Longer blackouts expected in Artsakh as blockade continues

The blockade is creating new challenges, Artsakh’s Minister of State Ruben Vardanyan said at the meeting of the operational staff set up to coordinate the crisis.

“The blockade changes the economy and the state’s priorities. The state is already forced to respond to the problems arising in the economic and social spheres as a result of the blockade, by reviewing its work, approaches and directions,” said Ruben Vardanyan.

“At the same time, the blockade and the resulting crisis force us to use available resources more rationally, to identify all problems, including those related to the shadow economy, to introduce more effective management models,” he said.

It was also noted that a working group was created to develop measures aimed at alleviating the economic and social consequences of the blockade.

The process of introducing the rationing system was discussed. It was noted that the organizational and technical works are being carried out according to the established schedule. A number of essential products will be sold by coupons through 200 stores in Stepanakert and another 400 stores elsewhere across the country.

The energy supply from Armenia remains disrupted, as the Azerbaijani side does not allow specialists to visit the territory under their control to eliminate the reasons for the interruption. In order to ensure the minimum energy needs of the population as long as possible, a four-hour rolling blackout schedule will be implemented starting tomorrow, instead of the current two hours.

Officials also briefed on the situation in the food, medicine and diesel fuel markets. It was noted that the measures taken have mitigated the tension in terms of cash circulation.

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