2020 September 4

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Daily news and anti-corruption report

Sep/4/2020 news: \\ Karabakh prez rattles former regime, "exposes" land giveaway \\ Anti-RU protests in AZ \\ Armenia will have Amazon Locker-style delivery \\ Real car safety checks & driver training \\ Nuclear renovation \\ Quarantine Law ready \\ Lake Sevan \\ Truck fee \\ HayPost discount \\ ...
by ar_david_hh


Artsakh prez discusses past Karabakh negotiations / Ex-regime unhappy / 5+2 regions to Azerbaijan / Sasna Tsrer's rebellion

Artsakh President Arayik Harutyunyan gave an interview during independence day. It was interpreted as an indirect criticism and rebuke of the former Armenian regime. During the interview, he contradicted claims made by Serj and spoke about the negotiation process.

He also struck a pessimistic tone on the negotiation process and called for Armenians to be prepared for war.

--

This is how the former regime's media commented his interview: //

President Arayik has lost rationality.

Every Independence Day the heads of Armenia and Artsakh used to gather and celebrate. This year it was different. No one attended. President Arayik, instead, chose to lower the day's importance and hold an interview.

Ever since he became president, he's been trying to appease the Armenian govt by making sketchy statements about April 2016 battles and peace negotiations.

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It's fair to say Arayik is unable to sustain a productive and healthy environment in Artsakh. He must review his future plans and think hard, otherwise, it'll have irreversible consequences. //

--

Now an interview with anti-Serj political analyst Stepan Grigoryan... //

Q: President Arayik confirmed what was earlier said by Security Councilman Samvel Babayan, about territorial concessions. 5+2 regions and a corridor.

It was an important interview. I was curious about what the new president's vision was. He confirmed that unification is the final goal.

--

Arayik destroyed Serj's lies.

The former regimes used to call the concessions of 5 regions a "lie". They denied the existence of Lavrov Plan (stage-by-stage settlement in which Armenia makes the first concession).

Now we have two Artsakh public officials, who possess official documents, who confirm that it was all true. Serj wanted to give away 5 or 7 regions.

--

Q: give regions in exchange for what?

For 5 regions Artsakh would receive some unclear status. In exchange for 7, it would receive a slightly higher status, but Azerbaijan still wouldn't recognize its independence.

What does that mean? That means you give 7 regions and get nothing in return. The criminal face of the former regime has been exposed.

President Arayik prioritized security over status. He won't give lands and make Artsakh less secure in exchange for a "status".

--

Q: did Arayik sound slightly "revolutionary"?

Yes. It's good because it'll recharge the Armenian govt, which is facing difficult times. They're under internal and external pressure.

Lavrov Plan is still active and Russia wants to get concessions from Armenia.

--

Q: what are the Russian interests in the region?

RU and AM have common interests over Caucasus and Turkey, but partly different when it comes to Artsakh.

By siding with AM on Artsakh, RU would lose AZ; they don't want that. The weapons that AZ used to purchase from RU is no longer happening. Now AZ wants to buy weapons from TR.

--

TANAP gas pipeline is ready. The AZ gas will soon reach the EU and TR. TR will rely less on RU gas.

RU is losing leverage on TR and AZ, so RU wants to appease AZ by forcing AM to sacrifice Artsakh.

Lavrov Plan means Armenia gives away lands so Azerbaijan can get economically closer to Russia.

--

Our soldiers ruined this giveaway plan in 2016. Serj doesn't care about the importance of our soldiers and lands, but Samvel Babayan explained how important Lele Tepe and other lost territories were.

Serj didn't give a timely order to strike back. We've been in war with AZ for 30 years. How could the AZ's attack on April 2nd be "unexpected", as claimed by Serj?

--

Q: what prevented the land giveaway?

After the April 2016 battles, when the AM govt was in a bad situation and facing internal complaints, the RU govt decided to increase the pressure to get concessions from AM.

Serj arrested several officials to prevent the leaks about the planned concessions.

