2021 July 19

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Contents

Daily news wrap-up

News - Jul/19/2021: MFA to Aliyev: your country is one century old; Aliyev wants "peace" while he shoots; MFA wants de-occupation of Artsakh __ €2.6 billion EU aid; Europe's Michel visits Armenia __ Elections upheld; Kocharyan quits; Serj workers charged w/voter bribery __ Yerevan news __ many more
by ar_david_hh


Your 14-minute weekend to Monday recap in 3517 words.

Constitutional Court upholds the election results

The elections results are valid and the ruling party will have its 71 Parliament seats, ruled the Court. They will publish the full verdict in the coming days.

Kocharyan, Serj, and two smaller allies had earlier challenged the results. One of these smaller parties will challenge the verdict in the European Court for Human Rights. A QP MP responded saying ECHR does not discuss cases relating to election results.

Kocharyan's lawyer believes the judges were "scared" so they upheld the results.

https://youtu.be/sU6s23tkRnY?t=159 https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058443.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058448.html https://factor.am/394994.html https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/218883

anti-corruption: Serj's PU alliance members charged with voter bribery in Masis

Investigators said: K. Grigoryan and R. Hakobyan were working at PU alliance's election campaign office. Between June 9-19, they offered a bribe to residents V. Galustyan and S. Baghdasaryan, their relatives and friends, in exchange for a PU vote.

The two residents accepted the $40 bribe and handed over the private information of their family members to the bribe-givers, for more bribes. They demanded the bribe to be paid on the election day.

The residents also informed fellow voters in the Masis region about PU's plans to bribe as many voters as possible, and helped them to "recruit" voters.

The two PU workers have been arrested. The other two residents are charged with felonies and told not to leave the country. //

Flashback June 20: on the election day, observers received complaints that Masis administrators and even some policemen were bribing the residents. Masis city is a Serj "stronghold" run by his party man. Surprisingly or perhaps unsurprisingly, Serj ended up winning Masis suburb Nizami with 35% of votes, versus his 5% national vote.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058513.html https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/o30447/news_jun182021_1_final_countdown_to_sunday_vote/ https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/216724

Serj's PU alliance promises to be a "radical opposition"

PU Sos Hakobyan: we will be "radical" in the political sense. We are not a terrorist organization and do not plan to become one. There will be sharp criticism with substantive arguments instead of swearing, but we don't rule out harsh lexicon if it's necessary.

We will show the current government its place by any means, including harsh language and street struggle. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058494.html

Robert Kocharyan will not be in Parliament

The Kocharyan-ARF alliance leader Kocharyan earlier said he does not see himself as a legislator, he is more of an "executive branch" type of guy. Today he confirmed that he won't accept the MP's mandate. He will control the alliance remotely.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058540.html

the first sitting of the new Parliament is on Aug 2

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058527.html

Council of Europe president Charles Michel met Pashinyan to discuss €2.6 billion EU aid, regional conflicts, North-South project, etc.

Michel visited Tsitsernakaberd genocide memorial over the weekend. "We stand by Armenia and all countries in the region to build a common and prosperous future for their populations," he wrote, before meeting Pashinyan.

Pashinyan about border demarcation: the use of force and mass atrocities cannot resolve the Karabakh conflict. Only negotiations through OSCE Minsk Group can help. Armenia is ready to resume it, while Azerbaijan has not responded yet.

According to non-official sources, they plan to instigate new clashes on the border, as we saw on Nakhijevan borders in recent days. These clashes also prevent the launch of the border delimitation-demarcation process.

Michel when asked about POWs and Aliyev's rhetoric: it is necessary to secure the release of POWs and to refrain from aggressive rhetoric to be able to address all the issues. I will meet Aliyev tomorrow to understand what positive role the EU can play to help the Minsk Group.

The EU, too, has a history of conflicts. We scored serious progress after resolving them. It wasn't easy at first, but we created a union based on mutual respect and cooperation.

Pashinyan about Karabakh's status: it isn't just the rhetoric. We see what Azeris teach their children in schools, we see their aggressive policies, and don't get me started on the newly opened [Saddam park] in Baku. I am glad that you spoke about the importance of determining Karabakh's legal status. It is the cornerstone of the conflict settlement.

