2021 January 11

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Daily news wrap-up

Jan/11/2021 news summary: __ Moscow meeting by Pashinyan, Aliyev, Putin __ Unblocking regional trade routes __ Statements & documents __ Broadcasting wars: which TV outlets will win license to broadcast? __ POWs & searches __ Emergency service statistics __ Free entry to park __ Arts & other news...
by ar_david_hh


Your 11-minute Monday report in 2697 words.

Pashinyan-Putin-Aliyev meeting in Moscow / Trilateral statement signed / Trade routes

Pashinyan and Aliyev will meet in Moscow to discuss topics about trade, POWs, and the ongoing implementation of the November 9th trilateral statement.

Opposition leader Arsen Babayan was briefly arrested while unsuccessfully trying to close the road to Zvartnots airport to prevent Pashinyan from flying to Moscow. Opposition ARF said anything signed by Pashinyan today would be illegal because ARF does not believe Pashinyan legally represents Armenia.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039809.html , www.civilnet.am/news/2021/01/11/ՀՀ-վարչապետի-մասնակցությամբ-ընդունված-որևէ-որոշում-ի-սկզբանե-առ-ոչինչ-է․-ՀՅԴ-ի-հայտարարությունը-մոսկովյան-հանդիպումից-առաջ/415421

Gorbachev appeared out of nowhere. He hopes that Russia will be able to resolve the conflict "without winners and losers."

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039819.html

Pashinyan and Aliyev arrived in Moscow. The two separately hugged Vladimir Putin but did not shake each other's hands. The trilateral meeting began a few hours later in Kremlin.

https://youtu.be/d6LLcLK25pg , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039833.html

Armenia, Russia, and Azerbaijan will form a group, tasked with creating a plan to mutually lift the passenger and cargo transportation blockade in the region. This group will be lead by Deputy Prime Ministers of the three countries.

Vladimir Putin: The announcement also envisions the development of infrastructure projects. A working group will be formed and chaired by the Deputy Prime Ministers of the three countries. Soon, they will form expert subgroups and present concrete projects on the development of the region's economic and transport infrastructure.

I am confident that the implementation of these agreements will be beneficial for the peoples of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the whole region.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039875.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039836.html

Vladimir Putin: It can be emphasized with satisfaction that the agreements of the November 9th trilateral statement are being implemented. The war caused many problems. I'd like to thank both of you for accepting the mediation of the Russian side to help end the bloodshed. Russia continues to work with OSCE Co-chairs.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039837.html

Pashinyan, Putin, and Aliyev signed a joint statement on the development of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Vladimir Putin: The negotiations have been exceptionally important and effective.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039868.html

Ilham Aliyev: as Vladimir Putin said earlier, the Nagorno Karabakh conflict is a thing of the past and we must think about the future. How to work together as neighbors, how to unblock transportation, how to strengthen regional stability and security.

The fact that we gathered today shows that we are determined to finalize the process. One of the goals is the unblocking of transport routes. It is in the best interest of the peoples of Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Russia.

https://youtu.be/0iHnXEyTjEU

Nikol Pashinyan: Unfortunately, this conflict has not been fully resolved yet. We managed to secure a ceasefire, but there are still issues that are not resolved. One of them is the legal status of Nagorno Karabakh. Armenia is ready to continue negotiations within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group. We have not been able to resolve the issue of POWs during today's meeting, but we agreed to continue the discussions around this sensitive topic.

As for the transportation talks, the implementation of the November 9th statement can change the economic image of the whole region. The new economic situation can lead to safer security guarantees.

We are ready to work constructively in that direction. I think it is not possible to settle all the issues in one meeting. I hope we will have progress. At present, the main issue remains the humanitarian issues and the exchange of POWs.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039869.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039873.html

Here is the statement signed by the three parties today:

We, the President of Azerbaijan, the Prime Minister of Armenia Pashinyan, and the President of Russia, announce the following:

1) In order to implement the unblocking of all economic and transport links in the region, we support Putin's offer about the establishment of a trilateral Working Group chaired by the Deputy Prime Ministers of three countries.

