2021 July 15

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Contents

Daily news wrap-up

News - Jul/15/2021: Copper miner tax approved; millions of $ __ Pashinyan on trade routes, borders, Aliyev's tactics __ New Georgian highway to help Armenia __ Iranians unhappy w/Azerb. __ Ceasefire __ Heart attack __ Kocharyan trial; judge investigated __ Aid for Artsakh, preschools, families _ ...
by ar_david_hh


Your 12-minute Thursday recap in 3009 words.

mining tax: Parliament approves raising fees on copper-molybdenum exporters

Monday news has details about the government's proposed tax hike on copper miners. They argue copper prices have skyrocketed in recent times, so a more fair profit distribution is necessary.

Economy Minister Qerobyan: we propose imposing an export license duty on the copper and molybdenum concentrate and a few related products. The proposed tax equals 15% of current market prices, a fixed export license fee.

The current royalty system is insufficient and does not ensure a fair distribution of income between the citizens of Armenia and the miners. Favorable international market conjuncture allows the government to impose such fees to collect much-needed budget revenues, while at the same time maintaining very good conditions for the miners.

Copper prices jumped from $6k to $9.3k since last year, while the molybdenum from $24k to $41k. We will take part of that additional income. This is a temporary measure. In the near future, we will totally revamp the royalty system.

QP MP Aghazyan: what if the copper prices sharply fall?

Minister Qerobyan: The miners have been enjoying high prices for a long time. The prices have been high from the beginning of 2021. We don't expect prices to sharply fall during 2021. Even if it falls, the already-accumulated superprofit is so large that the 6-month period would ensure enough profitability for miners.

QP MP Sisak: any bill that would even slightly reduce income from copper mining was never discussed in Parliament in the past because people who owned copper factories [Zangezur] were controlling the Parliament. "Nationalizing" the Zangezur factory would be a bad idea. This bill "nationalizes" Armenia's copper reserves instead.

QP MP Papoyan: mining tax is only 14% in Armenia. That's not much at all, compared to 40-50% we see in some countries. This additional tax is not a very big burden. //

Parliament voted 71-x to approve the tax. Read more about copper exports here.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058230.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058282.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058282.html https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/218616 https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/okd7zy/news_jul142021_copper_exporters_suspected_of_tax/

Pashinyan about unblocking regional communication routes and Azerbaijan's attempts to sabotage it:

As we predicted earlier, Azerbaijan is doing everything possible to prevent peace in the region. One of their goals is to claim that Armenia and Artsakh are the ones against peace, against border demarcation. They want to create false justifications for not having peace.

The trilateral (AM-RU-AZ) working group is holding very productive talks about reopening regional communication routes. Azerbaijan's "Zangezur corridor" claims are meant to hinder the group's activities.

They want to maintain the 30-year-long blockade of Armenia. But we will continue our attempts to break through the blockade with the help of Russia and our international partners.

One of Azerbaijan's tactics is to claim that Armenia is against border delimitation-demarcation. The reality is the opposite. Azerbaijan is sabotaging border demarcation by bringing forward fake maps to justify its occupation of Armenia's territories.

We will defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity by all possible and impossible means, including with the help of joint AM-RU border guards and other OSCE mechanisms. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058233.html

Georgia will soon build an alternative land route to Russia that will benefit Armenia

E60 is a major highway connecting France to China through several countries, including Georgia and Azerbaijan. It is often referred to as the project of the century.

Armenia will soon have better indirect access to E60 through the construction of a new road in Georgia's Rustavi-Algeti-Sadakhlo section. The existing roads will be replaced with a high-speed highway, financed by Europe.

Georgian officials believe the upcoming construction projects will help Armenia export products to Russia and Europe faster. One of the goals is to create a new connection with Russia to bypass the problematic Upper Lars, where Armenian trucks get suck during the winter.

There will be a 45km road that bypasses the capital Tbilisi. It will have a 9km tunnel that passes underneath the Upper Lars checkpoint.

Georgian officials emphasized the importance to improve roads in Armenia as well, noting that trucks spend 50 liters per 100km in Armenia, which is twice the average.

https://youtu.be/yZBbdwa26SQ https://www.civilnet.am/news/626100/վրաստանը-դեպի-ռուսաստան-նոր-միջանցք-է-կառուցում-որից-կարող-է-օգտվել-հայաստանը/ https://ru.armeniasputnik.am/economy/20210714/28273452/Gruziya-stroit-dlya-Armenii-kompaktnyy-koridor-v-Rossiyu---chto-izmenit-doroga-Algeti-Sadakhlo.html

Iranian media complaints that Azerbaijan blocks trade routes for Iranian trucks to help Turkish sellers in Russia

Iran's Fars outlet writes about artificial barriers created by Azerbaijan between March 2020 and 2021, especially after the Karabakh war. Azerbaijan only allowed 30 trucks instead of 250, per day. Iranians had to wait over a week in checkpoints.