Pashinyan about trade routes: Azerbaijan refuses to give us a corridor for the Armenia-Georgia-Azerbaijan-Russia railway project, in violation of the Nov 9 statement. Armenia will continue with efforts to unblock regional trade routes. We will also work on the North-South highway project, where EU assistance is much needed.

Pashinyan about institutional reforms: despite the war and regional challenges, Armenia continues to be on the irreversible path of democratic reforms. EU is one of the key partners.

The successful ratification of the EU-AM comprehensive cooperation agreement [in March 2021] is an important event in our relations. We also value the Eastern Partnership Program. We are preparing for the December summit.

Pashinyan about AM-EU cooperation: Contacts between AM and EU have never been so intense. This is our [with Charles Michel] second meeting in the past 1.5 months. We spoke about the upcoming programs. You mentioned the importance of our ability to provide the necessary conditions for these programs to succeed.

Pashinyan about the €2.6 billion planned aid: thanks. It will help implement seven important programs, including the North-South highway, strengthening the resilience of Armenia's southern regions [Syunik], aid for small-medium businesses, promoting female entrepreneurship and political participation, nature protection, innovation, science and tech development, irrigation, and education.

Pashinyan about the aid's purpose: Small and medium business innovation plays a very important role here. We will help modernize them, to bring them to international standards. I also give importance to women's economic activity and leadership programs.

€80m will be spent on improving infrastructure in the south [irrigation, roads, etc.]

The North-South highway is next. We will soon announce an auction to find a company to build the Agarak-Sisian [Syunik] section. It will have tunnels and bridges. This will be an unprecedented project in volume. The EU provides €600m in aid.

[Talks about various green projects in Yerevan, water reservoir aid, street traffic managed by AI, Yerevan metro revamp, etc.]

Michel about the €2.6 billion aid: This aid is a unique opportunity for Armenia. This is the best condition that guarantees prosperity. I am optimistic based on these strong signals we are sending to Armenia.

This is a signal of confidence in the future that we will work together closely to implement all this, to ensure that the citizens of Armenia will feel the positive impact of these programs.

the EU wants to have a more active role in establishing stability in the region. The aid package is for implementing deep reforms and helping the economy in Armenia. Armenia has potential and the EU is ready to provide the technical aid. //

--

Michel and Yerevan mayor Marutyan then traveled through Yerevan. They used the Metro and spoke about metro infrastructure, green programs.

Michel and Education Minister Dumanyan then traveled to Khor Virap where the guest learned about the history of Christianity in Armenia.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058412.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058413.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058414.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058415.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058416.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058417.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058419.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058422.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058423.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058427.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058440.html https://youtu.be/jPxXm6r_BnQ https://youtu.be/xUEbrrXwY7Q https://factor.am/394947.html

Tags: #CharlesMichel #2.6billion #EUaid

Armenian farmer accidentally crosses Azeri border, returns safely

A farmer near Tegh, Syunik became disoriented and found himself surrounded by Azeri soldiers on the other side. The Armenian and Russian troops negotiated his safe return.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058539.html

intense shootout resumes on northern Nakhijevan borders

Last week Azeris attempted to use equipment to build a new position. Armenian army took measures to stop them. Azeris opened fire. One Armenian soldier was skilled, one Azeri wounded. The shootout resumed over the weekend.

A similar intense shootout resumed this evening. The Armenian side has no casualties. The Armenian MOD criticized the Azeri side and said their actions will receive a harsh response.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058537.html

Armenia's Foreign Ministry responds to Azerbaijan's historical claims / expects de-occupation of Artsakh lands

Q: what's your response to Aliyev's recent rhetoric about their "historical lands".

MFA: the purpose of these false territorial-historical claims against Armenia is to take the Karabakh conflict off the international agenda and to further destabilize the region.

They are intentionally attributing blatant falsifications to the Nov 9 statement regarding the" return of IDPs to Armenia". By their own logic, Armenians must return to Nakhijevan, Gandzak (Ganja), Baku, and Sumgayit.

