The decision to drop Armenia from the US-financed Millennium Challenge development program has renewed debate about the status of democratic reform in Armenia. The opposition, predictably, blames the government for the decision; the government is keeping quiet, but some ruling party representatives scoff that the decision is unjust.
US Ambassador to Armenia Marie Yovanovitch on April 15 indicated that Armenia’s failure to show progress in such “good governance” areas as freedom of the press and assembly as among the reasons why its Millennium Challenge compact would not be renewed when the $235.6 million, five-year program ends this September.
“I think this will encourage Armenia to boost the required indicators, particularly, in terms of good governance,” Ambassador Yovanovitch told RFE/RL on a visit with Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian to two irrigation canals repaired under the Millennium Challenge program.
The government has not yet issued an official response to the decision to cancel Armenia’s Millennium Challenge program, which focused on the renovation of irrigation systems and reconstruction of rural roads.
To read the full story
Marianna Grigoryan is a freelance reporter based in Yerevan and editor of MediaLab.am.