In February 2018, Arman Sahakyan, Chairman of the State Property Management Committee adjunct to the RA Government, informed the journalists about the upcoming sale of the building of the Ministry of Transport and Communication located at the Republic Square.
“With regard to the building of the Ministry of Communication and Transport, I have to say that we conducted almost 6 auctions. At this moment we have a proposal. I must say, at this moment a draft decision of the Prime Minister is being prepared to set up a negotiating committee. Soon the decision will be there, we will negotiate with the party who wants to acquire the Ministry of Transport and Communication. Naturally, during the negotiations we should look at the amount of the investment, understand what building will be in the Republic Square. I will definitely announce it after the talks” Sahakyan said.
It has been two years since this announcement, and the Fact Investigation Platform has tried to find out at what stage the sale of the ministry building is and who its buyers were.
In October 2016 and August 2017, the Government made two decisions to alienate the former Ministry of Transport and Communication building at 28 Nalbandyan Street, but in response to the inquiry of the Fact Investigation Platform, the letter from the State Property Management Committee noted that “As a result of ongoing auctions, the property was not alienated due to the absence of bids”.
They also informed from the Committee that the property is now managed by the Ministry of High-Tech Industry and remains a state property.
Two months after Arman Sahakyan’s announcement, a revolution took place in Armenia, and a few days later, on May 15, 2018, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed Arman Sahakyan’s letter of resignation from the post of Head of the State Property Management Committee adjunct to the Government of the Republic of Armenia.
In conclusion, we can state that despite Arman Sahakyan’s assurances, the former building of the Ministry of Transport and Communication has not been sold. Moreover, according to the response we received from the State Property Management Committee, there have never been any bids to buy the building, and, hence, the announcements on setting up a negotiating committee were also false.