As for the Azeri MFA's spokesman's historical claims against Armenia, then it's difficult for us to understand Azerbaijan's definition of "historical".

We have to remind them again that history can never be the strong point of a country whose geographical and political name has a history of a century, and the word "Azerbaijani" is even newer than that.

Azeri government's attempts to sow long-lasting enmity between Armenian and Azeri people are a threat to regional peace.

Before accusing Armenia of seeking revenge, Azerbaijan must explain to the international community the purpose of [Saddam Park] in Baku, which is nothing more than a monument of revenge and shameful hatred towards humanity.

Armenia will continue to defend the Artsakh people's right to self-determination, to de-occupy lands that were subject to ethnic cleansings, and the return of the Armenian population to those lands. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058500.html

Ilham Aliyev insists that the "Karabakh conflict is over"

It's time to think about peace, said Aliyev during a meeting with Charles Michel.

Aliyev also said that the unblocking of all regional routes in the region must happen simultaneously, "which will allow Armenia to gain railway connection with Russia [through Azerbaijan], while Azerbaijan will gain an additional route to Nakhijevan."

Aliyev said that all the major players are in favor of this approach and that Armenia's positive response is necessary.

https://factor.am/395110.html https://factor.am/395131.html

Armenia and Russia conclude a 5-day-long military cooperation negotiations

Russia's deputy CoGS Sergey Istrakov visited Armenia to discuss cooperation with Armenian counterparts.

CoGS Artak Davtyan thanked the guests and signed a memorandum of cooperation.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058509.html

police arrests the brother of QP MP Sukiasyan on suspicious of shooting

A weekend argument in Yerevan escalated to a fistfight, which escalated to a victim being shot in the foot. The suspect is upcoming QP MP Sukiasyan's brother Robert.

MP Sukiasian called it "unacceptable" and said no one should be above the law, and hoped to learn more details about the incident.

The suspect has been arrested.

https://factor.am/395580.html https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/218823 https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/218886

Artsakh's traditional carpets were displayed near the statue of Garegin Nzdeh in Yerevan

Photos: https://factor.am/395051.html

how many Artsakh refugees still reside in Armenia?

21.6k or 5.4k families. 31% are staying in Yerevan, 69% in provinces.

https://factor.am/394707.html

govt allocates another ֏177 million for Syunik businesses that provided housing to Artsakh refugees.

https://factor.am/395360.html

Russia sent 18 tons of humanitarian aid to Artsakh residents

Every week we receive humanitarian aid from various foundations, said the Russian peacekeeping administration. Various organizations have so far gathered 220 tons of aid (food, clothes, etc.) for Artsakh.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/218838

Artsakh will have a new poultry farm

President Arayik met the representatives of Navasard AGRO to discuss poultry investments in Machkalashen, Martuni, Artsakh [east of Karmir Shuka]. The president said the new business will be of great help to the local population and will address job shortage issues.

Per contract, the government agrees to finance the implementation of the project, and to purchase the products from the producer. The company itself will be tasked with managing and producing the product.

Local families living near borders will receive up to $300/mo to take care of hundreds of birds.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058424.html

Made in Armenia: "Metal World"

Brothers continue in their father's footsteps. They run the factory that produces dozens of types of metal cans and covers for canned foods. They will soon begin exporting the products to Russia.

ACBA bank recently helped them to modernize the machinery. "The competition is fierce. We must have the latest generation production line." The factory says the recent modernization has reduced Armenia's reliance on imported products.

https://youtu.be/z76Dy_VyJN8 https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058505.html

Russian telecom operator organized national robotics Olympiad in Armenia

The first round of the local World Robot Olympiad was held in Armenia with the help of the AYB educational foundation, financed by RosTelekom. The goal is to select the Armenian winner to represent the country.

This year's main theme was "PowerBots - the future of energy". The participants explored renewable energy. The winner among 17 participants was the FizMath team.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058521.html

Nature Ministry asks the government to address pollution sources that affect storks

Lately, people have been noticing stonks with bodies covered in dirty pollutants. An examination had revealed that the birds, while in search of food, dive into fish farm waste that's dumped into landfills.

