2021 September 16
- 1 Daily news wrap-up
- 2 Armenia plans to lay an internet cable through the Black Sea and Georgia
- 3 High-Tech Minister Khachaturyan about domestic drone production:
- 4 Armenian army holds a large-scale training event with special operations units
- 5 Azerbaijan will need 13 years to clear the occupied Artsakh areas from landmines
- 6 Azeri MFA throws a tantrum after a French MP visits Artsakh "without permission"
- 7 PHOTOS: Armenian Genocide Museum holds an exhibition to display certificates of property ownership belonging to Armenians who were illegally deported and killed
- 8 COVID stats
- 9 98% of COVID patients in hospitals are either unvaccinated or did not get both doses
- 10 Armenian scientists create an antidote for "gyurza" snake poison
- 11 ads for gambling games and bookmakers will be banned
- 12 anti-corruption: NSS uncovers large-scale fraud and abuse of power in 2015; mayor implicated
- 13 Armenia signs an agreement with INTERPOL
- 14 update: SIS chief becomes the president of the new Anti-Corruption Committee
- 15 spying scandal in Georgia
- 16 Aurora humanitarian initiative will begin to donate half of its annual prize fund to regions with emergency needs
- 17 VIDEO: Armenia Expo 2021: industrial exhibition
- 18 group of Geghamasar village residents protested the upcoming merger into a larger municipality
- 19 Armenia and Portugal sign a memorandum to boost investments
- 20 dairy firm received a tax waiver to make investments
- 21 fewer non-working holidays to boost the economy
- 22 budget is receiving additional billions from the recent tax hike on copper miners
- 23 $1 billion will be spent on new roads in Syunik
- 24 multiple new Syunik roads will be built by Spring 2022
- 25 Azerbaijan will likely release the two detained Iranian drivers by Sunday
- 26 Pashinyan visits Tajikistan for CSTO meeting
- 27 Armenia assumes CSTO presidency
- 28 Pashinyan speech after assuming presidency:
- 29 CSTO members adopted a declaration
- 30 Government approves a bill to restrict imprisonment of wild animals
- 31 VIDEO: Yerevan municipality and Coca-Cola sign a deal to promote recycling culture in schools
- 32 higher rewards for Olympics medal winners and staff
- 33 PHOTOS: Gyumri airport reopens after major renovations
- 34 end of report
- 35 Support David's Daily Armenia News Summaries!
Daily news wrap-up
Sep/16/2021: Armenia to lay new internet cable through Black Sea; cybersecurity __ Army exercises; drones __ Pashinyan at CSTO __ $1B on new Syunik roads __ $ Mining tax $ __ 13 years to clear landmines __ Ottoman documents __ Gyurza antidote __ Gambling ads poof __ Bill to restrict private zoos
Your 11-minute Thursday recap in 2883 words.
Armenia plans to lay an internet cable through the Black Sea and Georgia
High-Tech Minister Khachaturyan: it's for information security. The cable that travels from Bulgaria to Georgia is partly serviced by an Azeri company. [The Georgian "Caucasus Online" was reportedly sold to Azeri "Nexol Holding".]
We faced certain issues during the war. We have studied and found that it's possible to install a new cable. I won't rule out that an Armenian company will operate it. We're ready to cooperate with Georgians.
The government will not shy away from investing resources from the budget for the sake of information security, but I won't rule out that it could be financed by the EU's €2.6B aid.
By the way, the €2.6B is not entirely a "grant". It's a part grant, part loan, part etc. We will discuss it with the EU. //
High-Tech Minister Khachaturyan about domestic drone production:
The drones that are currently manufactured in Armenia do not meet the requirements, but the field is prospective and people are activating now.
The MOD said they are willing to place orders. That means the manufacturers can begin to think about serial production. The MOD and High-Tech Ministry held two meetings with drone manufacturers.
We have 10 manufacturers. Some of them have already produced and tested products. It's better to test them during actual military exercises, however. //
Armenian army holds a large-scale training event with special operations units
Finding enemy positions, capturing facilities and documents, etc.
Azerbaijan will need 13 years to clear the occupied Artsakh areas from landmines
... announced an Azeri demining agency. Aliyev ordered them to hurry up and create a plan to organize the process. Every year they will report the progress.
Aliyev recently complained that Pashinyan gave him "incomplete" landmine maps in exchange for POWs.
Azeri MFA throws a tantrum after a French MP visits Artsakh "without permission"
MP François Pupo has joined the "blacklist" and will not be allowed to visit Azerbaijan because he angered the Azeri MFA by visiting Artsakh and showing support.
