Baku blames Armenia of violating UN Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment

    POLITICS  08 June 2023 - 09:23

    The Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan issued on June 7 a statement to comment on the construction of a plant on the border of Armenia with the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, a southwestern Azerbaijani exclave.

    According to Caliber.Az, the statement reads:

    “The Minister of Economy of Armenia Vakhan Kerobyan shared information and videos on a social network confirming the construction of a large metallurgical plant with an annual production capacity of 180,000 tons on an area of 16,500 square meters in the territory of Armenia, bordering Azerbaijan, the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic - in the village of Yeraskh (Arazdayan).

    This means that Armenia once again flagrantly violates the norms and principles of international law, in particular, the provisions of the United Nations Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo Convention).

    Thus, according to the provisions of the Espoo Convention, in the event of a negative environmental impact on the territory of other countries from a major economic activity planned by a party to the Convention on its territory, this activity must be agreed upon with the relevant authorities of this country, and an environmental impact assessment document must be prepared.

    Also, Armenia had to ensure the participation of Azerbaijan and the public in the affected territories in the transboundary environmental impact assessment procedure before the start of this activity as a signatory to the Espoo Convention.

    We declare that this is not the first case of non-compliance by Armenia with the norms of international law, including environmental law. Some time ago, within the framework of the Espoo Convention, Azerbaijan filed a lawsuit against Armenia and a decision was made on Armenia's non-compliance with the provisions of the Convention in connection with the plans to build a new nuclear reactor on the territory of the Metsamor nuclear power plant.

    Everyone knows that the mining industry in Armenia has a serious negative impact on the ecological environment of Azerbaijan. The industrial waters of the large mining enterprises of Armenia - the Gacharan copper-molybdenum plant and the Kafan ore processing plant with a high chemical content have long been intensively polluting the transboundary Okhchu River.

    These facts indicate that such illegal activities by Armenia have become a source of danger for the ecological environment not only of Azerbaijan but of the entire region as a whole.

    We strongly condemn the actions of Armenia, which strike at the ecological security of the region, contrary to the norms of international law, we call on the international community to pay special attention to this.”

    A US-licensed company and the government of Armenia have teamed up for the construction of a metallurgical factory near the border with Azerbaijan. The plant, currently constructed by the Armenian-American enterprise GTB STEEL LLC, will absorb $70 million in investments and churn out 180,000 tons of products per annum.

    Although the project’s authors confirmed its eco-friendly system of operation, environmental activists ring alarm bells of the next ecocide by Armenia. Baku-based ecologist Telman Zeynalov says possible emissions of harmful substances from the plant & their discharge into water resources could trigger risks of heavy environmental pollution.

    Metallurgical industry causes great devastation to both terrestrial and aquatic environments on a local and regional scale. The major effects are due to pollution of air, soil, river water & groundwater with heavy metals


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