2021 May 25
- 1 Daily news wrap-up
- 2 Kocharyan & ARF alliance give a press conference
- 3 prosecutors respond to ARF official's election fraud accusations
- 4 opposition LHK chief believes Pashinyan could win in the round despite <25% polling numbers
- 5 ruling party leader expects Armenia's allies to play role in resolving the border issue
- 6 opposition LHK party leader expects CSTO to act
- 7 MPs argue in Parliament over Russia's lack of support amid border encroachment
- 8 MOD Vagharshak met the chief Russian peacekeeper Muradov
- 9 Azeri army violates ceasefire on Gegharkunik border / soldier dies
- 10 LHK party advises the government to contact UN Security Council
- 11 Netherlands parliament adopts a resolution about Azeri encroachment
- 12 President Sarkissian spoke with the French ambassador about borders and POWs
- 13 new website features Armenian monuments in Artsakh's occupied territories
- 14 Kocharyan's bribery trial is delayed again
- 15 police reforms: new police units ready for July deployment
- 16 prison break: inmate is found and apprehended 20 kilometers away
- 17 SMD medical firm to open the second medical item production factory
- 18 Armenia and Iran sign a cooperation memorandum / investments, flights /
- 19 What's in the latest Armenia-Iran memorandum? / North-South highway / Meghri-Artashat road / new flight routes / construction
- 20 stats: economy continues to recover / construction, trade and exports roar
- 21 new infrastructure projects across Armenia / Georgia bridge / solar / renovations / weather
- 22 Armenian railway company will import 27 new passenger wagons as part of the investment plan
- 23 nuclear plant's suspension during ongoing 141-day repairs won't raise electricity prices
- 24 Yerevan to import 211 new low-floor buses this year
- 25 update: Yerevan is replacing apartment complex elevators
- 26 video: One Day With a Wheelchair
- 27 utility discount for families of war casualties
- 28 cleanup in Yerevan Lake and Hrazdan River
- 29 Nor Norq district library is renamed after writer Hamo Sahyan
- 30 All Armenia Fund provides details about charity projects in Artsakh
- 31 advertisers will be penalized for misleading consumers
- 32 Harut Pambukchyan is alive
- 33 TEDx conference was held in Yerevan
- 34 COVID stats
- 35 healthcare system continues to see reducing numbers
- 36 FTX Crypto Cup online chess tournament
- 37 in case you missed Monday news
- 38 end of report
- 39 Support David's Daily Armenia News Summaries!
Daily news wrap-up
News - May/25/2021: (1) Border argument leads to shooting (2) Pro & Anti CSTO (3) Kocharyan & ARF press conference (4) Polls, scenarios (5) Prison break (6) New Syunik roads, infrastructure upgrades (7) Iran-Armenia memorandum (8) Yerevan: new buses, Hrazdan cleanup, elevators (9) Economy roars (10)
Your 11-minute Tuesday report in 2932 words.
Kocharyan & ARF alliance give a press conference
Kocharyan about his disagreements with Serj: This topic is long gone. It's not worth discussing it today. We are running under different alliances. Do you know two people who don't have any disagreements with each other? Everyone competes against each other during elections.
ARF's Ishkhan Saghatelyan: we drafted a 5-year development plan. We will try to present the plans and specific numbers during this short election campaign.
Kocharyan: the statements made by Azerbaijan nowadays should be viewed under the context of Armenian elections. We should not allow Azerbaijan to dictate the course of internal debate in Armenia.
When it comes to resolving the conflict, Russia is important but not everything depends on it, this is a complex issue, said Kocharyan.
Kocharyan about border delimitation: in general, you should not be afraid of border delimitation. It is just problematic at this moment.
An AM-AZ border delimitation will have an impact on the restoration of Karabakh negotiations.
Kocharyan about resolving Syunik intrusion: the current situation must be resolved through negotiations first. But if it's resolved with the help of Russia now, tomorrow a similar issue can arise elsewhere. Armenia must show that you cannot speak that language.
Yesterday the first president Levon criticized Kocharyan and others for being not-one-inch-ers and for refusing to compromise on Artsakh under beneficial terms that were present earlier.
Kocharyan responds: during my administration we had reservations about the agreements that were offered to us but we were ready to discuss. Armenia did not reject any offer that was accepted by Azerbaijan.
When reminded about public polls showing Pashinyan's party still ahead of Kocharyan's alliance, Kocharyan cast doubt on the accuracy of polls, saying some voters in the public sector are afraid of saying they are against Pashinyan. "In any case, they won't have enough votes to form a government with the 25-30% polling numbers"
Ruling party MP criticized Kocharyan for "keeping the location of his press conference secret from journalists "in order to invite handpicked media outlets to avoid difficult questions such as how he accumulated his wealth, questions about Paplavok murder, political assassinations during his administration, how he came to power, etc."
