South Caucasus powder keg
    Armenia expands geography of its eco-terrorism

    ANALYTICS  08 June 2023 - 12:34

    Matanat Nasibova

    Armenia seems to have set out to expand the geography of its environmental terror against Azerbaijan. In this vein, since 2022, a large Armenian-American metallurgical plant with an investment of $70 million is being built in the village of Yeraskh (Arazdoyan), Armenian media reported, citing Economy Minister Vahan Kerobyan.

    Moreover, the construction is carried out very close to the borders of Azerbaijan in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (the distance is about 700-800 metres), which can be seen as a clear intention of the Armenian side to make the already enormous damage to the ecosystem on the border even worse.

    But first, let's sort out who are the owners of the plant, i.e., what's American and what's Armenian here. A few minutes of Internet search revealed an intriguing picture.

    Turns out that the owners of the GTB Steel developer company and the plant are Nono's daughter and Ex-Defence Minister Vazgen Sargsyan’s brother-in-law - Aram Grigor Ter-Kazaryan, as well as American businessman of Indian descent Bobby Singh Kang.

    According to the state register of legal entities, 50 per cent of the company is currently owned by CIS Global Investments LLC registered in the USA (Kang) and the remaining 50 per cent is owned by Virtual Funding LLC registered in the United States (Ter-Kazaryan).

    Since metallurgical production has a detrimental effect on the environment and is a dangerous source of atmospheric pollution by waste gases and solid emissions, which contain various heavy, toxic substances, Baku, of course, had a negative attitude toward what is happening on its borders.

    Thus, Adviser to Azerbaijan’s Ecology and Natural Resources Minister Rasim Sattarzada told local media that in case Armenia fails to comply with the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo Convention), Baku can sue Yerevan in the international court. The international agreement in question was initiated by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, signed in Espoo, Finland in 1991 and entered into force in 1997.

    Indeed, why did official Yerevan give permission to Vazgen Sargsyan's relatives and Indian Kang to organise toxic production like this not somewhere near the Armenian capital or another major Armenian city, which would be logical in terms of logistics, but in the immediate vicinity of the Azerbaijani border, literally right next to it?

    The calculation is obvious. As was already mentioned above, metallurgical production takes one of the first places by the scale of the pollution with the waste gases and solid emissions into the atmosphere. In particular, when loading ore into smelting furnaces, as well as during electric and gas welding a huge amount of dust and slag containing various light and heavy metals (including aluminium, mercury, lead, arsenic, etc.) is generated, which causes irreparable harm to human health. Besides, the exhaust gases contain toxic compounds such as sulfur dioxide, hydrogen chloride, and carbon monoxide, which, of course, is not safe for the environment.

    As a consequence, all these emissions lead to the destruction of vegetation, water pollution, soil erosion, and the formation of man-made wastelands around large plants. Moreover, the acidic sulfur dioxide gas that accompanies some production processes, when released into the atmosphere and reacts with water, causes acid rain, which can accelerate soil erosion and cause damage to vegetation and animals.

    However, the most dangerous aspect is that drinking water sources are contaminated in the area of metallurgical plants because metallurgical production requires large volumes of water. And quite often after industrial use, this water is not properly treated and ends up in contaminated form in the groundwater. Untreated or poorly treated wastewater from production facilities poses a threat to people and the environment due to its critical content of heavy metal salts, technogenic mercury, nitrates, phosphates and other toxic compounds that cause a whole range of serious diseases in humans.

    Given all the above factors, the construction of a new metallurgical plant by Armenia on the border with Azerbaijan and Türkiye poses a serious threat to the population and the environment of these countries.

    It is clear that Yerevan chose the construction site not at all accidentally - to cause as much damage as possible to the "hated Turks" remains a cherished dream of some Armenians ever since the war. So, Armenia purposefully damages both the ecology of the region and the people living in particular in the Sadarak district of Nakhchivan with which Arazdoyan village borders.

    Specialists claim that harmful emissions from metallurgical production can get into the territory of Sadarak District and toxic wastes can poison the Araz River, which would have more than serious consequences for its residents.

    However, Armenia is no stranger to it. During the occupation, Armenia caused enormous damage to the whole ecological system and natural resources of Karabakh and adjacent regions. The occupiers systematically destroyed the unique flora and fauna of Azerbaijan, making themselves at home in Basitchay and Garagol nature reserves, as well as Lachin, Gubadli, Dashalti, and Arazboyu reserves. The negative impact of the Armenian occupation on the ecology of the region is noted in the documents of various international organisations. Thus, one of the reports of the Asian Development Bank on Azerbaijan states that the aggression resulted in land degradation.

