2021 June 24

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Contents

Daily news wrap-up

News - Jun/24/2021; (1) $133m tech project (2) $8.3m drones (3) Free EV charging (4) Economy, farming, business (5) Dutch boycott (6) Nature Ministry blocks summit over birds (7) Georgians (8) Challenge deadline (9) Kocharyan trial resumes (10) Marukyan (11) Utilities vs heat (12) Gold plates
by ar_david_hh


This is your 12-minute Thursday report in 2983 words.

$133 million investment project for tech production and export

The government authorized adding "Interactive Smart Technology" company to Alliance economic trade zone. They plan to produce and export electronic devices. The projected 2021-2025 investments are ֏67.7 billion, with 60 new jobs and an average $780/month salary.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056440.html

military drone producer receives incentives for $8.3 million investment

The government decided to include ԱՐՏԵԿ ՓՈՎԵՐ ՍԻՍՏԵՄՍ drone producer to "Alliance" free economic zone for 5 years. The goal is to help attract investments, produce high-tech products, promote the Armenian brand, export products...

They will make ֏4.25 billion investments between 2021-2025. There will be 85 new jobs with an average $980/month salary.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056452.html

the $174 million solar energy farm in Aragatsotn will be launched by 2025

Today the government made some amendments to the 200MW Ayg-1 solar project to help the investor. The construction began in 2019.

Dep. Premier Avinyan: we already have an auction winner. They offered to sell us the electricity for only 2.9 cents. It's a low price. Another condition was that the state will own 15% of shares. It's a large $174m investment project.

The solar farm will be built in Dashtadem and Talin section. Some land allocation work has already been complete. The state provides the lands. We have great results. The farm will be ready by 2025.

Pashinyan: during the election campaign there was some talk about foreign investors not making investments in Armenia. Masdar is one of the most influential solar investors in this field. This investment will help the economy and make the overall investment environment more attractive for others.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056445.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056459.html https://youtu.be/-DuENiU9tHo

Economy Minister about economic growth & businesses:

Qerobyan: our economic plan states that if the global situation is favorable, we can achieve 7% economic growth. We're actually aiming for 9%. Why are we aiming for 7-plus? It's the minimum that will allow us to address security and humanitarian issues.

How will we do that? We have a detailed plan that is currently being slightly amended. We aim to improve the investment atmosphere while reducing beurocracy.

90% of business owners I spoke with told me that they would leave the country if the government changed. I think we should consolidate the business potential. We have no right to embezzle Armenia's already-small resources. I call upon patriotic entrepreneurs to help develop the country. I am at your disposal. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056473.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056473.html

Pashinyan met "Tashir Group" billionaire owner Samvel Karapetyan

They discussed business investments, ways the government to help them, etc. Karapetyan assured that all the launched programs will be continuous.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056515.html

ECHR rules against Armenia in a 2017 extradition case

ECHR's verdict over Suren Khachaturov vs Armenia:

A judge authorized Khachaturov's temporary arrest in 2017, reaffirmed by Appeals Court.

The judge ignored Khachaturov's health condition and authorized a 2-month arrest ahead of his extradition. The judge only took into account Russian prosecutors' claim that they would take good care of the defendant.

The judge did not provide a translator to defendant Khachaturov.

[a full host of other complaints]

https://factor.am/386927.html

PACE report: Problem of political prisoners in Azerbaijan ‘neither recognized nor adequately addressed, let alone resolved’

https://pace.coe.int/en/news/8370/problem-of-political-prisoners-in-azerbaijan-neither-recognised-nor-adequately-addressed-let-alone-resolved-says-follow-up-report

==Dutch Parliament asks government members to boycott Euro-2020 soccer matches in Baku

Eurogames are held in several states, including Azerbaijan. The Dutch parliament adopted a new resolution urging their govt not to visit Baku if the national team holds a match there.

The reason is the 2020 war, Azerbaijan's refusal to release POWs, the "Saddam Park" in Baku.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056431.html

a group of relatives of Shirak POWs held a sit-in

They want to speak with Premier Pashinyan again about the POW return (they spoke last evening), and to raise awareness for international organizations to know about the illegal detention of their relatives.

The families went home after the govt promised to form a new temporary commission that will stay in constant touch with them. "We will give them more time to continue with the efforts."

