On October 15, the Minister of Press, TV and Radio Broadcasting, Mass Communications Media of Russia Mikhail Lesin and the General Director of Russian TV company ORT Konstantin Ernst arrived in Yerevan. The purpose of the visit is to discuss the organizational issues related to the further rebroadcasting of the Russian TV channels, in particular ORT and RTR. It should be reminded that earlier this year these companies refused to sign appropriate contracts for year 2001, allegedly, because of the lack of resources and insisted on the Armenian party assuming the funding. As a result, RTR went on broadcasting on the VHF, while ORT was transferred to the UHF (see details in YPC Weekly Newsletter, January 13-19 and January 27 – February 2, 2001).
The question of restoring the full-scale broadcasting of ORT and RTR in Armenia was touched upon during the official visit of RF President Vladimir Putin to Armenia in mid-September (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, September 15-21, 2001). At that time the RF President noted in particular that this issue is mostly economic and arose “mostly through the fault of the Russian party”. Upon his arrival in Moscow Vladimir Putin ordered to solve this problem as soon as possible, which is the reason for the visit of the Russian Minister and the top manager of ORT to Armenia.
On October 16 Mikhail Lesin and Konstantin Ernst were received by RA President Robert Kocharian. On the same day a press-conference was held, during which the Russian visitors mentioned, in particular, that within two weeks ORT will restart rebroadcasting on a VHF channel.