2021 May 16

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Daily news wrap-up

May/16/2021: (1) Latest news on Syunik and Gegharkunik borders (2) Azeri troops remain near lake but are cut off; Avinyan visits lake (3) CSTO's reputation is on the line (4) Elections: Levon and Serj (5) Gyumri will have high-tech and eco-friendly district (6) Fertility program for single mothers
by ar_david_hh


Your 8-minute weekend report in 2047 words.

Syunik and Gegharkunik borders

Read Friday report for context. The US State Department, French government, and several international officials called for Azeri withdrawal from the territories. Putin reportedly agreed as well. Armenia asked CSTO and Russia to intervene, citing bilateral military agreement.

https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/ncg9av/may142021_1_latest_news_from_borders_2_france_usa/

the world continues to respond

Foreign Minister of Canada said they are concerned about the tension and the reports about intrusion into Armenia. He urged for peaceful negotiations.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052418.html

Italian MP Carlo Fidanza from the "Brothers of Italy" party, who represents the party in the European Parliament, referred to the Azeri actions as a "provocation" and called for their immediate withdrawal.

He called for the Italian government to speak up and to ensure "full sovereignty and territorial integrity of Republic of Armenia."

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052429.html

US Congresswoman Jackie Speier: Azerbaijan’s actions are an invasion of Armenian territory & threaten regional stability. I call on Secretary Blinken to condemn Azerbaijan’s violation of Armenia’s sovereignty and pressure Azerbaijan to withdraw its forces immediately.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052432.html https://twitter.com/RepSpeier/status/1393237551729856518 ?

Foreign Minister of Iran said they are ready to help settle the dispute, and called for the preservation of ceasefire.

https://factor.am/370956.html

Foreign Ministry of Armenia:

Armenia is determined to take all measures to ensure its territorial integrity. Our colleagues on various platforms have been informed about this.

We emphasize once again that the Azerbaijani side has invaded the sovereign territory of Armenia. We appreciate the calls of our international partners to Azerbaijan to immediately withdraw its units. We hope that Azerbaijan will hear these calls and will not escalate the situation further.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052421.html

HHK and Hayreniq parties formally sign an alliance

Republican Party and ex-NSS chief Arthur Vanetsyan's Hayreniq party will run under the Pativ Unem alliance. Their logo is a five-pointed star. "Not everyone knows that it is the earliest symbol of Christianity," said the alliance, citing the ancestral victories and traditions.

In the event of entering Parliament, they are open to forming a coalition with any party that has the same goals of "security and development".

Serj Sargsyan said he will not take high-ranking positions in the event of victory but will serve as an advisor for the party.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052427.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052433.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052441.html

first president Levon Ter-Petrosyan's party holds a meeting

Levon's Armenian National Congress (ANC) held a meeting. ANC described Pashinyan as a brainchild of Kocharyan, ARF, and nationalist Sasna Tsrer, and dismissed that they were sponsoring Pashinyan post-revolution.

Levon reiterated that an alliance with Serj and Kocharyan (in which the leaders wouldn't hold positions) is still possible and could prevent Pashinyan from winning the elections, which is one of his main goals.

The second goal is to prevent Kocharyan from achieving victory and taking the office again. When Kocharyan refused Levon's alliance offer, Levon told Kocharyan that he will be fighting against Kocharyan as vigorously as against Pashinyan.

Levon said that Armenians brought the defeat upon themselves with bad governance in the past 23 years [after he resigned] and that the "not one inch of land" policies that began with Kocharyan in 1998 and ended with Pashinyan administrations played a role in the defeat.

Levon said, "The governments of the past 23 years did not take into account the important factors: the balance of power, the presence or absence of allies, the irreversibility of time. In other words, the simple truth that if something is possible today will not necessarily be possible tomorrow."

Levon will lead the ANC ballot if the latter decides to participate in elections

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052469.html https://factor.am/371062.html https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/213931

Foreign Minister Ayvazyan spoke with CSTO administration

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052455.html

Armenia controls roads that connect Azeri troops to Azerbaijan, blocks arms movement

MOD: no major changes since yesterday. At night Azeris attempted to strengthen their presence with logistical support but it was prevented by the Armenian units. All roads that connect the Azeri units to Azerbaijan are under Armenian control. They are deprived of the ability to receive armament.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052461.html

Pashinyan spoke with the president of Kazakhstan (CSTO member) about borders

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052470.html

it's unprecedented in CSTO's history and a matter of its image

... said Armenia's Security Council chief Grigoryan during a conversation with CSTO host country Tajikistan's representative. "Armenia perceives the situation as an encroachment on its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and expects an adequate response within the framework of the allied commitments of the CSTO member states."

The two discussed procedures and various methods of response.

Tajikistan praised Armenia's show of restraint and emphasized a need for a peaceful resolution. There will be a CSTO session soon, during which the organization could address the events.

In turn, Azerbaijan downplayed the situation and said Armenia is politicizing the situation and that there was no need to contact CSTO. They claimed those areas are part of Azerbaijan and that successfully launching an official delimitation/demarcation process is essential.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/213904 https://factor.am/371028.html https://factor.am/371033.html https://factor.am/371071.html

Pashinyan and army officials held a Security Council meeting

They discussed the ongoing negotiations and "other steps aimed at ensuring the inviolability of the sovereign territory of Armenia."

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052484.html https://factor.am/371065.html

Deputy Premier Tigran Avinyan visited Sev Lake in Syunik

Avinyan, Syunik Governor, other officials, and reporters visited the south-western section of the lake. A conspiracy theory was circulated by opposition activists and officials claiming that the photos were allegedly taken near a different lake.

