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HAVING DEBTS, BUT STILL PROUD

In 2006 the foreign debt of Armenia will be 1 billion 285 million UDS. It will exceed the index of this year by 50 million. By the way, the sum Armenia owes to international organizations as membership fee is not calculated. That sum will be 9 million USD.

Today the NA Ad-Hoc Committees discussed the financing of the Foreign Ministry from the budget. Taking into account the fact that the Armenian diplomats have lost part of their salary because of the unstable exchange rate of the UDS, a decision was made about raising their salary by 40% in 2006.

During the discussion leader of the United Labor Party fraction Gourgen Arsenyan was interested in how Armenia is going to react to the “Anti-Armenia hysteria” all around the world and if the budget has allotted money for “pro-Armenian” preaching.

Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy Pavel Safaryan found it difficult to give a clear-cut answer to that question. He only mentioned that formally the budget does not allot money for that purpose. Deputy Foreign Minister Gegham Garibjanyan added that next year more active work will be carried out in order to give a “counterblow” to the Azeri announcement.

Mr. Garibjanyan also said he was pleased with the work of the Foreign Ministry this year, “This year we were able to realize programs in connection with the 90th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide”.

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