The MP accused Kocharyan of having a "chronic fear" of losing elections and "already accusing authorities of voter fraud" ahead of his "crushing defeat in elections."
prosecutors respond to ARF official's election fraud accusations
Representatives of the former regime claimed that mayors and businesses were being pressured by the authorities over the upcoming elections. ARF's Gegham Manukyan claimed he had specific "facts".
Prosecutors invited Manukyan to provide the facts as part of an investigation regarding the claims. However, Manukyan refused to share facts, say prosecutors. Instead, Manukyan claimed his "facts" were around various types of election campaign violations in general.
Manukyan said that whenever they catch campaign violations they contact the Electoral Commission instead of the authorities and that the Electoral Commission itself will decide whether it warrants contacting authorities.
The police complained that Manukyan "wasting their time".
opposition LHK chief believes Pashinyan could win in the round despite <25% polling numbers
Question: polls show no single party will win 50%+1 therefore coalition formation will be important. Are there any parties with whom you would form a coalition?
Marukyan: for the millionth time, LHK will not help the former or current governments. But regarding those polls. If the turnout is low and a significant portion of those who decide to vote end up voting for one party, that party can gain 50+1.
Additionally, there is an electoral "dust". The dust are smaller parties that win <5%. In the previous elections, 16% of our votes had turned into dust and were distributed mainly to the ruling party. Therefore, it's entirely possible that the elections can end in the first round. Every poll suggests a low turnout.
Our goal is to achieve internal stability to prevent more encroachments. It's important for everyone to vote. The switch from Rating to Closed Proportional voting system will further reduce participation. [it eliminates individual candidates' role during the election process, making it about party vs party or ideology vs ideology].
ruling party leader expects Armenia's allies to play role in resolving the border issue
Lilith Makunts: I believe we will receive a response from CSTO and Russia in regards to Azeri intrusion into Armenia. The MFA has been meeting with colleagues from various states to raise the issue on every possible platform.
opposition LHK party leader expects CSTO to act
Edmon Marukyan: so far the CSTO's response is not satisfactory. We expect unequivocal statements and actions. We expect Azeri troops to withdraw peacefully without a new escalation.
Question: do you think there is not much response from CSTO because Armenia applied per Article 4 and not Article 2?
Edmon Marukyan: I don't think so. Armenia contacted both CSTO and Russia. The difference between Articles 4 and 2 is the level of escalation. If it escalates, it can move from 4 to 2.
[Correction: Article 2 and 4 should be reversed.]
MPs argue in Parliament over Russia's lack of support amid border encroachment
Tsarukyan's BHK party administration visited Russia to meet the Russian ruling party last week. Today a BHK MP Abovyan criticized "anti-Russian propaganda" in Armenia and reminded about the importance of the military partnership. A more pro-western Ind. MP Babajanyan responded.
Babajanyan: Russians will highly value your comments. I have never had any contact with Americans, and I couldn't even match you at your ability to secure high-level meetings [in Russia]. This isn't about Americans and Russians, though.
Azeris intruded into CSTO-member Armenia. Armenia contacted CSTO. In return, we receive a response [from Russian MFA] that Azerbaijan is being invited to join CSTO.
Moreover, we did not ask Russia to launch a demarcation process [Russia drafted the demarcation document "leaked" by Mishik]. We only asked about helping to remove Azeris from Armenia. Russia, in return, pushed for demarcation. Russia wants to bury the Artsakh issue and make us focus on Syunik. You [BHK] and your sponsors [presumably Russia] will not succeed.
Why haven't we officially thanked France, United States, India, Iran, Canada who unequivocally expressed their support for Armenia?
Public Council chief Styopa Safaryan: the discussions about Azerbaijan joining CSTO and EAEU blocs began in 2015. Lavrov's Plan meant to give [5+2] Artsakh regions to Azerbaijan, unblock regional communications, followed by Azerbaijan securing membership in EAEU and CSTO.
But the 2016 war happened and Azerbaijan suspended membership discussions. Now that Lavrov's Plan became a reality through war, Russia is hinting to Azerbaijan that it's Azerbaijan's turn.
I don't think Azerbaijan will agree to join CSTO, however. It would damage its ties with Turkey and a few western states. Azerbaijan might hope for Armenia to be the one to block Azerbaijan from joining CSTO.
MOD Vagharshak met the chief Russian peacekeeper Muradov
Muradov discussed steps they are taking to preserve ceasefire in Artsakh. They also discussed the Syunik and Gegharkunik borders.
