ArmInfo. Corruption negatively impacts any industry in the world and could generate a national security threat for Armenia, Ambassador Richard M. Mills, Jr. stated within sidelines of the sustainable mining business conference, held in Yerevan on November 16.
According to the Ambassador, one of the United States' priorities is to make the industries of the partner-countries more transparent, reportable, and to reach the rule out of corruption. At that, according to the Ambassador, the success in corruption struggle is the first priority for improvement of the business environment in Armenia.
Ambassador Mills reminded also his statements made in respect to different issues about the fact that the country and the people are suffering with unfair and unequal business conditions and total corruption. "Corruption makes harm for every economy in the world, can destroy democracy, supremacy of law and to generate threats to national security," the Ambassador stated. At the same time the Head of American Diplomatic Mission in Armenia mentioned some positive impulses in this aspect.
To note, in September 2015, in an interview with the RFE/RL Armenian Service (Azatutyun), US Ambassador to Armenia Richard Mills said that corruption sets back economic growth, hurts human rights development, and undermines democracy. He thinks corruption "even undermines the national security" because outside forces can control the development of the country. The question is whether the government has tools and a political will, but there is a civil society that can help the government to fight it, he said. "If we cannot address this large issue of corruption, which I understand is a serious issue - I know it affects so much of Armenia's daily life - it will affect a large part of our relationship in specific areas, for instance, investment. I am very committed to growing the commercial ties, the investment ties between Armenia and the United States. I think that now is the time to focus on it. But to attract US investment, investors need to know the climate, where everyone is treated the same, where there is no unfair competition, where government services are equally available to everyone," Ambassador Mills said in his interview. "And if we don't see the Anti-Corruption Council address those things, I think it will hurt the opportunities for investment," he noted. "My message to anyone who has an issue of corruption is find the way to highlight it, don't be afraid to speak up, I do believe there are tools at your disposal within the government to address it, to find someone who will help you address it," he said.