2021 May 17
- 1 Daily news wrap-up
- 2 in case you missed important weakened news
- 3 Pashinyan gives updates on borders and criticizes opposition for "backstabbing" Armenia and "abetting" Azerbaijan:
- 4 rumors & rebuttals: Gegharkunik borders
- 5 Azerbaijan isn't happy with the US and French response
- 6 US State Secretary and French Foreign Minister discussed the Artsakh conflict
- 7 Ilham Aliyev called Kazakhstan (CSTO) president
- 8 Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan spoke with his Russian and French counterparts
- 9 Security Council chief Grigoryan spoke with his Russian counterpart Patrushev
- 10 Parliament president Mirzoyan is in Moscow
- 11 Pashinyan and Kyrgyz (CSTO) president discussed the borders
- 12 Pashinyan spoke with Belarus (CSTO) president Lukashenko about borders
- 13 ranking Iranian official speaks against a "corridor" and calls for preservation of Armenia's territorial integrity
- 14 Armenia and Iran continue talks over trade route linking Black Sea to Persian Gulf
- 15 MOD Vagharshak spoke with the head of Russia's border guard agency
- 16 Foreign Minister of Russia Lavrov about border demarcation:
- 17 Russian MOD Shoygu spoke with MOD Vagharshak
- 18 more Azeri troops left Armenian territories today, but some remain
- 19 France insists that Azerbaijan must withdraw from Armenia
- 20 Pashinyan spoke with Joe Biden's National Security adviser Jake Sullivan
- 21 EU will provide another €10m in aid to Armenia and Azerbaijan over 2020 war
- 22 clashes between Georgian and Azeri civilians in Georgia
- 23 death toll from the war
- 24 Artsakh president visits several settlements in Shushi Region
- 25 Artsakh's Ivanyan settlement will have a new residential district
- 26 preschool reforms: audit and certification process
- 27 public screening campaign aimed at tackling high blood pressure / doctor has a message for you
- 28 update: President Sarkissian signs into law the mass amnesty for army draft evaders
- 29 opposition official detained after a fight near Opera building
- 30 Kocharyan will no longer be a board member of the Russian SISTEMA conglomerate
- 31 COVID stats
- 32 Armenia imports another 50,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines
- 33 Armenia makes the first-ever appearance in Miss Universe beauty pageant
- 34 renowned opera soprano Hasmik Grigoryan receives Order of St. Mesrop Mashtots
- 35 a fancy marriage registration ceremony
- 36 digitization of services allows lowering fees, wait times, and bureaucracy
- 37 opening a business in Armenia while located abroad will become easier
- 38 end of report
- 39 Support David's Daily Armenia News Summaries!
Daily news wrap-up
May/17/2021: (1) Syunik & Gegharkunik borders (2) More Azeri troops leave (3) Jake Sullivan calls Pashinyan (4) France & US repeat: Azeris must leave (5) Russia offers help w/demarcation (6) War death toll (7) Himnadram builds more houses in Artsakh (8) Vaccines arrive (9) Digitization to save time
Your 11-minute Monday report in 2817 words.
in case you missed important weakened news
TLDR: Armenia had earlier agreed to withdraw from areas near Syunik borders to match the Armenian de-facto state borders with the de-jure maps possessed by CSTO military bloc, so that in the event of border incidents, CSTO would be legally able/required to aid Armenia. During the Artsakh war, the CSTO did not intervene to help because the war was not in the internationally recognized Armenia. Now that the area in question is within the Republic of Armenia, and according to Pashinyan both Armenia and Russia possess the same map proving this, the Security Council chairman Grigoryan said "CSTO's reputation is on the line", while awaiting for CSTO's response.
Pashinyan gives updates on borders and criticizes opposition for "backstabbing" Armenia and "abetting" Azerbaijan:
The tensions grew in some parts of the border. We are observing a tendency of growing aggression displayed by Azeris. In addition to internal security measures, we have accelerated the Armenia-CSTO and Armenia-Russia military response procedures...
Beginning on May 14, some Azeri troops withdrew from Armenia. A similar process took place last evening, too, and there is reason to believe they will withdraw more today. But overall, the situation remains the same and we must continue to utilize our agreements with CSTO and Russia. Azerbaijani troops must leave Armenia fully.
Despite my calls not to turn the encroachment into an internal tool for political speculation, there are political forces that are essentially aiding Azerbaijan from the rear.
