Friday, August 31 2018 17:39
Alina Hovhannisyan

“Neither old nor new grounds to stop activity of the largest investor’s activities: just a smear campaign”

“Neither old nor new grounds to stop activity of the largest investor’s activities: just a smear campaign”

ArmInfoIn an interview with ArmInfo the lawyer of the Lydian Armenia Company, Armen Melkumyan, to present the situation.

 

- Mr. Melkumyan, tensions are running high over Amulsar Project. What is new about the clashes that happened a few days ago?

 

- Company filed a lawsuit and will follow up to ensure that the culprits of the incident are held responsible. Company’s employees arrived at their workplace relying on the Environmnetal  Inspection Department Resolution and Recommendations that was submitted on Friday, August 24, and contained nothing obligating them to abstain from work (such wording appeared 3 days later). Moreover, the Resolution implied that certain works need to be carried out at site. Taking into consideration the Resolution, company employees went to their workplace. But they never managed to get to the mine. Clashes were instigated and there was an impression that the individuals who illegally blocked the roads, were well-prepared for the clashes they instigated, and which took place in front of high-ranking Police officers. Some of these people who were armed and drunk, attacked the Company’s employees, threw rocks and bottles on them. I must say, most of the people there do not even know what they are “fighting” for. They have joined this group with an unknown source of funding. There is a good chance that this is provocation against the largest investor. In any event, it is unclear what are the financial sources that feed these activities against the Amulsar project. The Law enforcement bodies need to find out what are the sources of financing of these activities aimed at disrupting the Company’s work and what are the real motives and goals of this.  Now these groups have announced crowdfunding. I want to ask, how did they finance these activities for so long before they announced “crowdfunding”?

 

- You are speaking about the best standards, but the Inspection Department suggested the Government to perform a new expertise and stop Lydian’s activities within that period.

 

- It is worth noting that the Environmental Inspection Department’s Report and the relevant Resolution does not support any need for this suggestion. No deviations from the design documentation were detected related to issues like risks of air pollution, water, management of acid rock drainage. It needs to be noted that the Head of the Inspection Artur Grigoryan, before he was appointed as the Head of the Inspection, was notorious for his fight against the Project, including dissemination of unfounded, false accusations of some activists. There is a clear conflict of interest issue and he could not, obviously, be objective. I believe that the Inspection had aimed at attacking the Project at any cost. It is clear, that they failed to find any deviations from the design, they used “new ecological factors” to declare EIA expertise to be no longer in force.  These “new ecological factors” refer to a Red-listed butterfly and a plant species. Lydian has responded to that assumption and will give its legal response. Inspection Department Head Artur Grigoryan was determined to halt the Company’s activity upfront. How could they authorize a person who had repeatedly come out with biased statements on the Project to lead an impartial inspection? In fact, he uses his authority to attack the Project. Nevertheless, despite his big desire to do it, his arguments have the weight of that butterfly.  

 

- Do you mean that the new factors are not serious enough to stop the Project?

 

- First, these “new factors” are not by any means new. Acantholimon caryophyllaceum Boiss plant species and Apollo butterfly (Parnassius apollo) were addressed in Lydian studies. Detailed studies ruled out any adverse impact on these species, as they are not present in the Project immediate impact area. I am speaking about scientifically substantiated conclusions, whereas what the Resolution contains are just assumptions. It is important to note that even the expert that has come up with the argument in the report, does not state that it is exactly Acantholimon caryophyllaceum Boiss plant and only suggests that it “may be” that species. Thus it appears that while the Inspection didn’t find any deviation from design documentation in Company’s activities, they have issued a document against the Company based on assumptions that are not substantiated by science. The Inspection body has relied on an amateurish resolution that impacts a Company that has invested almost half a billion USD and made huge investments into the development of the surrounding communities.

 

- Inspection Department detected apparent illegal extraction of rock mass. A criminal case was initiated against the Company. What do you think about it?  

 

- The Inspection Department failed to provide any proofs indicating that Company extracted anything from borrow pits. During inspections, they tried to prove that clay was extracted from the borrow pits, but even their expert did not confirm that.  Furthermore, under the law, illegal mining is the removal of mineral resources from the site and recovery of valuable elements. There was no proof presented for this claim. In the criminal case, they mention “an apparent” violation. Actually, this is a “violation” “apparent” for Artur Grigoryan.  From legal point of view, such vulnerable claims cause a serious damage to the reputation of that government department. Moreover, this behavior of the Inspection Body contains other risks. That is: will other investors come to Armenia while they see this unserious attitude towards business?