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056427.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056516.html

Armenian MOD denied Azeri media rumors claiming that shots were fired towards Azeri border positions

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056513.html

Putin and Erdogan discussed the Karabakh conflict and implementation of Nov 9 and Jan 11 agreements

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056519.html

Reporters Without Borders condemns Azeri soldiers for threatening its Spanish journalist

The incident took place on the Gegharkunik border.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056464.html

Arthur "Manakh" Ayvazyan arrested over "violent threats and slurs" on Facebook

Investigators said: on June 9, Manakh used his personal Facebook account, as well as the account belonging to "Armenian National Army" [volunteer group], to make threats while using slurs. He made physical violence threats towards anyone who voted for Pashinyan.

He was angry over the clip that was earlier posted showing Azeris assaulting Armenian soldiers on the borders.

Manakh is charged with Article 258.3.5 (hooliganism with cynicism)

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056433.html https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/ni0orf/may212021_1_border_demarcation_facts_myths/ https://www.arlis.am/DocumentView.aspx?docid=69646

update: hospital director Charchyan taken to the emergency room

Kocharyan-ARF alliance member Charchyan, director of Izmirlyan hospital, was arrested earlier. An audiotape was leaked showing hospital workers being pressured not to vote for Pashinyan.

His lawyer revealed that Charchyan was taken to an emergency room yesterday. They asked prosecutors to lift the arrest.

Healthcare Minister Avanesyan did not rule out personally "vouching" for her colleague Charchyan to spend his pre-trial period in freedom.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056424.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056495.html https://factor.am/387003.html

Nature Minister denies claims about pressuring workers during elections

Minister Romanos: Not true. Our agency employs sons of the most prominent ARF officials, BHK members' relatives, and a dozen other opposition-allied workers who all do their duties properly without pressure.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056497.html

fake news is circulated claiming Aliyev said "we got lucky that Pashinyan was elected"

An account named "Harutyun Tsaturyan" posted an old video with a fake translation.

https://fip.am/16230

Vladimir Putin congratulates Pashinyan on victory

Congrats on successfully-held elections and your victory, he said. They also discussed the Karabakh conflict, POWs, and regional trade route unblocking.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056504.html

Council of French-Armenians congratulates Pashinyan

... on the victory with "healthy democratic" elections, and hopes that Armenia will soon recover from the 2020 challenges.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056421.html

what do Georgians think about the elections?

Georgian experts & reporters: Georgians like Pashinyan because they view him as pro-western. The more democratic Armenia, the better for Georgia, believe the Georgians. We think the relations will deepen under Pashinyan.

Another thing that interested Georgians was the fact that all previous Armenian presidents participated in the elections. Unfortunately, revanchism has not ended in Georgia.

Armenia's Electoral Commission was more organized. It was broadcasted live. The results arrived faster than in Georgia in October 2020.

Another unusual thing was that most violations were committed by the opposition. //

More: https://www.civilnet.am/news/623956/հայաստանը-մի-քանի-քայլ-առաջ-է-վրաստանից․-հայացք-վրաստանից՝-հայաստանի-ընտրություններին/

Pashinyan: the era of election falsification is over

Pashinyan: When we held free elections in 2018, critics said "we already know the results so there was no need to falsify elections".

The 2021 results were unpredictable, perhaps the most unpredictable since our independence, yet the local and international observers found that the elections met international standards and were free. The expression of the free will of the voters is a cornerstone value for us.

Obviously, there are felony cases over bribery and voter pressure. I am confident they will be handled properly. It is now indisputable that citizens are the decisive factor in Armenia.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056434.html

opposition has until tomorrow to challenge election results

... clarified Constitutional Court spokeswoman. The Court will check whether the elections met Articles 24 and 25. The Electoral Commission will be summoned to answer questions. The trial is oral.

Within 15 days, the Court will either uphold the results, invalidate the results, invalidate the results and define the mandate distribution order, or schedule 2nd round of elections.

https://factor.am/386874.html

LHK Marukyan about the elections and their future:

This election had turned into a referendum to prevent the former authorities from returning. People reaffirmed the 2018 revolution...

Our message for unity was not accepted by the public. We will have Pashinyan, Kocharyan, and Serj forces. It's the choice of the people. We will see whether they work peacefully or fight every day. In any case, I doubt the new parliament will be of a higher quality than the previous one...

Ballot recount has so far not resulted in major changes. Results should be void in stations where they found violations...

Even the political forces that plan to challenge the results in Constitutional Court are eager to accept their mandates and enter Parliament. If they have issues, let them dispute it, but what I see is that overall, the political forces accept the people's decision...