2) The Working Group will hold its first meeting by January 30. It will compile a list of work needed for unblocking of rail-road and road communications between the three countries.

3) The Working Group will create expert subgroups, which will include representatives of govt bodies and officials from relevant organizations. The expert subgroups will submit a list of projects within one month after the meeting, in which they will present the necessary resources and measures needed so that state leaders can finalize the process.

4) the state leaders will meet by March 1st to approve the roadmap plan to renovate and build new transport infrastructure.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039874.html

QP MP Rubinyan: The Armenian side has raised the issue of speedy exchange of POWs. Although it was not possible to achieve a concrete result during this meeting, the issue remains the top priority.

The lifting of the trade blockade is in Armenia's interests because a railway connection with Iran and Russia will be restored, which may create new economic opportunities for us.

The connection between Azerbaijan and Nakhijevan is under this context, and it's not defined separately. In other words, all trade is unblocked in the region. This is an important diplomatic success. Hopefully, this will put an end to political manipulations about "Meghri" and "Syunik".

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039883.html

After the trilateral meeting, Pashinyan held a separate conversation with Putin. They spoke about humanitarian issues and POWs.

Pashinyan: I am glad that we have some results [regarding transport] after these negotiations. This is important. Implementing our agreement can transform our region and bring investment potential.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039877.html

opposition about POWs

Ind. MP Babajanyan criticized the Pashinyan cabinet for being unable to resolve the POW issue during today's meeting. "They weren't properly prepared."

LHK chief Marukyan urged all Armenian diplomats abroad to work around the clock to pressure Azerbaijan to stop hindering the POW swap process.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/204144

POWs, families, and search operations

The search crews discovered the bodies of 14 soldiers in Artsakh's southern Zangelan region that was captured by Azeris. The searches continue in Askeran, Martuni, Hadrut, Jabrayil, and Kubatlu regions.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039804.html

Families of several deceased soldiers gathered in front of the Military Investigation Department with demands to expedite the process of investigating army officers, whom they accuse of giving wrong orders that led to their sons' death.

A father said he reported a crime committed by an officer on November 2nd (during the war). "There are some people who are yet to be interrogated. Investigators say they were interrogated in Artsakh so the same won't be done here," said a father, who isn't satisfied with the process but said he doesn't believe there is an intentional delay. "I just want investigators in every department to do their duties promptly so the case will see progress."

Another mother accused the commanders in the Jabrayil region of deserting and leaving conscripts by themselves.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039829.html , https://factor.am/326803.html

The Investigative Committee invited several families to gather information about alleged instances of abuse of power or neglect by army officers during the war.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039863.html

Catholicos Garegin B held a prayer for the safe return of the POWs.

Aram A catholicos: We lost on the battlefield, but our nation and homeland did not and will never lose.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/204063 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/204064

Azeri opposition isn't happy

... about the fact that Armenian soldiers continue to remain in Artsakh, and Turkey being left out of the trilateral meetings that have been happening between Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia.

https://youtu.be/Lc5cAmGbNPs?t=122

video from the war

Lt. Colonel Edgar Avalyan preparing his unit with an inspirational speech before battles.

https://youtu.be/F-VD24vymY4

office changes

Pashinyan has appointed former police chief Arman Sargsyan as a deputy Defence Minister.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039876.html

President Sarkissian's article: towards the 4th republic

Snippets:

We lost the information war, both externally and internally. For years, we presented our wishes as reality and lies as an imitation of truth. It spread everywhere and became a national security threat...

Our ancestors left us a huge legacy, hoping that we will be able to pass that to future generations in completely different quality. History shows that small countries often fall victim to the interests of big powers, as happened to Armenians during the Ottoman Empire. The nations that were able to soberly analyze the causes of their failures and to work on correcting their own mistakes were able to form high-quality states...

