February 23
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YEREVAN. – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is going to provide a 10.6mn-euro loan to Armenia for the construction of a new customs checkpoint in Meghri—on the border with Iran. Mikayel Pashayan, Deputy Chairman of the State Revenue Committee, said this at Tuesday’s meeting of the Standing Committee on Financial-Credit and Budgetary Affairs of the National Assembly, during the discussion of the matter of ratification of the respective agreement that was signed between Armenia and the EBRD in February.

The area of this checkpoint is expected to increase from the current 6.5 hectares to 8.6 hectares, its service capacity will increase from the current 300 vehicles to 900 vehicles per day, its construction is expected to be completed in 2023, and international-level management mechanisms will be introduced there.

According to the official, once it is constructed, this checkpoint will actually become a fully functioning customs agency where an effective fight against smuggling will be possible, too.

The aforesaid loan will be provided at a floating interest rate and for a period of 15 years—with three-year benefits.

In addition, new product lab analysis equipment, goods—including passengers’ hand luggage scanners—as well as human scanners will also be installed at this checkpoint. "Although the [Armenian-Iranian] border is now closed to passengers due to the coronavirus, once it is [re]opened, travel and trade between the two friendly countries will be completely resumed," Pashayan stressed, in particular.

After some debates, the aforesaid parliamentary committee approved this initiative.

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