Russian ambassador plays down migration in Armenia

23:52 • 01.09.11

Russian Ambassador to Armenia has said some people want to "accumulate political capital" by speculating on the fact of migration from Armenia to Russia.

Speaking to Radio Freedom in Armenia's second largest city of Gyumri, Vyacheslav Kovalenko, no one is forcing Armenians to leave their country.

"Who is taking Armenians from here, if they won't want?" said Kovalenko. "Why are they leaving their country, if they live well in their country?"

Kovalenko's remark comes after widespread discontent and criticism among Armenians of a project recently launched by Russia - Compatriots - that allows Armenians to move with their families and to live in Russia, get Russian citizenship and permanent jobs.

"No one is taking anyone. People go with their own initiative," assured Kovalenko, adding that all Armenians leaving their country will eventually come back.

Kovalenko also called on Armenians to avoid rendering dramatic shades to events.

"There are some people who want to accumulate political capital. They are doing it in vain. Everything will be OK, and if people are leaving temporarily, they are not leaving to become reach, bur rather for those who are staying here to live a good life," he explained.

An estimated 60,000 Armenians leave the country each year for better life and employment.


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