Since Iran mainly exports agriculture to Russia, the Iranian media believes Azeris are intentionally harming Iranian exporters to help their Turkish competitors in Russia.

[COUGH COUGH North-South-Georgia new route COUGH]

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/218652

leaders of Armenia and Iran exchange messages

Pashinyan congratulated Iran's new president Ebrahim Raisi, spoke about "historical-cultural ties that have always been friendly" [apparently Nikol skipped the history classes]. He spoke about regional peace and Iran's balanced stance.

Raisi wished the Armenian government and people success and prosperity.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058265.html

Pashinyan's message to CSTO military bloc and OSCE:

I draw the attention of CSTO and OSCE Co-chairs to the fact that two Armenian servicemen were killed on the borders in recent months.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058241.html

Pashinyan about returning POWs:

Azerbaijan has not yet returned all POWs, which is a violation of the Nov 9 statement and an attempt to disrupt the Jan 11 statement (trade unblocking).

In any case, in cooperation with our international partners, we have so far been able to return 104 POWs. We will continue to work in this area.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058242.html

France and U.S. discuss ways to establish lasting peace in the Caucasus

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058264.html

ceasefire violation near Shushi-Stepanakert

Azeri soldiers violated the ceasefire by using rifles to fire 4-5 times in short bursts. No injuries. The authorities criticized the Azeri regime for its attempts to scare the local population. The peacekeepers were contacted.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058298.html

Armenia denies firing at Azeri positions on Gegharkunik borders

MOD: Azerbaijan circulated false information claiming our soldiers fired at Azeri positions in Gegharkunik. These false reports have become a daily habit. Armenian troops, if necessary, carry out actions to counteract the enemy.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058303.html

Azeri citizen dies from a landmine explosion in Artsakh's occupied Qarvachar region

Ramal Ojaggulaev stepped on a landmine in the "Banovsha pasture" area located on the border between Azerbaijan and Qarvachar.

https://factor.am/394117.html

President of European Council will visit Armenia

Charles Michel's delegation will arrive tomorrow.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058244.html

update: Electoral Commission authorizes felony charges against Goris (Syunik) mayor Arushan Arushanyan.

He is a Kocharyan-ARF MP candidate so the prosecutors had to ask for permission first. Details about his felony charges are in yesterday's post.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058228.html

Electoral Commission chief hospitalized with a heart attack

Tigran Mukuchyan was rushed to a hospital last evening and is currently being monitored by doctors. He is feeling well after the stenting surgery. He ignored the mild symptoms for several days prior to the attack.

Mukuchyan is currently taking part in the Constitutional Court trial about the validity of elections. It's a stressful job, some have noted.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058304.html https://factor.am/394403.html https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/218670

UCOM ISP lauded the work done to live-broadcast polling stations on June 20

UCOM was selected to install live broadcasted cameras in 1,500 polling stations to ensure election transparency. The company praised its achievement with "24/7 work done by entire staff who only had two months". They installed the cameras in "more locations than initially planned".

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058223.html

Dutch Premier Rutte about elections & democracy in Armenia:

Free and competitive elections testify to Armenia's commitment to continue democratically after the Velvet Revolution. The ongoing reforms and democratic transformations in Armenia have not gone unnoticed.

I sincerely hope that you [recipient is Pashinyan] will continue to implement these important reforms despite the unfavorable security environment. [talks about AM-NL cooperation in agriculture and economy, invites Pashinyan to visit Netherland in 2022]

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058245.html

Kocharyan's March 1st trial resumes, while the Supreme Court deliberates whether to punish one of the previous judges

Kocharyan is accused of illegally ordering the army to be used against civilians in 2008, which would be a toppling of constitutional order. Prosecutors charged him under Article 300.1. Later, the Constitutional Court ruled that the law itself was written improperly and had to be struck down. As a result, Kocharyan found himself "free". Prosecutors then argued that they should be able to charge Kocharyan under another similar Article. They want the Appeals Court to escalate the case to Constitutional Court to obtain authorization to proceed with new charges.

Today the Appeals Court held a session to hear the arguments. The verdict will be in soon.

Simultaneously, the Supreme Court is discussing whether to sanction judge Davit Grigoryan. The latter is a Lower Court judge to was accused of being "pro-Kocharyan" and releasing Kocharyan from jail in 2019. Sometime later he stopped being the judge.

