia’s actions endangering environmental safety of the region – Ministry
Baku, June 8, AZERTAC
The Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Azerbaijan has issued a statement.
The statement says:
“Information and video footage has been posted on the social media account of Armenian Minister of Economy Vahan Kerobyan regarding the construction of a large metallurgical plant with an annual production capacity of 180,000 tons and covering an area of 16,500 square meters in the village of Yeraskh (Arazdayan) on the Armenian border with the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan.
This is evidence of the fact that Armenia once again flagrantly violates the norms and principles of international law, especially the provisions of the UN Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo Convention) of the UN Economic Commission for Europe.
In particular, according to the provisions of the Espoo Convention, if large-scale economic activity planned by a party to the Convention in its territory has a negative environmental impact on the territory of other countries, this activity must be agreed with relevant institutions of that country and an environmental impact assessment document must be prepared.
Additionally, as a member of the Espoo Convention, Armenia should have ensured the participation of Azerbaijan and the public in the affected areas in the transboundary environmental impact assessment procedure before embarking on the said activity.
This is not the first time Armenia has failed to comply with the norms of international law, including environmental regulations. Some time ago, Azerbaijan filed a claim against Armenia within the framework of the Espoo Convention regarding its plans for the construction of a new nuclear reactor on the territory of the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant, and a decision was adopted that Armenia was not in compliance with provisions of the Convention.
It is common knowledge that Armenia’s mining industry has a serious negative impact on the environmental situation of Azerbaijan. The highly toxic process waters discharged by Armenia's large mining enterprises – the Kajaran copper-molybdenum plant and the Gafan ore processing plant – have been severely polluting the cross-border Okhchuchay river for a long time.
These facts show that such illegal activities on the part of Armenia have become a source of danger not only for Azerbaijan, but also for the environmental situation of the region as a whole.
We strongly condemn Armenia’s actions, which harm the environmental safety of the region run counter to the norms of international law, we call on the international community to pay serious attention to this issue.”