Armenia’s Scientific Potential Underestimated By Government

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–"Our science is bigger than our country. It is difficult to preserve such a advanced scientific community in a small country like Armenia," said president of the National Academy of Sciences Fadey Sargsian in the interview on December 21. "If we let our scientific potential go–our country is sure to become a third world state," he stressed.

Sargsian said that it is the state that must take care of science–and the government did adopt the law of scientific and scientific-technical activity.

Sargsian expressed his regret that the 2002 state budget allocated less than three percent to science–but he hopes that in the future–the government will have the means to allocate as much money as the industry deems necessary.

He pointed out that in the current year–240 million drams were supposed to be set aside for scientific workers–but their salaries have not been paid for the last four months. He hopes that this large debt will be completely paid off by the end of this year. "Despite the straining conditions–the real scientists continued working," the NAS president said.

When a news correspondent asked how the National Academy intends to pay off its the debts for energy–Sargsian said that the NAS’s debts have been accumulating since 1999–and that now it totals 78 million drams. This debt was to be paid by thematic financing sources–but they appeared to be insufficient even for paying salaries. The president of NAS said that he appealed to the government many times–and he hopes that the government will pay the debt.

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