Home / Armenia / Activists Appeal to Medvedev: Stop VTB Financing of Teghut Mining

Activists Appeal to Medvedev: Stop VTB Financing of Teghut Mining

SOS Teghut, a group of activists protesting mining in Armenia’s Teghut forest, have appealed to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, planned to coincide with his August 19–21 visit to Armenia, with a request to convince Russian VTB Bank not to provide a loan to Teghut CJSC for its plans to develop copper and molybdenum in Teghut. 

The letter sent to Medvedev, in part, reads:

“Honorable Mr. President,

“We, citizens of Armenia, welcome your stated policy on security and sustainable development of the environment. We place great importance on Russia, having significant natural resources, being aware of its obligation of sustainable labor before future generations.

“We, along with you and the Russian people, mourn the human and natural losses incurred as a result of the large-scale fires and the mass destruction of difficult-to-renew forest in the central part of the Russian Federation.

“Before us, too, are challenges of losing natural resources. In Armenia, forest is disappearing at a devastating pace, sources of the purest water are becoming dirty. These losses are borne not only by Armenia, but also by the entire world.

“For this reason, we invite your attention to the activities of the Russian VTB Bank, who plans to issue a loan of almost $300 million to Teghut forest, one of the last virgin forests in Armenia, for copper mine exploitation. 

“Independent experts and the public have numerously stated that the project doesn’t correspond with national and international legislation,  its economic inability, the violation of the principles of ecological security, the dirtying and loss of water resources, and the high danger of landslides in the area where pits containing tailings and toxic metals will be deployed.

“VTB’s directors refuse to enter into a dialogue with the public, don’t respond to letters and ignore the public’s protest, instead resorting to force…

“Honorable Mr. President, we appeal to you with a request to convince Russian VTB Bank to withdraw its financing of the Teghut project. That, in our opinion,… can play a positive role in strengthening trust between our countries.”