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 Monday, June 24 2024 12:23
Naira Badalian

All of them, from the minister to the prime minister, are `leading us  by the nose`: tense situation on Yerevan-Aparan highway

All of them, from the minister to the prime minister, are `leading us  by the nose`: tense situation on Yerevan-Aparan highway

ArmInfo.Residents of the village of Vardenut in the Aragatsotn region of Armenia, protesting against  the recognition of the village's territory of almost 110 hectares as a zone of exclusive public interest, again closed the Yerevan-Aparan highway.

Back in March of this year, the villagers closed the road, stating  that due to the government's decision to recognize part of the  territory of the villages of Vardenut and Aragats as a zone of  predominant public interest, they are losing their land plots. At  that time, the residents of Vardenut reported that they had written  letters to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Economy.

"Our Prime Minister says that the road needs to be closed to solve  the problem. We are guided by what the Prime Minister said," said one  of the residents of the village of Bayandur.

According to him, since January of this year, all of them, from the  Minister to the Prime Minister, has been leading us by the nose. "The  Prime Minister says: I don't know, is that even possible," he said. 

Talks about the RID company started already in 2021, when the  Armenian government did not approve the projectfor the construction  of a ski resort with an investment of $300 million by the Aragate  Investments company (the owner of the company is a major businessman  Nikolai Sarkisov), which submitted an application for the  construction of a ski resort on the slopes of Aragats, and approved  another investment program in the same area for $200 million to  establish 300 farms and an ecotourism center covering over 4,000  hectares of land. (The latter was approved by the Cabinet of  Ministers on March 2, 2023).  Meanwhile, since the beginning of 2020,  Aragate Investments together with the well-known MDP consulting and  engineering and Societe des 3 Vallees French companies, began work on  the construction of a large ski resort on the slopes of Aragats on an  area of about 5,000 hectares. Societe des 3 Vallees is the management  company of the famous French resort of Courchevel. On the same  territory, RID LLC planned to build agricultural production, a  reservoir, and a ski resort. As noted, the shareholder of the company  is Rutsog- Invest, which in turn (again, according to the media at  that time) was owned by Moscow businessman Ruben Grigoryan. The  territories of the two companies' programs coincided. The  interdepartmental commission established to approve one of the  programs in this place approved the project of RID LLC. The company's  investment program was also approved by the Council of Elders of  Aparan. According to the presented project, RID LLC will build a  skiing infrastructure that has no analogues in Armenia, including  about 30 km of ski slopes, five funicular lines, and hotels. The  entire complex is expected to cover the territories of several  villages in the Aragatsotn region: Vardenut, Aragats, Arai and  Shenavan. According to the Ministry of Economy, the implementation of  this project will be of great importance in the context of Armenia's  further economic development. Based on this, the Cabinet of Ministers  decided to recognize the prevailing public interest in relation to  the land of 113 hectares, while simultaneously giving permission for  the long-term lease of 3,640 hectares of land. 

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