TODAY.AZ / Politics

IDPs urge steps against German company over transborder river pollution

28 July 2021 [10:00] - TODAY.AZ

By Vafa Ismayilova

Over 100 Azerbaijanis displaced from formerly Armenian-occupied Zangilan region have urged the German embassy in Baku to take actions against Cronimet company over the pollution of transboundary Okhchuchay River, Azertag reported on July 8.

Germany’s Cronimet Mining company is the main shareholder operating the Zangazur copper and molybdenum plant located in Armenia’s Syunik region, which massively pollutes the transboundary Okhchuchay River that flows through Zangilan region to the Araz River.

"We, the residents of Zangilan, who signed this appeal demand the immediate halt to the activities of Cronimet. Otherwise, we will turn to international courts over the company that committed ecological terrorism and Germany," the appeal said.

The residents expressed disappointment at the fact that Zangilan had been subjected to ecological terrorism. 

"Zangilan residents used Okhchuchay for irrigation, recreation and fishing. Now the toxic wastes of the Gajaran copper and molybdenum plant and Gafan copper refineries located at the river's source in Armenia and domestic wastewater from these cities are discharged directy into the Okhchuchay River without treatment," the appeal noted.

It underlined that the German company Cronimet, which operates Armenia's mining sector, "does not comply with eco-standards" and this constitutes a threat of ecological terrorism not only for Zangilan, but also the surrounding regions.

"The problem makes it impossible to use the river for irrigation and fish are being massively killed. We, the residents of Zangilan, who have been longing for our homeland for about 30 years, demand an end to this terror committed in our ancestral lands. We call on Germany, a country of environmental standards, to take urgent actions against Cronimet, which has created a dangerous situation for other countres," the residents added.

Armenia’s three-decade occupation of Azerbaijani territories extensively damaged the ecosystem, wildlife and natural resources in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Armenians also resorted to large-scale acts of ecological terror in regions they had to leave under the trilateral November peace deal that stipulated the return of Azerbaijan’s occupied territories.

The clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan escalated for the second time in 2020 after Armenia's forces deployed in the occupied Azerbaijani lands targeted Azerbaijani civilian settlements and military positions, causing casualties among civilians and the military. In the early hours of September 27, Azerbaijan launched a counter-offensive operation that lasted six weeks. The operation resulted in the liberation of Azerbaijan's occupied lands.

A Russia-brokered ceasefire deal that Azerbaijan and Armenia signed on November 10, 2020, brought an end to the 44-day war between the two countries. The Azerbaijani army declared a victory against the Armenian troops. The signed agreement obliged Armenia to withdraw its troops from the Azerbaijani lands that it had occupied.

This article was published with the financial support of the Media Development Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

MED?A Agentliyi çap medias? üçün t??kil edil?n müsabiq? n?tic?l?rini elan  edib (V?DEO)

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