The Union of Miners and Metallurgists of Armenia has responded to Azerbaijan’s call for the termination of Armenian mining projects. Below is the full statement released by the union on Thursday.
“Recent reports from various Armenian media outlets reveal that a number of Azerbaijani non-governmental organizations have submitted an appeal to the Armenian government, calling for the termination of Armenian mining projects. We have chosen not to respond to political provocations from Azerbaijan in depth due to their lack of substantive merit. It’s sufficient to highlight that the authors of this appeal demonstrate not only a deficiency in professional expertise but also a lack of regional geographical knowledge. They frequently refer to geographical locations that simply do not exist in Armenia, such as Gafan and Geycha.
Considering the targeted nature of this campaign, aimed at disrupting the foundations of Armenia’s economy, it cannot be dismissed as a mere coincidence. As such, we deem it essential to underscore a few points for the attention of all stakeholders and interested parties, both inside and outside Armenia.
Armenia’s mining industry has a centuries-old history. The country holds an unrivaled position as the leader of the mining industry in the South Caucasus. In the last decade, significant strides have been made toward modernizing the industry and implementing contemporary mining standards. The success Armenia has achieved as part of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) alone is sufficient to demonstrate the sector’s unprecedented progress at the management level within the country. It is certainly not from a country that had to leave the EITI due to non-adherence to standards, that we should be learning lessons about sustainable development.
We urge the relevant Armenian authorities and stakeholders to remain vigilant in terms of resisting the arbitrary interpretation of international laws, and to hold their grounds against Azerbaijani manipulative provocations based on false environmental claims, within the country and beyond its borders, challenging the development, expansion, and strengthening of the Armenian mining industry.
We seek collaboration with the progressive civil society of the Republic of Armenia to achieve tangible advancements in sustainable development and to shed light on the real environmental issues in the region, including those instigated by Azerbaijan.
Over the past year, Armenia’s per capita GDP has surpassed that of Azerbaijan. Armenia’s economic growth not only has outpaced Azerbaijan’s recent years, but it is also projected to considerably exceed it in the imminent future, according to all forecasts. This is the main reason and explanation why real and false “public organizations” in Azerbaijan are targeting the most resilient sector of the Armenian economy. In light of this, we wish to make clear that:
Armenia’s mining sector will continue to develop, ensuring the incorporation of international best practices and the introduction of top industry innovations into Armenia, all for the sake of a safe, green, and sustainably developing region—a goal that is impossible to achieve without responsible mining.”