Armenian-American billionaire Kirk Kirkorian yesterday set aside US$250 million of his own funds to support Armenia’s economic development. The initiative includes a US$100 million credit program to support small and medium-sized business in Armenia, US$85 million for building highways from Georgia’s Black Sea ports Batumi and Poti to land-locked Armenia, US$50 million for a highway from Tbilisi to Yerevan, and US$15 million for reconstruction in Armenia’s earthquake disaster zone around Spitak.
Kirkorian and President Robert Kocharian announced the programs at a joint news conference in Yerevan yesterday. According to Kocharian, this is the largest-ever foreign investment in Armenia’s economy. The Karabakh conflict and the official corruption condoned by Armenia’s previous administration have kept the level of foreign investment to a minimum. (Noyan-Tapan, June 23)
TURKMENISTAN SEEN IN MOSCOW AS POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS COMPETITOR.