2021 June 22

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Daily news wrap-up

News - Jun/22/2021: (1) Bombshell: ex-MFA Ayvazyan & landmine maps (2) Jobs & salaries ++ (3) New UAV & robotics lab (4) Investigating 44-day war (5) Ballot recount requested; suspicious 80% turnout (6) Pashinyan's reconciliation: church happy, parties meet, Kocharyan gives hint (7) J&J and Novavax
by ar_david_hh


This is your 12-minute Tuesday report in 3201 words.

Security Council chief Grigoryan about MFA Ayvazyan's role in landmine maps and POWs

Context: 15 POWs were recently repatriated after the landmine-for-POW process resumed. It happened after MFA Ayvazyan's resignation. Security Council chief Girogyran says it was because of Ayvazyan's resignation that the process resumed.

Reporter: do you believe the purpose of border clashes was no weaken the government ahead of elections?

Grigoryan: Azerbaijan and some internal Armenian forces wanted that. We even have some officials who contributed to that. For example, when it comes to the POW issue.

Reporter: what do you mean?

Grigoryan: the issue of POW repatriation was frozen for a long period. When MFA Ayvazyan resigned, the problem was resolved very quickly. Ayvazyan, being a state official, was telling our partners that we did not have landmine maps, even though we had already shared them. When Ayvazyan resigned, we had the opportunity to resolve the issue.

Reporter: was Ayvazyan lying?

Grigoryan: not only was he lying but he was also sabotaging the process. He had no desire to resolve Armenia's security issues. His primary goal was to create political problems for our team. He quit while on the "battlefield". Don't you wonder why the issue was resolved within just two weeks of his resignation? //

Ayvazyan denied Grigoryan's allegations but did not want to comment further at this time.

Full: https://youtu.be/uusuIRo33q0 https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/216927 https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/293812/

Russian ambassador about POWs:

Russia was/is doing everything possible to return Armenian POWs. Peacekeeper chief Muradov plays a big role here. President Putin, MOD, and MFA are also working on it. It's not an easy task.

Q: will the process expedite now that the elections are over?

I don't know, but the issue of POWs is under the constant attention of Russia. I think the recent return of 15 POWs would not have happened if it wasn't for preparatory work done by Russia.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056167.html

Russian ambassador about deploying Russian guards on Gegharkunik borders:

Russia already has border patrols in the problematic areas of Syunik [unclear if he means the border road or the Sev Lake]. I don't have info on when they will be deployed in Gegharkunik.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056193.html

Redditor tells their experience with beurocratic system and issues in Defense Ministry that hinder progress

It highlights the issues in the defense sector when it comes to governance, engineering, recruitment, cooperation between teams, generally IDGAF attitude, etc.

https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/o5dcfg/opinion_my_experience_w_incompetence_and/

UAV and robotics laboratory-school will be established

Yerevan municipality renamed Ashot Ghulyan's "Youth Sports-Mechanical Center" to "Aircraft Modeling School".

QP councilman Antonyan: aircraft modeling is a special field for the state and needs to develop among the youth and adults. A specialized community organization is being established.

A drone-robotics laboratory will be created based on the school. The school's goal is to develop training programs, popularize the field, cooperate with others, train Armenian participants for international competitions. The students will produce drones and join robotics training programs.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056212.html

U.S. ambassador: we are ready to help Armenia to create a tech eco-system

High Tech Minister Chobanyan met the U.S. ambassador Tracey.

Minister: the U.S. helped developed Armenia's high-tech in the 2000s, especially with the participation of diasporans. Armenia was placed on the semiconductor industry map; there is a potential to develop this sector. We are building an Industrial City and an Engineering City. I invite you to visit.

Ambassador: congrats on the elections. The U.S. plans to help Armenia with consultations/advice to create a high-tech ecosystem. //

They discussed cybersecurity, AI, etc. The ambassador is invited to join October's tech-week festivals.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056257.html

Army CoGS Davtyan about 2020 war investigation, Samvel Babayan possibly becoming Defense Minister, army reforms, Russian troops...

CoGS: we've been working on a professional army for a while but we do not expect to transition fully to a professional army in the near future. We won't have plans to end the conscription...

Our primary task right now is to restore combat effectiveness. We already have great successes, particularly about the management system, restoring lost equipment, studying the experience of the recent war. This isn't a process that we can finish in a month or a year...

The negotiations continue to install Russian border guards in Gegharkunik. We don't need Azerbaijan's permission to do things in our territories. The 3-way negotiations continue to peacefully withdraw the ~1,000 Azeri soldiers from Armenian lands. There will be no concessions in Gegharkunik. If it isn't resolved diplomatically, it will be resolved by other means...

The number of incidents between AM-AZ soldiers has dropped. There are no confrontations at the moment. It's a result of ongoing negotiations. There are things we can't say in order not to harm the negotiation process...

