YERASHK — Representatives of about 40 foreign diplomatic missions accredited to Armenia visited the community of Yeraskh on Thursday, which has been targeted by Azerbaijani attacks over the past few days. The diplomats were accompanied by representatives from the Foreign Ministry and the Armed Forces of Armenia.
Ambassadors, military attachés, and diplomats familiarized themselves with the consequences of the shelling carried out on the previous day and the day before from the Nakhichevan section of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. Among the foreign diplomats were the ambassadors of the European Union, France, Germany, China, and several other countries.
Colonel Sasun Badasyan, the Commander of the 5th Army Corps of the Armenian Armed Forces, informed the diplomatic corps that the two foreign nationals wounded in the shooting on June 14 were immediately taken to a hospital. The aftermath of the shooting can be observed at the construction site of the steel plant, which was the target of the gunfire.
“This is where the two citizens of India working on the construction site of the factory were wounded. This plant is located about 400 meters from the border. We have chosen a place to talk with you so that there is a wall behind us, protecting the representatives of the embassies,” Colonel Badasyan told the ambassadors. He emphasized that military personnel are not involved in the construction of the plant.
“The adversary is constantly violating the ceasefire, and we continue our service in protecting the state border,” the military official added.
The steelworks construction site, targeted by Azeri forces, is a $70 million Armenian-American project in Yeraskh. The steelworks, often referred to as a “metallurgical plant,” is expected to produce an annual output of 180,000 tons once launched.
Currently, about 200 people are working on the construction of the plant, with 70 of them being citizens of India.
The plant under construction gained attention from the Azerbaijani side last week when the Ministry of Environmental Protection of Azerbaijan claimed that the project affects the ecological safety of the region and could pollute the waters of the Araks River.
The governor of the Ararat region, Sedrak Tevonyan, noted that the plant is not yet operational, and its environmental impact cannot be accurately assessed until it is operational. Additionally, according to the governor, the plant, which is being built with US investment, will meet international environmental safety requirements.
“The goal of the Azerbaijani side is solely to disrupt the development of our border settlements,” Tevonyan said.
According to employees at the construction site, the shooting began abruptly. Some workers sought refuge behind the already erected walls, while others lay on the floor. Despite their concerns about the incident, the workers expressed their determination to continue working, even after their two Indian colleagues were injured.
A day earlier, EU monitors had visited the construction site of the metallurgical factory.