Azeri army violates ceasefire on Gegharkunik border / soldier dies
MOD: at 4:20 pm a group of Azeri soldiers and their commander entered the Verin Shorja section (Gegharkunik). They began threatening the Armenian soldiers who were guarding the area. The argument escalated and Azeris opened fire at the direction of Armenian soldiers. One Armenian contractor died.
The circulated reports about casualties in Syunik's Sisian section have not been confirmed.
Foreign Ministry: we are ready to launch an international investigation over the deadly ceasefire violation. We strongly condemn the armed encroachment of Azerbaijan on the sovereign territory of Armenia. It's a violation of international law.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053358.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053361.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053374.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053387.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1053393.html
LHK party advises the government to contact UN Security Council
LHK said that Azerbaijan's encroachment is a violation of UN Article 2's "jus cogens", and that UN articles allow Armenia to ask the UN Security Council to investigate any dispute that could escalate into an international tension.
Netherlands parliament adopts a resolution about Azeri encroachment
The resolution urges the EU to demand Azerbaijan to withdraw its troops from Armenia.
President Sarkissian spoke with the French ambassador about borders and POWs
new website features Armenian monuments in Artsakh's occupied territories
A group of independent historians, archaeologists, and cultural figures cooperated to create www.monumentwatch.org
It's a platform for scientific articles, maps, and photos to help visitors learn about the history of Armenian monuments in Artsakh.
There are over 4,000 monuments in Artsakh, of which 1,700 are endangered today. The goal is to present all the endangered monuments but it's a lengthy task, say the authors, who are currently working on 140 of them.
Kocharyan's bribery trial is delayed again
Kocharyan and his aide Armen Gevorgyan are accused of receiving millions of dollars in bribes; a mining businesswoman came forward in 2018.
Their lawyers did not attend the trial today, claiming vacation. The prosecutors complained that they were informed about it just now. The trial is delayed to June 15.
police reforms: new police units ready for July deployment
Last year the government approved police reforms to create a new police service with better-equipped vehicles, uniforms, much higher salaries, and skilled officers who underwent police academy training.
Today the Justice Ministry met the police officials to discuss the July deployment. The reforms are part of a wider plan to establish Internal Affairs Ministry and move the police under Parliamentary (civilian) oversight.
prison break: inmate is found and apprehended 20 kilometers away
An "Armavir" penitentiary inmate was receiving medical care in Vagharshapat hospital when he decided to escape at night. The justice departments mobilized forces for a manhunt. The inmate was discovered in downtown Yerevan two hours later.
SMD medical firm to open the second medical item production factory
$40m investments. 400 new jobs. They produce 50 types of medical and lab items. Syringes, blood capsules, etc.
Armenia and Iran sign a cooperation memorandum / investments, flights /
Monday news has context. Economy Minister Qerobyan signed a contract with Iranian infrastructure official about increasing investments, Iran's participation in the creation of an industrial town, improvement in logistics.
They spoke about increasing direct Armenia-Iran flights to boost tourism.
Expert groups will be formed to discuss the aforementioned.
What's in the latest Armenia-Iran memorandum? / North-South highway / Meghri-Artashat road / new flight routes / construction
Iranian Minister Mohammad Eslami said after the meeting: Iran is serious about increasing cooperation with Armenia. We had a $400m trade volume in the 2020 pandemic year. We're already witnessing growth in the past few months. We want it to be $1b. It's realistic. Iran is Armenia's 4th largest trade partner.
A cooperation in few areas could increase this volume. Iran's participation in construction, joint productions, joint investments can help.
Our Armenian colleagues have two top-priorities in the construction field: the Artashat-Meghri section of the North-South highway (multiple phases), and the Sisian-Qajaran-Meghri road section (92km).
Iranian companies are ready to help. We should form a consortium of leading Iranian companies. They can finance and design the projects.
One of the key areas is the connection of the Persian Gulf to the Black Sea through Armenia. We have an agreement with the Armenian government here. We had constructive discussions. Armenian and Iranian trucks can travel deep into each others' territories while paying fewer taxes. It's to encourage cargo companies.
We agreed with Armenian colleagues to launch Yerevan-Isfahan and Yerevan-Kish direct passenger flights.
Tags: #IranTradeRoute #ArmeniaIran #NorthSouth #SyunikRoad #BlackSea #PersianGulf
stats: economy continues to recover / construction, trade and exports roar
The economic activity index +2.6% in January-April, compared to last year's period.
Industrial production +0.9%
Foreign trade +7.2%
Electricity production +3.1%
Consumer price index +5.4%
if we compare April 2021 vs April 2020
Economic activity +23%
new infrastructure projects across Armenia / Georgia bridge / solar / renovations / weather
Shoghakat settlement will have five new solar panel farms this year, totaling 19MW. Each megawatt requires ֏400m in investment. Hundreds of temporary and permanent jobs.
