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Marine Martirosyan

$4,110 Dinner: Estonia’s Honorary Consul to Armenia Is Also in the Catering Biz

Last October 3, the Yerevan Municipality spent 1.938 million AMD (US$4,110) on a reception to mark Teacher’s Day.

A contract was signed with Aries Catering for the 400 person reception.

On December 25, Aires also catered a New Year’s gala for the municipality at a cost of 1.722 million AMD ($3,650). This was a somewhat smaller affair for 350 guests.

Aires Catering was established in 2003 by Aires Ltd., a company now non-operational according to Armenia’s State Corporate Registry.

This company is owned by Avetik Ghukasyan, Estonia’s honorary consul to Armenia since 2002. The address of the consul is the same as that of Aries Catering.

Ghukasyan also owns Aries Liber (a company which organizes conferences and related services), and Aries Lunch (a restaurant network).

Many government offices are clients of Ghukasyan’s catering and lunch services. They include the Yerevan Municipality, the Prosecutor General’s Office, the RA Police, the Holy See of Etchmiadzin, the Central Bank of Armenia, the Republican Party, as well as various international organizations and companies, and foreign embassies.

The company organizes receptions and buffet dinners at a number of locations throughout Armenia. One favorite site is the Garni pagan temple. Aries Catering organized an open-air reception and dinner at the temple on April 26, 2012.

Armenia’s Central Bank seems to be in love with Garni for it has held receptions at the site in 2011, 2012 and 2014.

Readers will remember the public uproar over a corporate party held at the 7th century ruins of Zvartnots, a UNESCO World Heritage Site last June.

Armenia’s Ministry of Culture periodically rents out Zvartnots and other historical/cultural sites for a variety of corporate events and receptions, including wedding parties.