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20/07/2024
Mining News

“Financial Times” publishes letter from 40 Serbian experts on Rio Tinto: We are not geopolitical pawns on Europe’s periphery

“Financial Times” published a letter signed by more than 40 experts and civil society organizations from Serbia in response to an article titled “Serbia Ready to Greenlight Rio Tinto Lithium Mine.”

The letter states that the article, published on June 17, shows that “the EU and its political leaders are willing to turn a blind eye and ignore the will of the local population by collaborating with the illiberal leader Vučić.”

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The signatories believe that Financial Times “acknowledges that Vučić and the EU are playing a geopolitical game that requires imposing a dubious mine on hundreds of thousands of people in Serbia who do not want it,” reporting that “after the municipal elections, the Serbian government clearly believes it has a clear path to proceed with the Jadar project” and that its cancellation was a ‘political decision’ – to avoid unrest before the elections.”

“If there was ‘green mining,’ there would be no need for expensive PR exercises, such as the privately funded and conducted draft ‘Environmental Impact Assessment’ study, which Rio Tinto published in Serbia last week, not part of any Serbian (environmental) regulatory procedure,” the letter states.

It also mentions that President Vučić cannot “give the green light” to Rio Tinto because the project lacks a legal basis, all permits have been revoked, and it is beyond his legal jurisdiction as president.

“We in Serbia are not geopolitical chess pawns on the periphery of Europe to be sacrificed so that Brussels, Berlin, and Paris can promote lifestyles significantly above the global average in terms of energy consumption while continuously weakening climate goals. We are a very hospitable people, so if EU delegates come next month, they come for ajvar and rakija. But the lithium will remain in the fertile soil to feed us,” the letter emphasizes.

The letter also states that there is something for which we can thank Rio Tinto, which is that it has united us with environmentally conscious people from all over Europe and beyond.

“With petitions and letters against this project attracting over half a million signatories from more than 35 countries, Europe needs to wake up to the fact that we, the people, are taking matters into our own hands. Corporate takeover of our most fertile land is not possible, and we will protect this land by all means at our disposal,” the letter concludes.

The signatories of the letter include academics Bogdan Šolaja, Slobodan Vukosavić, and Milan Damnjanović, professors Ratko Ristić and Zoran Radovanović, representatives of the association “March from the Drina,” and the association “Eco Surdulica.”

Source : N1

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