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YEREVAN. – An international conference on mining industry is convened Tuesday in Armenia’s capital city Yerevan.

But a group of environmental activists entered the conference hall, holding banners, and temporarily stopped the conference.

They surrounded Armenia Nature Protection Minister Aram Harutyunyan, and demanded to answer for the environment being polluted in Armenia as a consequence of mining in the country.

The activists had brought along the water from Syunik Region’s Geghi River, which is being contaminated as a result of the chemical materials from the Hankasar mine, and asked the minister to drink this water in a glass.

“You drink [it]! I don’t need water,” the minister responded.

“Shame [on you]!” the activists shouted in response.

“Shame on you all!” the minister retorted.

The US, British, and German ambassadors to Armenia and representatives from several international organizations are participating in the conference.

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