The mayor says they hope to see a new 50MW station as soon as the utility regulator approves it.
Shoghakat settlement has a new anti-hail missile system to control the weather to protect agriculture.
Akhpradzor school is being renovated with the help of the Armenian Educational Institution of America. It'll also have a new heating system to replace the wood-burning վառարան's.
The construction of a new Armenia-Georgia border bridge on the Debed River has begun. It's a joint project.
Armenian railway company will import 27 new passenger wagons as part of the investment plan
Infrastructure Minister Papikyan: we negotiated with South Caucasus railways. The investments they were supposed to make in 15 years will be mostly done between 2021-2024.
nuclear plant's suspension during ongoing 141-day repairs won't raise electricity prices
... announced the utility regulator. "Its suspension is already addressed in the current tariff." To keep the costs low, Armenia is importing some of its electricity from neighboring Georgia. It's apparently cheaper to import than to use certain types of local sources of electricity. "The import isn't due to our inability to produce electricity, it's just cheaper for now."
As for water fees, there could be some price reduction next year because of better than expected developments this year.
Yerevan to import 211 new low-floor buses this year
Mayor Marutyan: I finished signing two contracts today. We will have 211 new 8.6-meter-long buses with low-floor and modern standards. The buses run on CNG fuel (compressed natural gas) which is considered a "green" fuel.
Initially, we planned to buy 161 but I signed a contract for another 50.
update: Yerevan is replacing apartment complex elevators
The capital has 3,500 Soviet-era dangerous elevators that are yet to be replaced.
Mayor Marutyan: we replaced 520 elevators in the past 2.5 years (a few dozen more soon). Compare that to just 35 elevators that were replaced in the previous 28 years. We have spent ֏5.2b.
video: One Day With a Wheelchair
An NGO organized a wheelchair flashmob to promote the integration of disabled residents into society. Non-disabled people were given wheelchairs to travel around the capital.
utility discount for families of war casualties
Yerevan municipality decided not to collect garbage fees from disabled soldiers and families this year.
cleanup in Yerevan Lake and Hrazdan River
The municipality approved 2022 plans. The lake and the river are an important factor in local microclimate, recreation, and irrigation, said municipal officials. Cleanup will be conducted as part of the "Green Yerevan" environmental initiative.
Next year the capital will collect ֏60m in environmental impact fees from local businesses. They will double that fund to clean up the waters.
Trash-catching tools and nets will be used in Hrazdan River. They expect to collect 12,540 tons of waste.
Nor Norq district library is renamed after writer Hamo Sahyan
All Armenia Fund provides details about charity projects in Artsakh
This phase involved $70m in funds. They will build 54.5km roads, 1,008 apartments, and 85 houses.
Himnadram finished the first phase of the cooperation with the Oghak NGO. It's for providing mental health services after the war. 25 experts were trained to travel around and provide mental health services during emergencies.
A cooperation with Smart Armenia NGO will allow for retraining of war participants to help them gain skills and enter the job market.
advertisers will be penalized for misleading consumers
The Economic Competition Protection Commission held a session today to discuss legal reforms aimed at consumer protection and anti-competitive behavior.
Official: we've witnessed numerous instances of false advertising that misleads the consumers. We passed legal reforms that will go into effect on May 31. The goal is to prevent rather than punish. We launched a public awareness campaign. The law is titled "Տնտեսական մրցակցության պաշտպանության մասին օրենք". //
For example, under some circumstances, advertisers cannot make a general statement that their product is "the best in the market", unless they are making detailed comparisons in features.
Or, they cannot make a baseless claim "I'm the leader in the field", or "the best terms you can find on the market" unless it's factually true.
Tags: #MisleadingAds #ConsumerProtection #ads
Harut Pambukchyan is alive
Fake news was circulated claiming singer Dzakh Harut died. 'Shame on the spreaders', said his producer.
TEDx conference was held in Yerevan
TED-x is the "international" version of the famous TED conference that allows foreign organizations to organize local conferences under the same format. Armenian banks organized one titled "transformation of the future".
3205 tested. 157 infected. 259 healed. 6 deaths. 5028 active.
healthcare system continues to see reducing numbers
13 COVID hospitals. 800 patients in hospitals. 400 are serious, 100 critical, 48 on lung ventilator.
FTX Crypto Cup online chess tournament
Levon Aronian is currently holding the 12th position after defeating world champion Magnus Carlsen in a recent match.
This tournament, as the previous one titled Champions Chess Tour, is also organized by Carlsen. It's between the 16 strongest players.
in case you missed Monday news
In Russian (by Impossible-Ad-) www.reddit.com/r/ArmDailyReports_RUS_/comments/nki57r/все_новости_за_24_мая_2021/
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/nkxe75/news_may252021_1_border_argument_leads_to/
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