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More Government Aid Approved For Armenian Border Villages


ARMENIA -- Aram Vardazaryan stands inside his home in the village of Aygepar recently damaged by shelling during armed clashes on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, July 18, 2020.

The Armenian government approved on Thursday 277 million drams ($570,000) in additional financial aid to four villages in Tavush province damaged during last month’s deadly fighting at a nearby section ofArmenia’s border with Azerbaijan.

According to the provincial administration, 89 village houses there were hit by cross-border shelling from the Azerbaijani side. The central government pledged to repair all of them immediately after the weeklong hostilities which left at least 12 Azerbaijani servicemen and 5 Armenian soldiers dead. It initially allocated 25 million drams for that purpose.

Minister for Local Government and Infrastructures Suren Papikian said more than 110 million drams of the extra government funding will be channeled into ongoing house repairs in three of those border villages: Aygepar, Nerkin Karmiraghbyur and Chinari.

Papikian said another 84.3 million drams will be spent on refurbishing schools and bomb shelters located in these and another border village, Movses. He noted that the schools were not damaged by the Azerbaijani shelling.

The rest of the funding will go to pay for the construction of a small park in Nerkin Karmiraghbyur and a housing complex in Chinari, Papikian added during a cabinet meeting in Yerevan.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian told Papikian to ensure that the government-funded construction is carried out thoroughly and “as rapidly as possible.”

Villages located on the Azerbaijani side of the heavily militarized border also reportedly suffered extensive damage during the clashes that broke out on July 12 and prompted serious concern from the international community. Yerevan and Baku have blamed each other for what was the worst flare-up of violence in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone since 2016.

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