POST A COMMENT
Input digits     


News
A Millionaire Wanted: New Draw from IdramA Millionaire Wanted: New Draw from Idram
Temporary ban on gasoline exports from Russia will not affect ArmeniaTemporary ban on gasoline exports from Russia will not affect Armenia
14 Armenian tech companies participate in Mobile World Congress in  Barcelona14 Armenian tech companies participate in Mobile World Congress in Barcelona
Tax authorities propose not to tax labor migrants with annual income  of up to AMD 12 million Tax authorities propose not to tax labor migrants with annual income  of up to AMD 12 million 
Gnel Sanosyan: potential of industrial companies and specialists of  Armenia is growingGnel Sanosyan: potential of industrial companies and specialists of  Armenia is growing
ADB signed sale and purchase agreement with Bank of Georgia in  respect of its shares in AmeriabankADB signed sale and purchase agreement with Bank of Georgia in  respect of its shares in Ameriabank
Founder of ABBYY Group, David Yang, to Speak at Armenia`s First  Investment and Financial ForumFounder of ABBYY Group, David Yang, to Speak at Armenia`s First  Investment and Financial Forum
Armenia`s economic activity increased by 10.7% per annum in Jan 2024Armenia`s economic activity increased by 10.7% per annum in Jan 2024
Gevorg Mantashyan: High-Tech Ministry makes consistent efforts for  emergence and progress of startups in ArmeniaGevorg Mantashyan: High-Tech Ministry makes consistent efforts for  emergence and progress of startups in Armenia
S&P affirms Armenia`s sovereign rating at `BB`; Outlook Stable,  projectting GDP growth of 6.2% in 2024 S&P affirms Armenia`s sovereign rating at `BB`; Outlook Stable,  projectting GDP growth of 6.2% in 2024
Food Safety Inspectorate  did not reveal any violations at Jermuk  Group enterprise after inspectionFood Safety Inspectorate  did not reveal any violations at Jermuk  Group enterprise after inspection
Erik Tintrup: Germany will continue to assist Armenia in tourism  developmentErik Tintrup: Germany will continue to assist Armenia in tourism  development
Privileged conditions with the Business Prime packagePrivileged conditions with the Business Prime package
Armenia`s government to establish G Solution organization using  facilities of Ministry of Finance, State Revenue CommitteeArmenia`s government to establish G Solution organization using  facilities of Ministry of Finance, State Revenue Committee
Armenia ideally positioned to offer India alternative sea trade  route, especially with Europe - Armenian minister Armenia ideally positioned to offer India alternative sea trade  route, especially with Europe - Armenian minister 
Armenia`s government kept election pledge -premier Armenia`s government kept election pledge -premier 
Armenia`s authorities suspend taxation of labor migrants Armenia`s authorities suspend taxation of labor migrants 
Motor Insurers` Bureau informs about need to indicate bank account  number in CMTPL agreements from April 1, 2024; what foreigners should  do not yet reportedMotor Insurers` Bureau informs about need to indicate bank account  number in CMTPL agreements from April 1, 2024; what foreigners should  do not yet reported
In terms of GDP per capita, Armenia is in first place in South  Caucasus - Pashinyan In terms of GDP per capita, Armenia is in first place in South  Caucasus - Pashinyan
Russia ready to develop technological cooperation with Armenia -  ambassador Russia ready to develop technological cooperation with Armenia -  ambassador 
Team Telecom Armenia announces sale of eSIM cards Team Telecom Armenia announces sale of eSIM cards 
Ria Money Transfer has recognized Ardshinbank Partner of the YearRia Money Transfer has recognized Ardshinbank Partner of the Year
Tourism Committee, SDA to cooperate in tourism development in Lori,  Tavush, Vaiots Dzor, Syunik Tourism Committee, SDA to cooperate in tourism development in Lori,  Tavush, Vaiots Dzor, Syunik 
Armenian authorities` GDP forecasts for 2024 seem overstated - expert Armenian authorities` GDP forecasts for 2024 seem overstated - expert 
Expert on Armenia`s international trade growth against Expert on Armenia`s international trade growth against "miserable  trade pattern"  
Tatul Manaseryan: In case of utilization of competitive advantages,  Armenia`s business activity growth could be within 7-8% by end of  2024Tatul Manaseryan: In case of utilization of competitive advantages,  Armenia`s business activity growth could be within 7-8% by end of  2024
Rustam Badasyan: until issue of taxation of labor migrants is finally  resolved, no coercive measures will be usedRustam Badasyan: until issue of taxation of labor migrants is finally  resolved, no coercive measures will be used
Armenia`s GDP growth slowed to 8.7% in 2023Armenia`s GDP growth slowed to 8.7% in 2023
UBA Head: Armenian banking system RoE became comparable to countries  with similar economiesUBA Head: Armenian banking system RoE became comparable to countries  with similar economies
Decision that was made in 10 days - UBA chairman on HSBC Bank`s exit  from ArmeniaDecision that was made in 10 days - UBA chairman on HSBC Bank`s exit  from Armenia