PHOTOS: Armenian Genocide Museum holds an exhibition to display certificates of property ownership belonging to Armenians who were illegally deported and killed
Director Farsamyan: this is the first such exhibition, with a specific purpose. It has over two dozen original Ottoman documents proving property ownership. They are being displayed for the first time.
It includes properties owned by individuals, entire Armenian communities, and churches. The structures may not be there anymore, but the documents confirm that those lands are Armenian.
These are very important documents because they were issued by the Ottoman government, with Sultan's stamp.
Guests from Germany, Russia, U.S., and elsewhere attended the first day of the expo. It's open until April 2022.
6049 tested. 764 infected. 506 healed. 19 deaths. 10649 active.
98% of COVID patients in hospitals are either unvaccinated or did not get both doses
Delta strain is significantly more likely to send people to a hospital. 1860 out of 2044 beds are currently used. 319 out of 289 ICU beds are used.
Healthcare Ministry: infections can still happen but vaccination leads to much fewer severe cases. With the arrival of Autumn, we expect more hospitalizations from other causes, yet these patients may not be able to receive the care they need, so we ask you once again for your cooperation to help make our doctors' efforts more effective.
Our emergency department doctors are emotionally strong but they are on the edge. When the pandemic first began, there was widespread public praise for our doctors. Let's not forget that the pandemic continues. Let's help them return and fight against other diseases, too.
Beginning October 1, workers across Armenia will be required to get PCR tests if unvaccinated. This is one of the filters aimed at containing the virus. When a few months ago the infections skyrocketed in India and in our region, we were able to contain the spread in Armenia thanks to multiple filters.
The PCR requirements apply to public officials and private-sector workers. To serve as an example, 70% of government members have been vaccinated. We expect 80% by the end of this month.
The primary goal is healthcare. We had 19 deaths today. People suffer for a month all alone in an emergency bad before dying. We should protect our citizens, teachers, scientists, doctors. I believe that with a higher level of public responsibility and consciousness we can smoothly continue the vaccination process after October 1. //
Economy Minister Kerobyan: you know, I've been a fighter to keep the economy open throughout the pandemic, but if we don't see a tangible change in the conduct by residents and businesses, our healthcare system may not be able to handle it and we might have to return to restrictions.
Set aside your conservative approach and be progressive, get a vaccine. This conservative approach is harming us in the 21st century. Armenia is among the worst countries with a vaccination rate. We're entering red zones in various rating lists. This can harm our economy. We don't need this one bit. //
Armenian scientists create an antidote for "gyurza" snake poison
Passport name: macrovipera lebetina obtusa.
NAS's Institute of Physiology says the new antidote will soon be registered, allowing it to be exported and used internally. It's reportedly as potent as existing solutions. The project was co-financed by the Education Ministry and an Armenian-Belorusian science fund.
The scientists also learned that gyurza poison has anti-cancer and anti-neurodegenerative properties [WARNING WITH BIG LETTERS: PLEASE DO NOT INTENTIONALLY GET BITTEN BY THIS SNAKE. IT WILL NOT CURE WHATEVER YOU HAVE. ALSO DO NOT TELL JOE ROGAN ABOUT THIS INVENTION.]
ads for gambling games and bookmakers will be banned
Labor & Social Minister Arakelyan: Armenians gamble $1 million every day. $130M in the first half of 2021 alone. Bookmaking continues to be one of the main evils of our society. The city is flooded by smaller gambling ad placards everywhere. We need further restrictions on the size of ads. //
Today the government approved ad restrictions. All gambling, casino, and bookmaking ads will be banned on TV, radio, and the internet. The exceptions are ads on the gambling service provider's personal website or facility, near Armenian border checkpoints, and some types of hotels.
Goes into effect sometime next year.
anti-corruption: NSS uncovers large-scale fraud and abuse of power in 2015; mayor implicated
NSS reports: it's about a program implemented by the Armenian Territorial Development Fund in 2015. Its committee president based in Tsakqar (Gegharkunik) signed an agreement with Tsakqar mayor and a private contractor, worth ֏164M. The contractor was supposed to rebuild a kindergarten and install solar water heating.
The contractor decided to "save money" by using low-quality self-made devices and materials. As a result, the solar heater never worked, causing ֏12M in damages.
The mayor, being a member of the board that was tasked with monitoring the quality, conspired with other board members to intentionally ignore the problems. A felony case is launched. //
Armenia signs an agreement with INTERPOL
... to combat migrant trafficking, cybercrime, narcoescobar, money bleaching, and other crimes.
update: SIS chief becomes the president of the new Anti-Corruption Committee
Sasun Khachatryan led the SIS after the 2018 revolution. During his administration, the agency launched criminal investigations against several high-ranking old and new officials.