After the highest court struck down Article 300.1, this judge gave an interview to a media outlet and said certain things that the Justice Ministry believes are beyond his authority and are unethical. The judge [who is not hearing this case anymore] essentially said Kocharyan is right and the case should not be escalated to the highest court.

The Ministry believes he violated judicial rules and intervened in an active case involving a colleague, and asked the Supreme Court to reprimand the judge. Today the Supreme Court asked the media outlet to hand over the full interview with the judge.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058266.html https://news.am/arm/news/653872.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058269.html https://www.aravot.am/2021/07/15/1204722/ https://factor.am/394203.html

judicial reforms: bankruptcy trustees

The Justice Ministry hired seven new bankruptcy trustees who passed the qualification stages. In 2019 the government amended the law to replace the more stringent work experience requirement with a training course for applicants.

Seven out of 30 applicants managed to pass the two-month course. Today they received the certificates.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058210.html

Turkey's Erdogan wants to learn more about the Armenian Genocide /s

He will form a so-called "International Institute for Genocide and Crimes against Humanity" in Istanbul.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058259.html

Ukraine imports its first Bayraktar drone from Turkey

https://factor.am/394227.html

govt approves amendment to raise preschool funding for children with special education needs and families with over 3 children

Education Minister Dumanyan: currently, the conditions for the implementation of children's educational programs in preschools are very different, as well as the remuneration of staff.

In one case, it takes into account the average number of children attending the preschool, and in another case, the planned number. As a result, there is a discrepancy in the finance distribution.

One worker can earn a lot more than another one, with the same experience and job. The proposed amendment aims to regulate the field by introducing a unified financing methodology.

The financing will increase. Preschools will receive financing for children in the following groups: learning difficulties, low income, if the family has over three children, the parent is a soldier.

Pashinyan: some preschool workers will see a salary raise on 1 Sep 2022. Can we do this only after they undergo a quality certification? //

There are 271 settlements in Armenia without preschools. One of the goals is to make the service more accessible. A bill was recently approved to establish alternative types of preschools (convert some rural buildings, use private homes that meet standards, etc.).

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058251.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058254.html

Tags: Education Reform

more families will receive housing subsidies if they have 3 children

Starting July 2020, a new aid program began subsidizing mortgage, insurance plans, and gave more mortgage subsidies for each newborn child.

The government has learned that some rules are too strict and prevent many families from qualifying.

Currently, families are required to have a clean mortgage payment history 12 months prior to the child's birth. Under new rules, parents have one additional year to bring their payment history in a good state before applying for aid.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058254.html

$15.7m aid program / monthly cash aid continues for Artsakh residents

Earlier this year, the Armenian government approved an aid package to distribute monthly cash to Artsakh residents. All qualifying residents have been receiving checks size of minimum wage. Today the govt decided to extend the aid for another month.

Residents who apply and qualify for the aid in June will be able to retroactively collect the aid accumulated from previous months.

Pashinyan: the goal of this program was not to allow a social collapse. Now it's time to gradually transition from "support" programs to "development" programs.

Deputy PM Mher: in the social bloc alone we spent $125m, with another $36m planned. 104k residents have received these monthly paychecks four times.

More: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058254.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058253.html

Parliament MPs can spend more on work-related travel and expenses

Today the Parliament approved a QP bill to raise the monthly work-related allowance from $100 to $500. "Public officials should rely only on their salaries [not bribes]," said the author, who believes the biggest beneficiaries will be MPs from provinces or those who travel to provinces often. Some opposition MPs said $500 is too much.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058278.html http://arka.am/en/news/politics/lawmakers_raise_expenses_for_their_meeting_with_voters_fivefold/

Eurofurnitura received a tax waiver as an investment incentive

The company will import raw materials to produce glue. ֏510m investments. 7 new jobs with 120k/mo salary. The ֏1.2b output will be mainly exported.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058254.html

new stadium for Urartu club

Businessman Jevan Cheloyants met Pashinyan today to discuss their planned investment programs in the construction field. One of them is the construction of a new pitch/stadium with international standards, for the Urartu soccer club.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058272.html

Speaking of Urartu. They lost the match 0:1 against Slovenia's Maribor and were left out of the Confederations League tournament.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058305.html

Anthony Barsamian

... the board director of the Armenian Assembly of America met Pashinyan today. They spoke about Armenia-diaspora relations.

Barsamyan said they will work with Pashinyan to help Armenia on behalf of Armenian-Americans. He believes the Biden administration has a "positive attitude" towards the Assembly.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058290.html

Eduardo Eurnekian's translator did, in fact, make a mistake

The Argentinian-Armenian benefactor and businessman Eduardo recently visited Armenia and met Pashinyan to discuss new investment projects. The two were happy to see each other.

