2020 April 21

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Apr/21/2020 -- Daily News Summary -- Stay up to date on Armenian Foreign Policy, Anti-Corruption, COVID, Economy, Politics, Daily Life, and more...
by ar_david_hh

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.


immigration stats / Armenians who returned home / Human capital

The World Bank calculates the "Human Capital" in each country. For example, Americans are "worth" $95 trillion, or 77% of US wealth, or 26% of world wealth.

Chinese are worth $25 trillion, or 77% of Chinese wealth.

Russians are $50 trillion.

--

The higher the Index, the more developed people are. Armenia ranks ~75th in the world with ~0.57 index score.

Immigration is a major way to boost human capital. Last week the govt passed a law to remove taxes on the import of personal items to make it easier for Armenians to return.

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Applications to stay in Armenia permanently or temporarily:

2017: 1300 permanent stay & 4700 temporary stay

2019: 2080 permanent stay & 5900 temporary stay

The vast majority of permanent stays are diasporan Armenians from Russia 1028, Iran 177, Georgia 142, Ukraine 138, Syria 117, Lebanon 99, US 76, Kazakh 44, etc.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1012922.html

More resignations / Pashinyan's Livestream leaker speculation

Yesterday we learned that taxpayer-funded H1 TV director and chief Livestream-er quit, after employees began recording Pashinyan 15 minutes too early, giving other networks access to PM's "private" time. One of these networks then leaked the footage online.

Famous H1 host Petros Ghazaryan (BHK candidate for 2018 mayoral elections) also quit today.

H1's board will appoint a new director soon.

--

ArmTimes outlet claims the leak was done by Yerkir Media TV owned by ARF party. "Yerkir Media's Gegham Manukyan shared the footage with Kocharyan's 5TV director Harutyun Harutyunyan, who then leaked it through Facebook."

Rob's 5TV director Harutyun Harutyunyan was a suspect as part of October 27, 1999 investigation before being released by Kocharyan. He was H1 TV's director before the 2018 revolution.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/186125 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/186128

Russian MFA about gas prices

Context: Last month Armenia asked Russia to lower gas prices on the border to reduce economic harm by COVID and Gazprom's petition to raise internal gas prices in Armenia.

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said:

Russia's allies should receive gas at privileged prices, but don't cherrypick timeframes when saying the prices are too high. Don't forget that gas used to be very cheap for Armenia.

Speaking of the economic alliance, I hope the Russian "South-Caucasus Railways", which has been dragged in lawsuits in Armenia, will receive fair treatment by our ally.

Context: In 2018 the govt launched a felony case against Russian railways giant South-Caucasus Railways. They are accused of tax evasion and not doing legally-required investments.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/186160 , http://arka.am/en/news/economy/lavrov_says_high_price_of_natural_gas_for_armenian_consumers_is_shaped_by_domestic_prices/

major breakthrough in Artsakh negotiations...

... did not happen, after foreign ministries of Armenia and Russia repeated themselves.

Russian MFA: [old idea]

Armenian MFA: [old response]

Russian MFA: you give surrounding lands and Azeris open borders?

Armenian MFA: the surrounding lands are for security. We don't have them for their blue eyes.

--

Armenian political analyst: Armenian governments have always presented the surrounding territories as "security zone". This was a mistake. Now Russia is trying to give Artsakh alternative security reassurances, so Artsakh can give those lands to Azerbaijan stage-by-stage. Russia wants peacekeepers in Artsakh near the border with Iran, so they can monitor the whole region including Iran.

--

Armenian and Azeris MFAs are currently holding a teleconference mediated by OCSE. They spoke about COVID too.

https://factor.am/242824.html , https://factor.am/242848.html , https://factor.am/242916.html , https://hetq.am/hy/article/116247 , www.civilnet.am/news/2020/04/21/Լավրովն-ասել-է՝-ինչն-է-խանգարում-Հայաստանի-համար-գազնի-գնի-նվազեցմանը/382509

Artsakh army shoots down Azeri ORBITER drone

Artsakh army says lately the Azeris have been flying drones and copters.

Today they shut down an Israeli-made ORBITER drone that violated the border.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/186176

Upcoming Genocide memorial events / SMS / Candle

There won't be a traditional march to Yerevan's Tsitsernakaberd memorial this year.

Govt created a SMS system to allow people to virtually attend the Tsitsernakaberd memorial. The participants' names will be beamed on the memorial's walls.

To participate, send your name with a free SMS to "1915" within Armenia or "+37433191500" from abroad, after 8 am April 24th.

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ARF canceled its torchlight march as well, urging people to light a candle near their windows.

The church will ring all the bells on April 23rd, at 9 pm.

