By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Armenia experienced some stressful news last week, but the most stressful was the collapse of the Armenian-British relations.
Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan met with David Moran, the Chargé d'Affaires of Great Britain on November 18. This means that the United Kingdom is lowering its representation level in Armenia from ambassador to chargé d'affaires level.
"This is a very serious gesture in diplomacy," a source at the Foreign Ministry said.
Some experts claim that the situation with the UK has several aspects, beginning from the Amulsar gold mine issue to the "flirtation" of the Armenian authorities with Russia.
"In fact, we have no ambassador there for a year and a half. And this situation with the key country having excellent relations with Azerbaijan is serious, if not diplomatic nonsense," Armenian media complains.
Answering the question from the journalists whether Great Britain will have an ambassador to Armenia, Spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry Anna Naghdalyan said those issues are in the British side's domain.
The scandal over the development of the British-American Lydian Amulsar gold deposit in Armenia began to deteriorate again.
The claim to invalidate the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) under the Amulsar gold mine development program was rejected by the Administrative Court of Armenia on November 19, said the comments of the Lidian Armenia company developing the field.
In this regard, the U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Lynne Tracy made a couple of very specific statements addressed to the Armenian authorities.
In an interview with Civilnet, Tracy stated that the U.S. approach to the Amulsar field is to ensure fair treatment for this project.
"I also emphasize the need for transparent and predictable rules, as well as the need for predictable decision-making. In the end, these are situations that foreign investors will closely monitor in order to determine the attitude towards foreign investors in the republic in terms of transparency and justice," Tracy stated.
She said the situation around the field certainly affects the mood of potential Western investors. She said the situation is being monitored by foreign investors who, when making their decisions, will take into account the situation around the Amulsar field.
Earlier, former ambassador to Armenia Richard Mills made similar warnings. "If this issue is not quickly resolved, then a shadow will fall on Armenia in terms of attractiveness for business," he told Armenian reporters.
In this situation it is yet questionable whether how Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, stuck between the populism consequences and the country's international obligations, will balance his steps.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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