Three days before the elections, the polls showed that LHK had a passing 5% threshold. Everything changed in the last two days, under fear. People saw Kocharyan's rallies and thought that the former authorities could make a comeback, so they changed their minds and voted for Pashinyan instead of us; we met voters who said they planned to vote for us but ended up voting for Pashinyan instead...

We will take a break to analyze our future steps and plans in regards to this Autumn's regional elections. We will do everything in our power to serve the interests of the state...

We have not discussed any plans for me to accept a position in the government cabinet. I don't expect to...

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056435.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056453.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056457.html https://factor.am/386642.html https://factor.am/386654.html

Kocharyan trial resumes / court hears prosecutors' petition

The Constitutional Court recently struck down Article 300.1 that was used against Kocharyan & Co in connection with March 2008 events. Prosecutors wanted to re-file the charges under another article, but they complain that the law does not provide them the path to do so, thus leaving a loophole for "criminals to get away". The Lower Court decided not to escalate it to Constitutional Court.

They appealed the recent verdict in Appeals Court today. They want to escalate the case to Constitutional Court.

The prosecutors themselves, separately, had earlier contacted the Constitutional Court but the latter refused to hear their case. Prosecutors believe they will have success when the Lower Court itself escalates the case.

https://factor.am/386810.html https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/217062

Public utility commission summons water and electricity giants for explanation

There have been routine disconnections of water and electricity in the recent period. The water and electric giants blamed each other. The utility regulator invited "Veolia Water" and "Electric Networks of Armenia" to talk.

They discussed voltage drops, water meter issues, disconnections, and weak water pressure in pipes.

The utilities explained that the issues are mainly caused by the ongoing extreme heatwave in Armenia. It resulted in increased usage. They're working to address the capacity issues.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056491.html

anti-corruption: two IRS workers and a company director are facing felony charges

Investigators said: between 2018-2019, a flour importing director company cooked the books by registering several small companies. He was caught by two IRS agents in 2020.

The two agents demanded $30,000 in bribes to cover up the $380,000 fraud. The director agreed. They were caught during the bribery transaction on 20 Mar 2020 on Yerevan-Sevan road. All three are facing felony charges.

https://factor.am/386924.html

COVID stats

3452 tested. 103 infected. 82 healed. 2 deaths. 2620 active (up).

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056425.html

Moderna renames its vaccine "Spikevax" to make sure people are even more scared of their vaccine being spiked with dangerous stuff...

https://factor.am/386599.html

Armenia will import J&J and Novavax vaccines this autumn

... said Minister Avanesyan today. The goal is to give citizens multiple options. Very few (70K) have so far agreed to take Soyuz-5 and AstraBlodClotica.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/217056

government extends aid to tourism agencies as part of 23rd COVID aid package

Agencies with at least 3 workers, formed before 31 Mar 2020, will qualify for monthly grants for a few more months.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056459.html

government extends the ban on Turkish product imports for another 6 months

The ban was imposed over Turkey's role in the 2020 war.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056439.html

license plates are a lucrative revenue source / 8 letters to be added

Over time, the number of available "unique" and "gold" license plates has reduced. There are people who are willing to pay top dollar for such plates.

Today the government authorized the addition of the 8 remaining Latin letters to the plate database. The other 18 were already in use.

It's expected to generate $141 million in profit [wtf? 🤔].

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056459.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056477.html

Pashinyan meets police academy graduates ahead of new police forces launch

New recruits underwent a 6-month training attended by U.S. experts and others.

Pashinyan: congrats on the graduation. Congrats to all of us for entering a new phase of police reforms. Soon we will have a new Patrol Service, which should set a new standard for the defense of law and human rights.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056456.html

Economy Minister about poverty among farmers & land reforms:

Qerobyan: the rural poverty stems from decisions made many years ago. First was the disastrous land reforms in the early 1990s. They gave tiny pieces of land to farmers. They were destined to be poor.

We launched land reforms [encouraging cooperatives and land mergers]. If they do farming, we want them to work on high-value products on a larger scale. Farming shouldn't be done just to earn enough for bread.

We have ongoing water and rural logistics reforms that we're working on. We don't want the Lars checkpoint (GEO-RUS) closure to cause significant harm. We also don't want Armenians to suffer great losses whenever one market closes in Moscow.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056498.html

agricultural exports double / apricot 7x

Minister Qerobyan: so far this year we have already exported 86,000 tons of fresh agricultural products. That's 2x from last year's period.

Apricorn exports went from 1.8K tons to 12.8K tons. The price also increased because the quality is better this year.

