• Kocharyan again crawled under plinths, says former official

    During his interview with Yerevan-based Aravot daily, Gagik Shahbazyan, a former minister of Agriculture, former minister Minister for relations with the CIS, European Union and international economic organizations, Armenia’s Ambassador to Russia in 1997-1999, referred to the recent interview of Armenia’s second President Robert Kocharyan.

    Speaking about his tenure in office and in reply to the observation that it was during Kocharyan’s presidency that Armenia joined the World Trade Organization and the Council of Europe, at the same time maintaining business ties with Russia, Mr Kocharyan said, “In those years Armenia had a fixed position in the list of rapidly developing countries.”

    “The GDP Annual Growth Rate in ten years totaled 10,5%, given the average annual inflation rate of about 3% and the steadily declining external debt (GDP was 46% in1998 and 13% in 2008 ). Small and medium-sized businesses were steadily growing in those years and large-scale investments were made in different infrastructures.

    This means that the fruits of economic growth were distributed in society, which, in turn, led to significant progress in poverty reduction. The government of any country will dream to have such development rates.

    In this regard, Mr Shahbazyan said, “Again this man [Robert Kocharyan] crawled under plinths and began praising himself.”

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