JANUARY 12, ARTSAKHPRESS. More than 1000 jobs were cut, businesses are temporarily shut down during the ongoing Azeri blockade of Artsakh, the State Minister’s Advisor Mesrop Arakelyan said.
He said the government is planning relief programs for heavily affected sectors, as well as reforms of the economic structure.
Arakelyan said that the economic structure of Artsakh changed significantly after the 2020 war. New spending made in 2021-2022 led to numerous budgetary and economic issues. The 2023 state budget, which was approved before the blockade, outlined approximately 50 billion drams in revenues. “But since the first day of the blockade it was obvious that we can’t have that level of revenues. And during this one month many sectors and companies are unable to work, which not only leads to significant drop in tax revenues but also job cuts. Regrettably, over 1000 jobs have been cut and businesses are temporarily shutting down,” Arakelyan said.
The Lachin Corridor is blocked by Azerbaijan since 12 December 2022. The corridor is the only travel and supply route for the 120,000 Armenians of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh). The blockade has caused a humanitarian crisis. Shortages of essential products such as food and medicine prompted Nagorno Karabakh authorities to introduce rationing. Hospitals are keeping planned surgeries on hold. 1,100 residents of Nagorno Karabakh, including 270 children who were in Armenia when the road was blocked are unable to return to their homes. Furthermore, Azerbaijan has barred repair crews from accessing the area where the only high-voltage power line supplying Artsakh with electricity from Armenia was damaged on January 9.