Daniel Azatyan: in Armenia, highest lending growth was registered in  construction sector, with decrease in industrial sector Daniel Azatyan: in Armenia, highest lending growth was registered in  construction sector, with decrease in industrial sector 
Entry of bank with international brand into financial market of  Armenia always desirable and important - UBA chairmanEntry of bank with international brand into financial market of  Armenia always desirable and important - UBA chairman
Armenia`s commercial banks to be authorized to issue guarantees for  participation of Armenian companies in procurement in EAEUArmenia`s commercial banks to be authorized to issue guarantees for  participation of Armenian companies in procurement in EAEU
Net inflow of transfers to Armenia decreased by 36% in 2023Net inflow of transfers to Armenia decreased by 36% in 2023
Economist: Outflow of remittances from Armenia to continue to grow in  2024Economist: Outflow of remittances from Armenia to continue to grow in  2024
Transavia to start operating flights on route Lyon - Yerevan - Lyon Transavia to start operating flights on route Lyon - Yerevan - Lyon 
Ameriabank set to join BOGG, a London Stock Exchange (LSE) listed financial group as a standalone entityAmeriabank set to join BOGG, a London Stock Exchange (LSE) listed financial group as a standalone entity
Bank of Georgia announces proposed acquisition of Ameriabank for  $303.6 millionBank of Georgia announces proposed acquisition of Ameriabank for  $303.6 million
Former MP on economic situation in Armenia: Former MP on economic situation in Armenia: "What is brought by water  will go with water"
Armenia, Iran discuss possibilities of strengthening logistics ties  between  two countriesArmenia, Iran discuss possibilities of strengthening logistics ties  between  two countries
Which Book to Choose as a Gift for the Book Giving Day? A Piece of Advice from Idram and IDBankWhich Book to Choose as a Gift for the Book Giving Day? A Piece of Advice from Idram and IDBank
SRC: individuals-residents of Armenia must pay tax on income received  abroadSRC: individuals-residents of Armenia must pay tax on income received  abroad
Expert: SRC should have taxed labor migrants only after large-scale  information campaign for them, which was not doneExpert: SRC should have taxed labor migrants only after large-scale  information campaign for them, which was not done
Global economic growth to slow -EDBGlobal economic growth to slow -EDB
EDB expects fiscal policy to stimulate Armenian economy in 2024 EDB expects fiscal policy to stimulate Armenian economy in 2024 
Armenian Card: arca.am application to stop operating from Apr 15,  2024Armenian Card: arca.am application to stop operating from Apr 15,  2024
Bank of Georgia Group PLC announces possible transaction to acquire  Ameriabank CJSCBank of Georgia Group PLC announces possible transaction to acquire  Ameriabank CJSC
Armenian insurance sector profit decreased by 33% in 2023Armenian insurance sector profit decreased by 33% in 2023
With HSBC`s withdrawal, Armenia loses last transnational  institutional investor - analystsWith HSBC`s withdrawal, Armenia loses last transnational  institutional investor - analysts
Armenia amends Gyumri Urban Roads Project agreement with EBRDArmenia amends Gyumri Urban Roads Project agreement with EBRD
Moody`s assigns B2 rating to Electric Networks of ArmeniaMoody`s assigns B2 rating to Electric Networks of Armenia
Electric Networks of Armenia CJSC bonds successfully placed Electric Networks of Armenia CJSC bonds successfully placed 
Food Safety Inspection Authority of Armenia responds to  Rospotrebnadzor`s decision to suspended sale of Jermuk mineral waterFood Safety Inspection Authority of Armenia responds to  Rospotrebnadzor`s decision to suspended sale of Jermuk mineral water
Within year, TUMO Center for Creative Technologies to open in Los  AngelesWithin year, TUMO Center for Creative Technologies to open in Los  Angeles
S&P Global Ratings upgrades Ardshinbank to `BB-`; outlook S&P Global Ratings upgrades Ardshinbank to `BB-`; outlook "Stable"
Ministry of Economy: Armenia almost doubled industrial and natural  diamonds` export in 2023Ministry of Economy: Armenia almost doubled industrial and natural  diamonds` export in 2023
How to Celebrate Love Days? A Piece of Advice from Idram and IDBankHow to Celebrate Love Days? A Piece of Advice from Idram and IDBank
Armenian official, ADB reps discuss construction, management projects  Armenian official, ADB reps discuss construction, management projects  
Emphasis in export strategy must be placed on markets not yet open to  us - Armenia`s economy minister Emphasis in export strategy must be placed on markets not yet open to  us - Armenia`s economy minister 
Fitch upgrades ACBA Bank to `BB-`; Outlook stableFitch upgrades ACBA Bank to `BB-`; Outlook stable
Read more


Exchange rates
28.02.2024
RUB4.410.02
USD404.32-0.09
EUR437.27-1.60
GBP511.51-1.32
CAD297.78-1.96
JPY26.84-0.07
CNY56.16-0.02
CHF459.45-0.21