What saved us was Sasna Tsrer's rebellion [2016 July hostage takeover of a police station and demand for Serj's resignation].

The rebellion and our army stopped Moscow's plans. That's when Moscow realized that they couldn't use Serj to get concessions.

--

I thank President Arayik for exposing the former regime's lies. I meet ordinary people daily and they think Pashinyan is "not in charge" and there is chaos. I have to explain that it's the former regime's fake news.

Pashinyan used to be inexperienced in foreign policy, but he has learned a lot. He realizes that we must prepare for war. First lady Anna Hakobyan has been sending peace messages, and what did she get in return? Ceasefire violation and disrespect.

--

Q: Serj claimed there were no AZ drones over Stepanakert during April 2016. President Arayik claimed the opposite.

Not one, but many AZ drones reached the capital. We only shot one. I don't know why Serj chose to lie. It was something that was easy to verify. //

https://youtu.be/tb7nNhH6eZ0

https://168.am/2020/09/02/1360746.html

Artsakh is building 500 new apartments

... in the Askeran region by 2024. Dozens will be ready this December.

Video: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=349040949605677&extid=ffysWeFRnjmOOjSN

Azerbaijan is also building bomb shelters for bordering residents

BBC article quotes local residents about an unprecedented level of construction and war preparations in bordering Azeri villages near Tavush.

"The military is building bomb shelters near our homes. They told us to use the new trenches to run and take cover in the event of a fire," said one resident.

More: https://factor.am/281143.html

Anti-Russian protests continue in Azerbaijan

A group of protesters gathered in front of the Turkish embassy again and asked for the creation of a Turkish military base in Azerbaijan, and for Russians to leave Azerbaijan.

https://factor.am/281200.html

Entertainment center for Russian soldiers in Armenia

A new building-complex will be ready soon. It'll allow Russian soldiers and their families in Gyumri to visit movie theaters, beauty shops, children's playgrounds, and receive various services without lengthy travel.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026742.html

Nuclear plant prepares for major renovation to extend lifespan

Metsamor NPP has been on and off for repairs. The final major repair to extend the lifespan will happen in 2021.

Russian RosAtom energy giant has delivered the equipment for this "unique procedure" (թրծում) which will recover the reactor's metal properties, which tend to erode over time due to high radiation.

During the process they heat it up to 475 Celsius for several days, then a slow cooldown.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026734.html

Fuel savings

Education Ministry says they saved so much fuel in 2019 that they'll finish 2020 without having to spend a dime from this year's fuel budget.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/194984

COVID stats

+190 infected. +402 healed. +4 deaths. 4041 active. 213644 tested.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026707.html

EAEU states could ease travel restrictions for "safe" passengers

The Eurasian Development Bank is working with Armenia, Russia, and Kazakhstan to allow residents to obtain a doctor's note about not being infected and travel abroad, said the Bank's Board Chairman Tigran Sargsyan (խմած Տիկո).

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/284786/

Parliament chooses Quarantine Law as a replacement for Emergency State

The Emergency State is very restrictive. The govt wants to keep the ability to require residents to wear masks and prevent overcrowding, without the harsher restrictions and electronic monitoring.

Their solution is a "Quarantine Law". Local municipalities will be able to declare quarantine independently, and only if it gets out of hand (like today), will the federal government declare one.

Opposition LHK and BHK oppose the bill.

--

LHK: we see legal problems with the bill; it essentially makes WHO's rules mandatory in Armenia. Just let the Emergency end without declaring this Quarantine. We need other tools to fight the pandemic.

Justice Ministry: there are no legal problems. The Constitution allows certain restrictions to protect the public during a pandemic.

--

BHK: the word "quarantine" will scare other countries and keep the borders closed.

QP: countries don't make such travel restrictions based on a single [quarantine] word. They look at daily infections.

--

Justice Ministry: the electronic monitoring of COVID-suspects will stop. The gathered data will be destroyed when the Emergency ends.

