2021 September 20

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Contents

Daily news wrap-up

Sep/20/2021: $150M metro station __ Armenia is producing Sputnik Lite vaccine __ $780M investments in energy, manufacturing, tourism, Artsakh __ Alt. Syunik road ready by Nov. __ Road designs w/safety in mind __ TUMO expands __ Armenia-Turkey relations __ Pashinyan's bicycling initiative to expand
by ar_david_hh


Your 12-minute holiday report in 2994 words.

legal reforms underway to prioritize safety while building Armenia's roads

A meeting was held between the police department and the Infrastructure Ministry. They spoke about ways to reduce the number of road incidents. They analyzed research data to draw a plan of action.

Ministry: the emphasis is on safety while building roads. Soon there will be legal amendments to form a road safety audit institute. //

They learned that most issues are a result of speeding, and agreed to share the police's road incident database with the Infrastructure Ministry so it can promptly identify dangerous locations and provide engineering solutions.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063483.html

CSTO bloc will have its own joint military budget

... for research and experimental development. "It's a new initiative in which we are moving from a simple verbal system to a more serious integration," said Russia's deputy premier Borisov.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063481.html

army news

President's office issued medals to dozens of soldiers for acts of courage during the 2020 war.

https://factor.am/418892.html

The reservist retraining continues. Part of the task is to guard the borders. Interview with soldiers:

https://youtu.be/ABpspbtPOLY

A group of protesters, including family members of war casualties, held a protest against tomorrow's planned Independence Day march/festival in Yerevan's main square. The festival will be dedicated to soldiers and the 30th anniversary of independence.

In other news, LHK chief Edmon Marukyan responded to criticism from political circles: "The same people would have complained and called the government 'Turks' if a decision was made not to hold the events. In fact, all of this speaks volumes about lack of quality debate around real issues in our public, when there are few who can distinguish between what is important and what is not."

https://factor.am/418383.html https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/221252

Video clips featuring Armenians with various professions congratulating with 30th anniversary of independence

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=668101324580865 https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=594793268321508 https://youtu.be/RDlBzT8L7vo https://youtu.be/2NP5vPFkeQk

professional and amateur drone makers held a competition at a new UAV test station in Lernapat village

27 groups from across Armenia went to test their civilian drones that are equipped with tech to detect wildfires, victims, and drop life-saving equipment for those in an emergency.

The winners received $600-$1,600 monetary prizes. The competition is part of an EU program "ResponDrone".

https://factor.am/418883.html

Azerbaijan returns two Armenian citizens who deviated from the Syunik highway and ended up in Azeri territory

The two travelers had decided to leave the road and take a rest near the Vorotan River on the Azeri side. They were arrested on Saturday, taken to Baku, and released the next day. Upon their return, the two joked about drinking tea in Baku. [it's a popular meme by military people about capturing the enemy capital and drinking tea.]

In other news, the Foreign Ministry of Iran said the two Iranian truck drivers who were arrested last week should be released ASAP, and that the issue should be given a solution after official AZ-IR meetings.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063503.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063508.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063526.html https://factor.am/418947.html

Armenia-Turkey relations / lifting Armenia's blockade

Turkey recently offered to improve relations. Armenia said it will assess the positive signal and respond. Pashinyan recently visited Georgia and discussed regional relations and trade routes. He suggested organizing a meeting with Erdogan about normalizing the relations.

The Turkish side said it expects "positive steps" from Armenia (a "corridor" for Azerbaijan to Nakhijevan) in order for a meeting to take place.

Pashinyan office responds: the Premier mentioned during the recent Parliamentary speech that there should be certain contacts before high-level meetings are held between AM-TR. Currently, there are no such contacts, but Armenia is ready. If that happens, Armenia is ready to meet at the leadership level.

As for Erdogan's statements about a "corridor" for Azerbaijan, Pashinyan has mentioned many times that it is necessary to implement the Nov 9 and Jan 11 statements the way they are written.

Unblocking of regional communication routes is important for establishing lasting peace and address the hostile atmosphere. The "corridor" talk is against this logic. A "corridor" would further isolate countries, not unblock them.

