2021 August 9
- 1 Daily news wrap-up
- 2 in case you missed the late-weekend recap
- 3 Parliament is electing the heads of 12 Standing Committees
- 4 Andranik Kocharyan discusses professional army and national security agency reforms:
- 5 MPs discussed the topic of "exchanging enclaves"
- 6 secretary of CSTO military bloc is in Armenia
- 7 Foreign Ministers of Russia and Azerbaijan discussed de-escalation on AM-AZ borders
- 8 Vahram Grigoryan is appointed as the commander of 2nd Army Corps
- 9 Arayik Harutyunyan is appointed as the head of the army's intel department
- 10 families of POWs gathered outside the govt building
- 11 the "Russian House" has programs in the border regions to strengthen cultural ties
- 12 Youth for Change aims to increase the competitiveness of Armenian youth in the labor market
- 13 modular construction company uses green technologies
- 14 Pashinyan receives congratulatory messages and suggestions from the diaspora
- 15 Dashnaks' Hai Dat committees held discussions to coordinate lobbying efforts to help Artsakh
- 16 Artsakh Security Council discussed the water shortage in capital Stepanakert
- 17 anti-corruption: Appeals Court sides with prosecutors in the case against Supreme Court president
- 18 anti-corruption: ex-mayor of Artashavan (Aragatsotn) is charged with bribery and land theft
- 19 nobody wants to buy the Golden Palace hotel?
- 20 police reforms
- 21 three large egg producers receive fines for abusing dominant market powers
- 22 Yerevan zoo employees are unhappy with the new director
- 23 Yerevan State University will cooperate with California State University (Northridge)
- 24 unemployment rate in EAEU and Armenia
- 25 COVID stats
- 26 195,000 vaccinations so far
- 27 firefighters isolated and extinguished fire that burned 18 hectares of grass near Nrnadzor (Syunik)
- 28 bridge is being renovated in Gegharkunik village of Gegharkunik province
- 29 6km section of Yerevan-Garni-Geghard road is being renovated
- 30 agricultural reforms: products will receive an interest-free loan to boost exports
- 31 Chessable Masters: Levon Aronian finishes 4th
- 32 end of report
- 33 Support David's Daily Armenia News Summaries!
Daily news wrap-up
News - Aug/9/2021: Professional army on the agenda: new combat code, academy for officers & contractors, "IQ" tests, rebuild w/tech, invest in science, involve diaspora, more oversight, new intel agency, reservist reforms, ... __ Moscow negotiations __ Ruling party on enclaves __ Corruption busts ++
Your 10-minute Monday recap in 2706 words.
in case you missed the late-weekend recap
Parliament is electing the heads of 12 Standing Committees
9 will be headed by QP, 2 by HD, 1 by PU.
The former regime announced that they want to preside over the Human Rights Committee, Economy Committee, and the Eurasian Integration Committee.
The ruling QP party re-nominated Andranik Kocharyan to lead the Defense committee, which has Parliamentary oversight on the army, police, emergency agencies, and NSS. While discussing defense reforms, Andranik said "the new reality requires new approaches".
Andranik Kocharyan discusses professional army and national security agency reforms:
We need radical changes. We need to create a new security environment in the short and long term.
First of all, national security must be considered as a function of a democratic and developed society. A country that lacks natural resources and is under a blockade must continuously change to stay effective.
Armenia must use local and diaspora intellectual resources to turn into a science and technology incubator. Therefore, I consider it necessary to prioritize investments in technology and education.
The Parliamentary committees, the government, and the Security Council should form an expert group tasked with examining the national security strategy.
1) From the point of view of the military doctrine, as a key strategic goal, I propose effective regional-international cooperation as a means of preventing war.
2) Rebuild the army by involving staff with science knowledge.
3) Review every existing military combat document and code, and bring it in line with modern military science.
4) Supplement the army with scientifically justified modern equipment and ensure equal development of branches.
5) Since the goal is to have a professional army, we must completely change the military education and training process, at every level. The teachings must be held in special academies by independent instructors, with graduation exams and certificates.
6) Only recruit contractors with high scores in intellectual, psychological, and physical tests.