The Nature Ministry has asked the authorities to regulate the sanitary conditions in Masis city landfill, the main source of the problem. They also asked Armavir and Ararat governors to prevent the accumulation of garbage outside of authorized landfills.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058508.html

update: High Tech Ministry will revise the proposed bill that would keep details of certain meetings secret

Citing national security and the process of modernizing Armenia after the war, the High Tech Ministry drafted a bill to prevent the publication of details about certain official trips and the purpose of trips.

Some media outlets and NGOs were unhappy. They saw corruption risks if all of the information is redacted.

High Tech Minister Chobanyan held a meeting with the media and NGO representatives to hear their concerns and announced that the bill will be revised. They will try to strike a balance.

More: https://youtu.be/yuQjl-Hl6P0 https://factor.am/395038.html

the construction of Armenia-Georgia "Friendship" bridge is underway

The EU, AM, and GE are co-financing the construction of new a €7.3m border bridge to replace the aging one. The Infrastructure Minister of AM and GE went to the construction site last week to familiarize with the project. It'll complete next year.

The new bridge will be wider and have new features. It's the bridge that Armenian cargo trucks will use to travel to Russia.

The Friendship bridge is the best testimony to the warm relations between Armenia and Georgia, said the Georgian minister while partying with wine and food on the Armenian side of the border. He was visibly drunk... or just in a good mood (hard to tell when it comes to Georgians 🍷🍷).

https://youtu.be/yyAe1XW4zd0 https://factor.am/394968.html

infrastructure projects across Armenia

Bridges and water removal networks are being renovated on the Shorzha-Vardenis (Gegharkunik) road. The bottom 6cm asphalt layer has already been laid. This section was last repaired 40 years ago, said Minister Papikyan.

https://youtu.be/B4YrBdeHDGo https://factor.am/395101.html

The 6km section of Melikgyugh (Aragatsotn) road is being renovated with new asphalt.

https://factor.am/395062.html

Border village Koti will have solar panels to power a local water pump and street lights. Built by Viva Cell ISP and FPWC.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/218848

new heatwave from Sahara engulfs the country

Parts of Armenia will see 42c temps.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058451.html

stats: university admission exams / most popular degree programs

The universities allocated 1,800 free and 21,800 paid slots for students.

The Assessment and Testing Center registered 11,000 applicants: 8,000 were admitted, 3,000 failed.

most and least popular

IT specialties were the most popular. Law & Jurisprudence was also popular; around half of its students were admitted. Medical and dentistry were also popular.

Unlike previous years, economics specialties were unpopular, especially in Finance & Loan. There was no competition. Even those with low scores were admitted.

The least popular were chemistry, theology, and arts. The number of vacancies was quite large in these fields.

Armenian language

According to the results of the first [main] round of exams, the applicants secured an average score in the Armenian language, on par with previous years. The noise associated with low scores was relating to the second round of exams.

The second round's scores are usually lower (50-66% fail) than the first one, and do not show the full picture. Overall, a third of all Armenian language exam participants scored "excellent". An expert says students always do better in English exams.

This year, the students did better with the Armenian History exams. It was on-par with Foreign Language results. An expert says the high score in History could be related to the database being outdated (no changes in 4 years) which could allow students to memorize things.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058495.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058507.html https://youtu.be/3trybhGOX-0 https://youtu.be/9D1tlIliukw

French-Armenian singer Marten Yorgantz published a 1988 photo from one of his first concerts in Yerevan

He is famous for the children's song "chkuytik" (pinky finger).

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/218831

Yerevan backyards are being renovated one by one

The municipality prefers when the locals themselves provide renovation ideas for their backyards. The city's "Active Citizen" platform provides that opportunity.

Shushanik Ghevondyan: my family decided to participate in the platform. We suggested building a sports/playground with LED lighting in the Hakhtanak district. The project was approved thanks to the active participation of local Hakhtanakites. //

Davtashen district will have three of its backyards renovated this year. They will have a new soccer pitch, basketball court, and runway.

