World Bank retaliates against Parliamentary Whistleblower

World Bank retaliates against Parliamentary Whistleblower

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Armenia’s Disgrace goes to the U.S. Congress

So here we are, after a year of asking, beseeching, shouting, petitioning and screaming for a World Bank INT investigation into the corruption that has led Armenia to its recent crisis. On Thursday 17th April, the whole affair is going before a U.S. Congressional hearing, held by the U.S. Helsinki Commission, otherwise known as the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, or OSCE.

The hearing will focus on the ramifications of recent developments for Armenia and the United States, especially the ongoing negotiations on Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia s qualifications for assistance from the Millennium Challenge Account. Testifying before the Commission will be: Mr. Matthew Bryza, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Mr. Vigen Sargsian, Assistant to the President of the Republic of Armenia, and Mr. Arman Grigorian, Spokesman for Levon Ter-Petrossian, Armenia’s former President who continues to contest the recent Presidential election farce.

The Blowing the World Bank Whistle campaign has long argued that World Bank / IMF irresponsibility has led to the crisis now unfolding in Armenia. Since the turn of the century, the World’s two most prestigious sister financial institutions have been jointly nurturing a politically motivated agenda to prepare for resolution of the Karabakh conflict. The conflict of course had to be resolved; but the secretive way in which they have chosen to tackle the problem has led to a major crisis for Armenia, which in turn has led to the U.S. Congress hearing of the 17th.

Kocharian and Sargsyan have been playing down the way their Presidential election disgrace has threatened the Millennium Challenge Account, unashamedly announcing that Russia might be allowed to make up the Two Hundred and Thirty Five Million Dollar shortfall. That they could easily do by channelling a small part of the Karabakh compensation package to a Millennium Account. And although that surrogate Millennium Account will then be used to solve their own personal challenges, rather than those of Armenia’s under-privileged, they will again argue that they have served in the people’s best interests.

In monetary terms the Karabakh compensation package is likely to be some 20 times larger than the Millennium Challenge Account. Moreover, although that compensation package will be more than adequate to finance re-location for the tens of thousands who are forced to leave Karabakh and the surrounding territories, the Kocharian / Sargsyan team will inevitably find interesting ways to add to their multi-billion dollar windfall and continue squeezing every last Dram from those who will choose to move to Yerevan.

Hopefully, on the 17th the right questions will be asked for the peoples of Armenia and Karabakh. And hopefully the U.S. Congressional hearing will be able to shed some light on what has to date been a decidedly shady operation in preparation for resolution of the Karabakh conflict. And maybe with appropriate intervention following the U.S. Congressional hearing, the people of Armenia will be able to look forward to some level of normality.

Bruce Tasker
A Year Blowing the World Bank Whistle

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

F*** Hayvanstan