On November 4 the chair of the Investigative Committee Hayk Grigoryan met with the FBI delegation headed by Attorney Diep Shoemaker. The official press release says successful bilateral cooperation over the past years was discussed, including on specific cases. A wide array of issues of mutual interest was discussed.
On October 30 Hayk Grigoryan told reporters that recently discovered circumstances relating to the gold mine of Amulsar brought up the need for an investigation, the experts of ELARD, a Lebanese company, will be interrogated. According to Grigoryan, the issues are related to the environmental impact assessment.
As is known, one of the “dilemmas” was whether a new assessment is needed which may completely change the situation with Amulsar and take a few more months. Earlier the last decision of the government was that currently Armenia does not have legal grounds to prevent the operation of the gold mine of Amulsar.
Could such grounds occur after the new investigation that Hayk Grigoryan mentioned on October 30?
On October 31 the Armenian prime minister met with the American ambassador Lynn Tracey accompanied by the director of the U.S. State Department Office of Caucasus Affairs and Regional Conflicts Cheryl Fernandez, the USAID Mission Director Deborah Grieser, the US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Christopher W. Smith and the U.S. Embassy’s Counselor for Economic and Political AffairsRyan Campbell.
The official press release on the meeting does not mention that Amulsar was discussed. At the same time, the main topic of the meeting, judging by the content of the official press release, was economy.
As is known, the interest of the United States in Amulsar has been openly expressed since Ambassador John Heffern. The Amulsar project is the biggest Western investment in Armenia.
Interestingly, the statement by the head of the Investigation Committee on recent developments relating to Amulsar is followed by the visit of the American ambassador and other officials to the prime minister’s office though it is not clear whether Amulsar was discussed or not.
Did FBI want to take a professional look at how grounded the legal process relating to Amulsar is?
The picture is notable against the resolution of the U.S. House of Representatives recognizing the Armenian genocide. The resolution has an advisory effect but a huge political weight.