However, the examination of terrain, photos, and local witness accounts confirm that Avinyan and journalists were, in fact, near Sev Lake's south-western shores. It was reported on Friday that Azeris retreated from some parts near the lake, but not fully.

Avinyan: the areas surrounding Sev Lake are under Armenian control. As the MOD reported earlier, they stopped the Azeri attempts to advance. The entire area, the Azeri soldiers near the lake, the roads they use to connect to Azerbaijan, are all under the control of Armenian forces.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/213911 https://fip.am/15561 https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/213922

Foreign Minister Ayvazyan met the representative of Iraqi Kurdistan

Deputy Premier of Iraqi Kurdistan visited Armenia. Ayvazyan noted the "dynamic development of relations" in recent times and voted to cooperate in high tech, creative education, and tourism.

They discussed regional affairs and minority rights in the Middle East.

They also discussed cooperation between Matenadaran and Erbil's Assyrian Heritage Museum in restoring manuscripts.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052439.html

Turkey threatened Israel with military action in Jerusalem

Erdogan told "terrorist Israel" that Turkey will do in Jerusalem what Turkey did for Azerbaijan in Karabakh. He vowed to "free Jerusalem lands from occupation."

In other karma news, the head of the Armenian ruling party warned Israel during the 2020 war that Israel's active support for Turkish-Azeri war crimes will eventually become a boomerang and strike Israel.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/213936

Russia will donate $3.2m to help Armenian border regions

It's part of a UN program that helps settlements affected by the recent war.

https://factor.am/370974.html

COVID stats over the weekend

6,338 tested. 413 infected. 990 healed. 22 deaths. 7023 active.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052407.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052462.html

Gyurmi will have a modern eco-friendly high-tech district

Future Is in Gyumri event was held in Gyumri, attended by Economy Minister and others. They participate in the opening ceremony of Digital Pomegranate company's new office.

The latter has a new project "District" to turn Gyumri into a creative and high-tech hub. A first-of-a-kind residential district will be built, equipped with high tech and business ecosystem to promote entrepreneurship and high income while respecting the environment.

Minister Qerobyan: I believe that Gyumri can become a wonderful place to live, work and create. Everyone knows that the people of Gyumri are talented and creative.

Co-founder Gayane: One of the goals is to stop emigration and the flow of talented people from Gyumri. If people here have a beautiful, accessible, and developing environment, then they will not want to leave.

Co-founder Todd Fabacher: not only will this create new creative jobs, but it will be in line with the UN Sustainable Development goals. It will be a unique district in our region to meet all 17 UN sustainable goals. We will try to make it appealing for the whole world to come and invest. //

The project pursues five goals: prosperity, green, integrated, creative, technology. It will be located in western Gyumri (Bulvaryan nad Mush), 10 minutes from downtown.

It will also house the Armenian-Chinese center "Digital Silk Road" and newly founded startups to offer jobs and taxable income beneficial for the municipal budget.

There will also be an industrial zone, an agricultural area, green area, residential area, service facilities, solar panel farm, art and sports section, and small guest houses.

The project is aided by Gyumri and federal authorities. There will be three construction phases. The first phase will last 3 years and involve $20m investments. The future phases are being discussed.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052440.html

slut-shaming single mothers is no longer cool / fertility programs

Last week the government approved the latest program to boost fertility by allowing a broader range of applicants to receive free fertility services.

Reproductive agency chief Hambardzumyan: the fertility index is 1.6. That means women don't get a chance to have two babies. By the end of this century, the population will drop to 1.5 million if it doesn't change. The laws are being amended to address this.

Nowadays, thousands of women who do not have a partner apply for our services to have a child. When this law was first introduced, it received a mixed response on social media.

Many users noted that Armenia is facing demographic issues and it's time to get rid of stereotypes that harm our society. People stopped promoting the behavior that was acceptable to the majority and began supporting the idea of helping any woman, regardless of marital status, to have a child if they wish so.

It's easy to help. All we have to do is not gossip, throw stones, or label the children. //

There is a belief that part of Armenian society still does not support the idea of single women becoming mothers. A mini-survey was conducted to capture people's response:

Middle-aged men and women were mostly open to the idea and believed the state has to take any steps necessary to grow the population. "These stereotypes must be shattered in Armenia. There are girls who do not find a suitable partner but want to have a child. Is that a bad thing? I get it, we love our traditions but give people some freedom, it's enough. Why should I care what my neighbor thinks? Would my neighbor also care if I lived my life alone and helpless?", said one woman.

Heghine moved from Spain to Armenia. Her 7yo child has never met his biological father. She supports the fertility program. "If you can't find a suitable partner, it's better to get pregnant this way than to have a partner with whom you would have domestic problems."

Some male responders were concerned that this program could get "too" popular and cause women to stop looking for partners. "Humans are created to become couples and marry, it isn't just about having children. If it was like that, then we can just go adopt children, what's the difference?", said one responder. "You need a partner to be happy. It isn't just about children."

Some young male responders were concerned that children who are born to single women with such methods could become subject to bullying and shunned away from society. "They will have complexes around us. There could be many problems," said one young man.

An expert disagrees that developing complexes would be a major problem for integration: "These things have become normal in highly urban areas in the past 20-30 years. In the past, a single mother was viewed as a prostitute and the child could be bullied. We don't have that problem today. We have a deficit in the marriage-age male population which crosses 15%. The real number of men who would qualify as 'traditional husbands' are fewer; there are 3-4 women for one."

The majority of responders appear to support the idea but not when it comes to their relatives doing it. One 45yo man said, "Girls who take such a risk are very courageous. I think they would be great commanders."

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/213792

end of report

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Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/ndvsfk/may162021_1_latest_news_on_syunik_and_gegharkunik/

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