    The extent of environmental damage to the region is clearly seen in the satellite images taken by the "Azerkosmos" state company and included in the report titled "Illegal Activities in the Occupied Territories of Azerbaijan: Satellite Evidence for 2019". The photos show the scorched area of 26 square kilometres, where once were the villages Jilan and Bunyadli (Khojavand district), Khalafli, Hibyarli, Kurds and Garar (Jabrail district). There are also images of the burnt-out area of 347 sq. km covering 25 villages in the Fuzuli district.

    It should be noted that there were about 260,000 hectares of forest in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, and space images show that the process of destruction in these territories was long and intensive. In particular, large-scale deforestation was recorded for the construction of a water canal in the area of the Sarsang reservoir (Tartar district).

    According to Azerbaijan’s Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry, as a result of deliberate fires in the previously occupied territories, a total of over 110,000 hectares of forests and fields were burned down and destroyed.

    Secondly, Armenia continues to deliberately pollute transboundary rivers, which form about 70 per cent of Azerbaijan's surface water resources. A terrible example of this is the Okhchuchay River, where waste from the copper-molybdenum plant located at its source is dumped, which is why the amount of heavy metal compounds in it simply rolls over.

    Monitoring of the river showed that the level of chemical compounds in it exceeds the norm by 5-7 times. It should be noted that Okhchuchay, most of which is located in the historical region of Azerbaijan - Zangazur, flows through the liberated Zangilan district and flows into the Araz River. Its pollution drastically worsens the quality of water, which is used for the irrigation of Azerbaijan's sown areas and for drinking.

    Thirdly, according to experts, one of the most environmentally unfavourable enterprises in the South Caucasus is the Ararat gold recovery plant, which is practically not equipped with treatment systems but is operated despite its unsuitable condition, polluting everything around with cyanide.

    Fourth, we should not forget about the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant. The NPP not only is a threat to the safety of Armenia and the whole region, but as a result of its activity daily over 15 thousand cubic metres of radioactive waste is dumped in the Araz river.

    And because of the exploitation of molybdenum mines situated in the north-western part of Armenia’s Meghri district, a great number of toxic substances are dumped into Araz. By the way, Tehran also expressed its discontent with this issue in Armenia, as Araz is the main source of fresh water for some regions of this country. But despite the indignation of the Iranian side of this fact, Armenia is not in a hurry with the construction of water treatment facilities and continues to ignore the criticism of various international organisations, demanding to care about the environmental safety of the region. Nevertheless, the term of the NPP's operation has been

    At the same time, the environmental situation is not the best in the territory of Armenia itself. The Amoulsar gold mine is an example of this, which, according to experts, can poison the entire basin of the Caspian Sea, polluting rivers flowing through the territory of Azerbaijan.

    However, in February the Armenian media reported that the Armenian government signed an agreement worth $250 million with Lidian Armenia Company and Eurasian Development Bank in connection with the exploitation of the Amoulsar gold mine. It's understandable that the development project of the mine adjacent to Jermuk (Istis) promises great benefits to the Armenian economy, though environmentalists and residents of neighbouring settlements have been saying for many years that its development poses great environmental risks for the environment. But the Armenian authorities seem to have already solved this issue.

    Apparently, the "country of stones" is so obsessed with replenishing its state budget that it finally turned a blind eye not only to the long-standing threats mentioned by Azerbaijan, Iran, and Türkiye but also doesn’t notice the potential risks on its own territory, thus endangering the security of the entire region.

    In other words, Armenia is turning into a powder keg in the South Caucasus. It is only a matter of time before it explodes.


    Subscribe to our Telegram channel

Read also

Vardanyan apprehended and charged, "nkr" self-dissolved and farewell to terminological inexactitude Contemplations with Orkhan Amashov

30 September 2023 - 12:03

Yerevan's lies remain barrier to peace with Baku Such a “forgetful” Simonyan

29 September 2023 - 17:55

Russia-Armenia standoff and balance of power in South Caucasus Seeking a new scapegoat

29 September 2023 - 15:10

Azerbaijan – Iran normalization process may foster regional partnership Carrot and stick diplomacy is underway

28 September 2023 - 17:10

Bob Menendez's corruption scandal to put Washington in awkward position Tit-for-tat diplomacy

27 September 2023 - 14:44

DDR in Garabagh and the restoration of Azerbaijani sovereignty Contemplations with Orkhan Amashov/VIDEO