Any military-political struggle is accompanied by information warfare. It is clear to me now that there are pro-Azerbaijani information agents acting from within Armenia. We could even give names.
In 2020 these people were inviting Azerbaijan to attack Armenia. [Context: possibly referring to opposition official Hrant Bagratyan, an ally of the former regime, who once said before the war in June 2020 that "if I were Azerbaijan, I would attack Armenia within 3-4 months", while he was criticizing Pashinyan for COVID infection rates and pandemic-induced economic struggles.]
Before Azerbaijan's encroachment, these people were publicly showing Azerbaijan the vulnerable areas where Azeris could intrude into Armenia, and these people are now spreading pro-Azeri propaganda thesis and are guiding Azerbaijan to help pick a negotiations direction beneficial to them. [Context: before this intrusion, there were numerous reports by opposition figures highlighting lack of border outposts and snow-proof positions for soldiers in certain areas, while the army said they needed time to take care of all areas.]
None of this can be a coincidence. We must be able to calmly examine and understand details.
I'd like to remind you once again that these opposition forces are helping to build Ilham Aliyev's "Zangezur" thesis within Armenia. The circles known to you are once again acting as Azerbaijan's information warfare agents within Armenia.
Once again, we have never negotiated and will not negotiate over any "corridor". What we negotiate is public and reflected on Jan 11. trilateral statement [about unblocking regional trade routes and allowing Azerbaijan and Armenia to use roads and railways without losing legal control over them].
Another topic I'd like to talk about is the clarification of borders. It's necessary for both Armenia and Azerbaijan. In recent days, the Azeri propaganda has been promoting the idea that border clarification must be carried out through two-way negotiation [without Russia]. However, this is impossible because Armenia and Azerbaijan do not have relations. This is why the border clarification and regional transport route unblocking negotiations must be carried out under trilateral format.
The border negotiations continued until late last night. They will continue on Wednesday. The only topic of negotiations is the Azeri withdrawal from Armenian territories.
rumors & rebuttals: Gegharkunik borders
MOD denied social media rumors that claimed Azeris encircled a group of Armenian soldiers near Verin Shorja (Vardenis) border village. "The rumors are false. Moreover, in all three areas [Syunik and Gegharkunik] where Azeris had intruded into the Armenian territory, the Armenian forces have full control over the territories, over the Azeri soldiers located there, and over the roads that connect the Azeri soldiers to Azerbaijan."
Azerbaijan isn't happy with the US and French response
The US State Department and France earlier called for immediate withdrawal of Azeri troops from the area. The president of Azerbaijan's People Front party isn't happy with the harsh response and called it "provocative".
Azeri official: Not only Azerbaijan, but the whole world will frequently begin to face the statements by the pro-Armenian elderly president of the United States and the pro-Armenian Vice President Harris. //
Other Azeri officials were unhappy over France's stance that the territories in question aren't "disputed" but rather clearly Armenian.
US State Secretary and French Foreign Minister discussed the Artsakh conflict
... and the need to achieve a lasting peace through OSCE mediation.
Ilham Aliyev called Kazakhstan (CSTO) president
He complained that the Armenian side is "not responding adequately to the border clarification process."
Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan spoke with his Russian and French counterparts
Security Council chief Grigoryan spoke with his Russian counterpart Patrushev
Armen Grigoryan praised the active efforts of the Russian side in the speedy and complete settlement of the issue. They spoke about the upcoming CSTO session on Wednesday.
Parliament president Mirzoyan is in Moscow
He met his counterpart Volodin and discussed the conflict and post-COVID recovery.
Pashinyan and Kyrgyz (CSTO) president discussed the borders
Pashinyan spoke with Belarus (CSTO) president Lukashenko about borders
Pashinyan informed him that Azerbaijan violated the international laws and the borders. Concerned Lukashenko offered helped to resolve the situation.
ranking Iranian official speaks against a "corridor" and calls for preservation of Armenia's territorial integrity
[Context: Aliyev's tantrums about having a corridor to connect Azerbaijan to Nakhijevan.]
Iranian Parliament’s Nat. Sec. Committee chief Zolnuri: The position of Iran is very clear and decisive. We do not accept any change in the region, the territorial integrity of the countries of the region must be preserved, and we do not accept any supra-regional power near our borders.
If they want to take a part of the territory of Armenia, our borders will be changed and we will have a new neighbor. It is not acceptable for us. The borders of the past must be fully protected, the common border of the Islamic Republic of Iran with Armenia must be preserved.