There are better alternatives to restore regional communication, as they are described in the Nov 9 and Jan 11 statements. //

Russian Deputy Premier Overchuk confirmed that there are no "corridor" discussions during Jan 11 and Nov 9 related meetings. "The issue of unblocking economic and transport routes in the South Caucasus is what's being discussed."

Russian Deputy Premier Overchuk: the unblocking of all regional trade routes in the region will undoubtedly be a positive step and increase the trade between Armenia and Russia. The last AM-RU-AZ meeting regarding this topic was held in mid-August. All parties are interested in unblocking the links. We're discussing how to do it. //

Economy Minister Kerobyan: within two years of lifting the blockade, Armenia's economy can grow 30%, based on the research conducted by World Bank and Asian Development bank. This will happen if AM-TR-AZ trade routes are unblocked. It will significantly improve Armenia's opportunities and will make us more competitive. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063512.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063534.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063537.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063527.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063545.html

Armenia plans to build 3 industrial parks / $150M metro station being discussed

Armenian Business Forum 2021 was held in Yerevan. Ranking Russian officials and business groups were present.

Economy Minister Kerobyan: we plan to create 3 industrial parks with high-quality infrastructure to attract manufacturing companies from Iran, Russia, and other countries. A number of Russian companies, which have difficulty communicating with foreign parties due to sanctions, view Armenia as a platform for doing business without restrictions.

We will be happy to involve Russian partners in all our infrastructure projects; many of them are already involved in major projects. One of them is competing to design and build a new metro station for $150M.

Another joint AM-RU project is about exporting solar panels with Russian-made components. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063546.html

Tags: #metro #infrastructure

Armenia and South Caucasus Railway plan to restore cargo shipments between Georgia's Poti and Russia's Krasnodar ports

Deputy Premier Mher: this will allow us to grow the trade that has grown during our EAEU cooperation.

https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/295605/

Armenian-Russian billionaire Samvel Karapetyan will invest $600M in Armenia's energy sector

Tashir mall owner Karapetyan: energy is the basis of sustainable economic activity of any country. It's twice as important for Armenia. We plan to invest up to $600 million to create new production capacities and modernize electricity networks. //

[Karapetyan had earlier purchased parts of Armenia's energy sector to address electricity price hikes that led to the 2015 Electric Yerevan protests.]

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063548.html


billionaire Samvel Karapetyan will also invest $130M in manufacturing, tourism, and youth entrepreneurship in Armenia

Karapetyan: Economic development is impossible without the development of productive capacities with the use of innovative solutions. It's the engine. It can expand exports and create jobs. We will invest $50M here.

Other important spheres are tourism and youth initiatives. Armenia has great potential. We will invest $50M and $30M respectively. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063552.html

Samvel Karapetyan will invest $50M in Artsakh

Karapetyan: it is impossible to imagine Armenia without Artsakh. We have always paid special attention to the people of Artsakh. We will continue to do so.

We will allocate $50M for the development of the economy and implement programs aimed at the welfare of the population. I hope that in the near future there will be new business initiatives. մենք քիչ ենք, սակայն մեզ հայ են ասում: //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063554.html

Pashinyan's speech during the Armenian Business Forum 2021:

I welcome the organization of Armenian Business Forum in Yerevan, which will become a tradition. Armenian residents and businesses of Russia continue to stand firmly by Armenia.

With June 20 elections, Armenian citizens decided to open an era of peaceful development for Armenia and the region.

I understand the skeptics who cite certain events to conclude that peace is impossible. There are also forces who want to "prove" that regional peace is impossible. Our administration recognizes the difficulty of challenges and will continue to seek peace in the region. In this journey, we will need strong nerves, calmness, and prudence.

It is extremely important to reopen the regional communication routes based on Nov 9 and Jan 11 statements. This will finally allow Armenia to overcome the 30-year blockade, which will significantly change the investment atmosphere and competitive infrastructure in the country. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063557.html https://factor.am/418993.html

Pashinyan about capital expenditures:

We are discussing the 2022 budget. The share and volume of capital expenditures will be unprecedented in our republic's history.

