Caucasus Reality 12 october — 18:33

German Ambassador to Azerbaijan on situation around Okhchuchay: I contacted Ilham Aliyev's office...

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Several months ago, Azeri Daily published a series of articles on the transboundary pollution of the Okhchuchay River, which flows from Armenia to Azerbaijan and then into the Araz (Araxes) River. As noted in our publications, the source of pollution that has reached a critical level are two Armenian mining enterprises located in the Syunik region (Western Zangezur) -- the Zangezur Copper-Molybdenum Combine (ZCMC) and the Kafan Mining and Processing Combine.

Zangezur Copper-Molybdenum Combine is a subsidiary of the German company CRONIMET Holding GmbH.

Part of the Okhchuchay river in Armenia

The Okhchuchay River is a left tributary of the Araz River. Most of it is located in the Syunik region of Armenia, as the historical region of Zangezur is now called in this country. The lower course of the river flows through Zangilan, recently liberated from the Armenian occupation, and flows into the Araz (Araxes). And it is into this river that wastewater from two deposits located in the channel of this river on the Armenian side is discharged, which creates a problem of pollution not only of this river itself, but also of the Araz, whereto it flows. It is generally known that most of the salts of heavy metals enter the environment as a result of the activities of mining and processing enterprises. This gives reason to believe that one of the largest mining enterprises in Armenia, located in the Syunik region at the source of the Okhchuchay River (called the Voghchi River in Armenia), dumps production waste directly into the river without any preliminary treatment, which does not meet any environmental standards.

German Ambassador to Azerbaijan Wolfgang Maning in an interview with Turan commented on the current situation around Okhchuchay.

The ambassador noted that after the end of the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia, various problems became known.

Wolfgang Maning

He stressed that Okhchuchay is partly on the territory of Armenia, and partly on the territory of Azerbaijan. The ambassador said that the pollution of this river is a serious issue for Azerbaijan.

According to the German diplomat, the German Embassy in Armenia reported that several years ago, one of the environmental protection organisations in Armenia raised the issue that the Okhchuchay River was too polluted.

'I contacted the office of President Ilham Aliyev and offered to join the efforts of one of the Azerbaijani environmental protection organisations with that Armenian organisation. We are interested in this issue. In conditions when there is no trust between Armenians and Azerbaijanis, we can contribute to the creation and restoration of a healthy environment,' said the ambassador.

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