We support Azerbaijan’s position on maintaining its territorial integrity, we also support Armenia’s position on maintaining its territorial integrity, land, and border with Iran.
Armenian ambassador met the Iranian Road & Urban Development Minister to discuss trade routes and said that Armenia expects Iran to help put an end to Azerbaijan's provocations and encroachment into Armenian territories.
MOD Vagharshak spoke with the head of Russia's border guard agency
Russia's Border Guard service has a division that guards Armenian borders. MOD Vagharshak spoke with their big boss about cooperation.
Foreign Minister of Russia Lavrov about border demarcation:
Russia is ready to assist Armenia and Azerbaijan in delimitation and demarcation issues.
As for the [Syunik and Gegharkunik] situation, the Azeri side made statements after that incident, explaining the events as a misunderstanding and a result of lack of clearly defined borders, which should have been demarcated. Nobody has ever done this in that area. Russia offered Armenia and Azerbaijan to do that. We are ready to assist and provide maps.
Russian MOD Shoygu spoke with MOD Vagharshak
Moscow will make every effort to peacefully resolve the situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, said Shoygu.
more Azeri troops left Armenian territories today, but some remain
MOD Vagharshak: despite the fact that we reached an agreement and several Azeri groups retreated to their original positions yesterday and today, some of them continue to remain in the Republic of Armenia territory. The issue caused by the Azeri provocation has not been fully resolved.
Considering the fact that the Azeri units are under full control of Armenian forces, and that both sides have accumulated a large number of troops near the borders, the consequences of not resolving the situation can be unpredictable.
CSTO Secretary Zas: CSTO is closely monitoring. It will be discussed during a CSTO meeting in the coming days.
France insists that Azerbaijan must withdraw from Armenia
French MFA called for Armenia and Azerbaijan to peacefully negotiate the "immediate withdrawal of Azeri troops from Armenian territories."
Pashinyan spoke with Joe Biden's National Security adviser Jake Sullivan
Sullivan called Pashinyan to discuss the conflict. Pashinyan thanked the White House for recognizing the Armenian Genocide.
They discussed the border encroachment by Azerbaijan. The report says that Sullivan reiterated that the United States finds Azerbaijan's actions unacceptable and that they will inform the Azeri administration about their stance.
Sullivan praised Armenia's show of restraint and the option to resolve this conflict politically rather than taking military action.
Sullivan also said they are concerned about the presence of Armenian POWs in Azerbaijan.
Sullivan praised the Armenian government's commitment to strengthen democracy and promised that the US will continue to help in this area.
EU will provide another €10m in aid to Armenia and Azerbaijan over 2020 war
7 million was provided last year. It's an aid for people who live in or around Nagorno Karabakh.
clashes between Georgian and Azeri civilians in Georgia
Dozens of ethnic Georgians and Azeris clashed with sticks and shovels in the Azeri district of Georgian city Dmanisi. It lasted for two days and left dozens injured, including a policeman.
The grocery shop, in front of which the initial confrontation took place, was vandalized later in the evening. The mayor says it wasn't an interethnic in nature but rather a dispute that escalated. A customer allegedly wanted a beer but didn't have money so he asked to write it as debt under his name but the cashier refused, and subsequent events lead to an escalation.
There were assault incidents reported elsewhere throughout the day. The authorities deployed a large number of police forces.
death toll from the war
The discovery of new bodies by the crews that canvass the former battlefield has significantly slowed in recent times. Here is the latest data:
3,752 bodies processed. 70 of them are yet to be identified with DNA analysis, 300 were impossible to analyze.
Artsakh president visits several settlements in Shushi Region
Hin Shen, Mets Shen, Lisagor are some of the settlements near Lachin. Arayik Harutyunyan visited to discuss socio-economic projects to help the residents. A water delivery network is being created.
He said the border protection is successfully being carried out by peacekeepers and Artsakh Defense Army, and that Artsakh's efforts to restore territorial integrity will be diplomatic in nature, and not military.
The government and All Armenia Fund plan to build new housing for young families in these settlements.
Artsakh's Ivanyan settlement will have a new residential district
The construction of 180 apartments for IDPs has begun. They will have "modern standards" and be ready by late 2022. It's financed by All Armenia Fund himnadram.
preschool reforms: audit and certification process
Recently the government adopted a policy to ensure the vast majority of children attend preschools and amended laws to provide resources for rural areas to have preschool facilities.
Part of the reforms is the preschool's internal and external evaluation procedure which will begin in 2023. The goal is to ensure the standards are met and there is a unified state policy.