There is a commission that's actively investigating the 44-day war events, formed at the request of the Defense Ministry... There are numerous felony cases involving deserters... We are investigating war episodes including around Shushi. This is not a quick process. Behind every accusation, there are people, soldiers, who will be either brought to justice or vindicated. The goal is not to pin it on someone. Our goal is to learn lessons...

[The media reported that Artsakh's former Security Council chief Gen. Samvel Babayan will be appointed as the new Defense Minister.] I do not have such information. I have no comments...

[Regarding opposition's claims that the ruling party guided soldiers during elections.] We investigated videos on social media and did not discover not one fact confirming it. Law enforcement is actively working on it. Let them present facts to law enforcement. I suggest the accusers apologize to armed forces if they can't prove it...

https://youtu.be/mNvmTLHDYZA https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056172.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056175.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056180.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056187.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056189.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056197.html

Azerbaijan says they want UNESCO to visit the occupied lands to monitor Armenian monuments

Azerbaijan: we want UNESCO to hurry up and visit the Karabakh regions, including Shushi. We recently discussed their planned visit to Aghdam, Fizuli, and Shushi. We will also discuss the return of Azeri IDPs to these areas.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056224.html

International Union of Socialist Youth adopted a resolution calling for Artsakh's international recognition

... announced ARF today, citing a resolution (82-0-18) by IUSY, which is represented by socialists from 60 states. The resolution mentions the Turkish-Azeri-jihadist aggression and war crimes.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056238.html

update: a group of Artsakh president opponents held a protest in Stepanakert

A few of them decided to go on a hunger strike.

Today the Artsakh Human Rights Office released a statement condemning any attempts to divide the society, regardless of who does that, after receiving information that supporters and opponents of the president planned to hold meetings in the same location.

President Arayik met residents in a public square today and said he is willing to hold a dialogue with opposition parties, and that he is still a president not "because he likes it", but because he believes that's the best solution for Artsakh right now.

I'm ready to respond to public and private criticism, he said. He believes some of the protesters weren't aware that he met Armenia's opposition, too, during his recent trip to Yerevan. "I kept my neutrality. I did not meet just the ruling party."

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056233.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056266.html https://youtu.be/oA16804bxzI

suspect charged with bribing Yeghegnadzor voters to vote for the opposition alliance

Investigators said: a group of suspects distributed bribes for Yeghegnadzor residents to vote for an "alliance". The candidate of the alliance, G.S, with the help of a group, offered and paid $40-$60 bribes. G.S. is charged with multiple felony counts. The court has authorized an arrest. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056223.html

opposition alliance's regional candidate is charged with distributing bribes to 70 voters

Investigators said: an alliance MP candidate from Artik, Shirak, as part of a group, distributed $20 bribes to 70 voters between June 14-16. Five have been arrested, including the MP candidate.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056246.html

who did the prisoners vote for?

Overwhelmingly for Kocharyan, show the stats. For example in Nubarashen 46 voted for Rob and 17 for Nikol. In Armavir, it's 202 for Rob and 41 for Nikol.

More: https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/216887 https://fip.am/16222

electoral commission will recount votes in 70 polling stations beginning tomorrow

Several dozen petitions were filed.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056256.html

observer finds significant discrepancies in several polling stations won by Kocharyan / no cameras, "80% turnout", missing ballots

Observer: we found issues in the following stations: 4/2, 4/3, 4/9, 4/16, 4/44, 9/55, 10/43, 14/8, 23/42, 23/47, 24/4, 25/34, 33/31, 35/30.

There is a gap between the number of voters and the votes distributed among participants. For example, in one location Pashinyan is missing 2,000 ballots while Kocharyan is missing 700. Yerevan's Arabkir [the location where Kocharyan performed the strongest] has the most problems.

In locations where the voter turnout was an astonishing 80%, Kocharyan's alliance received above average: 43%. Problems were observed specifically in polling stations 20/51, 26/41, 29/50, 33/31, 33/55, 35/23, 35/32, 35/33, 35/41, 35/60.

Almost none of them had cameras. We don't rule out that there was falsification or forced participation.

[photo in the link]

https://factor.am/385682.html

Robert Kocharyan about the election results and their next steps

Kocharyan: the polls were showing a different picture. There were mass violations and abuse of administrative resources. We will challenge the results in the Constitutional Court...

We received very serious new opportunities to continue our fight. These aren't presidential elections. It's not "the winner takes it all". In Parliamentary elections, you can be 1st or 2nd and not lose...

We still have no final opinion on the issue of taking the mandates but I support accepting them...

I haven't decided whether I will become an MP or not. I'm more of an "executive branch" person. It's difficult to picture myself in the legislative body. Some of my teammates think I should be in Parliament and participate in the political struggle. Others believe I should not...

