2021 September 13

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Daily news wrap-up

Sep/13/2021. Armenia News Recap. Main Events from Saturday to Monday
by ar_david_hh


Your 11-minute Monday recap in 2879 words.

the House of Cilicia donates $4 million to help build housing in a Beirut suburb affected by the port explosion

Catholicos Aram A. met Martik Poghosyan, the mayor of Burj Hammoud, located east of the area where the 2020 explosion took place.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062912.html

Armenians who died in 9/11 attacks

Garo Voskerijian, an engineer at Marsh McLennan.

Alysia Christine Burton Basmajian, an accountant at Fitzgerald (104th floor).

Aram Iskenderian, Jr., the vice president of Fitzgerald's Global Risk Management.

Peter Edward Mardikian, an Imagine Software Inc. employee who was there to present a new software at a meeting at WTC's roof restaurant called "Window on the World".

Update: firefighter Carl Bedigian.

https://youtu.be/Rvh-BaPPjQQ?t=33 https://archewell.com/

Parliament president Simonyan about 9/11 attacks:

We can retrospectively state that the ideological goal of the organizers was not accomplished. Sadly, we are still witnessing many terrorist attacks and irreversible human losses after 9/11.

Armenia has joined the global agenda to fight terrorism and make the world safer. The prevention of universal evil is a priority. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062874.html

COVID stats

6,659 tested. 296 infected. 577 healed. 16 deaths. 10,040 active.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062940.html

335,000 vaccinations so far

215k first and 120k second dose.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062936.html

every 10th vaccinated resident will receive a free ticket to a cultural event

The Ministry will soon launch the program to help boost the rates. Tickets are for theaters, Matenadaran, National Gallery, etc. Valid under December 31.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/220619

Healthcare Minister about vaccines and upcoming PCR test requirements for workers:

Public officials will also be required to submit a PCR test twice a month if they are not vaccinated. Their access to office will be denied if they fail to do so, and the absence will be treated as unexcused.

Although the law allows us to make vaccines mandatory, we chose not to.

We are applying various layers to restrain the spread of the virus. Masks, sanitation, testing, vaccination, and social distancing. //

The PCR requirement begins on October 1st.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062877.html

Healthcare Minister answered social media users' questions about vaccine safety:

The vaccines used in Armenia are safe and went through all stages of pre-clinical and clinical trials. A regular medication you take today has gone through similar trials. Not trusting the vaccine is the same as giving up on every medication you take.

Vaccines, in general, have been used by humanity for two centuries and have helped defeat dozens of diseases, allowing for the population to grow.

You should still get vaccinated even if it's not 100% effective at preventing COVID. Nothing is 100%. Not taking the vaccine raises the risks of hospitalization and bad outcome.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062878.html

health inspectors continue to check public transport to prevent overcrowding and enforce mask mandates

They stopped vehicles in several districts of Yerevan and wrote dozens of tickets.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062899.html

EU issued ֏185M in grants to dozens of small startups in provinces

The goal is to promote social entrepreneurship and help develop the economy after the pandemic.

https://factor.am/415678.html

Azerbaijan began stopping Iranian trucks to charge "taxes" on its side of Syunik road

Around 2km of the Goris-Kapan road travels through Azerbaijan's Eyvazli, located east of Syunik's Vorotan village. Azerbaijan had earlier complained about the content of Iranian trucks traveling to Artsakh (mainly about oil trucks).

Azeri border customs agency said they decided to stop vehicles with Iranian license plates to charge a tax. The trucks are paying ~$130, or $500 if it's transporting fuel. NSS launched negotiations to resume the unobstructed flow. An Iranian analyst said the Iranian side is concerned about the road checkpoint and its impact on Iranian cargo flow.

The Armenian government recently announced that an alternative road is being built within Armenia to bypass this section of the road.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062924.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062955.html https://factor.am/416112.html https://factor.am/416132.html https://factor.am/416349.html

Belarus and Russia agree to sign $1 billion arms contract during large military exercises

Dozens of jets, TOR, S-400, and other weapons will be delivered by 2025, according to Belarus.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062918.html

Russia displayed its Platform-M combat robots and drones during the Zapad-2021 military drills

The bots are designed for urban warfare against stationary and moving objects. They can also be used in minefields.

Drones were used to conduct surveillance and to aid artillery and tank battalions. Orlan and Forpost drones were used.