The translator said Eduardo was "rooting for" Pashinyan in the elections. In reality, Eduardo said he was eagerly waiting to meet pashinyan to congratulate him on the victory.

https://fip.am/16501

Japan will help 11,000 residents in Armenian provinces

Japan is financing a program to allow 200 Social Services workers to help families who are on low-income lists. 11,000 residents will qualify for aid, such as help to overcome unemployment, entrepreneurship, etc.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058268.html


authorities uncover a ֏5.5 billion illegal gambling ring

Police report: an entertainment venue on Sayat Nova street organized an illegal poker gambling business. There were reports about drug sales. The investigation revealed that the activities began in July and caused ֏5.5 billion in damages to the state. Dozens of players and organizers were detained for questioning. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058273.html https://youtu.be/vHtjhKknrXQ

Школы креативных технологий TUMO могут появиться еще в ряде городов РФ

The Armenian tech and innovation center TUMO hosted Russian tech experts in Yerevan. They discussed TUMO's possible expansion in Russia's Tyumen and Novosibirsk cities.

https://factor.am/394168.html https://radiosputnik.ria.ru/20210715/shkola-1741381212.html

Armenian tech startup Krisp launches a lab with YSU to promote AI

Yerevan State University and Krips signed a memorandum to launch YSU Krisp AI Lab. The students will be able to study AI, author articles, etc.

https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/294328/

two apartment complex buildings in Davtashen district receive solar panels

They will power the elevators, backyard lighting, sensor lights in the buildings. The project is subsidized by the EU.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/218582

Lufthansa is entering the Armenian market with more AM-DE flights

Yesterday we learned about meetings between deputy Premier Avinyan and Lufthansa representatives. It was announced that the German airlines will launch flights to Armenia beginning on August 13. Frankfurt-Yerevan-Frankfurt.

Lufthansa is part of "Lufthansa Group", which owns other airlines such as Austrian Airlines, Eurowings, Swiss International Airlines, etc. Combined, their airlines will soon have 16 weekly flights connecting Yerevan to Vienna, Brussels, Cologne, and ~~P~~Frankfurt.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058216.html https://en.armradio.am/2021/07/15/lufthansa-enters-armenian-market/

number of oil importer companies in Armenia

2017: 4

2018: 6

2019: 5

2020: 8

2021: 11

Many of the new competitors are smaller businesses. The large ones remain the same: CPS, Flash, and Max Oil.

A new relatively larger competitor entered the market this year: Gold Petrol. It's owned by Armenian and Iranian businessmen.

https://hetq.am/hy/article/133375

COVID stats

5662 tested, 163 infected. 126 healed. 4 deaths. 3261 active.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058222.html

Dram continues to strengthen against Dollar and Euro

495 and 584 respectively

https://factor.am/393872.html

oh god jesus christ NO!

Can we stop eating quinoa? It's parrot food. You might as well eat cockroaches and beetles for "protein".

Armenia is experimenting with four types of quinoa (սագախոտ) seeds. It's part of a UN-funded climate change program. The Economy Ministry will "carefully monitor" how they grow in the Armenian climate.

More about the wonderful features and vitamins you can find in quinoa: https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/218664

record number of Armenian chess players will compete in FIDE World Cup

Aronian and Sargsyan were able to skip the first round due to their high rating. They will be joined by four men and one woman in the second round.

Aronian has health issues and will skip the first match of the second round.

The previous record number of Armenian male players in the FIDE World Cup (2005-current) was four. This year, the only female representative is Armenia's champion Elina Danielyan.

This year the competition is held in Sochi, Russia. It will finish on August 6.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058225.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess_World_Cup https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058267.html

Armenian athletes fly to Tokyo to prepare for Olympics

Several doctors, coaches, and members of the shooting team have already departed. Few others met Pashinyan today, who wished them good luck and lots of medals.

Armenia will have 17 athletes in 8 sports.

The government exempted weightlifter Andranik Karapetyan from army service so he can compete in the national team.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058237.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058234.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058296.html

UEFA Champions League: Armenian champion defeats Welsh champion

Alashkert 1:0 Connah's Quay Nomads

The first match was a draw, meaning the Armenian team has advanced to the second qualifying round. Their next opponent is Moldova's Sheriff.

https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/57825580 https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058215.html

yesterday's news

https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/okd7zy/news_jul142021_copper_exporters_suspected_of_tax/? Перевод на русский by Impossible-Ad-

https://new.reddit.com/r/ArmDailyReports_RUS_/comments/okmkys/новости_армении_за_14_июля_2021/

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/ol0shj/news_jul152021_copper_miner_tax_approved_millions/

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