31 March 06

“Though the Millennium Challenge Corporation implements programs in
different countries, the debate on funding us lasted for a long time,
and I do not think it contains only an economic component,” stated
Aram Karapetyan, the leader of the Nor Zhamanakner Party on March
31. Because, he said, the programs to be funded will not have any
importance for the development of industry. The political context
is one, believes Aram Karapetyan, Nagorno Karabakh Republic and the
final settlement of the status of the liberated territories.

“Especially after the visits of Bryza and Fried there is opinion that
peacemaking forces are going to be stationed in these territories in
July-August. This also implies that American troops will be stationed
at the northern border of the Islamic Republic of Iran. As far as I
know the structure of the troops is still debated.

The Millennium Challenge, in other words, Money for Dayton. You surely
remember negotiations in Dayton. The money is given to organize
Dayton. This opinion prevails within the opposition,” elucidates
Aram Karapetyan.

Republican Gagik Minasyan disagrees. The stipulations of the Millennium
Challenge are absolutely different: democratization, struggle against
corruption, establishment of a civil society. Aram Karapetyan objects
to this. There was no serious and effective solution of these problems
in Armenia. “But the funds were allocated. It means there was another
context.” Aram Karapetyan is not quite optimistic about the future of
the American money, considering the experience of the money of the
American LINCY Foundation. “As far as I know, there were cases of
abuse. And I have learnt from press that they demand from Artashes
Tumanyan to return a sum of 3 million. Every day they call him to
the sixth department, the National Security Service. Perhaps they
demand something from him if they keep calling him. I think part of
the money of the Millennium Challenge will be stolen and dissipated.”

Gagik Minasyan did not answer to the question on wasting, but he
agreed that there are objective and subjective problems that need to
be discussed.

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