Some 200,000 Russian and Belorussian soldiers participated in the drills.

https://factor.am/415668.html

Armenian soldiers join the Zapad-2021 military drills in Russia

The main stage of the exercises has begun, joined by Armenia, India, Kazakhstan, and others. The teams are using their experience in the wars in Syria and Artsakh.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063025.html

Turkish MFA about the Artsakh conflict:

Force is used only when diplomacy fails. Armenia should not invade its neighbors' lands. OSCE was unable to resolve the conflict for 30 years. But Azerbaijan returned its territories, and now there is an opportunity for diplomacy. It's necessary to turn the positive messages between Armenia and Turkey from words to action. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062962.html

Syunik villager's car gets stuck on the Azeri side of the border

Last week a Tegh villager traveled to Artsakh in his car. On his way back, he accidentally crossed into the Azeri-controlled territory, where the fuel ran, leaving the car stranded on the other side of the border. He walked to the nearby gas station in Artsakh but couldn't find the car upon return. He asked the peacekeepers to return the vehicle.

https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/295453/

Armenian army conducted audits to check the quality of border guarding service and soldiers' living conditions

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062989.html

major army leadership changes

Artsakh Defense Army will have a new commander. Lt.Gen. Mikael Arzumanyan is relieved of his duties. He was appointed on October 27 after Jalal Harutyunyan's wounding during the war.

The new army commander is Maj.Gen. Kamo Vardanyan, a participant of the 1992, 2016, and 2020 Artsakh wars. He commanded the mountain rifle divisions before becoming a deputy army chief in 2012.

Kamo Kochunts is appointed as deputy chief of the general staff of Armenia.

Poghos Poghosyan will no longer lead the Armenian army's armament department.

Sahak Ohanyan will no longer lead the Armenian army's medical department.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/220672 https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062910.html https://factor.am/416138.html https://factor.am/416146.html

Armenian ambassador to U.S. discussed the POW and Artsakh negotiation resumption with Congresswoman Jackie Speier

https://factor.am/415555.html

remarks by U.S. ambassador Lynne Tracy and Azeri MFA about Artsakh status

U.S. ambassador Tracy: We are doing everything possible to resume OSCE negotiations. The issue of Karabakh status has not been resolved yet. 30 years of conflict cannot be resolved overnight. //

Baku responded to Tracy: the conflict is over. Azerbaijan has restored its territorial integrity. The [Nagorno Karabakh] is part of Azerbaijan and there can be no word about giving it a "status". The Nov 9 declaration has made it possible to normalize relations on the basis of international law. The US ambassador should not create false expectations for Armenia. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062908.html https://factor.am/415923.html

MFA Mirzoyan met Netherlands ambassador Nicholas Hagop Schmermers

Mirzoyan welcomed the recent decision to establish a Duch resident embassy in Yerevan to deepen the cooperation. He said Armenia is willing to cooperate in the fields of high-tech, agriculture, and innovation.

They spoke about the ongoing institutional reforms and strengthening the rule of law.

Mirzoyan thanked the Netherlands for adopting resolutions that condemn Turkey and Azerbaijan.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062903.html

Kocharyan's nominee fails to gather enough votes to become deputy Defense Committee chief for the third time

HD Arthur Ghazinyan had gone through Q&A and was rejected. He was re-nominated and rejected again. The ruling party joked that Kocharyan will nominate him the third time... he did. The third rejection was delivered today.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062977.html

Armenian athletes win 13 medals in "CIS Olympics"

The games are over. The 55-strong team is returning from Kazan, Russia with 5 silver and 8 bronze medals.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062974.html

you don't need ocean for beach volleyball

Yerevan held the Eastern European Men's Beach Volleyball tournament. Russia won.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062976.html

PICTURE: Central Bank issued a commemorative coin dedicated to the 30th anniversary of Armenia's independence

It's a ֏5,000 ($10) coin made of silver. Only 300 units.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062932.html

6-year-old girl survives a fall from 7th floor

The child was taken to a Yerevan hospital in a serious condition with broken bones and head injury. She is conscious, with a positive outlook.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063010.html

update: Armenian prosecutors petition Serbian authorities to extradite Macedonian diplomat

Last week we learned that at the request of Armenian authorities, Serbia arrested a Macedonian diplomat Mile Milenkovski, for allegedly helping Serj Sargsyan's fugitive brother to escape Armenia in a private jet in 2018. Serj's brother is accused of large-scale embezzlement during the construction of Armenia's North-South highway project. More on that in July 27 post.