27 September 2023 - 17:20
Latest news

    Hungary sees Ukraine’s EU membership in near future as unrealistic

    30 September 2023 - 17:20

    Expanding cooperation with China – one of Azerbaijan’s top foreign policy priorities

    President Aliyev congratulates Xi Jinping

    30 September 2023 - 17:05

    French government survives no-confidence vote

    30 September 2023 - 16:50

    Senegal, Cote d'Ivoire not sending troops for intervention in Niger, media says

    30 September 2023 - 16:36

    Presidential rep: Five historical sites restored in Shusha

    30 September 2023 - 16:22

    President Ilham Aliyev receives president of International Astronautical Federation

    30 September 2023 - 16:07

    What is the former commander of the Armenian occupation troops in Garabagh accused of?


    30 September 2023 - 16:04

    Baku airport welcomes first flight of Greek airline


    30 September 2023 - 15:52

    Navy chief: Iran to establish permanent base in Antarctica

    30 September 2023 - 15:40

    Azerbaijan brings to justice former separatist "minister" for crimes against humanity

    Statement by the Prosecutor General's Office

    30 September 2023 - 15:37

    Azerbaijan confiscates military equipment, weapons, ammunition in Agdara


    30 September 2023 - 15:26

    Pundit raps Armenian governments for disregarding Azerbaijan’s conditions

    30 September 2023 - 15:25

    Azerbaijan to build 498 individual residential houses in Zangilan's Alibeyli village

    30 September 2023 - 15:10

    Bus accident in Türkiye leaves six dead, dozens injured


    30 September 2023 - 14:55

    BAYKAR to invest $100 million in Ukraine

    30 September 2023 - 14:41

    Prominent boxer explains refusal to serve in Ukrainian army

    30 September 2023 - 14:23

    Armenian government considers taking Russian TV off the air

    30 September 2023 - 14:01

    British FM: London resolute in its support for Kyiv

    30 September 2023 - 13:47

    Azerbaijan allocates $1 million to UN-HABITAT Program

    30 September 2023 - 13:32

    Voting begins for early parliamentary election in Slovakia

    30 September 2023 - 13:17

    Azerbaijan uncovers remains of nearly 500 people in liberated lands

    Statement by the Azerbaijani State Security Service

    30 September 2023 - 13:02

    New York City under state of emergency as massive flooding takes hold

    30 September 2023 - 12:49

    Reuters: US-Saudi defence pact tied to Israel deal

    Palestinian demands put aside

    30 September 2023 - 12:35

    Shusha's original appearance preserved in new city plan

    Statement by President’s special rep

    30 September 2023 - 12:20

    Vardanyan apprehended and charged, "nkr" self-dissolved and farewell to terminological inexactitude

    Contemplations with Orkhan Amashov

    30 September 2023 - 12:03

    Armenia’s latest lawsuits against Azerbaijan unfounded, absurd - Spokesperson

    30 September 2023 - 11:53

    Political analyst: Pashinyan's short-sighted policy led to Armenia's current troubles

    30 September 2023 - 11:48

    Kirby: West won't give up on Russian oil price cap

    30 September 2023 - 11:33

    Germany and Central Asian states voice support for closer cooperation via Middle Corridor

    30 September 2023 - 11:18

    The tale of China's economic rise is far from over

    30 September 2023 - 11:15

    Azerbaijani Speaker outlines major obstacles to regional peace and stability

    30 September 2023 - 11:03

    Azerbaijan displays confiscated artillery installations in Khojavand


    30 September 2023 - 10:50

    Armenian blogger: Prime Minister Pashinyan, can you keep your word at least once?

    30 September 2023 - 10:48

    Armenian students protest against US event with Turkish envoy in presence


    30 September 2023 - 10:39

    Romania bolsters defences to stop Ukraine war crossing NATO threshold  

    30 September 2023 - 10:34

    Azerbaijan eliminating combat positions, strongholds in Garabagh


    30 September 2023 - 10:20

    Azerbaijan invites UN representatives to Garabagh

    30 September 2023 - 10:07

    Combat positions abandoned by separatists on Shusha-Khankendi road


    30 September 2023 - 09:47

    Over 20 policemen injured in attack on Azerbaijani embassy in Beirut by ethnic Armenians

    30 September 2023 - 09:26

    President Aliyev: No more gray zones, no more illegal structures, no more separatism on our land

    Full speech

    30 September 2023 - 09:22

All news