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Expert: Armenian authorities' obstinacy to finally collapse country

03 August 2017 [16:07] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Rashid Shirinov

In the classic movie "Network," there was a point when people began to shout, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore." This is what Armenian people feel about the country’s national debt, which has exploded in recent years. 

It is not surprising that the state debt of Armenia continues to grow, since there is no clear economic policy, and the ambitious desire of the leadership and local oligarchs is above the state and national interests.

The well-known Ukrainian expert and economist, Alexander Okhrimenko, said this commenting on the growth of Armenia’s state debt and the downturn of the economy.

The latest data reads that the state debt of Armenia has already exceeded $6.095 billion. Along with this, Armenia continues to lose money due to the capital outflow, and part of the funds is being exported to offshore zones.

For instance, Armenia lost more than $356 million in the first six months of this year, which exceeds the figure of the same period last year by $42.6 million. The Armenian media note that a considerable part of these funds, about $144 million, were exported to Russia, and $64.4 million - to the U.S. In general, the capital outflow from Armenia made up to $7.9 billion over the last nine years.

Okhrimenko noted that the state debt and illegal export of capital are not the only problems of Armenia. The country also suffers from raging emigration, high level of corruption, which led to a decline in the economic welfare of the population, as all these factors created serious social problems in Armenia, such as the decline of population.

As of July 1, Armenia’s population has decreased by 15,200 people compared to the same period in 2016. The interesting fact is that 8,700 Armenians left the country since the beginning of 2017, but the natural growth of the population was only 2,500 people.

Moreover, the birth rate in Armenia decreased. In January-June 2017, the number of births in the country decreased by 6.6 percent compared to the same period in past year, making 17,169 people. In contrast, the number of deaths increased by 2.1 percent, amounting to 14,709.

Okhrimenko said it is natural that Armenia's population is rapidly declining and the economy is falling down, as the country is hopelessly wallowing in the economic chaos and people are fleeing abroad.

“I have repeatedly said that the Armenian economy can be revived only in the case of settlement of the Karabakh problem. Only after that the country will be able to get out of political isolation and to participate in regional economic projects,” said the expert.

Armenia broke out a lengthy war against Azerbaijan by laying territorial claims on the country. Since a war in the early 1990s, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. Today, Armenia refuses to implement four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the occupied Azerbaijani lands.

Baku has repeatedly expressed its consent to come to the negotiating table with Yerevan to resolve the conflict by peaceful means, but Armenia continues to play for time and avoids substantive negotiations in order to preserve the inadmissible status quo in Nagorno-Karabakh.

“The country's [Armenia’s] leadership does not want to understand the simple truth: obstinacy against finding a compromise over the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the only obstacle to raising living standards in Armenia,” stressed Okhrimenko.

The Ukrainian expert added that the country, dominated by economic crisis, social inequality and indifference of the authorities to the problems of citizens, will completely collapse in a very short time, and the Armenian political leadership will be to blame for this.


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