Sarkissian administration breaks silence amid Amulsar debates

Armenpress 17:16, 22 August, 2019

YEREVAN, AUGUST 22, ARMENPRESS. President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian is “coherently in favor of the adoption of the kind of political decisions which proceed from strengthening the Armenian statehood and our national interests”, the Sarkissian administration said in a statement amid the latest debates about the Amulsar gold mine project.

The statement, however did not specifically mention neither Amulsar project nor the mining sector.

“Although by Constitution the president isn’t authorized to intervene in the work of the other bodies of government, he is always ready to be useful with his experience and advises in the event of pan-national significance issues.

At the same time we would like to remind that during a recent visit to the Province of Lori, attaching importance to the environmental protection issue, the President of the Republic, in part, said: “We must make special efforts in order not to damage nature. We must have a clear plan on what we are doing in both environmental, economy, development and tourism sectors.”

On August 19th, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced that the Government intends to allow Lydian International to continue the Amulsar project. The decision was based on the conclusion of an environmental audit conducted by an international audit organization, ELARD. Pashinyan emphasized that if the project gets approved it will be operated strictly in adherence to high environmental standards. However, on August 21 the Armenian Prime Minister said the ELARD conclusion has been sent to the Ministry of Environment for additional studies to determine whether or not another environmental impact assessment is required before a final approval.

Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan

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