He was among three ACC candidates who were recently approved by an independent panel. The government picked him to lead the ACC.
Deputy Premier Papikyan: the establishment of a joint anti-corruption body is one of the priorities of our government. Traditionally, different bodies have been involved in anti-corruption detection. We are now creating a single body to make the fight more effective.
Khachatryan: the institute will have a specialized investigative body with its own operative-intelligence functions. It'll operate in 36 days when we appoint 20 investigators. By early 2022 it will expand and have its own operative department.
spying scandal in Georgia
An employee of Georgia's national security agency leaked classified information, which claims that the authorities are spying on church members, journalists, and opposition figures (shocker). The "whistleblower" committed suicide after leaking it.
Mentioned in the documents are ethnic Armenian and Azeri political figures, who ran for mayor in several provincial cities.
Akhalkalak mayor candidate Melkon Makaryan has allegedly been an "informant" since 2010, with the task of gathering info on other political forces. Ninotsminda mayor Anivard Mosoyan was allegedly recruited in 2007.
The documents also contain information about curch members with non-traditional sexual orientation. One of them is accused of accepting bribes from Russia to pass information relating to a bio lab in Georgia.
Several individuals have confirmed the authenticity of the leaks relating to their personal lives.
Aurora humanitarian initiative will begin to donate half of its annual prize fund to regions with emergency needs
Every year, the initiative distributes $1 million to individuals who displayed extraordinary efforts to help humanity. In turn, the winners usually donate 90% of their prize to other charities.
25% of this year's prize fund will be donated to Artsakh. The co-founders decided to match the donation.
They decided to change the rules to dedicate half of the prize to various charities every year.
VIDEO: Armenia Expo 2021: industrial exhibition
Hundreds of companies from Armenia (including Artsakh), India, Italy, Russia, Iran, Belarus, and Colombia have gathered in Yerevan for the expo, co-organized by the Union of Manufacturers and Entrepreneurs of Armenia.
Some 80 Armenian manufacturers are presenting their products. Ambassadors of participating states were present. "This is the largest economic expo in the last two years," said Indian ambassador Dewal, who met dozens of manufacturers from his home state.
Kristine Sargsyan is an IDP from Hadrut who bakes sweets. Her mom is a professional ժենգյալով հաց baker. It was a hobby back in Hadrut; they had a small shop. They moved to Yerevan and founded the "Hadrut’s bakery" family-run store.
Other participants displayed their electronics, chemical industry products, and other crap.
group of Geghamasar village residents protested the upcoming merger into a larger municipality
Context about mergers. This settlement has already been merged once, so they don't want another merger into a larger municipality.
The residents' main concern, however, was security and economic related. They complained about the border changes which left parts of pasture lands out of reach, and lack of safety for children amid ceasefire violations by enemy troops.
Armenia and Portugal sign a memorandum to boost investments
Enterprise Armenia is the national investment promotion authority of Armenia.
Director Levon Ohanesyan met his Portuguese counterpart Luis Henriques. Portugal will send a group of investors to Armenia to discuss areas of cooperation. "Armenia will be much more interesting for Portuguese business in the near future. Currently, [our] business community is not very familiar with Armenia. This is the first step," said Henriques.
They are particularly interested in the IT and food industries.
dairy firm received a tax waiver to make investments
The government exempted Dustr Marianna from import taxes so it can invest $10 million to expand the production of Mozarella cheese. Expected 26 new jobs with $280/mo.
fewer non-working holidays to boost the economy
As you remember, on April 15 the Economy Minister suggested reducing the number of non-working holidays to boost the economy. Armenia would have 11 instead of 16 days (see the link for comparison with other states). The proposal was shelved at the time, pending more studies.
Today the Government approved the proposal. December 31, January 1, and January 6 (Christmas) will remain nonworking days.
The following will become working days: January 2 (was used as extra time to get sober), January 3,4,5,7 (pre and post-Christmas).
budget is receiving additional billions from the recent tax hike on copper miners
After copper prices skyrocketed during the pandemic, Pashinyan recently announced plans to raise taxes on copper-molybdenum exporters, citing "unfair" profit margins. The hike was approved in July.
Economy Minister Kerobyan: after the law went into effect, last week the budget saw an additional ֏4B ($8M) in revenues.
