2021 May 18

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Contents

Daily news wrap-up

Today's news, May/18/2021: (1) US & Russia want demarcation (2) Armenia "sues" Turkey: terrorists & arms (3) High schoolers will attend military camps (4) HHK against calling CSTO (5) New alliances (6) European court sides with Pashinyan's outlet against ex-officials: narcos & laundering (7) Arrests
by ar_david_hh


Your 10-minute Tuesday report in 2363 words.

here is the official USSR map showing that majority of Syunik's Sev Lake belongs to Armenia

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052685.html

border update

No major changes since yesterday. There was a dispute between Armenian and Azeri soldiers near Gegharquniq borders but it was resolved quickly, said MOD.

The negotiations will resume tomorrow. MOD reports that they continue to control the areas and the roads that connect the Azeri soldiers to Azerbaijan and that they prevented Azeris from bringing aid recently.

The MOD said they expect Azeris to withdraw ASAP without any pre-conditions otherwise "Armenia reserves the right to apply force."

https://factor.am/371619.html https://factor.am/371761.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052707.html

United States joins calls for official demarcation process

Biden adviser Jake Sullivan called Pashinyan and Aliyev yesterday and urged for an official demarcation process. The United States had earlier criticized Azerbaijan for moving troops into the area. Sergey Lavrov also called for a demarcation process yesterday but fell short of urging Azeris to withdraw.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052615.html

HHK criticizes government's decision to contact CSTO military bloc over Syunik intrusion

HHK spokesman Shawarmazanov criticized the government for contacting CSTO over the Azeri intrusion. He called it "shameful" and suggested that Armenia should have fired shots at least into the air [presumably as in July 2020] before involving CSTO.

He complained that the situation has lead to anti-Russian sentiment in Armenia.

Shawarmazanov expressed regret that some opposition parties broke away from the rest and agreed to the snap elections. "Pashinyan was, unfortunately, able to divide the opposition."

https://factor.am/371660.html

Aliyev is satisfied with Azerbaijan-Belarus military cooperation

... he announced today after a meeting with Belarus MOD. Several Belorussian companies have expressed interest in helping Azerbaijan to build infrastructure in the occupied lands.

[Belarus is a CSTO member state. This resulted in displeasure among some Armenian circles.]

https://www.azatutyun.am/a/31261309.html

US religious protection agency responds to Azerbaijan's distortion of Armenian church in Shushi

The USCIRF (United States Commission on International Religious Freedom) report says they are concerned about Azerbaijan removing parts of the Ghazanchetsots church without consulting with others.

The report acknowledges that Azerbaijan bombed the church last year.

https://www.uscirf.gov/news-room/releases-statements/uscirf-concerned-azerbaijan-religion-law-amendments-condition

Russia and France discussed the Artsakh conflict again

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052656.html

Parliament of Catalonia will officially demand Azeri withdrawal from Armenia and release of POWs

The President of the Catalonian Parliament met the Armenian community members yesterday.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052658.html

Armenian military continues exercises

The 1st military unit joined the 4th and 5th and conducted exercises today. "The commanders are undergoing a retraining to make quick and targeted decisions in the event the conditions drastically change."

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052697.html

Armenia files a complaint against Turkey in ECHR court over Turkey's recruitment of terrorists during 2020 war

Armenia argues that the recruitment and deployment of Syrian militants to Azerbaijan had violated various conventions. Additionally, Turkey's direct military aid to Azerbaijan also violated conventions, says the report.

Armenia: Turkey has violated a number of rights of Artsakh and the Republic of Armenia population: torture, inhuman treatment, inviolability, property, private and family life, and a number of other rights.

The complaint contains extensive evidence of Turkey recruiting militants from Syria and providing other armaments to Azerbaijan. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052686.html

Indian ambassador attends Armenian Defense Ministry's Research University

Dewal presented India's foreign policy direction, the Indian army structure, its military-industrial achievements, and international cooperation directions.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052693.html

Gyumri airport runway will be rebuilt to meet military standards

A thicker layer of concrete-asphalt will be used. Safety systems will be revamped. A drainage network will be built.

The airport was built in 1961 and serves as the second international airport in Armenia.

https://factor.am/371643.html

ECHR court sides with Pashinyan's media outlet against HHK officials / narcotrafficking and money laundering

Haykakan Zhamanak (Armenian Times) outlet wrote an article in 2010 claiming that Russian security services had identified several Armenian public officials as being part of narco-trafficking and money laundering rings.

The report says that several Russian criminal organizations were in touch with the said Armenian officials. Russian prosecutors allegedly shared the list with Armenian counterparts and asked to take action, but the Armenian prosecutors said "we are too small to fix such issues."

