A total of 63,000 citizens have returned to Armenia since March 1, Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan told a meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Relations on Monday.
The minister said that at the initial stage of the epidemic, the Foreign Ministry had already called on Armenian citizens to make a reasonable decision on returning home. Many, according to the minister, made such a decision and returned to Armenia after suspending their activities.
The minister stressed their repatriation was arranged in a situation when many air carriers had suspended their services.
Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said that managing these flows was not an easy task, as the internal security had to be ensured. In this context, he defended the decision to put citizens arriving in the country in a 14-day mandatory quarantine as there had already been a case when an infected citizens arrived in Armenia.
The foreign policy chief says they have equally planned the flow of Armenian citizens from all countries, cooperating with the Commandant’s Office, Ministry of Health, relevant structures of the countries and diplomatic missions of Armenia.
The minister presented the number of people who returned to Armenia on various flights operated from March 15 to May 4. According to him, on 15 March 65 people returned home from Rome, while 167 people travelled to Armenia from Georgia free of charge.
In the following days, 24 people were flown to Armenia from Angola and 4 people – from Poland. According to the minister, on 31 March, 68 people were flown to Armenia from India free of charge, and on 6 April 234 people were transported from Moscow, 80 of which were provided with a free flight.
In Mnatsakanyan’s words, most of the citizens retuned to Armenia from Russia. On April 7, and in the days that followed, more than 2,000 Armenian citizens were evacuated by air, some for free. 73 Armenians returned home from Turkey free of charge.
The return of Armenian citizens from the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Israel and other countries have also been arranged.