2021 August 5

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Contents

Daily news wrap-up

News - Aug/5/2021: New Defense Minister orders army to instantly "shoot to destroy" Azeri soldiers who attempt to intrude __ Russian guards stationed in Tavush __ Macron & Aliyev talk; Russia is "ready" __ Serj's fuel theft trial; railway price rigging __ Parliament today __ Himnadram's $60m project
by ar_david_hh


Your 12-minute Thursday recap in 3047 words.

Defense Minister orders the army to immediately "destroy any Azeri soldier who attempts to violate the border"

New MOD Arshak Karapetyan held a session with the military leadership today and ordered the army to instantly shoot at Azeri soldiers who attempt to cross the border.

He threatened to reprimand any commander who disobeys, or "loses a centimeter of land" as a result of an intrusion.

They also discussed the border challenges that will be brought with the upcoming winter season. The MOD instructed officials to take care of soldiers' living conditions.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1060039.html

Defense Minister Karapetyan met the chief Russian peacekeeper Muradov

They discussed the mission in Artsakh and the situation on the Armenia-Azerbaijan borders.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1059975.html

Russian border guards are deployed on Voskepar (Tavush) borders

Engineering work is being carried out. Pashinyan recently announced that it would be best to station Russian guards across the whole border during the demarcation to prevent provocations, while noting that there won't be any demarcation for as long as Azerbaijan illegally occupies Armenian territories.

Tavush borders include issues relating to enclaves. Pashinyan earlier said Armenia wants each country to keep whatever enclaves they currently hold.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1060033.html

the 3rd Army Corps has a new commander

Alexander Tsakalyan.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1060015.html

Russia is concerned about the recent Armenia-Azerbaijan border incidents

Russian MFA: It's concerning that it resulted in deaths on both sides. Despite all the efforts, the situation remains tense. We call on both sides to refrain from provocative actions. Russia is ready to play a role in de-escalation and border demarcation.

These efforts, including the unblocking of regional economic and transport routes, and the establishment of dialogue, will contribute to making the South Caucasus a zone of stability and prosperity, as stated in the trilateral statements of Nov 9 and Jan 11.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1060027.html

Macron and Aliyev discussed the Karabakh conflict

They agreed to take steps to stabilize the region with the help of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, said the French administration.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1060024.html

CSTO military bloc chief congratulates Pashinyan:

Congratulations on the election victory. The results testify to the support of the Armenian society in your course of reforms in the political, economic, and social spheres.

We appreciate the contribution of the Republic of Armenia to the CSTO activities. We expect that the forthcoming presidency of Armenia in the CSTO will contribute to the increase of stability in the Eurasian region.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1059970.html

Germany will continue to ban "unofficial" arms sales to Turkey

They are concerned about how Turkey uses some of the received items. Germany did not receive a proper explanation from Turkey.

Germany wants Turkey to use the weapons exclusively within Turkey, instead of exporting them to Azerbaijan and Libya.

https://factor.am/402040.html

Azeri soldier ~~commits suicide~~ suicide attempt on Facebook Live after complaining about post-2020 war negligence by government

Bahram Nuriev from the Gabala region -- and many others who have been protesting in front of govt buildings -- has been critical of the government, accusing them of neglecting their needs after the war.

https://factor.am/402063.html

ex-president Serj's "fuel theft" trial enters final phase / businessman says former Premier instructed him not to compete / railway fee manipulations

Serj and his associates, including his friend Barsegh Beglaryan (the owner of Flash fuel), are accused of embezzling 0.5 billion in fuel that was meant as agricultural aid for farmers. One of Serj's former subordinates (Agriculture Minister Sergo Karapetyan), a key witness who testified again Serj, has since died from COVID.

Today the court began examining the evidence presented by prosecutors and defense.

One of the testimonies came from another fuel company owner, who claimed that the Serj administration and Flash Fuel conspired to take illegal steps to eliminate him out as a competitor.

The businessman said the regime intentionally kept his fuel trucks on the Iran-Armenia border for 45 days, until Premier Hovik Abrahamyan authorized their entry under the conditions that he would no longer import fuel and compete. He listed similar instances of alleged import blocking on the border with Georgia.

The businessman also said the authorities ignored more favorable fuel bidders and intentionally chose Flash fuel, owned by Serj's friend Barsegh Beglaryan.

