2020 August 20

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Daily news and anti-corruption report

Aug/20/2020 news: () new Metro station in Yerevan () individualism vs totalitarianism () gold miners lose license () new Kalashnikov AK-12? () stats: COVID vs remittances, tourism, real estate () Amulsar & other protests () village house subsidy () New food factory () light aircraft flying & tourism
by ar_david_hh


Yerevan's new Metro station to cost half the price / New design

Context: City wants to build a Metro station in Ajapnyak. There were negotiations with businesses to built a bridge that connects both sides of the Hrazdan gorge, and on the other side of the gorge, there was supposed to be the station with malls on top, which would be operated by the business as a way to generate revenue. Surrounding lands were supposed to be given to the builder.

The negotiations fell apart, and the city decided to use its resources to build the station "to save money long-term".

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Mayor's spokesman Karapetyan: Metro is a top priority. We won't wait for GDP to rise post-COVID. We'll build it ASAP.

The previous mayor said "we don't have money", another one said "Metro isn't part of our transportation plans", but the current mayor has other plans.

Metro must develop. It's comfortable and eco-friendly. The network's expansion is necessary to keep it financially sustainable.

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The idea of building a mall near the station is still on the table, but we're also considering a government building.

Initially, the cost was estimated at $100-$150m, but it was calculated by the former administration. They wanted to build a Soviet-style station - that is - a bridge then a separate station on the other end of the gorge.

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Our design is different. We want a bridge and a station on top of it. This will halve the expenses to $50m.

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https://168.am/2020/08/19/1353999.html

Yerevan replaces Soviet-era elevators

REFALGRIG elevators are made in Belarus. They have an uninterrupted power supply to finish the ride in the event of a power outage in the building.

What do residents think and what do the elevators look like inside?

https://youtu.be/6KZKLhOKboQ

4 gold-copper mines lose their license / Another 3 are suing the govt

Recently, the Ministry of Infrastructure revoked licenses for 4 mines. Their operations were already suspended for other reasons but they had an active license.

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Vardani Zartonq is a gold miner belonging to the family of ex-Nature Protection Minister HHK Vardan Ayvazyan (2001-2007) and his friends.

They received a license in 2012 but never had a chance to mine gold.

In 2013 they asked the local city for permission to exploit some lands, but the city refused, saying the lands were already leased by someone else.

In 2014 they escalated the dispute to Energy Ministry.

On Jan-2020 they claimed to have signed a contract with the land leaser to sub-lease it for mining.

On Jun-2020, the city contradicted the miner's claims about sub-leasing. A dispute was filed, and the miner lost the case, so the Infrastructure Ministry suspended their license.

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Paramount Gold Mining (PGM) is a miner in Meghradzor belonging to Russia's 59th richest man Roman Trotsenko. He also co-owns GeoProMining which mines gold in Sotq, and copper in Agarak.

PGM received a 25-year license in 2012 but never had a chance to mine.

Besides land issues with a local resident, the company failed to submit mandatory reports once every 5 years and only began submitting it in 2019.

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Molybdenum World is a copper-molybdenum miner in Dastakert belonging to Russian businessmen Dmitry Troitsky and Dmitry Korzhev.

They got revoked last month. The license was issued in 2012 but they never mined due to land lease issues with locals.

They submitted incomplete documents in late-2018.

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TatStone is a copper-molybdenum miner in Aygedzor. They received a license in 2013 but never mined.

The license was revoked in February. They had no objections and no plans to mine.

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Additionally, last year three gold mines had their licenses revoked. They are suing the Infrastructure Ministry to get it back.

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https://hetq.am/hy/article/120698

Tags: #AbandonedMines #Mining

Greens hold Amulsar protests

"The government has failed to keep its promise," said the environmental activists during a protest against Amulsar miner Lydian's gold mining plans.

"In 2018 Pashinyan promised to rely on international experts' opinion to make a decision. They hired ELARD auditor which found that a new in-depth environmental assessment is needed. We want the govt to cancel Lydian's mining license which was issued by the former corrupt govt in 2016," said the activists.

Activists drove from Jermuk to Yerevan. A march was held on sidewalks.

(Note: ELARD auditor also found that Amulsar mining wouldn't pollute lake Sevan and underground waters, but the miner needs to make a dozen safety improvements before it can operate.)

https://factor.am/277738.html , https://factor.am/277800.html

Soccer star Aras Ozbilis wants to open an academy and help players

Legendary and now-retired Armenian national star Aras Ozbilis began playing at the age of 4, and made it to Ajax after winning an elimination competition held among 1,000 children.

After spending 15 years in Ajax, he moved to Russian Kuban then Spartak, before moving to Aramenian Pyunik.

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Now he wants to either open a soccer academy to train children, or a rehabilitation center for players with injuries.

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He believes Maradona is the best player of all times.

Gvardiola > Klopp

Messi > Ronaldo

(Reminder from mods: no harassment in the comments section.)

Full interview: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1025393.html

Sasna Tsrer's veteran Pavlik Manukyan suffers an acute stroke

Last week the prosecutors asked the court for 9 years for Pavlik's participation in the 2016 police station hostage takeover.

https://news.am/arm/news/597909.html

COVID stats / Mass testing for susceptible workers / People want to fly

+1,993 tested. +263 infected. +3 deaths. 190,560 tested. 5,756 active. The decline has plateaued.

