The peaceful press conference given by Acting Nature Protection Minister Erik Grigoryan was followed by the scandalous entrance of the environmentalists into the building of the ministry. It turned out that 3 representatives of the Armenian Environmental Front were not allowed to go upstairs and to take part in the press conference of the minister although the Ministry had announced one day before,'The representatives of the mass media, international and non-governmental organizations working in the environmental sector, as well as the representatives of the initiatives are invited to take part in this meeting.'
AEF members managed to get upstairs only after one hour when the press conference was over and most of the mass media had left. Upstairs, the environmentalists also didn't succeed to address their questions to the acting minister: he refused to speak in front of the cameras and didn't leave his room.
The environmentalists had gifts for the minister: 'We have a tendency to present gifts to bad minister. We have gifts for you: the silt taken from the Debed River, which has flown into the river from Teghout and Akhtala Mines and the water taken from Tandzut mine area, which is the consequences of the acidic drainage. This mine isn't developed for a long time, but the acidic drainage is still in progress. We are challenging Erik Grigoryan: first try to prevent acidic drainage in Tandzout mine and then speak about the prevention of acidic drainage un Amulsar mine, which will have colossal volumes and will last longer,' AEF member Ani Khachatryan said.
Initiative member Levon Galstyan added, ' Now different representatives of the government claim that the specialists, environmentalists and different international experts must prove there is no danger from mining, but it would be the opposite: mine developers and governmental bodies shall prove to us there is no danger, but today there is no evidence available. An example is Tandzout which is 100 times small than the mines currently in development, but the concentration of heavy metals in the water flowing out of the water exceeds the standards hundreds of times.
If our government, either the previous or the current, hasn't proved that this process is controllable, this water can be cleaned and how much it will cost, they have no right to permit new mining activities. If we speak about Amulsar only, 180 million USD is needed only for the management of water, while Lydian's documents don't say any figures: how much money they are willing to provide to clean this pollution.'
Ani Khachatryan noted that they wanted to address a question to Erik Grigoryan, 'Whether it is not a conflict of interests when the minister worked in an organization which worked for Lydian, i.e. the Minister worked for Lydian. Now we want to ask this the minister, who is protecting Lydian and says there are no violations detected by Environmental and Mining Inspection Body.
18:21 November 23, 2018