YEREVAN — American companies “VIRTUAL FUNDING” and “CSE GLOBAL INVESTMENTS” JSC, owners of the iron smelting plant under construction in Yeraskh, have issued a statement regarding the shootings by Azerbaijan. They note that the companies did not violate any provisions of the international conventions highlighted by Azerbaijan. Furthermore, they state their readiness to demand compensation for the investments, losses incurred, and profits not earned through international legal platforms. If unarmed workers are fired upon again, the companies will perceive it as a direct attack on American capital without any environmental motive but rather as a purely political decision.
Below is the full text of the statement:
Earlier this June, Azerbaijan announced that in the Yeraskh settlement of Armenia, a metallurgical plant is being constructed, which will generate environmental problems for their country. In its statement issued on June 8th, “GTB Steel” LLC, the Company we founded in Armenia, stated that the
Company received a positive conclusion on the environmental impact with the relevant expertise requirements, which comply with all international standards.
Five days later, on June 13, Azerbaijan started shootings in the direction of the plant that we are constructing. The shootings continue to this day․
During this time, our two employees suffered serious injuries․ Тhe Company’s tractor, crane, and truck had been damaged and are no longer operational. We have published the photo and video footage thereof.
Ambassadors, diplomatic representatives, international observers, and journalists from different countries have also documented the foregoing facts.
We believe it is relevant to point out the following essential points:
- The claims that the plant being constructed in Yeraskh will create ecological problems for Azerbaijan are false. Our plant is not a metallurgical, where metal is extracted from ore, but rather a metal smelter, where through casting the finished metals we will get rebar. In this case, there are no harmful emissions to the atmosphere or the environment and tailings. No waste either. A similar plant, i.e. “Baku Steel Company”, is now operating in the capital of Azerbaijan. That company casts four times more iron per year than is planned to be cast in our plant, and is located 400 meters away from residential houses.
- The residential houses in the Yeraskh community are located about 300 meters away from our plant, and the nearest Azerbaijani village Hyderabad is 1,8 km away. Therefore, there can be no intention to generate an environmental problem for Azerbaijan. A similar plant is located in Charentsavan city of Armenia, which covers the entire city and surrounding villages with tens of thousands of citizens within a radius of 1.8 km.
- The plant will operate with a water cooling system, assuming that used water is in closed circulation and will not discharge the plant area. It’s like the coolant used in vehicle engine that never discharges from the vehicle. Azerbaijan also emphasizes the possible pollution/contamination of the river Araks, which, is 6 km away from the plant. Even if we intend to pollute the river, it would be impossible for us.
- The furnace chimney of our plant will be of 33 meters height and equipped with a three-stage filtration system, thus the air rising through the chimney will have no negative impact on the environment. This was confirmed during the EIA examination, which lasted more than 6 months.
Thus, we have not violated any provisions of the international conventions that Azerbaijan points
out, as the type of plant and productivity of the plant we are constructing will not cause any crossborder impact. To prove these claims, we are ready to discuss them with international experts both in person and remotely. The foregoing will be followed by our actions in
international legal authorities.
We will spare no efforts and will claim for investments made, the loss incurred, and profit not earned. Let us mention that we have all grounds, including those documented by the diplomatic representatives of about 40 countries.
In case our statement is ignored, and shootings in the direction of our unarmed workers continue, we
ill consider this as a direct attack on American capital without any environmental motive, but rather upon a political decision.