2019 August 30
News from Armenia - Aug/30/2019 :: Azeri spy story :: Amulsar mining :: University rector scandal :: Sevan lake levels :: Another mayor busted :: Sports director busted :: Nuclear plant :: Car tariffs :: WW2 vets :: Court approves arrest of frmr IRS boss :: more...
Disclaimer: All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law, even if they may sound as being guilty. Currency in Armenian Drams ֏ unless specified otherwise.
100 years ago the intel agencies identified and sent back an Azeri spy. Today, the NSS published the docs.
In 1919, Azerbaijan sent a spy named Khan Tekinski disguised as a diplomat. The intel begun watching the "diplomat" and deciphered his messages sent back to Azerbaijan. They contained internal info on the Armenian military.
Simon Vratsyan, then Prime Minister of Armenia, knew about this and wrote that Azerbaijan is trying to ignite a civil unrest in Armenia by radicalizing the local Muslim population.
The spy's intention was to prevent Nakhijevan and Sharur from becoming part of Republic of Armenia. He was in contact with the local Muslim population, and was trying to convince them to begin a revolt against Armenians. Eventually, Armenia found out and demanded the "diplomat" to be recalled. He wasn't arrested due to diplomatic immunity.
The State Economics University has been embroiled in a scandal recently. The rector was changed. A new one had to resign after accusations of plagiarism in his dissertation papers, while the students claimed it was a "mild case" and overall they wanted him to stay.
Now, a new temporary rector is appointed. Students say she plagiarized her papers blatantly. They sent a letter to the Education Minister to intervene and bring back the former acting rector (Ruben Hayrapetyan, but not Nemets Rubo) who had just resigned.
SHMAG - Amulsar land assessment done in 2016
ELARD (Leb.)/TRC (USA) - two companies hired in 2018-2019 to review SHMAG and other info to see if Amulsar mining is safe
ELARD held a Skype call with the govt, Lydian reps, investigators, and others yesterday. PM wanted to clarify the situation. Lydian and ELARD got into an argument during the conference.
ELARD found environmental problems and said 16 improvements need to be made for the mine to become safe. Lydian said they are in the process of implementing 10, and will implement 6 soon. ELARD says they looked into the 10 improvements claimed by Lydian, and found that there is not enough evidence that they were being done properly, (.Lydian denied this claim.).
If the safety measures are done properly, the nearby waters won't be polluted, said ELARD. In order to be sure these improvements are done properly, ELARD suggests to conduct a new SHMAG land assessment.
PM to Investigator: is there not enough evidence that the former Nature Protection officials illegally covered up environmental problems? How come ELARD found that SHMAG was flawed, but the former Nature Ministry didn't?
Investigator to PM: not enough evidence of malice by former Nature Ministry officials. They might not have possessed some of the data. The worst case scenario is "negligence".
PM on Facebook: the meeting with ELARD has brought up new questions about Amulsar.
The new Ministry of Nature will decide until September 4th whether a new SHMAG will be conducted.
PM: 46mln m3 less water was drained from lake Sevan this year so far. Expect the water levels to rise noticeably soon.
Several police officers received a disciplinary action for violating protocols by demanding an environmental activist to show a permit for collecting funds in public in July 6th. The organizer of the collection was briefly taken to a police station.
One mayor a day, keep the doctor away.
The mayor of Tsovak and an accountant are charged with felony embezzlement and abuse of power. Police says the mayor instructed staff for falsify employment records to embezzle money. They're told not to leave the country.
The court has approved prosecutor's petition to arrest the former IRS and Finance Ministry boss Gagik Khachatryan and his nephew. They are accused of embezzlement and abuse of power. 800mln recovered so far.
Kapan investigators say the city-run youth sports complex managers falsified employment records to embezzle 5.5mln between 2013-2018. Moreover, they collected 2k/mo fees from students instead of the legally allowed 0.5k/mo, thus embezzling 13.5mln between 2014-2018. A felony case is launched.
PM: May 2019 survey showed that 84% of the population doesn't encounter corruption in daily life.
2016 data https://a1plus.am/hy/article/153509
The Nuclear Safety Regulatory Committee of Armenia has extended the contract to allow the Metsamor nuclear plant to safely store the nuclear waste for another 30 years. Armenia stores the waste locally because in order to export it to a partner state such as Russia, it must use railways, but the Georgia-Abkhazia conflict currently makes it dangerous to use the Georgia-Russia railways that passes through Abkhazia.
The Safety Committee wants to improve the safety of Metsamor NPP 2nd bloc (more storage for highly active waste, improvements to pumps that keep the core cool). An international exam recently gave NPP a high safety rating in terms of radiation leak and earthquake risk. Its operations will be extended by 10 years.
The 2nd bloc will resume its operations this September. It's been shut down on and off since 2016 as part of safety improvements.
Earlier the government warned that a 5-year waiver given to Armenia by EAEU trade bloc expires in 2020, and it'll cause imported car tariffs to go up significantly. The older the car, and the larger the engine, the more expensive it'll be.
A car importers union chief believes things aren't entirely as gloomy as it was presented, because importing newer cars will be cheaper than before (needs a fact check). The older or beefier cars will be more expensive. The union plans to hold a picket on front of the Russian embassy to ask them give Armenia another waiver because many post-Soviet businesses buy old cars from Armenia and the 2020 changes could harm that business.
The govt has a plan to give a monthly aid to 1,000 WW2 veterans who aren't receiving aid because they didn't fight on the front-lines. They'll receive a monthly fee, free healthcare, 50% off on medications, free transport pass.
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/cxl479/news_from_armenia_aug302019_azeri_spy_story/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|
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