[Q: Pashinyan made reconciliatory remarks. What's your opinion?] I don't see attempts by Pashinyan to reconcile. Pashinyan is a liar. If they truly want reconciliation, they should stick to it for at least 6 months so we will know they are serious about it. They want to arrest Izmirlyan hospital director, who saved thousands of lives, for nonsense reasons [he was caught on audiotape allegedly pressuring workers not to vote for Pashinyan]. They need to prove with actions and not words that they want reconciliation...

ARF Ishkhan: even if we accept the mandates and enter parliament, that doesn't mean we are giving up on the street struggle.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056162.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056166.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056207.html https://factor.am/385706.html https://factor.am/385734.html

U.S. urges everyone to accept the election results once they are confirmed

U.S. State Department: we welcome OSCE/ODIHR observers' positive assessment about the vote-counting process and generally fair elections that respected participants' rights. We share their concerns over divisive rhetoric.

We hope only legal means will be used to challenge the results if there are concerns, and that there won't be political vendettas. We urge everyone to accept the election results once it's confirmed. //

The U.S. praised the ongoing anti-corruption reforms and vowed to help.

The EU released a similar message, citing its observers' positive assessment, and vowed to help Armenia with the economic and democratic reforms.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056150.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056159.html

European Parliament officials urge everyone to accept election results

Head of the European Parliament's Delegation to the South Caucasus, joined by the Armenia rapporteur, released a statement saying the elections were fair according to observers.

They urged all political forces to accept the results, to refrain from divisive rhetoric and actions, and to use only legal means to file complaints.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056194.html

France released a statement

... welcoming the elections, noting that Pashinyan leads by a large margin in elections dabbed by observers as democratic. France reaffirms its commitment to help Armenia with territorial integrity and democratic reforms.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056255.html

Canada congratulates Armenia and vows to help with regional conflicts and strengthening democracy

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056179.html

Lithuanian president congratulates Pashinyan on victory

He wished him success, patience, and devotion. "We support the aspirations of the Armenian people to live in a peaceful, safe, and stable state," said Gitanas.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056181.html

where there is Lithuania, there is always Estonia

Estonia: congratulations to Armenia for competitive and peaceful elections. This is another legitimate opportunity for Nikol Pashinyan to continue with democratic reforms, rebuild the post-war state, and eliminate divisions in society.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056204.html

Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) congratulates Pashinyan on victory:

As Nikol Pashinyan has emerged as the winner of the June 20th snap parliamentary elections, AGBU offers its congratulations to Mr. Pashinyan as the duly re-elected Prime Minister of Armenia. By a decisive margin, voters have given him a second chance to make good on his promises to address all that contributed to the tragic losses of the 2020 Artsakh War.

Full: https://agbu.org/news-item/agbu-characterizes-armenias-election-outcome-as-first-step-to-national-healing/

Armenia's president Sarkissian congratulates Pashinyan

Roses are red, violates are blue, I still hate you, so f_ck you.

Sarkissian wished him success with Armenia's future development, progress, security, and prosperity.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056184.html

president Sarkissian spoke with opposition leaders

He called Kocharyan and Arthur Vanetsyan, congratulated them with winning seats, and wished him good luck.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056232.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056248.html

Tsarukyan vows to keep BHK doors open

His party will lose all Parliamentary seats. 'The seats weren't the important thing.'

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/216930

the Church is warming up to Pashinyan after the latter's reconciliatory remarks

Pashinyan read the Bible during his yesterday's victory speech and called for peace and dialogue.

Church responds: despite the tensions and some violations, the elections were relatively peaceful, with the will of God. The Church finds it important for the ruling party to have patriotic solutions to ensure Armenia's and Artsakh's security, national identity, traditional values, and internal peace.

We evaluate positively the remarks made by Pashinyan during his Monday speech, about unity, consolidation of efforts, and an end to the use of slurs.

We also welcome Pashinyan's offer to hold a dialogue with Church representatives. We've always called for this. We expect the ruling party to build public solidarity.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056220.html

Pashinyan met several opposition parties for consultations around Armenia's issues and post-elections reconciliation

He met Edmon Marukyan and regretted that LHK did not make it. "The party played a role in our political life in recent years."

He met Gen. Samvel Babayan and wants to know his opinion about making their voices heard and future possible cooperation.

He met Ardar Hayastyan's Norayr Norikyan. Pashinyan regretted that they didn't cross the threshold.

He met Republic's Aram Sargsyan. They exchanged nice words, Pashinyan said he was expecting Aram to cross the 5% threshold.

He met Shirinyan-Babajanyan alliance. Pashinyan said he monitored their campaign and developed a good impression of them.