7) Review the number of high-ranking officers and bring the low-high ratio in line with modern standards. [As suggested by Gen. Samvel Babayan.]
8) Diagnose the legal code that regulates the defense branches. Eliminate command conflicts between Army and MOD.
9) Create the position of a Military Ombudsman in Parliament.
10) Develop the military-industrial complex in a way to also export products.
11) The Parliament should have a say in the confirmation of high-ranking military appointments made by the Executive Branch. Parliament should meet the nominees and give advice to the Executive. De facto, this was recently done in Armenia for the first time.
12) National Security Services (NSS) should undergo reforms. This was being discussed since 2018 but we must review the 2020 war and draw new conclusions. We need a true national security agency. Every country has its own nuances to handle national security issues, even the countries that closely cooperate in national security issues [likely hints about potential differences between Armenia and Russia].
13) Intel must be separated from NSS and become a separate agency. We need a national academy to train the intel agents. We need adjacent institutes to make this successful.
14) We need proper anti-terrorism tools, especially after the 2020 war. Parliament should have some oversight of all these agencies.
15) We need to form centers to analyze information relating to national security. There must be preventative institutes because political borders have lost their meaning across the world.
16) Draft laws to establish oversight on intel agencies while respecting their secrecy. The heads of intel agencies must present annual reports in the Parliament.
17) Better regulate secret information and the appeals process if access to such information is denied.
18) Police reforms have already begun. There are new recruits. In the second phase, we will expand it to every province.
19) The bill to create a Ministry of Internal Affairs is in its final stages. It's being discussed in relevant agencies. It will increase Parliamentary oversight of the Police.
20) [talks about emergency services reforms]. //
Andranik Kocharyan about army reservists: we need to understand why there were problems with managing army structures during the 2020 war. We went from being organized in the 1990s to being disorganized in 2020. The militarymen that came to Armenia [in the 90s] did not bring weapons, but improved the army command.
What happened to our mobilization skills? Here we have decades-worth issues. We were mobilizing soldiers in 2020 but there was a lack of skilled management to guide every soldier on what to do.
We need to launch a routine reservist training that lasts 1-3 months to gain skills so that tomorrow, the reservist won't refuse to fight after learning that they have to go against [drones]. In an organized manner, they need to go in corresponding groups and carry out specific missions.
Andranik Kocharyan about army food and clothing: in the past, parents were forced to send many parcels (tulikner) to their sons. The food issue was since been addressed. We are now working on clothing. //
Andranik Kocharyan about the recent MOD negotiations in Moscow: I will have difficulty saying what agreements are being discussed in Russia, but whatever it is, it's in the best interest of Armenia.
It's about how fast we can recover our military potential. //
Andranik Kocharyan said the border negotiations in Moscow are trilateral and involve an Azeri representative.
https://youtu.be/8M7I0igba1s https://youtu.be/z6gkS9-CyI0 https://factor.am/403186.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1060215.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1060254.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1060266.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1060269.html https://factor.am/403152.html https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/294898/
Tags #ArmyReform #NSS #DefenseReforms
MPs discussed the topic of "exchanging enclaves"
Ruling QP MP Khachatryan: I find it unacceptable to give any enclaves to Azerbaijan. Armenia must take all possible measures to prevent such situations. This opinion is shared by almost everyone at our party. //
secretary of CSTO military bloc is in Armenia
Stanislav Zas is in Yerevan to discuss preparations for the upcoming session, and the overall situation in the CSTO territories.
Zas met the acting Foreign Minister Armen Grigoryan to discuss Azerbaijan's provocations on Syunik, Gegharkunik, and Nakhijevan borders.
MFA Armen Grigoryan mentioned that Armenia will soon preside over the CSTO bloc. He emphasized the need for strengthening the mechanisms for responding in a timely manner to the needs of the member states.
In return, Zas emphasized the importance of improving CSTO and added that the CSTO committees will soon discuss the suggestions made by Armenia.
Zas met the Defense Minister Arshak Karapetyan. The latter said "our patience has limits" while discussing Azerbaijan's incursion on Armenian territories, and said that unless it is resolved peacefully, Armenia reserves the right to apply force.
Defense Minister Karapetyan also expressed regret that CSTO's decision-making and crisis-response procedures are insufficient.
