PM Nikol Pashinyan has presented details surrounding the existing situation at the Teghut Copper and Molybdenum Mine (Lori province) and the Alaverdi Copper Smelting Plant.
Speaking in parliament, the PM presented how the situation developed in the first place.
According to Pashinyan, the VTB Bank lent $380 million to the Teghut mine and Vallex Group, “and most likely it gave the loan not without political interference”. Then, Vallex Group, the operator of the mine, was unable to repay the loan and appeared on the path of bankruptcy.
“We have been involved in the process since May 2018 and commenced negotiations to help VTB and Vallex Group achieve an agreement. Last year, we achieved an agreement whereby VTB Bank must become the owner of the Teghut mine, and must also involve a well-known operator in copper sector to exploit the mine, and in this context the smelting plant should also work,” he said.
According to the prime minister these agreements were breached because of further processes.
“When this process were to launch, a very strange thing happened: some company filed to court about a $4-thousand debt, and expected the court to freeze all processes for this debt as a measure of ensuring the lawsuit. For this $4-thousand debt, the court froze the property, movement and legal processes of a company and companies worth several millions of dollars. And this is why the previous agreements system began to collapse,” he said.
Pashinyan says now the dispute between VTB Bank and Vallex Group has shifted to another level.
“Now the negotiations are returning to point zero, because this operator that was presented, got “scared” and refused to enter the process. The problem is that the VTB-Vallex dispute has shifted to a new level,” Pashinyan said.
He said the government would assist in solving this issue as soon as possible. (Armenpress/Ukrainian metal)