2019: 2,100 tons

2020: 1,800

2021: 12,800

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056500.html

Economy Minister about inflation:

The world is seeing terrible inflation. That's the primary cause of inflation in Armenia.

Vegetable oil prices doubled in Russia. No matter what we do, we can't lower it in Armenia. The only option is to change the economic structure to be less dependent on international markets.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056501.html

dollar is weakening against dram

$1 = ֏505 compared to 540 in April

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/217077

several neighborhoods of Gegharkunik's Akunk village will have gas

The authorities say these neighborhoods are growing and there will be more gas consumers in the future.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056449.html

fodder harvest suffers from draught

Gegharkunik farmers began harvesting animal grass earlier than usual this year because they fear the ongoing draught would harm the already-small harvest, which is multiple times smaller than in the previous years.

Chambarak mayor said the farmers are afraid there won't be enough animal food for the winter months.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056450.html

government allocates additional $1 million for infrastructure cnostruction in six provinces

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056521.html

Nature Ministry limits areas used by Sevan Startup Summit 2021

The annual startup summit organizers complained that this year they are unable to hold their summit as usual because some areas are unavailable. Nature Minister Romanos said, "it should not be held at the expense of nature".

Ministry: we offered them to hold the 10,000-member summit in Tsovagyugh or Drakhtik beaches. They rejected the offer and wanted to hold it right next to Norashen state sanctuary. The reason the area was turned into a sanctuary is because of endangered animals (հայկական որոր, etc.).

As a result of Sevan lake water rise in 2019-2020, as well as changes in human movements, the birds changed the locations where they lay eggs. They moved to beaches near the sanctuary. //

Full: https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/217024 https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/217032 https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/217106

Yerevan's MIKA sports complex will go under Soccer Federation's control

The company that currently manages the stadium is being dissolved (partly due to COVID) and is unable to bring the facility in line with international standards for international games.

The Soccer Federation presented a 10-year program involving €1.2m investments. The facility will meet UEFA's Category-2 standards.

https://factor.am/386887.html

video: Yerevan municipality and police demolishing several illegal shopping kiosks

https://youtu.be/EIpiLicX_uY?t=8

Freedom Square's underground parking lot was revamped

Yerevan mayor Marutyan went to see the new conditions. The 500-parking is now equipped with electronic ticket terminals, security cameras, mechanisms to reduce wait times, and free charging for electric vehicles as part of the plug.am program to promote EVs.

The parking lot is city-owned so the revenues go to municipal coffers. It's $0.80/hr during the daytime and half the price at night. $40 for a month. $1 for one night (that's what she said... keep scrolling).

https://youtu.be/x2GjkoQyJjE?t=4 https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056460.html https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/217055

for the first time, Armenian basketball champion will take part in a major U.S. tournament

Vahagni City team is headed to the United States to participate in a commercial competition alongside some NBA stars. It's between 64 teams. Armenian team's first match is on June 24, broadcasted by ESPN.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056461.html

Ravenna Festival to feature Tigran Mansurayan's music

A legendary dude named Dante Alighieri died 700 years ago. He was the Kanye West of the Renaissance era. His fans will gather on July 1 at Ravenna Festival to perform music.

Armenian State Chamber Choir will also take part. They will perform pieces by Tigran Mansuryan, Mozart, and others.

More: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056470.html

photo: statue of SOAD rock band in Yerevan

The sculptor is Hayk Tokmajyan. He began working on it 4 years ago. It's still in the early stages.

Initially, he wanted to install it underwater in Lake Sevan but he was told it would be a challenging task. He decided to pick one of Yerevan's parks instead.

He asked the city for permission a year ago and received a positive response. The final destination is unclear.

Interview with sculptor: https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/217096

today in history

1934: Ukraine moves capital from Kharkiv to Kyiv

1947: U.S. pilot Kenneth Arnold spots several UFOs with the shape of "pie plates". The phrase "թռչող ափսե" is coined.

2006: Armenian team wins gold in Chess Olympiad

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1056406.html

yesterday's news

https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/o6krpm/news_jun232021_1_ballot_recount_adds_few_votes_2/?

Перевод на русский by Impossible-Ad-

https://www.reddit.com/r/ArmDailyReports_RUS_/comments/o6ukda/новости_из_армении_за_23_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

Donations: soldiers' families, humanitarian aid, US tax-deductible donation.


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/o78ll1/news_jun242021_1_133m_tech_project_2_83m_drones_3/

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