With respect to the criticism of Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan using charter flights, representatives of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) explain that Armenia’s premier and ministers must be represented at a high level abroad because it is the country’s reputation.“It is obvious that budgetary funds are being scattered rather than used to resolve grave socio-economic problems,” Khachatur Kokobelyan, Chairman of the Free Democrats party, told Tert.am.“Of course, Armenia’s high-ranking officials must represent the country at a proper level, but no one has the right to use budgetary funds like officials in developed countries. But in our case, the situation is quite opposite. We can spend huge funds on visits, but we always lack funds on social expenditure or benefits,” he added.“The fact is that government officials never think of the budget deficit, and a poor country’s premier and government members can hardly afford such expenses on official visits,” Styopa Safaryan, a Heritage party member, told Tert.am.“Yes, country leaders may afford luxuries provided they solve the population’s social problems. Otherwise, the authorities have no moral right to spend so much money,” he added.“It is inadmissible. And when the problem is raised, the opposite camp responds immediately. They claim it to be populism and high-ranking officials must use charter flights because it is the matter of the country’s reputation. No! It is not charter flights that make the country’s reputation. It is democracy and the well-being of the nation that determine the country’s reputation. Unfortunately, we have serious problems in this respect.“And if your country is the region’s poorest country, with people fleeing it because of a disgraceful socio-economic policy, how can an official reserve the right to use charter flights? And their official explanations that their visits are justified because most serious financial documents are signed are absurd. It means that if they fly business class the documents will not be signed,” she said.