Several other Macedonian, Ukrainian, and Bulgarian nationals, as well as a senior border inspector working at Yerevan's Zvartnots airport, are named as accomplices.

The felony investigation was launched around a year ago.

https://factor.am/415591.html https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/osu5yd/news_jul272021_serjera_northsouth_highway/

Tags: #50/50

87 people are going through June 20 election fraud trial

Prosecutors report: 86% is for giving bribes, mediating bribery, attempting bribery, and receiving bribes. 14% is for violating voting secrecy, damaging campaign placards, forcing voters to attend rallies, etc.

8 of the 87 suspects are MP candidates listed under PU alliance, HD alliances, BHK party, and Verelk party. All 8 were arrested, but some were later released before their trial.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062975.html

Electoral Commission chief blasted for "allowing election fraud between 1996-2017"; thousands of emigrated ex-citizens to be removed from voter lists

The 2012-current Commission chief Tigran Mukuchyan was invited to Parliament for grilling.

MPs representing the former regime insist the elections were free during Kocharyan and Serj, while some ruling party MPs insist they were rigged during Levon's last term and all of them during Kocharyan and Serj.

PU MP Hayk Mamijanyan asked the Commission chief to comment. The latter said he isn't aware of any significant fraud during his tenure.

Opposition and ruling MPs: there are dozens of thousands of citizens who haven't been in Armenia for decades and aren't Armenian citizens anymore. Why aren't they being removed from lists?

Opposition MP: residents with expired passports won't be included in voters lists in future elections. The problem isn't about "cleaning" the voter lists, it's about the methodology that's being used to generate these lists. The methodology was formed based on Constitutional requirements.

The law, however, also gives many oversight tools: publishing lists for each polling precinct, the ability to search in the official website, publishing signed lists after the elections.

Ruling MP: we are all concerned about these issues with voter lists. We should address it once and for all.

Chief Mukuchyan: there will be a partial solution during the upcoming elections. It is defined that the data of citizens with invalid passports will not be in those lists. Citizens who permanently left Armenia [but did not take steps to remove their names from permanent residency databases] are no longer updating their Armenian passports because they aren't citizens anymore, so they will be removed from voter lists.

HD MP Nazaryan: the fingerprint devices in polling stations are not connected and do not pass information to each other, so are they useful at catching those who vote multiple times?

Chief Mukuchyan: there is no network between different stations. It's part of efforts to reduce hacking risks and to avoid major disruption if something goes wrong in one polling station. That's why fingerprint devices are not part of a global network.

However, the information captured by these devices is passed around to the Commission and parties' trusted representatives in polling stations. They can be used to compare with other lists to find out if someone voted multiple times.

QP MP Simonyan: every election between 1996-2018, with the exception of Vazgen/Demirchyan's "Unity Alliance" victory in 1999, was falsified. Kocharyan's lawyer [who recently became an HD MP and called the 2021 elections "falsified"] should take a hard look at previous cases. The right strategy for the opposition would be to talk less about this topic. //

[Flashback 1999 Parliamentary elections: Vazgen/Demirchyan won 41% with 62 out of 131 seats, essentially replacing Levon's HHsH party. ARF won 7 seats.]

QP MP Tunyan: a new 'election.am" website appeared on the election day, designed to mimic the official 'electionS.am' website. It began spreading misinformation that was reprinted by the press. Have you investigated who was behind it?

Chief Mukuchyan: we immediately informed the public what the official website is. We were prepared for a massive increase in traffic. We saw an unprecedented number of visits that night.

HD MP Taguhi Tovmasyan: We need legal requirements to clean up the walls from electoral placards within a week of election day. They still litter the country.

More: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062953.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062958.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062983.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1999_Armenian_parliamentary_election https://youtu.be/oJ12_sTQXPg https://youtu.be/9j8c2iLLRYA https://factor.am/415972.html https://youtu.be/NsxYKHCd7Cw https://youtu.be/gBCeY2AhCy8 https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062973.html

10 political parties will compete in Gyumri municipal elections

Yesterday was the deadline to register candidates to compete for mayor's and city council's seats.