The businessman also accused Flash fuel of colluding with the regime in 2015 to go as far as to artificially increase the import fees from Batumi (Georgia) to Ayrum (northern Armenia), raising its railway travel costs from $34 to $95. "This has lead to uncompetitive conditions for small importers."

The next trial is on September 23.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1059997.html https://youtu.be/ZE7w65FguII https://factor.am/402018.html

Tags: #SerjFuel #FuelTheft

women in the new Parliament

33.6% of 107 MPs are female, which is above the mandatory threshold. Unlike previous years, this time the deputy presidents are exclusively men. Women also played passive roles during the recent electoral campaign.

https://www.civilnet.am/news/628520/երբ-աժ-ղեկավար-կազմն-ունի-բացառապես-տղամարդու-դեմք-․․․/

Third time is the charm? Opposition candidate failed to receive enough votes to become deputy Parliament speaker

Read yesterday's report for details about elections within the Parliament to chose their deputy Presidents. One of them must be from the opposition fraction. PU and HD earlier announced that they would nominate HD MP (ARF) Ishkhan Saghatelyan.

Today the ruling party announced that some of their MPs will join the opposition to give them the minimum necessary votes to elect the opposition's candidate. Ruling MP said he hopes the opposition will not "boycott" and will nominate someone, or else, the seat would automatically go to the ruling party.

The opposition decided to nominate HD Saghatelyan. A secret vote was held. He fell short by one vote: 53-50. The two sides pointed fingers at each other for the "missing" 54th vote. The rhetoric escalated. A bored MP was seen playing Solitaire on his phone.

QP MP noted that one of the HD MPs did not show up for the vote. HD MP said his absence was justified, while QP MP said he left the country for leisure purposes. HD MP said his absence was known before the vote.

QP MP Konjanyan to opposition: we did the math beforehand to secure 55 votes for you. The two of you (PU & HD) had 34 MPs combined. We gave you enough votes to elect your candidate. But one of your MPs [Davit Sedrakyan, son of notorious HHK MP Mher Sedrakyan], who was present during these discussions, decided not to participate in the final vote, and another ballot was declared "invalid". You should figure out between yourselves what the problem is. Let us know if you need us to give you additional votes. //

HD Saghatelyan denied that the issue came from the opposition. He was nominated the second time but received 49-49 votes and fell short again. Five ballots were declared invalid.

Saghatelyan was nominated the third time.

He got into an argument with Parliament president QP Simonyan, saying that he won't be Simonyan's "subordinate" after being elected as the deputy. QP Simonyan responded saying the more frequently Saghatelyan speaks, the more he discourages a vote.

HD leadership said there is no limit on the number of times Saghatelyan can be nominated, and that this issue should be addressed before moving on to other topics. QP Simonyan agreed, but he said they would rather move on to discussing other topics today. HD said they will have to hold another vote sooner or later, so they should address this issue today.

HD asked the ruling party to convince more of its MPs to join the vote to secure enough votes. The next vote will be held later.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1059959.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1059967.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1059974.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1059976.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1059984.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1059992.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1060000.html https://factor.am/401864.html https://factor.am/402140.html

Appeals Court upholds the 2-month pre-trial detention of Goris mayor Arushan Arushanyan

The Kocharyan teammate was earlier charged with attempted voter bribery and pressuring voters to vote for a specific alliance.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1059983.html

authorites have a suspect in the brutal stabbing of a ruling party member

Yerevan municipal councilman Arman Antonyan was stabbed 11 times in his home at night a few days ago. The masked assailants also stabbed his grandfather in the head while the latter attempted to show resistance. Antonyan miraculously survived but remains in serious condition.

The investigators have uncovered possible motives. They believe one of the suspects is a 30yo Yerevan resident. They believe the victim's political duties in the municipality have played a role in the attempted murder, because the assailant is charged under article 34-104.2.7.

The suspect is placed on the wanted list. They are trying to identify the accomplice.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1060023.html https://www.arlis.am/documentview.aspx?docid=69646

the car belonging to Yerkir Tsirani leader Postanjyan's husband was torched last night

The activist and former MP Zaruhi Postanjyan believes it was due to her political activities. She did not name suspects, adding that her family does not have any "enemies". She contacted the police. They tried to review a CCTV camera on Kasyan street but it turned out to be dysfunctional.

https://factor.am/401966.html

police reforms: every province will have new police patrols by 2023

The training (hostage situation, etc.) was conducted with the cooperation of experts from the U.S, Georgia, and Ukraine.