$1 billion will be spent on new roads in Syunik
Economy Minister Kerobyan: intensive works are being done to build the [Tatev] road [alternative to the one that passes through Azeri side]. Additionally, we are very close to large-scale practical steps in the construction of the Kajaran-Sisian section as part of the North-South highway. The government plans to spend about ֏487B in this section. [tunnels and stuff]
multiple new Syunik roads will be built by Spring 2022
Deputy Premier Papikyan: the construction of alternative roads in Syunik is planned to be completed in spring 2022. Before that, the construction of the Kapan-Tatev road will be completed.
If necessary, large trucks that want to travel through Kapan-Tatev road, while it's still under construction, will be accompanied by police to help them manage traffic/passage.
Currently, large trucks avoid this road because it's not properly asphalted. It's mostly used by medium-sized vehicles. After it's asphalted, there is only one problem area left: the Satan Bridge in Tatev. But we plan to build an alternative road in this area, too, with the direction of Tatev-Ltsen.
New roads are planned from Tatev to Bardzravan, Shurnukh, Chakaten, and Vorotan. //
Azerbaijan will likely release the two detained Iranian drivers by Sunday
... announded deputy Premier Papikyan today. The Iranians were arrested yesterday by Azeri soldiers on their section of the southern road while collecting "taxes".
Papikyan revealed that Russian border guards and Iranian MFA had been negotiating with Azerbaijan.
Pashinyan visits Tajikistan for CSTO meeting
He discussed the AM-TJ relations with president Rahmon. Notably absent from the in-person CSTO meeting was Putin, who is self-isolated after dozens of people from his inner circle tested positive with COVID.
Armenia assumes CSTO presidency
Tajik President Rahmon passed the torch to Pashinyan. The next big CSTO meeting will be held in Armenia in 2H2022.
Pashinyan speech after assuming presidency:
It is necessary to continue working to deepen foreign policy coordination and mutual assistance.
Armenia intends to work closely with CSTO members to increase the level of combat effectiveness. The bloc's forces need to be modernized, including with new drones and control systems.
It will be of great importance for CSTO to further improve mechanisms for combating terrorism, drugs, illegal migration.
Armenia offers steps to strengthen CSTO prestige in the international arena, including by expanding cooperation with other interested international organizations. In this regard, it is important to develop the existing work experience with OSCE and UN. //
CSTO members adopted a declaration
CSTO has a "Collective Rapid Reaction Force". The declaration says it should be equipped with modern weapons. There will be military police, prosecutors, and courts.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063260.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063265.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063266.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063273.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063286.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063288.html https://factor.am/417522.html
Government approves a bill to restrict imprisonment of wild animals
You have seen the bear videos by now. The new law is aimed at increasing oversight and regulation on "personal zoos".
Armenia managed to grab the world's attention in 2015 after a documentary showing the animals' living conditions at a private zoo in Gyumri. There were three lions and two bears among them. The exhausted animals were being fed by volunteers.
An expert group was formed, consisting of representatives of interested organizations, to help write the law.
Amateur animal owners will need to obtain permission and meet certain requirements. Wild animals under the possession of private individuals and businesses will be registered on annual basis, and the information will be sent to the relevant authorities.
There will be a 1-year transitional phase to allow animal owners to voluntarily register them and obtain permission.
The sale and transfer of wild animals will also be regulated/restricted.
(The bill is yet to be approved by the Parliament.)
VIDEO: Yerevan municipality and Coca-Cola sign a deal to promote recycling culture in schools
Bins have been installed in 50 Yerevan schools to separate paper and plastic for recycling.
higher rewards for Olympics medal winners and staff
Education/Sports Minister Dumanyan: Pashinyan met the athletes before the Tokyo games and asked us to amend the law about rewards:
Gold: $50k (was 40)
Silver: $40k (was 30)
Bronze: $30k (was 20)
Coaches and doctors: 2-5k raise.
Additionally, the medal winners will see a reise in their monthly payments that are paid for life.
PHOTOS: Gyumri airport reopens after major renovations
From August 10 news: Gyumri airport and passenger hall are undergoing a total revamp; capacity to triple. Passengers will use a new arrival hall. The old one was small and outdated. It's being replaced with twice larger hall with new accommodations.
It can serve one flight per hour but has the capacity to triple if necessary. The annual passenger capacity will increase from 250k to 700k. The 3.2km runway is being fully renovated, too, the first since 2007. //
The red tape was cut today. The $7.5M financing came from Armenia International Airports (Eduardo Eurnekian).
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/ppk32k/sep162021_armenia_to_lay_new_internet_cable/
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