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We undertook a legislative initiative to protect local manufacturers. This is what Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan told journalists on 15 April, touching upon the protest at Ararat Cement Factory.

Last week, the Standing Committee on Economic Affairs of the National Assembly of Armenia considered the bill protecting the interests of cement producers in Armenia, offering to apply a duty (AMD 22,000) for each ton of cement imported into Armenia. The bill is considered a bill that protects the cement factory that is linked to leader of the Prosperous Armenia party Gagik Tsarukyan. In 2018, during a meeting with representatives of Ararat Cement Factory belonging to his family, he had said that the import of cheap Iranian cement into the Republic of Armenia was causing serious problems for the sale of Armenian cement.

In regard to this, Pashinyan said the following: “This also became a big topic. People started conducing political analyses, stating that the government is making deals. The government doesn’t need to make deals with anyone. It is working with the mandate given by the people and will work this way as long as it has that mandate. This is an issue between the employer and employees.”

Earlier, Armenian had reported that employees of Ararat Cement CJSC had launched a workers’ strike since they had been told that the factory is being closed down on 15 June and that nearly 1,000 employees will lose their jobs.

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