The first phase began in the summer of 2020, with 2.5k applications for 770 positions in Yerevan. The applicants took physical and IQ tests and went through interviews. The 700 applicants began the 5-month academy training in January and launched the service in Yerevan in July.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1060009.html https://youtu.be/OGmmu9DiEgA

All Armenia Fund is building housing, roads, and water delivery network in Artsakh

President Sarkissian met Himnadram chief Arshamyan to discuss the ongoing $60 million humanitarian projects for rebuilding roads, schools, water delivery networks, and large-scale housing construction.

Himnadram will build 817 apartments and 290 houses during the first phase of the housing project. Part of it will be ready this year, in Stepanakert and Ivanyan, for 457 IDP families from Shushi and Hadrut.

The two also spoke about $1 million programs in Syunik that are scheduled to begin in September. It's mainly about education and social projects in rural areas.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1060004.html

QP Sukiasyan vs QP Avinyan

Now-former deputy Premier Avinyan did not want to see Khachatur Sukiasyan included in QP's ballot list. Sukiasyan comes from a businessmen's family. He was persecuted during the former regime and became more active again after the 2018 revolution, in support of the Pashinyan administration. Avinyan saw an issue with inviting Sukiasyan to QP because of his business ties.

QP Sukiasyan responds: I haven't been an active businessman since 2005. I've been working as an analyst. Anyone who has the ability to help Armenia, regardless of their former position or job, should have the chance to do so. I urge everyone with the necessary skills to help Armenia. The rest is a commentary. We need to analyze how efficient public officials have been.

https://youtu.be/hwQpuRoIdP8?t=30 https://factor.am/401825.html

203 public officials are facing a $400 fine for not disclosing property ownership on time

The Corruption Prevention Commission published the list today, which includes judicial workers, municipal officials, mayors, and even governors.

https://factor.am/402123.html

government wants to make it harder to keep wild animals in "private zoos"

Nature Ministry: quantity reduction or disappearance of any animal can lead to a serious disturbance in the ecosystem. We propose amending several laws to more strictly regulate the use and housing of wildlife. The bill it being discussed.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1060017.html

Premier Pashinyan visited Iran to meet the new president Raisi

The two met shortly after Raisi took the oath before parliament. They discussed AM-IR cooperation in trade, Meghri free economic zone, links to the EAEU trade bloc, and trade routes stretching from the Persian Gulf to the Black Sea that will pass through Armenia.

roads

Pashinyan welcomed Iran's interest in Armenia's North-South highway project and invited Iranian companies to participate in the auction for the construction of the Sisian-Meghri section.

energy

They spoke about the upcoming construction of the third 400KW power transmission line between the two states, and how it will increase the gas-for-electricity exchange.

other

They briefly discussed regional security, and cooperation in healthcare/tech/education fields.

Raisi wished Pashinyan "strength, energy, and vigor" to develop Armenia and implement the goals, and accepted Pashinyan's invitation to visit Armenia.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1059957.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1059968.html https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=561799701658348

President Sarkissian continues the nuclear safety discussions with Japanese officials

Sarkissian recently visited Japan for the Olympics where he met the Japanese nuclear safety agency to discuss possible cooperation with Armenia.

Today he met the Japanese ambassador Fukushima Masanori to discuss nuclear safety [I will choke you with two fingers if you make a "Fukushima" explosion joke.]

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1059987.html

solar panels were installed on apartment complex buildings in Davtashen district / lowering elevator fees

... as part of a "green" project funded by the EU. The elevators, backyard lighting, and sensor lights are wired to the solar panels.

As part of the first phase, panels have been installed on 32 out of 42 buildings, from which 8 have already been switched on. The goal is to bring the total number to 90.

The installation is expected to cut in half the "elevator fees" collected from residents. Each building will have its banking account to keep the collected fees.

The low-income residents in these buildings will receive energy-efficient lightbulbs.

The EU is giving most of the resources as a grant, while a portion of it is financed by the municipality. The residents will own the solar panels. It's the first of its kind project in Yerevan, said the municipality.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1060014.html https://youtu.be/zpmPM996LuM

prosecutors provide more details about the hate speech charges against a Yezidi activist

Prosecutors released a message today, criticizing several NGOs for "rushing to make conclusions based only on activist's words" after a Yezidi activist was charged under a hate speech law for allegedly inciting hatred between ethnic Armenian and Yezidi communities.

