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Government Officials Responsible for Nairit’s Bankruptcy, Investor Says

Armenia's authorities do not want to allow the reopening of the Nairit plant because it would lead to the discovery of a plunder committed by high-ranking government officials, Ashot Grigoryan, the head of the Armenian community of Slovakia and the chairman of the EU-ASIA Business Finance Centre Holding who has offered to invest 20 million dollars to restart production at the idling rubber factory, said at a news conference Friday.

“Nairit went bankrupt because government officials were personally plundering the plant's resources. Such looting is not possible without state-level participation. [Then prime minister] Tigran Sargsyan pocketed the loans intended for Nairit's operation and invested this money in his offshore companies, and if we were to reopen the plant, the dodgy activities of the current head of the Eurasian Economic Union board would be revealed,” Grigoryan said.

Nevertheless, the businessman added that the newly-appointed Armenian prime minister Karen Karapetyan is “quite excited” about his investment proposal. “Levon Yolyan, [the former] minister of energy and natural resources, without having any knowledge about the field, somehow managed to convince everyone [Nairit should not be re-launched]. Countries all over the world are doing everything to atract investors and allay their suspicions, while Armenian authorities are doing their best to scare investors off rather than dispel their doubts.”

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