Interviews 18:47 25/01/2013

«Caviar price» in PACE and struggle of Armenian diplomacy; head of Armenian delegation in PACE commenting...

The Council of Europe loses its values, it starts to pursue certain interests, and in this particular case lobby becomes widespread, said the head of Armenian delegation to PACE David Harutyunyan in the interview given to a correspondent.

This report, as David Harutyunyan and other members of Armenian delegation told at the meeting, was of unilateral nature, and was formed by the Administration of President of Azerbaijan, and contains erroneous expressions and statements regarding the Karabakh conflict.

In this regard, as David Harutyunyan noted, the Armenian delegation as a "back action" to pro-Azerbaijani report submitted a dissenting opinion, which was appended to the document adopted in the framework of the PACE, in order to "neutralize the situation".

“Their goal was to fix false information about the number of refugees, which is the only trump card in the hands of Azerbaijani delegation and their country.

We, however, tried to make sure that it was not included in the report itself. Despite the fact that it was reflected in the report, we managed to present a dissenting opinion, which certainly, was appended to the report,” David Harutyunyan said.

Head of Armenian delegation admits that their efforts in the struggle against active Azerbaijani lobbying led to limited results.

Pedro Agramunt Spanish co-rapporteur on Azerbaijan was considered by European Stability Initiative as an active representative of "caviar diplomacy." He is engaged in Azerbaijani lobbying in PACE.

By the way during the winter session of PACE "European Stability Initiative" issued a report titled “Caviar diplomacy” which highlights the names of those who are engaged in Azerbaijani lobbying and get "caviar" in return. Pedro Agramunt’s name is the first in the list. "European Stability Initiative", for example, writes referring to his sources, “One kilogram of caviar costs about 1,300 -1400 euros. Each of our friends in PACE (10-12 people) gets at least 0.4 to 0.6 kg caviar for each session, i.e. four times a year.
There are also 3-4 people in the secretariat.”

“I do not think that we are able to bring back the European structure on the right lines. We are faithful to these values, and if we do realize that they are really valuable then we should bring them to life in our country without waiting for anyone to submit demands or to monitor our activities. After all, these opinions very often become just a tool in geopolitical struggle. Our task is to realize that these values are valuable for Armenia,” highlighted David Harutyunyan.

Head of the Armenian delegation reminded that earlier he introduce a proposal to PACE according to which PACE’s members could not be engage in lobbying after three years membership suspension as far as they use their ties in the Assembly for lobbying. This proposal, however, was not accepted.

People know initially that once their membership will be suspended, they will be asked to get engaged in lobbying activities. Even now, as a member of PACE, they are engaged in lobbying activities. Unfortunately, the number of such people in PACE has increased. Perhaps financial and economic crisis contributed to this too,” David Harutyunyan noted.

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