YEREVAN (ARKA)—Arsen Avetisyan, a majority shareholder in Air Armenia who was reportedly assaulted in Yerevan by the bodyguards of the president of the Football Federation of Armenia (FFA), Ruben Hayrapetyan, issued a statement today saying his partners asked him to, “accept the extended hand of reconciliation.”
According to media reports, Avetisyan was beaten up and hospitalized with a broken nose and other serious injuries over the weekend in an attack which was reportedly led by Hayrapetyan.
The East Prospect Fund, which owns a 49% share in the airline, said in a statement Thursday that the Saturday’s assault on Avetisyan jeopardized its plans to help restart Air Armenia’s operations with large-scale investments. Its chief executive, Vladimir Bobylev, asked Armenian authorities and parties involved in the incident to find lawful ways of solving the existing problem.
“My partners have asked me to demonstrate a reasonable approach to the problem and accept the extended hand of reconciliation. They have also called on me to take into account every detail concerning the future of the airline when making decisions,” Avetisayn said in a separate statement today.
He stressed that he is responsible for every decision. “Therefore, I can accept the extended hand of reconciliation because of the concerns about the future of Air Armenia, because of the efforts of my partners to address the problems of the company, because of the expectations of my family who have gone recently through strings of tests, and because of a healthy atmosphere which is mandatory for the operation of the airline in conditions of harmony and mutual trust,” he said.
Avetisyan said that he was to be discharged from the hospital today, and after treatment at home, will be going back to work as soon as possible.
He expressed gratitude to the Armenian authorities, law enforcement agencies, and the media for their rapid responses to the statement of his wife and brother.
The incident was first reported by Avetisyan’s wife, Izabella Melkumyan, who published an open letter to President Serzh Sarkissian, saying that Hayrapetyan and his bodyguards kidnapped his husband after the beating. According to her, Hayrapetyan demanded that Avetisyan sign a statement that he owes a substantial amount of money to him.
According to media reports, Air Armenia has outstanding debts to another local airline, Taron-Avia, whose owner “ceded” the debt to Hayrapetyan. The violent incident is being investigated by law-enforcement authorities.
In December 2014, Vladimir Bobylev pledged to invest at least $30 million in Air Armenia to replace and expand the company’s small fleet of aircraft. East Prospect Fund is a licensed investment financial fund registered in the British Virgin Islands but headquartered in Kiev, Ukraine. It is said to manage $2.5 billion worth assets.