He met Citizen's Decision's Suren Sahakyan and discussed possible ways to make non-parliamentary parties' voices heard.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056244.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056221.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056215.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056225.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056237.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056245.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056250.html

some opposition parties refused to meet Pashinyan

5165 movement and the Azat Hayreniq alliance are two examples.

However, Conservative Party broke away from Azat Hayreniq and accepted the election results, and urges people not to launch street fights.

https://factor.am/386077.html

Yerevan renames Shengavit's Shahamiryan St. after benefactor Hrant Vardanyan

The city received a recommendation from the Economy Ministry, Grand Holding, and the Union of Employers. 14 of the 12 buildings on that street host Vardanyan's businesses and their charity foundation. The foundation is currently renovating the street.

Since Armenia has two Shahamiryan streets (Shahamiryanner and Shahamir Shahamiryan), the city decided to rename one.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056174.html

սատանա կա քաղաքում

There is a gang that travels around Ajapnyak district and....... installs illegal kiosks according to a pre-planned scheme, said Yerevan mayor Marutyan today. He says the gang took advantage of the fact that most police officers were observing elections on Sunday.

Marutyan: Last week a group of 50 people installed an illegal kiosk. A small group of police and municipal officials could not stop them because the group was armed with bats and knives. They will soon feel the power of law.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056188.html https://youtu.be/07N47qdBomc

Yerevan repurposes lands to authorize construction of a new multifunctional complex

Tigran Mets 55/2 will have a new complex with 2 underground and 6 ground floors for a mall, in addition to a 16-story hotel and 20-story office facilities.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056226.html

grenade thrown under a former MP's vehicle

Former HHK MP Mihran Hakobyan's (Qaryak Media co-founder) lawyer says someone threw a Yugoslavian-made grenade under the parked vehicle. The car was damaged. No one was injured. The police are investigating. Mihran believes it's related to his activities.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056176.html

inmates are caught running a criminal enterprise from prison

Inmates from several prisons, with the help of accomplices outside the system, used smuggled cellphones and stolen identities to create a fake business and steal properties by using social engineering to manipulate victims.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056155.html

COVID stats

3778 tested. 77 infected. 70 healed. 3 deaths. 2550 active.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056160.html

Armenians don't like vaccines

CDC rep.: only 2% are vaccinated. It's a terrible result. Armenia is behind in the region. If it continues like this, the collective immunity and restriction-lifting deadlines will be moved.

53K received one dose, 12K two doses. We used to administer 2,000/day. Today it's only 1,500/day. This might be due to the overall stable situation. The vaccination rate was higher months earlier when the pandemic was raging.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056211.html

Healthcare Ministry warns about an upcoming COVID wave

CDC deputy chief Gayane Sahakyan: it's stable right now but we expect an increase. At one point the Reproduction number dropped to 0.4 but it has steadily climbed to 1.1 in recent week.

We expect 600 infections next week, 30% of whom will be hospitalized.

Globally, the mutation process continues. The Indian (Delta) strain has reached Russia and mutated. Many tourists arrive in Armenia in this period. We don't rule out that they will bring Delta. It's twice more infectious.

Worldwide, countries continue to lockdown while the vaccination is underway. Chile is 58% vaccinated but keeps the restrictions. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056199.html

Armenia is negotiating to purchase Johnson & Johnson and Novavax / more Sputnik soon

CDC rep.: Our goal is to allow Armenian residents to choose the vaccine they want to receive. COVAX has offered us Johnson & Johnson, Novavax, and AstraZeneca.

In the coming days, we will import a new batch of Sputnik-IV vaccines. We wanted a large batch but they have a production issue. That's why our previous 60K batches arrived with delay. We continue to negotiate with Russia to clarify the available quantities.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056219.html

economy continues to recover / jobs & salary report

IRS says: in May, the number of jobs with income reached 635k, which is +8.5k from the previous month, or +37k from 2020, or +34k from 2019, or +87k from 2018.

The declared income was ֏134.7b, or +16% from 2020, or +20% from 2019, or +39% from 2018.

The income per job was ֏212k, vs 194k in 2020, vs 187k in 2019, vs 176k in 2018.

Economy Minister: that's a record number of paid jobs. We have a shortage of shepherds, programmers, construction workers, waiters, designers. etc. Join us to build the country instead of leaving. We will publish more details soon.

https://factor.am/385658.html https://factor.am/385809.html

today in history

1941: Germany, Italy, and Romania declare war against Armenia

1978: Pluto's satellite Charon is discovered

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056133.html

in case you missed Monday news

https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/o54ch6/jun212021_1_election_observers_gaussian_graph/

Перевод на русский by Impossible-Ad-

https://www.reddit.com/r/ArmDailyReports_RUS_/comments/o5gjxl/все_новости_за_21_июня_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/o5wlo6/news_jun222021_1_bombshell_exmfa_ayvazyan/

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