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Healthcare Minister Torosyan: // earlier we began mass testing colleagues of an infected worker. We took 200 samples from a fabric factory and 50 were infected without symptoms.

At the same time, similar tests didn't yield such numbers in other factories, which means certain factories still don't follow safety rules. //

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A group of people gathered in front of the govt building to demand an ability to fly to Russia for seasonal work.

Others joined the protest to demand solutions for their years-long issues. "Mafia took my business 3 years ago," said one Iranian-Armenian businessman.

https://factor.am/277726.html , http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/284229/ , https://factor.am/277686.html , https://factor.am/277711.html , https://factor.am/277697.html

COVID vs Mortgage

Real estate mortgage transactions -49% in 2Q. Half all transactions were in Yerevan, with Vayots Dzor being the smallest with 1.6% share.

http://arka.am/en/news/society/4_308_real_estate_mortgage_transactions_registered_in_armenia_in_2nd_h_2020/ ,

COVID vs Tourism

The number of tourists declined from 770k to 311k in 1H.

The tourism industry lost $500m, according to Tourism Federation.

http://arka.am/en/news/tourism/500_million_lost_by_armenia_s_tourism_industry_expert/

COVID vs Remittances

Seasonal migrant workers stayed home and couldn't travel to Russia.

This contributed to an overall -17.4% ($151m) decline in bank transactions sent to Armenia from around the world.

44% of all transfers came from Russia. It declined by -29% ($127m).

Money leaving Armenia declined by -18% ($113m), but this one is a result of fewer people purchasing used cars for resale.

More: https://hetq.am/hy/article/120722

Thieve-in-law arrested at the request of Russia

"Gevorik from Ufa" has the highest rank in the underground criminal subculture. He is "vor v zakone".

Russian authorities issued an international manhunt against him. He was found and arrested in a restaurant in Yerevan's Arabkir district.

https://factor.am/277821.html

Is Armenia purchasing brand new AK-12 Kalashnikovs?

Kalashnikov CEO said they're in process of exporting AK-12 rifles to "allied countries abroad" without specifying. In 2019, Armenia obtained 50 samples for testing, becoming the first known country to do so.

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5.45 and 7.62 caliber AK-12 fires 700 rounds per minute at 1km distance, from which 0.6km is effective. Russia army began using it in 2018.

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/284242/

Govt wants to decentralize infrastructure repair duties / "Individualism vs Totalitarianism"

Pashinyan: // regardless of how many roads the federal government builds today, a lot more needs to be done because the conditions have been terrible in villages.

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The more we develop the institute of citizen's individual rights and responsibilities, the better.

It's not us (feds) who have to judge the quality of the new road or the outcome of the new subsidized project. It's the local population that should act as the judge.

The opposite is a totalitarian mentality, when everything depends on the feds and Prime Minister.

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People should see a direct tie between the mayor they vote for and the quality of their surrounding infrastructure. Some duties should be transferred from governors to mayors because governors can't monitor local problems forever. //

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Finance Ministry Janjughazyan: you may be right but the proposed bill that we're discussing today is too early to pass. I object.

Deputy PM Avinyan to Janjughazyan: this proposal will transfer only fraction of the duties from governors to mayors. We're taking our time.

https://factor.am/277772.html

Unified aid package for diasporan repatriates proposed

Today the govt discussed the possible creation of a universal aid platform for repatriates to address long and short-term aid, assessment, education, healthcare, etc.

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Meanwhile, the Diaspora Committee is working on an aid package for Lebanese-Armenians that'll be ready on September 1st.

https://factor.am/277856.html , https://hetq.am/hy/article/120716

Make Villages Great Again v2.0 / Artsakh Edition

Artsakh will increase the existing subsidy and will give $10.4k to young families who want to build a house in a village.

The upper age limit was increased from 40 to 50 to qualify more people.

https://factor.am/277789.html

New cattle food factory / Investments & Tax Waivers

Yeghvard's cattle-food company has received a 3-year VAT tax waiver to invest $10.3m to purchase materials for a new cattle food factory and raw materials. 185 new jobs with $290/mo salary.

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Another medical component manufacturer received a tax waiver to create 30 jobs with $340/mo salary.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1025438.html

Light aviation is developing in Armenia / Skydiving, tourism, pilot training

Why not see Armenia and its nature from the bird's-eye view? Or better yet, become a pilot yourself.

The director of the Paragliding Federation, who is also the founder of SkyClub company, built a mini-airport (more like a landing pad) near Yeghvard. He wants to develop lightweight aviation in Armenia.

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After 1.5 years of preparations, he imported Cessna-172 aircraft that carries 4 people. More will come soon.

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The Civil Aviation gave a permit. The flights will begin in November. They'll also offer sky diving besides sight-seeing.

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They'll also provide flying lessons and "diplomas". The students will fly and study for ~150 hours before giving an exam in 9 subjects to get their pilot's license from the Civil Aviation.

Photos: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1025395.html

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You've read 1712 words.


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/idgjoj/aug202020_news_new_metro_station_in_yerevan/

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. Helpful overview of Armenia's media ownership and leanings.


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