Anti-Vallex Karabakh Human Rights Campaign starts investigative publications about untold story of massive rights violations, corruption, environmental abuse and political manipulation behind hand-made humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The history of “Vallex group”, which gold and cooper rush in Karabakh put the sensitive region of the South Caucasus at risk of escalation, is full of records of large scale damages to environment.

  • From 1997 to 2018 “Vallex”’s CEO Russian-Armenian oligarch Valeriy Medjlumyan owned and exploited Alaverdi copper smelter, Armenia’s second biggest copper plant enjoying protection by then Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan.

  • Therefore, the revelation of “Vallex” predatory attitude towards the environment became possible only after 2018 popular revolution in Armenia deposed the clan of Serzh Sargsyan, an alleged shadow share-holder of “Vallex”.

  • Only then Armenia’s Environmental inspection body levied USD 700.000 in fines on the company for the immediate damage “Vallex” inflicted on the surrounding nature and local community.

  • However, the relevant report of the Inspection body accused “Vallex” of such an inefficient operation of the plant that “neither the installation of filters, nor other similar measures will significantly reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide and other substances.”

  • Instead of compensating for damages and trying to somehow bring its activities in line with environmentally friendly standards, “Vallex” CEO V.Medjlumyan went to blackmailing the authorities shielding his predatory instincts behind the suffering of ordinary people. Thus soon after the release of environmental damage assessment report, “Vallex” management closed the plant, which led to temporal unemployment of more than 600 workers from Alaverdi community.

  • At the same time, “Vallex” tried to hide behind the protection of its new sponsor – VTB Bank, owned by another Russian oligarch Andrey Kostin. (under EU sanctions due to his active role in financing Russian aggression against Ukraine). The company explained its neglect to basic environmental standards by the need to repay a loan obligation of USD 500 mln. to VTB. Soon after the company assets have been fully transferred to the Russian bank.

  • Given the record of “Vallex” abuse of environment in Armenia one can only imagine the state of environmental outrage and violations of the rights of laborers at the “Vallex” mines in unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh, which is a “gray jurisdiction zone” controlled by the Russian military.

Kremlin man rush to save “Vallex” under the “Human Shield”

  • In early December last year “Vallex” operations in Nagorno Karabakh (internationally recognized as de-jure part of Azerbaijan) has been challenged by another demand for environmental monitoring, this time from the government of Azerbaijan. In response, the company again employed its favorite game of “hiding behind civilian shield”.

  • This time the game was triggered by Medjlumyan’s another crony, and yet another Russian oligarch Ruben Vardanyan who in 2019 was accused by dozens of European MPs as “a banker responsible for money-laundering of billions of dollars from Russia’s top elite”. Recently installed at the Kremlin’s behest as prime-minister of Nagorno-Karabakh, Mr.Vardanyan prevented the environmentalists to visit the site of the “Vallex” copper mine provoking predictable outrage in Azerbaijan. Few days later, Vardanyan used eco-protest by Azerbaijani activists against “Vallex”, taking place on the only route (Lachin road) connecting Nagorno Karabakh to Armenia as a pretext to announce self-imposed blockage of the region. In parallel Vardanyan raised a wave of international PR campaign portraying a protest by handful of unarmed activists as “genocidal blockade” of Karabakh Armenians, playing on the worth historical trauma of his people.

  • Thus by protecting the interest of corrupt company with outrageous records of environmental abuse R.Vardanyan put thousands of ordinary Armenians of Karabakh at risk of food shortage, fueling their grievances, triggering another circle of mutual retaliations with Azerbaijanis and thus shattering any hope for peace to come.

In order to rescue Karabakh Armenians from the real danger, defend their basic rights for food, clean environment and peace:

!!! Vallex” should be taken responsible for its abuse of environment and sufferings of local community;

!!! Its crony and the Kremlin proxy R.Vardanyan should be stopped from playing his dirty game of “self – blockage” and manipulation of Karabakh residents;

#DefendRightsNotValex #AntiVallex #UntoldKarabakh #RightsToVallexVictims

@AntiVallex Campaign Research Group

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