PWYP urges EBRD to reject Russia-Azerbaijan loan

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Update on 23 July 2015 We have come to learn that unfortunately the loan was approved by the EBRD during their meeting yesterday.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Board of Directors is meeting on 22 July to decide whether to arrange a loan of up to US$500,000,000 to Russia’s Lukoil for the Shah Deniz II offshore gas project in Azerbaijan.

We, Publish What You Pay, are greatly concerned with this proposed loan and are urging the EBRD to reject this loan for failing to meet the basic requirements of the Agreement Establishing the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and in particular the Bank’s own Energy Policy pertaining to EITI.

In April 2015 Azerbaijan was downgraded from ‘compliant’ to ‘candidate’ status by the EITI international board. This sanction was accompanied by a series of recommendations that the government of Azerbaijan needed to meet, but until now no action has been taken by the Government of Azerbaijan. Instead, the Azerbaijani government continues to prosecute civil society activists and journalists for arbitrary reasons.

The downgrading of Azerbaijan by the EITI and the lack of commitment by the Government of Azerbaijan to the EITI should be key sources of concern for all stakeholders involved but especially for the EBRD. The approval of the proposed loan would fundamentally conflict with the EBRD’s standards.

Read our letter to the EBRD here.

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