Full: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039798.html

Shushi residents who lost their houses

The process of counting the number of displaced people from Shushi continues. Not every 4,000 registered resident was residing in the city when the war began; some residents had migrated earlier. Those who lost their homes during the war ended up settling in Armenia, but some of them have already returned to Artsakh.

90% of them live in leased apartments. Donors often approach the social services agency with an offer to help the families in need.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039791.html

700 houses will be repaired within 4 months

... in various villages of Artsakh, and given to war refugees who lost their homes. 28 construction companies received approval to rebuild. The houses will be renovated externally, internally, equipped with furniture and appliances. Residents can now apply to receive housing.

It will be financed by the All Armenia Fund at www.HimnaDram.org

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039842.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039852.html

Russian peacekeepers in Artsakh

... have deployed another modular housing bloc for 60 peacekeepers. It has basic housing and accommodations.

They finished clearing capital Stenapakert from explosives. From now on, they will work in this area if a resident discovers something suspicious.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039799.html , https://factor.am/326878.html

Turkey is angry over Biden's appointment

... of Brett McGurk as National Security Advisor for the Middle East. "McGurk was a key player in the erosion of US influence with its allies and a rash of terrorism the likes of which the modern world has never experienced, and it now seems like he is back to finish the job," said the Turkish state media.

"McGurk was [...] leading the campaign to defeat the ISIS, and helped build the coalition of 75 countries and four international organizations—the largest coalition in history—to confront ISIS in cooperation with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Iraqi Army," wrote a Syrian outlet critical to Turkey.

McGurk had earlier resigned following Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from Syria in December 2018.

https://syrianobserver.com/EN/news/62904/turkish-trt-expresses-its-resentment-over-bidens-tapping-mcgurk.html

which TV outlets will win license to broadcast over public OTA?

Context can be found in my other news threads. The public regulator has to select winners and grant TV broadcasting licensing.

25 frequencies will be auctioned. TV slots based on location: 6 countrywide, 9 in Yerevan, 13 in provinces.

The competition is fierce. 12 TV outlets compete for the 6 countrywide slots. 4 TVs compete for 9 Yerevan slots, 8 TVs compete for 13 provincial licenses.

The outlets that fail to win countrywide licensing will be allowed to compete for broadcast in Yerevan or provinces.

3 out of 25 frequencies have already been reserved for Russian TV outlets after the governments of Armenia and Russia held a meeting. The recently-reformed law states that foreign channels will be broadcasted if there is an agreement. At the time, Pashinyan's critics portrayed this as an "anti-Russia" move, but the govt denied it, saying Russian outlets will be given slots after negotiations.

The Russian TVs that secured the broadcasting slots are the most popular First Channel (in Yerevan), Kultura (in Yerevan), and RTR-Planet (countrywide).

With 1 countrywide slot being reserved for Russia, there will be 5 left for Armenian TV networks. Which Armenian networks are competing?

ArmNews (ex-regime), H2 (ex-regime), 5TV (ex-regime), Kentron TV (ex-regime, Gago), Armenian TV (formerly ex-regime, now inconclusive), A TV (owner unclear), 1in.am (pro-west, Ind. MP Babajanyan), Freenews (half owned by director of Union of Armenians of Ukraine), A1+ (anti-Kocharyan), H1 (pro-whoever-government-is), Yerkir Media (ex-regime, ARF), and Shant.

Following outlets will compete for the first time: 1in.am and Freenews.

Following outlets currently have a countrywide license but won't compete again: AR

Following outlets will compete for licensing in Yerevan: Dar 21, New Armenia, Shant Sport, H1, ArtMedia (new outlet).