Besides the usual suspects QP and HHK, there were also iNTeResTinG sounding parties, such as Թասիբով alliance, Գյումրին կռնա՜ alliance, Հայրաքաղաք alliance, and the one and only Communist Party.

Notably missing was the Weightlifters' Alliance, which would have guaranteed majority seats.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062925.html

municipal elections will be held in Syunik and Lori on October 17

Syunik's Goris, Tatev, Tegh, and Meghri. Several parties and alliances have submitted their candidates.

Lori's Tumanyan, Spitak, Stepanavan, and Vanadzor.

https://factor.am/415841.html https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/220756

Chamber of Advocates elected a new leader

The Chamber of Advocates is a "law-based independent, self-governing, non-profit organization". President Ara Zohrabyan's 4-year term will expire next month. Recently he led the Zartonk party in June 20 elections but didn't capture mandates.

Today, thousands of lawyers cast a secret ballot. Simon Babayan was elected as the new president.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062920.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062933.html

Pashinyan held a meeting with representatives of non-Parliamentary parties

Aram Sargsyan, Samvel Babayan, and others were present. It's part of a post-election reconciliation effort to involve smaller parties and give them an opportunity to present their ideas.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062904.html

large-scale private and public investments in Artsakh's Martakert

President Arayik visited the site: in addition to raising public salaries and pensions beginning January 1, we're discussing the possibility to give teachers a raise bigger than what was proposed.

Martakert will have new apartment buildings. The population increase in this area is an important part of our agenda.

The roads connecting villages to main highways will be ready next year.

Within 3 years, we will finish revamping Martakert city's inner roads.

We'll focus on developing horticulture. In particular, the establishment of vineyards and pomegranate orchards will help develop Artakh's processing industry.

A large dairy factory will be built here, which will stimulate the development of animal farms and fodder. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062921.html

multi-million dollar mining investment in Artsakh will create 400 jobs

It's the biggest private investment in the republic since the war, said president Arayik Harutyunyan. It's scheduled to operate in three months.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062921.html

$35 million investment to improve the delivery of electricity in Armenia's provinces

... was signed between the Electric Networks of Armenia and the Asian Development Bank.

The previous $80m loan was issued in 2016 and was meant for Yerevan. The second loan will revamp old equipment, power lines, and expand coverage in provinces.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062954.html

Pashinyan met the EU representative Toivo Klaaar and discussed the upcoming €2.6 billion aid

Armenia is in the process of finalizing the draft document that will set the priorities on how the aid will be used, after recently holding several meetings with EU representatives.

Toivo Klaar reaffirmed the EU's political commitment to continue to help Armenia in the priority directions. [infrastructure, roads, and tunnels in Syunik; entrepreneurship and business development aid; etc.]

The two also discussed the unblocking of regional trade routes between AM-AZ.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062995.html

Armenian students are developing entrepreneurial skills in Spain

Educational and youth programs between AM-EU have resumed after a lengthy pandemic pause. Twelve Armenia students were sent to Granada as part of the "Now is Time" exchange program.

For two weeks, students will study the peculiarities of social entrepreneurship, present their experience, discuss legal reforms.

Every evening, Armenian students teach their counterparts how to play Armenian popular games such as Հավալա, Աղջիկ փախցնոցի, and similar things that will undoubtedly get them in legal trouble one day.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062907.html

several Yerevan construction companies are slapped with fines for allowing sand and dust to "escape" and spread around the city

Nature Ministry's inspectors issued $300 fines to 9 companies last month for damaging the air quality by not covering construction materials and unfinished buildings.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1062986.html

VIDEO: every district of Yerevan will have a playground for dogs

This year they will build one in Malatia district's "Siro & Havati" Park, and Center's "Circular Park".

City: The goal of this project is for dog owners to have a dedicated area so they won't bother others and others won't bother them. You may be aware that dogs are prohibited in many green areas near playgrounds. Dog owners have long complained.

The first phase is financed by Russian-Armenian businessman Sos Martirosyan. The playgrounds will have training equipment, too. The city will cooperate with dog experts to realize this first-ever project.

The parks will have new lighting, irrigation, garbage bins, special signs, benches, etc. The big dogs will have a separate area from տուզիկներ․ //

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=229150269100480 https://factor.am/415944.html

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/pnnkqu/sep132021_armenia_news_recap_main_events_from/

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