Foreign Ministers of Russia and Azerbaijan discussed de-escalation on AM-AZ borders
Vahram Grigoryan is appointed as the commander of 2nd Army Corps
Arayik Harutyunyan is appointed as the head of the army's intel department
families of POWs gathered outside the govt building
They held placards in English and Russian, condemning Azerbaijan for illegally holding their relatives. They complained about the lack of new information about the repatriation process.
the "Russian House" has programs in the border regions to strengthen cultural ties
The annual "Hello, Russia" program, which is usually active only in Yerevan, has included dozens of children from Syunik and Tavush for the first time. They sent 29 children on a trip to Russia.
The organization recently launched a Russian Language Center in Kapan (Syunik), equipped with WiFi and projectors. Soon they will launch free Russian language classes for police officers in Syunik. Later this month, they will open a Russian literature reading room in the Kapan library. High-tech classes will be organized for 5-8 graders. Doctors will arrive in Syunik to help nursing homes and hospitals.
Youth for Change aims to increase the competitiveness of Armenian youth in the labor market
The U.S. Forest Service is financing a program to help provincial Armenian youth to visit parks and learn about tourism and the construction of trails. The attendees were chosen based on their tourism business ideas.
The experts taught them how to develop a product, financial literacy, navigate through the market, and other skills, before going on a weeklong camping trip.
modular construction company uses green technologies
Economy Minister Kerobyan visited Արտկոն CJSC factory to learn about their modular construction business that relies on modern technologies while respecting the nature.
The company plans to create a construction cluster to make modern technologies accessible all in one place. "Combining complementary services and technology solutions will improve construction standards, which will help improve the quality of services provided in the sector."
The government might hire them to build hospitals, schools, industrial parks, etc.
Pashinyan receives congratulatory messages and suggestions from the diaspora
Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU): we congratulate Pashinyan and the successful formation of a new government cabinet. This in itself is a positive achievement, given the country's internal political instability and the serious geopolitical challenges in the region. Armenian diaspora welcomes the gradual return to normal life with the help of elections.
We hope the government will be determined to involve the best local and international specialists in the development of the country.
We hope the Parliament will amend the law to make it easier for diasporans to hold government positions. For example, a one-year residency in Armenia should be sufficient to qualify for a state position. //
Catholicos of Cilicia Aram I also congratulated Pashinyan and wished him success.
Dashnaks' Hai Dat committees held discussions to coordinate lobbying efforts to help Artsakh
Committees from 30 states gathered to discuss a dozen issues that need to be raised/lobbied in foreign states to promote Artsakh's right to self-determination, address humanitarian issues, return the POWs, etc.
Artsakh Security Council discussed the water shortage in capital Stepanakert
The 15-year record high temperatures have significantly depleted the water streams entering the capital. Third of the population doesn't receive water. The government will discuss alternative water supplies including increasing the throughput of the existing network of artesian wells.
Another reason for the shortage is the capital's unprecedented population size that increased after the 2020 war when many IDPs moved to settle in Stepanakert.
anti-corruption: Appeals Court sides with prosecutors in the case against Supreme Court president
You may remember that Supreme leader Ruben Vardazaryan was recently charged with a felony after his fellow judge reported that Vardazaryan pressured him to give a specific verdict during some trial.
The Lower Court later ruled that prosecutors violated Vardazaryan's judicial immunity by not asking the Supreme Council for authorization before pressing the charges.
Prosecutors challenged that ruling in the Appeals Court and argued that, in this particular instance, they were not supposed to ask for permission to press charges. The Appeals Court has just sided with the prosecutors.
anti-corruption: ex-mayor of Artashavan (Aragatsotn) is charged with bribery and land theft
NSS reports: the 1999-2021 mayor of Artashavan falsified documents in 2017 to claim that some of the 67 hectares of arable lands were meant for pasture, so he could rig a land auction to sell the lands to a particular company, in exchange for a ֏67 million bribe from them.
The mayor also forged documents to steal a piece of land from a resident for himself. //
nobody wants to buy the Golden Palace hotel?
As part of the post-2018 anti-corruption raids, the authorities went after Tsakhkadzor's Golden Palace Hotel. Kocharyan-era officials associated with the hotel were accused of using offshore schemes to funnel embezzled funds.
