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To the surprise of Fioletovo residents the issue of the exploitation of nearby the village mine was not settled completely
On March 13, a meeting was held in Fioletovo attended by 80 representatives of the community: Mayor Pavel Novikov, representatives from Lori regional administration, from Yerevan represented by the Russians Rights Centre, Coordinator of Stepanavan Aarhus Centre and others. During the meeting was discussed the issues of Fioletovo village: the involvement of highly qualified teachers in order to improve the education of the Russian school, creating a kindergarten and other issues. Special attention was paid to the mine development project of the gold mine situated just a few hundred meters away from the village’s residential area.

The “Grade Redmet” LLC plans to develop the mine using an opencast method, on the area of 5.2 hectares, 1.3 kilometers away from the mine, to accumulate up to 3 million cubic meters of dumps, 5 years along intending to mine 37 tons of ore. That’s why in the last few months has been distorted the tranquility of the Molokans. In January of this year the residents of Fioletovo forced to turn to the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Ivan Volinkin, head of the OSCE Office in Yerevan, requesting to support in the suspension of the mine development. The latter had a meeting with A. Grigoryan, Minister of Environmental Protection after which the construction of the mine was suspended.

However, at the recently held meeting Ivan Semenov, coordinator of the Council on the activities of the national minorities of Armenia attached to the RA Presidential Administration noted that the mine development issue again was raised in Fioletovo. According to him currently the package of the mine construction is at the RA President and in the near future the problem will be solved soon as possible, taking into account the community’s final opinion.

This speech surprised the mayor and the villagers a lot, because they have already expressed their negative opinion on the draft, that they are not going to hand over their ancestral fertile lands, will not allow to contaminate water, air and soil of their native village and they are not going to leave their homes, they will continue to work, creating a boon for the people of our country. Welcoming the participants, the coordinator of Stepanavans Aarhus Centre offered the Center’s assistance if necessary, in protection of the rights of the community, urged to be vigilant and strong, to do everyday work for the protection of the community. Representatives of Lori region administration also mentioned that no one can operate the mine without the consent of the community. However a new wave of anxiety was raised among the residents of Fioletovo and they intend to pursue the final solution of the issue.

Manya Melikjanyan
Coordinator of Stepanavan Aarhus Center
Tell: (+374) 93 315108
E-mail: manya_lore@yahoo.com
Translated by Anush Beybutyan