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Armenian officials: No foul play in rising prices

By M. Alkhazashvili
(Translated by Diana Dundua)
Wednesday, April 2
Armenian officials deny that recent price rises on everyday items is linked to the February 19 presidential election, and say that it is down to increasing world market prices.

Armine Udumyan of the state commission on protection of economic competition said monitoring showed no violations of economic competition legislation.

She added that incoming president Serzh Sarkisyan has announced a committee comprising representatives of various government ministries to assuage price rises.

“They are going to study the matter more thoroughly and make suggestions to assuage price rises,” the Armenian news agency A1 quoted Udumyan as saying. She added that increased prices have no connection with the recent election.

However, independent analyst Edward Agadjanov claims the government is manipulating prices in order to compensate for money in spent in the run up to the election. “It’s a tradition that prices rise after elections, it’s not linked to world markets,” he said, although he failed to specify exactly how the government stood to benefit from the price hikes.