The details are in the article. Some of the accusations are him giving an interview to a foreign media outlet and allegedly providing intentionally false information about Yezidies having their properties and businesses stolen, no steps being taken to develop Yezidi culture, them being discriminated against, being shot, and series of other claims, "with the intention of inciting hatred". The activist said that was not his intention, and that he was talking about various issues in the community.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1059999.html https://youtu.be/6ccBGi-iVNI https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1040167.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037048.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1017077.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1021483.html

diaspora: Buy Armenian online sales platform is launched

Armenian-American Odabashyan family launched the 'Buy Armenian' initiative during the 2020 war to promote Made in Armenia products in the diaspora. Economy Minister Kerobyan attended the www.buyarmenian.com online platform's opening ceremony.

Minister: This can help the small and medium businesses. Their share in our economy is only 27%. We plan to double it within 5 years. We will make financial resources available for their development. //

750 Armenian manufacturers have already signed up with the platform to present 5,500 goods. Food, handmade items, clothing, etc.

https://factor.am/402044.html

lifeguards are ready to save the drunkards in Lake Sevan

The public beaches are open in Gegharkunik's Shorzha settlement, east of Lake Sevan. Although not required, lifeguards decided to monitor swimmers in the private beaches, too.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1059989.html

COVID stats

7551 tested. 329 infected. 179 healed. 7 deaths. 4949 active.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1059966.html

Lebanon-based Azdak newspaper editor Gantaharyan about the crisis in Lebanon:

A year has passed since the Beirut port explosion. Lebanon continues to have financial, economic, and political issues.

Not all details about the explosion are known yet. The investigation is being dragged, which has lead to civil and political disobedience. The crisis is deepened due to issues with the banking, fuel, and medicine sector.

The national currency is falling. Some have described this as a siege on the financial sector, amid external pressure by larger powers for Lebanon to address transparency and corruption.

Some organizations and civilians have begun demanding for all public officials to lose immunity so they can be summoned either as witnesses or defendants. However, the explosion investigation has not been finalized and there are no targeted accusations yet. On the other hand, the financial and economic hardship has created a very difficult situation.

A new Premier was appointed but has not formed a cabinet yet. The lack of government has deepened the crisis.

The Armenian community of Lebanon is equally affected, with the only difference being that it has received some support from Armenia and the diaspora within the past year. The pan-Armenian network structure worked very purposefully with fundraisers, sending humanitarian and moral support.

It is expected for the crisis to lead to certain emigration. What's notable is that some of the emigrants decided to move to Armenia. It's not on a massive scale. Lebanese airlines conduct flights to Yerevan three times a week. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1059956.html

Syrian airlines "Ajnehat al-Sham" will resume Aleppo-Yerevan flights for the first time since the Syrian civil war

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1059978.html

Yerevan will add 16 new public transport routes and an electronic payment system in a few months

The capital is waiting for the newly ordered buses to arrive from China in October.

One in eight new buses will be reserved. The remaining 180 units will be split and used for 16 new routes in the capital. The municipality expects significant improvements in the public transport system.

They also expect the electronic payment system to be ready by the time the buses arrive. The passengers can either use their bank cards or obtain a special ticket card. The cash exchange will be eliminated, just as in Europe, noted the Mayor's spokesman.

The city had earlier circulated several new buses and introduced more stringent rules (e.g. no smoking) for drivers. They have already reprimanded and fired some of them for unethical conduct.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1059954.html

name one similarity between heavyweight and lightweight chads

They both won Olympic medals.

The fans gathered in Zvartnots airport to welcome the weightlifter Simon Martirosyan (silver) and gymnast Arthur Davtyan (bronze).

The weightlifter said he could have and should have done better, while the gymnast said he is very happy with bronze because his sport is not very developed in Armenia.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1059971.html

Grand Chess Tour: Aronian defeats Azerbaijan's Mamedyarov 2.5:0.5

... during the online Chessable Master's competition. He advanced to the semifinals where he will compete against a Vietnamese opponent.

https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/294813/

UEFA Europa League qualification tournament

Kayrat (Kazakh) vs Alashkert (Arm) ended in a tie. The second match is next week.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1060038.html

end of report

The accused are innocent unless proven guilty in the court of law, even if they "appear" guilty.

News archive: http://www.armeniapedia.org/wiki/Daily_Anti-Corruption_Reports

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Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/oyqneh/news_aug52021_new_defense_minister_orders_army_to/

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