Who supports Exploitation of Azerbaijani Natural Resources by Armenia?
The Ministry of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources and the Ministry of Economic Development and Investments of the Republic of Armenia have held the conference on the development of mining industry in Armenia by the support of the USA and British HSBC bank recently.
It is not secret that Armenia exploits mining products in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan and exports them to the foreign countries. Are not the conference organizers aware of this fact? Does Azerbaijan need to worry about this kind of conferences?
Hikmat Hajiyev, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijanexpressed his concerns in his interview to AzVision.az:
- Armenia still persists on the exploitation of the natural resources, mining products in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. Armenia produces mining products from the illegally occupied territories breaching the ecological standards and processes the raw materials at metal melting and enrichment plants. Then Armenians export the raw materials and semi-finished goods to the foreign countries.
As you know, this year the MFA submitted a report titled `Illegal economic and other activities in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan` on the basis of data collected from open Armenian sources. The report reads, around 155 deposits of precious stones, minerals and base metals, including deposits of non-ferrous metal ores, gold, mercury, copper, lead and zinc, pearlite and other natural resources are being exploited by the Armenian side including gold-copper-pyrite deposits in Gyzylbulag, copper-gold, molybdenum deposits in Demirli, Janyatag-Gulyatag (occupied parts of the Tartar district); gold deposits in Soyudlu, Agduzdag, Janyatag-Gulyatag (occupied parts of the Tartar district); gold deposits in Soyudlu, Agduzdag, Tutkhum (Kalbajar); gold deposits in Vejnali (Zangilan); lead deposits in Mehmana, Shorbulag (Kalbajar); and mercury deposits in Sarybulag, Agyatag, Levchay, Shorbulag, Qamishli, Aggaya (Kalbajar, Lachyn), Chilgazchay, Narzanly (Lachyn).
- Which companies do help Armenians in exploitation of the resources?
- Unfortunately, a number of foreign physical and legal entities from Canada, Russia, Germany and Sweden are involved in the illegal exploitation of the mining industry in the Armenian-occupied Azerbaijani territories. Thus they violate the international norms and principles, the rules of corporate social responsibility and business ethics, as well as the legislation of both their own countries and Azerbaijan.
Armenia’s Vallex Group through its Base Metals subsidiary exploits Gyzylbulag underground gold and copper mine near Heyvaly village in the occupied Kalbajar district
- Do we have any information about the estimated amount of the exploited natural resources?
- According to the statistics by Armenia, the amount of the exports of minerals and metals unearthed from the Armenian-occupied Azerbaijani territories keeps increasing year after year. The estimated figure of the unearthed precious minerals and metals amounted to US $ 3.5 million for 2010 and US $ 6.5 million for 2013. The transportation route of the precious mineral and metals unearthed from the occupied territories is same with the route that Armenia exports its own products.
The natural resources illegally produced by Armenians in the occupied Azerbaijani territories are being exported to the international markets in guise of ` made in Armenia`. Not surprisingly, mining industry production capacity of Armenia for the period of January-September 2016 has increased by 13.7% compared to last year. In 2015, the mineral industry made up 16.7% of total industrial production and grew by 50.4% from the previous reflecting expansion in late 2014. At which cost?
In 2015, the country’s mining sector exports were valued at $462 million and were up to 20% higher than in 2014 due to increase in export volumes.
While gold production in Armenia was only about 100 kilograms in 1995, this number reached its highest rate - 3.9 tons gold worth $82 million in 2014. The same question arises here: At which cost? Geological and geographical parameters of Armenia do not allow producing mining products at this rate.
- Which steps are considered to be taken by Azerbaijan?
- First of all, foreign companies involved in mining industry in Armenia must comply with international legal liabilities and responsibilities, as well as co-operative business responsibilities and ethics. The companies must avoid becoming the importer or exporter of the products, illegally produced in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. The mining products serve to the Armenian military junta leaders` personal interests, money laundering and the continuation of war and occupation.
These import companies must confirm the origin of products, as authentically being produced in the area of Armenia.
The Republic of Azerbaijan do have the right to take legal and prosecutorial steps against foreign legal and physical entities involved in the illegal exploitation and import of mining products from its occupied territories.