YEREVAN, (Interfax) -- The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has minimized the staff of its Yerevan office, cutting back its presence in the country, a source in the Armenian government told Interfax on Monday.
Alexander Witte, the head of the EBRD office in Yerevan, left Armenia after his contract expired in late May, the source said. The head of the EBRD office in Georgia is now responsible for maintaining contacts with the government of Armenia, the source said.
A skeleton staff, fulfilling technical functions and having no real powers, is continuing to work at the EBRD's Yerevan office. The source believes that the reason why the EBRD is curtailing its work in Armenia is that not a single credit agreement was signed by the bank and Armenia in the past one and a half years.
The EBRD office in Yerevan was opened in July 1999, seven years after Armenia became a member of the bank. Since then, eight credit agreements worth approximately $145 million have been signed with the Armenian government. Most of the loans have been used by the public sector.