The article lists some of the former regime officials allegedly on the Russian list: Serj's brother and MP Sashik Sargsyan, HHK MP Ruben Hayrapetyan (Nemets Rubo), Levon Sargsyan (Alraghatsi Lyovik), IRS chief Gagik Khachatryan, HHK MP Samvel Aleksanyan (Lfik), Parliament president Hovik Abrahamyan (Muk), and BHK chief Gagik Tsarukyan.

The report says the only reason the Russians omitted Serj's name from the list is because they ruled out the possibility that an action could be taken against him.

After the aforementioned report, three HHK officials (Nemets, Lfik, and Alraghatsi) sued the outlet over alleged defamation. They won the lawsuit in the Armenian court.

The European Court for Human Rights, however, found violations in the trial (free speech) and told the Republic of Armenia to pay the outlet €36k in penalties.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/18188 https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/214094

ECHR also sided with other investigative journalists against the Armenian government

Another incident happened in 2008. Journalists wrote an investigation about land/sand embezzlement. Ijevan mayor filed a defamation lawsuit and asked for compensation. After some verdicts and appeals, the court sided with the mayor.

The European court, however, has found that the reporters' right to free expression was violated. The Armenian government has to pay €1.5K in penalties.

https://hetq.am/hy/article/131008

anti-corruption: public officials prevented the free import of fuel in 2015

Authorities report: a group of public officials prevented imported fuel from going through customs clearance in 2015.

Former Deputy Finance Minister A.A. gave an illegal order to his subordinate deputy customs facility chief S.M. to block the import of any fuel without his permission.

As a result, a company attempted to import fuel from Russia but was denied access and forced to move the cargo to a customs storage area. The Deputy Minister learned about this and instructed agents to keep the fuel trucks there until his arrival.

Weeks later the truck drivers were given back their documents after an illegal confiscation, but there were told to take the trucks out of Armenia. The delivery company's higher-ups intervened and the trucks were finally allowed to re-enter Armenia without issues. Millions of Drams in damages were caused.

The former Deputy Finance Minister is charged with a felony and has an arrest warrant in absentia. The customs agents are also charged. The case, which was filed in 2019, has reached the court.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/214063

former Transport Minister and Yerevan mayor Gagik Beglaryan is arrested upon arrival at the airport

He was handcuffed in Zvartnots after arriving from Moscow. He was placed on the wanted list on Mar/23/2020 over embezzlement/waste and abuse of power charges.

Since he voluntarily turned himself in, the prosecutors decided to release him on ֏50m bail before his trial.

Beglaryan is a suspect in multiple cases. There is a felony case over alleged theft of kindergarten property. The investigation was launched by Yerevan mayor Hayk Marutyan (they found 27 instances of alleged kindergarten embezzlement by former officials).

Beglaryan's house was also raided as part of the North-South highway project embezzlement investigation. His brother is also accused of embezzling property for his family.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052627.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052665.html

what to expect on election day

Redditor musaler's analysis.

https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/nepovm/may172021_1_syunik_gegharkunik_borders_2_more/gyinl1d/

first president Levon will lead the ANC party

Armenian National Congress held a meeting today and confirmed that Levon will be the leader. The second in command appears to be the 1990s controversial figure Vano Siradeghyan.

An analyst believes Levon's participation will help Kocharyan because he will capture some of Pashinyan's voters.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052691.html https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/214021

BHK undergoes a restructuring before elections

It's still lead by Gagik Tsarukyan with Mikael Melkumyan being the second. The highest-ranking female official (3rd place) will be Iveta Tonoyan instead of the controversial Naira Zohrabyan. The media circulated rumors that Zohrabyan might not be on the party list at all.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/214057 https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/214085

alliance between For the Republic and Christian-Democratic parties

Former LHK and currently Ind. MP Babajanyan's "For the Republic" party formed an alliance with Levon Shirinyan's Christian-Democratic party. They will run under the name "Shirinyan-Babajanyan Alliance of Democrats".

Shirinyan said their goal is to follow the spirit of the 2018 revolution and to implement what the government couldn't since 2018.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052698.html

famous singer Ruben Hakhverdyan joins pro-NATO party alliance

He will form an alliance with Tigran Khzmalyan who leads the "Armenian European Party". The two are environmental activists. Their main priorities are "security" and "decolonization". "Armenia must leave CSTO and join NATO," said Khzmalyan.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/214107

election ballots will have Braille dots for visually impaired voters

A group is working with Labor and Social Affairs Ministry to make polling stations more accessible for disabled voters.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052653.html

the cost of 1-minute public TV advertisement during election campaign

... has been set by the TV regulator. $86 for TV and $4 for radio.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052661.html

COVID stats

3771 tested. 212 infected. 323 healed. 13 deaths. 6507 active.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052626.html

hundreds of Chinese embassy workers took Chinese vaccine shots today

China recently donated 100K Sinovac shots.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/214099

Armenia entry rules

Foreigners are welcome. Must have a PCR test taken within 72 hours, or have a full vaccination that was completed 14 days earlier.