--

QP: by not wearing a mask for 1 day, the citizen causes massive economic damage. The Economist calculated a $56 damage per day per non-masked person in the U.S. The numbers are different in Armenia, but the situation is similar. The $20 penalty for not wearing a mask is appropriate from a financial standpoint because it can prevent a $100 damage to the economy.

--

Justice Ministry: there won't be 11 new types of penalties for breaking safety rules. These are the penalties that we had during Emergency Order; we're simply transferring them to Quarantine Law.

--

Parliament voted 70-19 to approve the Quarantine Law. The federal govt plans to declare Quarantine as soon as the Emergency ends next week, "because the situation will remain dangerous at least until the end of this year."

--

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026696.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026715.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026719.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026721.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026775.html , https://factor.am/281020.html , https://factor.am/281027.html , https://factor.am/281046.html , https://factor.am/281066.html , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/194999

Garbage news

No, not Robik's 5th Channel. I'm talking about how Yerevan installed hundreds of trash sorting bins for plastic, glass, garbage. Here is a mini-documentary:

https://youtu.be/XhzN_gaBm_0

Lake Sevan / Fish / Cheanup / Levels

Volunteers have been cleaning the lake's shores from picnic-waste for several days. The Nature Ministry helped gather 70 volunteers from the tourism business.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026695.html

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The lake's water levels are 5cm higher than this time last year.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026699.html

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The newly formed Sevan Park ranger group discovered poacher nets installed on a river that flows into the lake. The poachers tried to catch the baby fish that the Nature Ministry recently dumped into the waters for population boost.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026714.html

New online delivery network in Armenia / a la Amazon Locker

Globbing is financing the Online Shopping Network company to establish a large delivery network for online and physical stores.

300 Amazon-style lockers will be installed across Armenia. Your order will be left in the locker for pickup. Unlock with fingerprint, code, or phone.

All metro stations and large malls will have a locker soon.

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/284795/

Post office delivery discounts

HayPost will charge 40 cents per 3kg package delivery to any of its 850 officers in Armenia and Artsakh, until January 1st, "to help small and medium businesses."

The delivery times will reduce "due to logistics reforms". HayPost calculated a 62% increase in e-trade during the pandemic.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026748.html

Some drivers will be required to undergo training

To meet European standards, the govt will require some international passenger and cargo drivers to take driving lessons.

The retraining will happen every 5 years to keep their international certificates.

The companies that accredit the drivers will be monitored for fraud and undergo "vetting".

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026759.html , https://factor.am/281137.html

Vehicle inspections will no longer be useless / Special centers

The govt plans to reform the car safety inspection process to transform it from a "slap a ticker" to an actual inspection in dedicated centers that will transfer the vehicle data to authorities electronically.

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You will no longer be able to walk into a bank and purchase the sticker. You'll need to visit an automated inspection center. The universal database, accessible to all centers, will show if/when the car tried to take the test.

--

0-4yr car needs no inspection.

<10yr once every two years.

.>10yr once a year.

https://factor.am/281140.html

Tag: #CarSafety #VehicleSafety #VehicleInspection

Gas canisters inside cars will be routinely inspected

The govt plans to require drivers with gas բալոն to undergo a pressure inspection every 2 years.

https://factor.am/281147.html

Heavy trucks to pay "asphalt fee"

The govt recently installed truck-weighing scales on some highways to make sure big semis aren't loaded over the weight limit. Pashinyan had earlier threw a temper tantrum over illegally-heavy trucks destroying the new asphalt.

There will be a $0.10/km fee for >12-ton trucks.

https://factor.am/281129.html

Where is Waldo?

He visited Lori Berd which used to be part of the Bagratuni dynasty. 4km from Stepanavan.

https://youtu.be/untbfzGdkEA

--

You've read 1973 words. (isn't 1973 when Ararat won the cup? coincidence? 🤔)


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/imm7ls/sep42020_news_karabakh_prez_rattles_former_regime/

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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