AEF: In Regard to Statement of Environment Minister Not Compliant with Reality

AEF: In Regard to Statement of Environment Minister Not Compliant with Reality

Armenian Environmental Front civil initiative

On February 12, 2012 in the National Assembly the Environment Minister Erik Grigoryan made a statement regarding the Armenian Environmental Front, which doesn’t comply with the reality. Grigoryan's statement was meant to form a context of negative attitude. The Armenian Environmental Front has never received any grants related to hydropower plants, $ 70,000 in particular mentioned by Grigoryan and grants in general.

As information incompliant with the reality, this is defamation not because getting a grant and spending it for a certain purpose is bad, but because our initiative for a grant program must have been at least a registered organization, while it is a volunteer group of citizens. Grigoryan's line of reasoning is also negative, as if "they then suggested that the banks demonstrate some approach to the construction of HPPs." That is to say, it can be assumed from what he said that "Receiving money was not enough; what they did was nothing."

Next day, on February 13, Ecolur Informational NGO responded to the Minister's statement and clarified that the mentioned HPP grant project was implemented by their organization, reminded who had provided the grant, what the purpose of its use was and what kidn of important analysis was carried out as a result.

In order to get Grigoryan out of this situation, the Fact-Finding Platform published an article on its website on February 18, explaining that the Armenian Environmental Front had not received a grant, but attempted to alleviate Grigoryan's situation by pointing out that the AEF member Levon Galstyan was one of the dozens of experts engaged in the first part of the program (about $37,000 budget). They wanted to say that someone from the AEF received some money.

The symbolic amount received by Levon Galstyan, which is not comparable to the market fee of experts (Erik Grigoryan knows very well that he himself said that he lived on a much higher salary before becoming a governmental official) cannot be attributed to the whole environmental initiative. Likewise, each of us can do a variety of paid jobs, but it has nothing to do with the whole initiative.

The Armenian Environmental Front demanded refutation from Minister Grigoryan in an official letter that was answered only 20 days later by the Ministry, literally writing the following: "In response to your application-complaint dated on 13.02.2020, the Minister of Environment E. Grigoryan is not going to refute his opinion regarding the HPPs mentioned in the letter."

Erik Grigoryan's behavior also creates a precedent of mistrust over the credibility of the words of public officials. In this regard, Grigoryan maybe follows the example of Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan, who for several months has been unable or unwilling to clarify which individuals or organizations are involved in the Amulsar campaign, according to the information he owns, which are funded by some miners.

The MPs and other members of the government may have something to say in the coming days or may legitimize such behavior of high-ranking state officials by their silen

17:36 March 09, 2020


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