The opponents of the former regime launched a social media campaign with calls to revoke the licensing for 5TV, ArmNews, Yerkir Media, Kentron, and H2, citing a history of deception and misinformation. However, journalists learned that no "big surprises" will take place during the licensing auction and that only two TV outlets are set to lose their license to competitors as it stands right now.

https://factor.am/327098.html

Tags: #TVLicense #PublicBroadcast #PublicTV

Armenian church in Jerusalem

... has collected $42,000 in donations for Artsakh. They will finance another humanitarian program in Spring.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039882.html

COVID stats

+1025 tested. +157 infected. +561 healed. +2 deaths. 8782 active.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039807.html

statistics about 911 emergency services

In 2020, Yerevan's emergency department made 322K visits. That was 59K more than in the previous year. Emergency calls for children reduced by 8K, however, and the number of patients who were hospitalized after the call fell by 4K.

The primary causes for the call were cardiovascular, respiratory, and injuries. The incident with injuries reduced during the pandemic.

Emergency calls during New Year's holidays declined by double digits. Most Armenians did not celebrate with fancy parties this year.

There were 15K calls related to COVID. The highest was in May, the lowest in August.

When the war and the pandemic struck together, the ambulance system was overloaded, so the calls that were deemed as not being truly "emergency" were given a lesser priority and the vehicles arrived with delays. The pandemic's role in the delays was the fact that after arriving at the patient's house, instead of spending the usual 20 minutes, the crews often had to stay for hours to help the patient with COVID-related breathing equipment. With multiple crews being busy with similar tasks, there weren't enough ambulance crews left to serve others, hence the delays. (Wear a mask, wash your hands, keep a distance).

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039828.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039831.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039847.html , https://factor.am/326982.html

anti-corruption: director charged with embezzlement & forgery

Investigative Committee: the director of government-funded Aygedzor Communal Services POAK is charged with embezzlement and forgery. Between 2014-2017, he knowingly paid salaries to several people who did not attend to work.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039821.html

state inspectors audited transport companies

... which recently raised the transport fees in Ararat province, causing the local population's anger. Inspectors found that several operators raised it illegally, against their contracts. They were given a warning and 5 days to lower the prices.

A few other operators were allowed to raise it because they were operating below the maximum allowed fee up until today.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039867.html

entry to "Jrvej" forest park will become free

The entry and all the services in Jrvej park will become free, says the Nature Ministry. The park is known for paid wedding photoshoots and filming movies.

Cars won't be allowed to enter the park anymore.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039880.html

hospital love story

Mash Torosyan routinely visited a hospital to take care of her brother who lost his limbs during the war. She accidentally met another conscript in the neighboring room and the two fell in love.

Story: https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/204083

do you enjoy libraries?

The National Library of Armenia has a new initiative to increase public interest in libraries around the world. On its official website, you can find information about famous and lesser-known libraries around the world.

The first one to be featured is the Kansas State Library. It's known for having walls that are painted with snippets of imagery from books, favored by the readers.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039839.html

Orbeli brothers vs Joseph Stalin

The exhibition "Salvation of the Hermitage Treasures" recently opened at the Orbeli Brothers House-Museum in Tsakhkadzor.

In 1928-1932, the Soviet government began selling the country's arts and cultural pieces to fill the depleted state coffers. Stalin ordered State Hermitage items to be sold. Hovsep Orbeli found the courage to write a letter to Stalin and ask him to spare these art pieces. Everyone was anticipating for [Orbeli to go pick mushrooms and tragically never come back]. Surprisingly, Orbeli received a positive response and the collection was saved.

Recently, the museum launched a cyber-tour for visitors who cannot attend in-person. It usually receives 8,000 visitors annually.

More: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039801.html

donations to Artsakh & recovering soldiers

www.1000plus.am (recovering soldiers & their families)

www.HimnaDram.org (for Artsakh & Armenia)

www.ArmeniaFund.org (U.S. tax-deductible)

archive of older posts

Armeniapedia's archive of my daily news threads:

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

disclaimer

All the accused are considered innocent unless proven guilty in the court of law, even if they "sound" or "appear" guilty.


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/kvcsgp/jan112021_news_summary_moscow_meeting_by/


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