Protest action of opponents of gold mining at the Amulsar mine, Yerevan, August 19, 2019. Screenshot from video posted at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCX6j1aLcjY

19 August 2019, 19:26

Authorities discuss Amulsar gold mine operation amid protests

Today, at the residence of the Armenian President, there has been a meeting on the issue of the Amulsar gold mine operation. Activists gathered in front of the residence. The authorities refused to conduct a new environmental impact assessment, while delegates of the protesters accused Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of reluctance to negotiate with the opponents of the mine operation.

The "Caucasian Knot" reported that on August 14, the Investigating Committee (IC) of Armenia published the conclusion of an international expert group, according to which the environmental risks during the operation of the Amulsar mine are minimal. On August 15, activists stated that the IC had presented wrong results of the ecological examination. They demanded a personal meeting with Nikol Pashinyan to present him with their research results. On August 16, more than 1000 participants of the gathering in Jermuk sent Nikol Pashinyan a letter with the demand to ban the operation of the Amulsar gold mine.

At the residence of the Armenian President, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan organized a meeting on the issue of the Amulsar gold mine operation and invited to it members of the Council of Elders and Jermuk Mayor, ecologists, school principals, owners of local hotels, as well as five activists who protested against the gold mine operation.

Five activists invited to the meeting have gathered in front of the presidential residence in Yerevan together with other protesters. The protest rally involves several hundred people. Some of the protesters stay directly in front of the building, while the others do not leave the opposite side of the street. The protesters are chanting the slogan: "We are the masters of our country," the "Sputnik Armenia" reports.

Activist Anna Shakhnazaryan, who was invited to the meeting, attended it, but left the building without waiting for the completion of the discussion. According to Anna Shakhnazaryan, at the meeting, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said there was no need for a new environmental impact assessment. The activist accused the Prime Minister of reluctance to find consensus and of "turning the results of the environmental examination upside down." Ani Khachatryan, another activist, left the meeting and said that the fight against the Amulsar gold mine operation would be continued.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on August 19, 2019 at 03:07 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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