We've always had a problem with not meeting the expenditure goals, partly due to the fact that Armenian construction firms do not meet the capacity and quality requirements set forth by the state. [he brought the example of North-South highway which requires the involvement of foreign companies]

The main goals of this forum are to restart Armenia's investment and economic potential through investment flows, to establish closer economic cooperation with businessmen from different countries, first of all from Russia. We have 500 participants here today. //

https://factor.am/418993.html

VIDEO: Goris-Kapan alternative road in Syunik will be ready soon

The $18 million project is under active development.

Khdrants village resident: this road has no asphalt. The last time it saw construction was in 1992. //

This 14km portion of the road is important for bordering villages. It will connect 5 of them to the M2 highway. This section costs $2M.

79km of roads are were/being renovated in Syunik this year, worth $18M: Meghri, Vardavan, Agarak, Khdrants.

The Tatev-Aghvan section is 43km. Most of the work is complete.

More: https://youtu.be/zdVWIrMiiQ0 https://factor.am/418487.html

Armenia-Russia trade grew 16% in 1H 2021

Deputy Premier Mher Grigoryan: it reached $1.9B. It had crossed the $2B mark for the first time in 2019. The trade decline was small despite the pandemic. The ongoing growth is significant: import +9%, export +36%.

Economy Minister Kerobyan: our economy is growing after last year's double-shock. We had a 5% growth in 1H.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063530.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063544.html

the trade bottleneck between Armenia and Russia will widen after construction on Georgia border

Georgia-Russia checkpoint in Upper Lars will begin to handle 6.5x as much traffic next year. The passenger and cargo infrastructure will be rebuilt. It'll handle 2.7k-3k cargo vehicles per day.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063547.html

COVID stats

4025 tested. 342 infected. 490 healed. 12 deaths. 11029 active.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063528.html

366,000 vaccinations so far

237k first and 129k second dose.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063532.html

Armenia is producing the Sputnik Lite vaccine

Sputnik-V has two doses. The first dose (rAd26) can be used separately as a "Lite". It's not necessarily as strong as two dozes, but it can be manufactured much faster and can still save lives by preventing severe cases.

Deputy Premier Mher Grigoryan announced that Russia made an investment and shipped the technology to manufacture Sputnik Lite in Armenia.

Armenia's Likvor firm has announced about producing the first batch. It will be sent to Russia for quality checks. Upon a positive evaluation, they can begin mass production. It will be for internal consumption in Armenia (for now).

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063529.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063549.html

some residents who received vaccines in Yerevan's Northern Avenue were given free tickets to Drama Theater

The Healthcare Ministry had earlier announced that every N-th visitor will be given free tickets to museums and theaters, as part of a plan to encourage vaccinations.

https://factor.am/418581.html

Armenia and Russia sign a memorandum to launch a new cooperation platform

The agreement was signed between Armenia's Economy Ministry, Russia's State Development Corporation (ВЭБ), and Armenia's Development and Investment Corporation.

Minister Kerobyan: this is a powerful agreement. As a result, when new project ideas appear, it will be easier to receive financing from the Russian development fund. //

Russian fund chief: we have a history of working in Armenia at the individual level. Now we want to expand and create the systemic basis for cooperation with Armenia.

There are many urban projects in Armenia that interest us. Many Russian investors would like to participate. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063543.html

Pashinyan congratulated Putin on the election victory

Russian citizens and soldiers residing in Armenia were able to cast ballots in Gyumri.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063562.html

Russian Aeroflot launches Moscow-Gyumri-Moscow-Gyumri-Moscow-Gyumri flights

That was not an error. The flights are three times a week.

https://factor.am/418935.html

police briefly detain 3 Iranian tourists after false reports about 'Turkish spies'

Some Yerevan residents reported a "suspicious activity", while the media outlets speculated that Turkish spies were caught in Armenia.

The police questioned the "suspects" and learned they were tourists from Iran. They were released. The police urged the media not to spread unverified information.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/221240

PHOTOS: TUMO tech center is preparing for a massive expansion

TUMO Armenia: 5 years - $50 million investment. The goal of the new program is to make the center available for every youth in Armenia and Artsakh.