Kids under the age of 1 do not need a test.

Travelers from Russia show the documents via Путешествую без COVID-19 smartphone app.

If you have an account, use the ArmedeHealth app or a QR code printed on paper to present the docs.

Those without certificates will be tested upon arrival and undergo a mandatory quarantine before a negative result.

Documents must be either in Armenian, Russian, or English.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052692.html

Central Bank about economy recovering faster than expected:

The demand is still low and the economic activity hasn't recovered, but the macroeconomic developments indicate more positive trends in both economic activity and domestic demand than our earlier estimates.

These positive trends were more visible in industry and services branches. The faster than expected growth in internal consumption demand was mainly affected by monetary transfers from abroad and more positive developments in the economy's lending sector.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052624.html

Central Bank about the inflation:

The inflation was 1% in March, compared to 0.5% in March 2020. The 12-month inflation was 5.8% (բնականոն 6.6%).

The inflation significantly accelerated starting in late-2020. Mostly due to international markets and Dram losing value. This is temporary. The inflation will reduce beginning late-2021 and will reach the target 4%.

We view inflation as controllable and mostly anchored. However, the public opinion polls show a high level of uncertainty over inflation, which could have a negative effect. The CB will take steps to address the risks while minimizing damage to the internal consumption demand recovery.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052629.html

Central Bank about banks issuing loans more actively than expected:

Banks are issuing loans more actively than we anticipated. However, some of the lending rules became stricter and some applicants cannot get loans or will get them at higher interest rates.

Last year many individuals and businesses could not repay their loans due to financial difficulties but the banks adopted a very prudent and smart policy. In some cases, they reviewed the loans and extended deadlines or lowered the interest rates. This cooperation continues.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052634.html

Central Bank about good guy banks forgiving soldier family loans:

Without expecting compensation from the government, the banks forgave ֏2.5b in loans for families of soldiers who died or received wounds during the war.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052636.html

new website features Armenian nature reserves and forests

Nature Ministry: the newly launched website https://protectedareas.am/ will help tourists learn about Armenia's nature. Available in AM, EN, РУС.

It has maps that you can download on your smartphone. The scenery is filmed with drones for a 360-degree view.

Armenia has 3 state reserves (Khosrov, Shikahogh, Erebuni), 4 national parks, 27 [lesser strict] reserves, and 232 natural monuments.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052684.html

World Museum Day

... is also celebrated in Armenia. There will be exhibitions across Armenia. A charity fair will be organized in front of the Hovhannes Tumanyan museum; 30% of the proceeds will go to the soldiers' insurance fund. Photos of cultural and natural sites in Artsakh will be featured.

Photos & details: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052628.html

a bowl from 22th century B.C.

Qarashamb cup is a rare archaeological finding and is being kept in the History Museum of Armenia. A video was prepared about it.

It was found during excavations of Middle Bronze Age tombs in Kotayk's Qarashamb settlement. The cup depicts ancient symbolic ritual scenes.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052632.html https://www.facebook.com/HistoryMuseumofArmenia/videos/153449593342548

Tolma Festival on May 22

It'll be held near Zvartnots reserve-museum. The chefs will compete in three categories: best taste, best look, best improvisation.

The Tolma Festival is a tradition that began in 2011 after Ilham Aliyev's tantrum that Armenians steal Azeri culture.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052641.html

Family Corner

... is the name of a new resource center in Gyumri funded by the EU. Its goal is to promote equal rights, help women develop, help men with things such as parenting skills which often aren't considered "manly", etc.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052637.html

high school boys & girls will attend 12-day military camps for hands-on training

Earlier the government drafted a bill to launch an experimental program to send 11th-grade students to military camps so they can have hands-on training based on the materials they've studied during NZP classes in school.

It will be experimented in 4 schools this year. Education Ministry met with the school directors and the military camp administration to make arrangements.

Education Ministry: while reviewing NZP curriculum standards we also took into account the 2020 war. The goal is to improve the NZP quality by emphasizing the development of hands-on skills.

100 students from 4 schools will participate this year. We will make preparatory work with parents (their approval is needed) and students. Eventually, it will become mandatory for all 11th graders.

The military camp will be structured similarly to a real army battalion. It's for both boys and girls and will last 12 days. The goal is to have hands-on training for what they have studied in NZP between 8-11 grades.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1052616.html https://www.e-draft.am/projects/3005/about

Tags: #NZP #MilitaryCamp

in case you missed Monday report

https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/nepovm/may172021_1_syunik_gegharkunik_borders_2_more/

Новости за 17 мая 2021

by Impossible-Ad-

https://new.reddit.com/r/ArmDailyReports_RUS_/comments/nf1kdp/все_новости_за_17_мая_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/nfjncl/todays_news_may182021_1_us_russia_want/

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