My first taste of
Bagrad used to tell me about the drastic situation in
Early in 1993 I travelled from the
The Ambassador put me in touch with Edward Nikolayevich Arzumanian, Deputy Minister of Energy for
I decided to stay in
Edik was ecstatic, he sent me to talk with Felix Pirumian, his transport man at the energy department in
Edik Asked - What do we need to do to send more?. Send another application, I answered - and that is how it went on. Working from my office, where Edik spent several nights through the next six months, we made application after application for funds to finance shipments of mazout to
By the end of October, which I was informed was the end of delivery season for mazout to Armenia (because of the cold weather setting in) we not only used up the $5 million promised by the U.S. State Department, we had gained agreement for funding of up to $15 million, and that had all been used up in a total of 13 shipments of mazout to Armenia, each of between 18,000 and 20,000 metric tonnes, a total of more than 200 thousand tonnes.
I was absolutely thrilled to think that I had been able to help Bagrad’s people make it through what would have been another hard, cold winter.
But then I met a young lady, who changed my whole outlook on life, who explained to me that there was no mazout in
Sorry to disillusion you, she said, but there is no mazout in
We started to spend time together and in June 1994 we came to
In 1997, I was beckoned to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, to explain my involvement with the mazout shipments of 1993. Apparently the Ministry wanted to tie up a few loose ends regarding the 200 thousand tonnes of mazout that never made it to
I contacted my old friend Steve Druhot at International Services, with whom I had spoken on numerous occasions in 1993, and with whom I had exchanged dozens of faxes, preparing tender documents and receiving confirmation that mazout had actually been delivered to
I then realised why, after spending six months in Moscow with Edward Nikolayevich, processing 13 shipments of mazout, totalling more than 200 thousand tonnes, for delivery to Armenia, on one eventful evening, when we were out gadavanting, everything was completely gutted from my apartment; my furniture, my clothes, my money, my personal documents, and my fax and computer, with all the information about the mazout shipments.
Today, the philosophy has not changed – grab what you can, while you can. The only difference is that the names have changed and the value of the pot gets ever greater. And it seems that their friends in
Ce’s La Vie – as they say in