In Nubarashen, the 5,000 m^2 park on the 11th street was fully renovated this year with new alleys, LED lights, benches, etc.

The largest projects are in Kentron (center) district. They want to provide better gazebo experiences for neighbors, and playgrounds instead of parking garages.

More: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058506.html

Yerevan is still demolishing the illegally built structures

Malatia-Sebastia was the latest target. Mayor Marutyan recently went berserk after a group of illegal kiosk owners "attacked" the outnumbered cops and city workers while defending their illegal kiosks. Since then, the city has been removing structures right and left.

https://youtu.be/o03Ss14YdBY?t=2

911 will use motorcycles to respond to certain types of calls

The emergency fleet has two motorcycles to respond to calls relating to fire, locked doors, and catching snakes.

The motos will allow for faster response times by bypassing the traffic. They have already responded to nine calls. If successful, the department will buy more motos.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/218858

Road Control Armenia

A law recently went into effect, allowing citizens to fight against traffic violators (red light, etc.) by recording illegal acts and uploading them to a police database.

Residents will have to register at a website and undergo an ID or SMS verification before gaining access to the smartphone app. The expert says the algorithm does not allow even the cops to learn the identity of the person who submitted the video.

The video must be recorded with the app's camera to ensure someone is not uploading a video edited on their computer.

To prevent targeted harassment, the submitter will be temporarily suspended if they submit a certain number of invalid reports about the same vehicle within a specific timeframe.

The app will not function if the user is located near an intersection that already has traffic cameras.

https://youtu.be/eJ6tiP1vrb8 https://factor.am/395250.html

IRS agents were retrained at a Microsoft Innovation Center in Armenia

... as part of a French initiative to help Armenia's tax agency to explore "Microsoft BI" data software. The agents received certificates after exams.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058404.html

Armenia and Iran discuss the recent spike in passenger traffic on the border

The administrators of Meghri and Norduz customs facilities met to discuss improvements in the infrastructure and taking steps to reduce wait times caused by a recent increase in border crossings.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058479.html

real estate market is recovering

The number of property transactions in May of...

2017: 12k

2018: 13k

2019: 16k

2020: 11k

2021: 16k (highest in a decade for the month of May)

Yerevan had the largest 30% share. Vayots Dzor had the smallest 2%.

https://factor.am/395243.html

COVID stats since Saturday

13,447 tested. 411 infected. 299 healed. 11 deaths. 3554 active.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058403.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058445.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058480.html

131,000 vaccinations so far

94.5k first and 36.5k second dose.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058470.html

IRI polls: why don't you take a vaccine?

70% said they won't take a vaccine.

37% said they are concerned about side effects.

25% don't believe they need one

The next major group wanted to know more about how vaccines work and their efficacy.

https://youtu.be/R1d1JYI--T4

Moderna vaccine co-founder Noubar Afeyan met Pashinyan

The two discussed the government's plans and ways to develop Armenia.

Pashinyan: thanks for coming. Last time we spoke before the pandemic. A lot has happened since then. We were very excited about your contribution to the fight against COVID.

We gained a lot of experience. We believe the situation is under control. We're trying to vaccinate as many people as possible now. We would like to hear your opinion about COVID's future behavior and the vaccine's ability to finally resolve the issue.

Afeyan: thanks. Congrats on the elections and successes. The country was able to continue on the fair and exemplary election path. This is a great signal for the future. I know there are many issues. I'd like to discuss various approaches to address them.

https://youtu.be/zqaNa6HILH0 https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058457.html

21-year-old grandmaster Hayk Martirosyan defeats top Azeri player Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

FIDE Chess World Cup 2021 continues in Sochi. Their second match will take place today.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058460.html https://sport.news.am/eng/news/123704/chess-world-cup-2021-armenias-hayk-m-martirosyan-defeats-shakhriyar-mamedyarov.html

Armenia's Olympics team

Swimmers, weightlifters, boxers, and their coaches took off from Yerevan and will meet the rest of the Olympics team in Tokyo. The games are from Jul 23 - Aug 8.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1058467.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/onlydg/news_jul192021_mfa_to_aliyev_your_country_is_one/

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