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Los Angeles Armenians won't march to Montebello Genocide Memorial either. Instead, there will be Genocide-themed TV and internet broadcast at 10 am, featuring local Armenian politicians and pastors.

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Aurora international humanitarian initiative will hold an online Zoom event. They'll pick a winner for last year's best humanitarian contributor.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/186091 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/186135 , https://factor.am/242820.html , https://factor.am/242808.html , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/186165

random news

4M earthquake on Armenia-Georgia border. It was 6M at the epicenter 10km deep. 3M was felt in Armenia. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/186101

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"Miss Armenia Foundation" director's house was robbed by the cleaning lady. She took a $1,200 belt and got caught. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/186102

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Tbilisi radio tower lit up with the Armenian flag in support of COVID fight. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/186189

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Pashinyan: the Central Bank purchased another $25mln since yesterday. It means the Dram currency is still highly trusted. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/186174

COVID stats

14k tested. 1401 infected (+62). 633 healed. 24 death.

The daily growth has stabilized, +/- 4%. The number of bedridden patients never crosses 800.

22,000 Armenian citizens returned to Armenia since the March 14th Emergency Situation.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/186097

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/186107

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/186123

Gloria factory workers demand an end to lockdown

The govt plans to gradually end the COVID lockdown on some factories and agriculture jobs, granting they follow safety standards.

"Gloria" textile fabric's director earlier said he wants to keep the doors closed for another month, even if govt lifts the lockdown.

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Today 2,500 Gloria workers went to work, in violation of the still-existing govt lockdown order.

Workers claim they returned to work voluntarily, but they were brought to work with the company's bus. It's unclear who sent the bus to bring them (cough director cough).

The police came and told workers to leave. They decided to stay. The police gave tickets to the Gloria director and several workers for violating the lockdown.

The workers held a protest, asking for permission to return to work, citing not enough financial support from the factory and govt. Gloria director convinced them to disperse.

--

Gloria director claims Pashinyan authorized the textile industry to reopen on April 20th but the Emergency Team didn't inform the police on time, so the police gave tickets to unsuspecting workers who came to work thinking they were allowed to work.

A quick Google, however, shows that Pashinyan didn't say every textile factory can reopen on April 20th. During a Livestream, Pashinyan said the govt will begin to work with textile factories starting April 20th to boost their safety standards before they can reopen.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/186169 , https://news.am/arm/news/573908.html , https://news.am/arm/news/573899.html , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/185365 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/185365 , https://news.am/arm/news/573956.html , http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/280372/

Largest taxpayers of Armenia

Top 1,000 taxpayers in 1Q2020 paid 245.6bln.

Gazprom-Armenia 17.7bln

Grand Tobacco 15.3bln

International Masis Tabac 5.3bln

CPA Oil 4.3bln

MTS telecom 3.8bln

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/186186

new COVID test kits

International Atomic Energy Agency will donate 2,000 nuclear-based test kits that give results in a few hours.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/186110

Armenian travelers leave Russian airport / New flight

Russia banned international travel and organized 4 flights for Armenian citizens to fly to Armenia. More Armenians want to fly. They are waiting at a Moscow airport.

Earlier they refused to relocate to a hotel offered by the Armenian embassy in Moscow. They hope there will be an emergency flight and they will be the first ones to board.

Today the Russian police told them to leave the airport. 100 people went to stay in hotels and relatives' homes for now. The police told them there will be an emergency flight tomorrow.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/186098

famous Russian comedian stuck in Armenia

Russian Comedy Women show's funniest actress is Russian-Armenian Natalia Yeprikyan. She gave an interview to the Russian Jimmy Fallon:

Q: How did you get stuck there?

A: I came before the lockdown but couldn't travel to Georgia after borders closed.

Q: where are you right now?

A: I've been everywhere. I can tell you when the mountain ice melts, all about the Armenian nature. I'm in the southern city of Jermuk right now. You probably know Jermuk as a party-drink, but I literally swam in it lol.

Q: what about COVID restrictions?

A: I had to fill out a paper to explain where I'm going. Destination: waterfall. Purpose of visit: to watch it. I filled out 80 similar papers. There was nobody else near Jermuk waterfalls.

Q: any instances of mass gatherings?

A: It's all silent, and next thing you know, there is a wedding at 9 am in the hotel we are staying at. The hotel staff joined and danced with the guests. Lots of musicians with drums. Our entourage joined them but I refrained. It was scary, but our staff couldn't refuse the dance.

Q: when can you return to Russia?

A: I don't know. You tell me. You're the only person who called me while I was away. That's great. Don't bother me, people.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/186151 , https://youtu.be/AVp-uFxbsZg


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/g5mdsi/apr212020_daily_news_summary_stay_up_to_date_on/


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