Both private and public preschools will be evaluated for the quality of the service and curriculum. The external evaluation is conducted jointly by Education Ministry and children's parents. A certificate is issued to every preschool. The Ministry then publishes their ranking list.
The internal evaluation, on the other hand, is conducted by the preschool staff and parents to analyze their performance.
public screening campaign aimed at tackling high blood pressure / doctor has a message for you
Cardiology institute chief Zelveyan: a public campaign launches today to combat hypertension. Medical groups will be stationed across Armenia to measure residents' BP and screen their history.
Residents with high BP will be given brochures on how to have a healthy lifestyle and will be advised to see a doctor. Over 50% of deaths are from cardiovascular issues.
Almost half of adults are at risk of high BP. Only 72% of those with high BP are aware that they have it. Our goal is to help people manage BP. Getting diagnosed and taking meds isn't enough.
As a preventative measure, consider losing excess weight, be physically active, manage blood sugar levels. We need to strengthen the culture of paying attention to our own health.
Let's love our bodies more than we love our cars. We take a car to a mechanic when it makes a little noise, yet we expect our body's symptoms to disappear on their own. See a doctor when you develop symptoms. // [absolute chad comparison, doc]
update: President Sarkissian signs into law the mass amnesty for army draft evaders
The Parliament recently approved the government's order to issue a mass amnesty that will allow thousands of diasporans to be able to return to Armenia without facing jail time. [talk to a lawyer first]
opposition official detained after a fight near Opera building
Former Premier HHK Khosrov Harutyunyan and another man were taken to a police station after they allegedly got into an argument and threw punches near the Opera building.
Kocharyan will no longer be a board member of the Russian SISTEMA conglomerate
He served as a board of directors member since 2009. He will no longer be nominated for the board position. It's possibly related to his decision to renew his political career and participate in the upcoming elections.
2377 tested. 67 infected. 445 healed. 10 deaths. 6635 active. 19200 vaccinated.
Armenia imports another 50,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines
It's part of a global COVAX program aided by UNICEF.
Armenia makes the first-ever appearance in Miss Universe beauty pageant
No spoilers on who won but it wasn't Armenia. The competition was held in Florida this year. Armenia was represented by Monica Grigoryan, the runner-up of Miss Armenia 2019. Her speech was about orphanhood and war.
renowned opera soprano Hasmik Grigoryan receives Order of St. Mesrop Mashtots
She is the daughter of Armenian artist Gegham Grigoryan and Lithuanian soprano Irena Milkyavichuyte. Today she visited Armenia to receive the award from President Sarkissian.
She recently climbed Mt. Ararat. ✔
a fancy marriage registration ceremony
In February the Justice Ministry allocated space in Yerevan's Hamalir complex for newlywed couples to make their registration a bit more ceremonial. The Ministry says they have since been registering 30 weddings a month on average. There are plans to create similar conditions in provinces.
digitization of services allows lowering fees, wait times, and bureaucracy
As part of ongoing reforms, Justice Ministry will provide its services electronically to cut on waiting times, fees, corruption, and bureaucracy.
Ministry: Wait times are shorter now. Changing your name will take 0.5 months instead of 5. Fixing an error in your name of DOB will soon take 3 days, down from 4 months.
The fee structure has undergone reforms. Pensionaires, low-income families, war participants, and disabled residents no longer pay any fees during ՔԿԱԳ civil registrations.
Some fees are abolished for everyone. For example, marriage registrations, online registration as self-employed, ՔԿԱԳ references.
As part of reducing corruption, changing your name will be regulated differently. Under the old rules, you had to convince a specific public official that your name is "bad". That official was solely empowered to accept or reject. That opened up avenues for corruption. Now it's different: the assessment bases have been removed and different officials accept and process your document. The applicant doesn't know who the decision-maker is.
QR codes and emails will be used to send the documents.
opening a business in Armenia while located abroad will become easier
Justice Ministry: if you are a foreign citizen located outside of Armenia and you want to register a business in Armenia or to buy part of an Armenian company, for the first time, you will be able to do that with an Armenian consulate.
The issue was with the identification of applicants. Our consulates will handle that from now on. This reform could increase foreign investments. The Foreign Ministry will be tasked with raising awareness about the reforms.
end of report
The accused are innocent unless proven guilty in the court of law, even if they "appear" guilty.
Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/nepovm/may172021_1_syunik_gegharkunik_borders_2_more/
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