On October 4, 2018 Garegin Baghramyan, former head of the tariff policy department of the Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC) , was appointed Minister of Energy and Natural Resources. The public, however, did not broadly accept this appointment. Media reports circulated stating that Baghramyan has ties with NSS Director Artur Vanetsyan, which was later also confirmed by Vanetsyan himself: in an interview with journalists, Vanetsyan said that Baghramyan is the husband of his sister-in-law.
It is noteworthy that Baghramyan is involved in the criminal case initiated over the bribery of the members of the PSRC officials by the company “Veolia Jur”.
According to preliminary data, Director of “Veolia Jur” company Christian Lefaix and Operational Director Gor Grigoryan purchased air tickets Yerevan-Paris-Yerevan as a bribe for PSRC 7 officials in 2017 and took care of all the costs for their stay in Paris. The management of “Veolia Jur” spent 12,598,368 AMD, after which, according to the decision of the commission, the drinking water tariff increased by 11 drams from AMD180 to AMD191.
In response to our inquiry addressed to the Special Investigation Service, we learned that Garegin Baghramyan was among the seven officials who went to Paris at the expense of the company.
A criminal case was initiated on the fact of giving a bribe and using a real or alleged influence for mercenary purposes.
Now, Minister Baghramyan is involved in the case as a witness, nevertheless it should be noted that the above-mentioned act envisages imprisonment for up to 10 years.