ArmInfo.The trade representative of Russia in Armenia, Andrei Babko, does not have documented facts that Armenian carriers at the "Upper Lars" checkpoint sometimes pay bribes to Russian customs officers for trouble-free passage of cargo.
"I know the problem, it exists, how deep - I do not know, I did not deal with the problem," Andrei Babko said at a press conference on December 13.
According to Babko, one should not discount the moment that bribes are given by one who has violated something. "If everything is clean, everything is fine, no one has the right to demand anything from you," he said.
Nevertheless, if such facts exist, the most important thing in the fight against the phenomenon is to talk about them openly, record the facts and bring the matter to court. "Such things, unfortunately, are present all over the world - this is corruption and it must be fought against - Russian customs officers are also subject to harassment and all cases must be stopped," he said, stressing that to this day none of the Armenian business or authorities, such a problem did not appeal to the Russian Trade Commission in Armenia.
Earlier Vahan Martirosyan, Minister of Transport, Communications and IT of Armenia, stated at the meeting with journalists that the Armenian side is trying to influence the leadership of Upper Lars checkpoint in order to exclude the corruption manifestations, which have become the "good tradition" of illegal fees from Armenian drivers. As Vahan Martirosyan stated, he personally raised this issue before the customs officials at the "Upper Lars". "They assured me that there is nothing like this. But our drivers say that from time to time this happens and they are subjected to extortion. We are struggling with this as we can, but understand - the Ministry of Transport of Armenia can not change anything in Russia on its own, "the minister stressed, noting that this issue can be settled only at the interstate level. Earlier, former Minister of Economy Artsvik Minasyan also spoke about the Russian side's verdicts on "Upper Lars". He also argued that the problem exists, but it is very difficult to solve it, since the Armenian side has no instruments of influence.
According to the testimony of not only professional cargo carriers, but also Armenian motorists, the road from the "Upper Lars" through the North Caucasus republics to the border with Stavropol, flies in pennies in connection with the fights both at checkpoints established at the borders of the autonomous republics.