Eventually, Kocharyan's IRS chief Armen Avetisyan decided to "donate" the hotel to the state. It was placed on auction for ֏7.5 billion but the govt had to lower it to ֏6.5 billion after five unsuccessful auctions.
The new Patrol Service will soon switch to an electronic system for writing reports to expedite the process. Tablets will be used.
The police are retraining officers to better manage traffic control on intersections after complaints that traffic cops were making things worse.
The new vehicles will come equipped with "POLICE LINE - DO NOT CROSS" yellow tapes to secure crime scenes (big if true), various tools for rescuing operations, road spikes, window tint meters, new alcohol meters, etc.
The driver will no longer have to visit a police station for a process that involves obtaining physical receipts relating to drunk driving tests. The new alcohol meters in police vehicles will check the alcohol level, then print out the receipts on the spot.
The old rubber bats used by police will be replaced with modern polycarbonate ones to whoop your butt with love. "There are different clubs with different functionalities. We plan to propose legal amendments to ensure the new clubs are used legally," said the Justice Ministry.
The U.S. ambassador and members of government visited the police forces to learn about the ongoing reforms. It's co-financed by the U.S.
three large egg producers receive fines for abusing dominant market powers
Araks, Arzni, and Ashtarak will pay ֏42 million in penalties for actions that reduced the supply of some eggs and resulted in a price hike, in March of this year.
Yerevan zoo employees are unhappy with the new director
Zoo workers did not like their former director Khachatryan. He was fired by the Yerevan mayor and replaced by an acting director Simonyan. Now the zoo has a new acting director Mkrtchyan. Zoo workers don't want her because "she is a close associate of the former director Khachatryan".
Zoo workers: we won't allow the old ones to return. The Board of Directors should hold a meeting and explain. We like the acting director Vladimir Simonyan. He has been in the hospital lately and wasn't even informed about the appointment of a new acting director. Also, give us a raise. //
Mayor's office: we recently learned that Simonyan did not have the necessary paperwork to act as the director. Mkrtchyan was appointed because she is experienced.
It is true that she has worked with the [former controversial] director Khachatryan, but so did most employees. She isn't going to continue Khachatryan's policies. Also, we informed Simonyan multiple times while hospital that his duties are terminated.
Yerevan State University will cooperate with California State University (Northridge)
Armenia's consulate in LA held discussions with CSUN university leadership and Armenian student groups from CSUN.
CSUN was invited to cooperate with YSU by sending students to Armenia and making the credits transferrable between the universities. Student/professor exchange programs and joint research projects were proposed. CSUN has agreed.
unemployment rate in EAEU and Armenia
As of June 2021, unemployment was cut in half across EAEU thanks to a positive job market development in Russia.
Armenia recorded 61.4k unemployed, or 17%, which is 1,200 more than in June 2020. This was calculated with the methodology of the International Labor Organization.
65% of Armenian unemployed are women. 19% are young. 4% are disabled.
4458 tested. 140 infected. 191 healed. 3 deaths. 5110 active.
195,000 vaccinations so far
133k first and 62k second dose.
firefighters isolated and extinguished fire that burned 18 hectares of grass near Nrnadzor (Syunik)
bridge is being renovated in Gegharkunik village of Gegharkunik province
The flooding damaged it earlier this year.
6km section of Yerevan-Garni-Geghard road is being renovated
agricultural reforms: products will receive an interest-free loan to boost exports
Government: For the first time, interest-free loans can also be obtained by exporters of fresh agricultural products. Prior to this decision, these loans were only given to companies that import raw materials for processing. The total budget has increased from ֏1.8 billion to ֏3 billion.
Armenian products are always in demand abroad. The aim of this change is to encourage farmers to produce a lot and then to export a lot. //
Chessable Masters: Levon Aronian finishes 4th
He lost the "bronze" match against Russia's Vladislav Artemyev. He had earlier defeated Azerbaijan's Memodyarov.
end of report
The accused are innocent unless proven guilty in the court of law, even if they "appear" guilty.
Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/p1a236/news_aug92021_professional_army_on_the_agenda_new/
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