“168 Zham” reports that the Armenian Ministry of Transport and Communications has signed a $29,000 construction contract with a private company chosen by it without a tender. The company, Armstroy, is registered in the town of Sisian and has repeatedly won similar contracts before. The paper says that the website of the Armenian state registry of companies does not specify who owns it.
“The year 2017 does not seem to have brought substantial changes to the lives of Armenia’s ordinary citizens,” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “Life has not improved and the country has not become a decent country. People have continued to struggle to make ends meet. Some have managed to do that better because they have kept up with time, gained new skills, become more educated. Others, being deprived of such opportunities right from the beginning, have remained at the mercy of employers and have spent the year doing grueling work for 12 hours a day and six days a week and making between 80,000 and 100,000 drams.”
“Zhamanak” claims that the U.S. Treasury Department’s decision to impose financial sanctions on Russian-Armenian businessman Ruben Tatulian and nine other Russian nationals accused of leading a crime syndicate could have “severe consequences” for Armenia. The paper speculates that the U.S. is also planning to penalize subsidiaries of Russian companies already sanctioned by Washington.
“Zhoghovurd” says that Prime Minister Karen Karapetian’s 2016 pledges to boost food safety controls in Armenia have turned out to be gimmicks. The paper points to last week’s discovery of horse and donkey meat that was sold as beef at a food market in Yerevan. “One can only guess about what the situation is with other products that have not been examined yet,” it says. “In the meantime, we can conclude that Armenia’s citizens are still not protected against low-quality or hazardous foodstuffs.”