The state company “the Russian Railways” (RZD) is preparing to break the agreement with the Armenian authorities, arguing that they block the work of its subsidiary enterprise “South-Caucasian railway” (SCR) which operates the Armenian railway. RTVI about it has told a source familiar with the negotiations between Russia and Armenia. Information confirmed in the Ministry of transport.
In August, 2018 in the company’s office was raided on suspicion of tax evasion on $19 thousand. In SCR were told that the security forces confiscated her documents. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan then said that around the company, “there are some legal processes,” but urged “not to make a tragedy”.
In December, the Investigative Committee of Armenia announced about the criminal case against former Deputy Minister of transport of the Republic. According to investigators, he hid the abuse, identified during audits of the South Caucasus railway. At the end of the same month in the UK the Republic reported that are investigating the activities of SCR for 10 years, checking the efficiency of investment at $226,8 million, the company said in response about the bias of the investigation.
According to the source RTVI, just against SCR brought seven cases, which have merged into one. During searches, the company took the entire archive from its inception until 2018, which greatly complicates the ongoing activities of SCR. The company tried to bring back the documentation through the courts, but she refused.
The leadership of the South Caucasian railway consider financial claims are unfounded and declare that if Armenia wanted to put pressure on Russia, and to understand the situation, she would have asked the international court of justice.
The Ministry of transport negotiated with the relevant Ministry and Vice-Premier of the government of Armenia Mher Grigoryan, proposing to close a criminal case in exchange for additional investment. Russia also proposed a new independent scrutiny, if the government is not willing to withdraw their claims. Now Moscow is considering the issue of early termination of a management agreement for the railway of Armenia.
“Armenia has created a situation in which the SCR can not work normally, seized all documents for 10 years against unsubstantiated accusations and not given any guarantees. Our arguments about that earlier inspections revealed no violations, and arguments on the conditions of the concession are ignored”, – said the Deputy Minister of transport of Russia Vladimir Tokarev. The Ministry of territorial administration and infrastructure of Armenia reviews for this reason not given: September 16, Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinian amatil that checking in SCR is carried out to protect the interests of the Republic.
In this 18 September at the meeting with the staff of the SCR, the first Deputy of the General Director of Russian Railways Alexander Misharin said that the company’s important work in Armenia, and stressed that SCR is one of the largest employers of Armenia: the company employs over three thousand people.
The company “South Caucasus railway” came in 2008, when Armenia passed the “Armenian railway” to the Ministry of Railways. Employees of the railway of Armenia, joined the staff of the new enterprise. Under the terms of the concession contract, the Russian state-owned company can control the Armenian roads for 30 years. In addition, the “daughter” of Russian Railways owns all the trains. One of the parties may initiate the termination of the contract if the other does a “any activity that explicitly deals significant damage to the railway operation or implementation of services in railway transportation”.