Azerbaijani Apples Wind Up in Armenian Stores; Authorities Baffled

Apples from Azerbaijan being sold in stores in Armenia (Source: News.am)
Apples from Azerbaijan being sold in stores in Armenia (Source: News.am)

Apples from Azerbaijan being sold in stores in Armenia (Source: News.am)

BY ARA KHACHATOURIAN

Residents of Armenia took to social media to point out and express their anger that apples from Azerbaijan were being sold at stores across Yerevan and surrounding cities.

Armenia’s national food safety board (SSFS), upon learning of the Azerbaijani apples, launched an investigation and set up a hotline for people to call in the event they spot those apples at their local grocery store.

The SSFS also reported that Armenia’s Customs Service did not clear any shipments from Azerbaijan and added that from April 1 to April 25 apples were imported into Armenia from Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia and Italy. The body also filed relevant paperwork with government agencies and ministries to get to the bottom of this apple infiltration.

We have to pause here and state that apples are not the only Azerbaijani products that rear their ugly heads at Armenian grocery stores.  In January, concerned parents reported an abundance baby formula from Azerbaijan on grocery shelves.

In fact, there is also several social media pages that are devoted to “Made in Armenia” products and also act as watchdogs on imports from other countries, especially Turkey and Azerbaijan.

What is interesting in the apple scenario is that the national food safety board seems to have been taken aback by the presence of the apples.

So, who is responsible?

Presumably, those at customs checkpoints around the country are literate and are able to read boxes that, according to press reports, are emblazoned with the word “Azerbaijan.” Those same boxes made their way from the now illusive check points onto a supplier’s warehouse, where also presumably those handling the shipment could decipher that the boxes were from Azerbaijan. Then the apples arrive at the stores where employees line the shelves, again presumably without reading what’s on the boxes.

Yet there is an easier way of getting to the bottom of this mystery. It’s simple since everyone in Armenia knows which oligarch owns what supermarket or grocery store and they can be called to task. This is where things get a bit complicated because in order to reveal the culprits, one has to knock at the doors of Republican Party of Armenia members who are possibly in the higher echelons of the political spectrum. It could even be the supermarket manager  who was recorded bullying his employees into bringing votes for the Republican Party for the April 2 Parliamentary election.

After all, in January it was revealed that the owner of the store carrying the Azerbaijani baby formula was a Republican Party parliament member. Not much happened to him.

The SSFS would do well to go directly to the source (the store owners) and not drag the public through this farce of an investigation or anticipate that the public will call its hotline to report the mysterious apples.

That, of course, requires that the government take responsibility for its brazen actions that not only is sure to line several pockets, but also clearly violate ethics. Is nothing sacred anymore?

As I write this piece, I can’t help but think about the three young soldiers who were killed on the frontlines this week. As they gave their life in the defense of our homeland, some petty businessman thought to profit off of apples thinking that no one would notice.

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10 Comments

  1. State of Emergency said:

    Same treacherous Armenians who cherish money above everything else. Same Soviet mentality into the 21 century.

  2. Norin said:

    So if the Rupublican party is so corrupt, why did the ARF form a coalition with them? And what does that say about the direction in which the ARF’s values are headed?

  3. Argo said:

    List the names and pictures of the people responsible.
    Armenians should know who are the traitors aiding the economy of a bloody dictatorship over their own local farmers.

  4. lei said:

    They should alsooo rethinkk twiceee when turkish goods end up in Armeniaaa ,THINKKKKKKKK THINKKKK ARMENIAN PEOPLE

  5. MGL said:

    Find out who is responsible and send to front line whole their families.

  6. Raffi Setian said:

    This is a mindless article because, as a matter of fact, nearly every supermarket in Armenia has been regularly selling products MADE IN TURKEY and made in Azerbaijan, openly, shamelessly, and unpatriotically for the past 25 years. Whenever I am in Armenia I am appalled and disgusted by this fact. Such products (and retail stores) should be systematically boycotted. Ինչո՞ւ ջուր բերել մեր ոխերիմ թշնամիին ջրաղացին: Is this an example of our ethnic “self-esteem”?

  7. Ishkhan said:

    Այ քեզ բան Խնձորի ներմուծում
    Հայաստանը ի վիճակի է բոլոր իր հարևաներին խմձոր մատակարարել

  8. GB said:

    Armenian corrupt oligarchs have no shame and dignity. Next time they will cover up Axeri and Turkish made symbols, with Armenian logos!

  9. Arman Kaymakcian said:

    Absolutely sickening, I am disheartened by this gross injustice! I thank you very much for writing this article I could not agree with you more. I would deport these people let them live in azerbaijan and they can sell all the apples they want. Totally sickening!
    -Arman Kaymakcian

  10. Jeero said:

    As I read this article, I see another on the same page pertaining to Turkey blocking access to Wikipedia.
    This is the fundamental difference between how the Armenian government conducts itself, and this of Turkey and Azerbaijan. As twisted and wrong as they are, Turkey and Azerbaijan seem to be far more passionate about their misguided and hate-filled ways.

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