in 1923 and was the pillar of Soviet Banking system and law obedient Soviet citizens were encouraged to hold their savings there – which was one of the reasons, why after the collapse of the USSR and downfall of the Soviet Ruble it had huge depts to Armenian citizens. In fact it ows me, personally – about 2000 Soviet Rubles. In Kocharyan era the bank was sold to Armenian oligarch of Karabakh origin – Mika Baghdasaryan for a ridiculously small amount of money, to be soon resold to Russia’s Vneshtorgbank.
The couse of blogger discontent lies in the fact, that as part of it’s bid for acquiring the Azerbaijan’s AF-Bank, VTB have forced their Armenian subsidiary to close down their branch in Nagorno-Karabakh. Clearly – this is politics intruding into business, so bloggers are urging everybody to close their accounts at VTB. Yet another cause of the action is the fact, that VTB is providing loans to the Armenian Copper Program (ACP), which plans to clear-cut over 1,500 acres of Teghut’s forest in order to establish an
open pit strip mining operation for copper and molybdenum ore.
The bloggers are urging everyone to also write letter to VTB indicating these two as reasons for their frustration with bank’s activities, as well as avoid making utility payments via VTB, which is so far one of the prime choices for making water, electricity and communication services payments in Armenia.
The Armenian Observer blog is joining the action and is urging everyone to do so as well.
Boycott blog – set up a couple of weeks ago to promote the concept of civil-boycott of various things – boycottable, in sign of protest of the 2008 Presidential election results and the reaction of authorities that followed opposition protests, has now come up with a discussion, whether it is acceptable to boycott the Eurovision song contest and Armenian representative – Sirusho. While I see some logic in that – I just watched the “Qele, qele” song – Armenian Eurovision entry, and felt, that it would be unjust towards the artist – Sirusho, who is basically still just a kid, especially as the song sounds like a winning one to me. Moreover, considering the fact, that this year is Azerbaijan’s first entry into the Eurovision contest, I have that little twitch of pride inside me, telling we have to do everything to make sure the Armenian artist wins. On the other hand, it is not just about Sirusho – it is the Armenian Public TV – that is taking part in the contest – and if this boycott could serve to teach a lesson of public mistrust towards the Public TV – for all the disgraceful media coverage of the election process over the past several months, maybe it is a justified more? I really don’t know. What do you think?
Here’s a Podcast of the Armenian Blog roundup made about this topic.