Provincial large cities will have 16 main centers soon, with another 110 "mobile box" centers in smaller communities. This should cover 80,000 young residents.

Enemijyan family has donated $10M for the program. Akilyan family will donate $20M. The rest will be collected through international fundraising.

https://factor.am/418420.html

Orran humanitarian foundation held a charity fundraiser for Artsakh

They organized a traditional dinner attended by representatives of corporations to collect funds for Artsakh. The foundation had helped 8,000 children during the war.

The special guest was Istanbul-based Armenian singer Sibil who performed classical and traditional music.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063491.html

VIDEO: Artsakh has a new cement and brick factory after a $2 million investment

Built by Savva CJSC in Askeran Province, the factory will produce up to 65,000 tons of "high-quality cement, bricks, various construction materials from concrete".

It will be fully operational in November with 100 new jobs with a $500/mo avg. salary.

President Arayik Harutyunyan: the planned programs, if fully implemented, can be crucial for the development of the domestic economy. //

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=427492295437667 https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063505.html

anti-corruption: Artsakh authorities bust a dishonest business in IDP case

Prosecutors report: Territorial Administration Ministry had signed a contract with a motel owner to house IDPs after the war. The owner falsified the records to overstate the number of IDPs and services provided to them, in order to embezzle ֏3.2M from the state between November and August. Criminal charges are pressed.

https://factor.am/418924.html

VIDEO: Armenian boxer Armen Mashakyan defeated his Azeri opponent

... during World Military Boxing Championship held in Moscow. The Azeri player refused to shake hands in the end.

https://www.facebook.com/301032830486480/videos/440252577405416/?__so__=watchlist&__rv__=video_home_www_playlist_video_list

VIDEO: UFC fighter Arman Tsarukyan >!defeated his!< American opponent

MMA: 17 wins, 2 losses.

UFC: 3 wins, 1 loss.

https://youtu.be/RSxSeKCv6MU https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/221236

firefighters are extinguishing fires that broke out in Arevik Park last week

200 hectares of vegetation were burned.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063513.html

mountain climbing federations of Armenia and Iran signed a cooperation memorandum

... to train together for search & rescue operations, and study each others' experience.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063511.html

Armenian and Iraqi experts are recovering manuscripts in Matenadaran

It's a weeklong retraining program financed by the Armenian government.

Erbil's Chaldean Church leader and a digitization expert have arrived in Armenia. The new skills will help Iraqis recover thousands of manuscripts saved from ISIS barbarians.

Armenian experts are currently recovering Assyrian manuscripts that are part of the Matenadaram collection. Iraqis offered to help.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063496.html

PHOTOS: traditional Gata Festival was held in Vayots Dzor's Khachik village

Sweet fruits, wines, and cuisine are what visitors of Khachik were greeted with on Saturday. The residents baked the "world's largest gata".

Local Priest Matevosyan: gata is the symbol of our village. It is a circle, symbolizing eternity. Our grandfathers used it during long trips because it doesn't spoil easily.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063507.html https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/221217

Armenia celebrated the Gyumri Day

The exhibition of sculptor Frid Soghoyan was opened in the territory of the former central library. Frid was a Gyumri native who spent most of his life in other Soviet republics. His sons recently moved part of his art collection to Gyumri as a gift to the native city.

Gyumri State Ensemble of Folk Instruments has finally found a new home, after spending post-earthquake years in "tnak".

Other cultural events were held elsewhere in the city.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063497.html

Gyumri's St. Mariam kindergarten will be demolished and replaced with a 2-story preschool that meets seismic standards

... announed Deputy Minister Papikyan. It'll come with ventilation, fire alarm, solar heating system, new playgrounds, etc.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063474.html

PHOTO: amateur bicyclists participated in Prime Minister Cup 2021

The first tournament took place on Sunday, on the Lake Sevan shores. The initiative is meant to promote cycling and a healthy lifestyle. The length was ~40km.

Education Ministry: thankfully there were no injuries and everyone was able to reach the finish line. The tournament's idea belonged to Premier Pashinyan. We will organize similar events in other provinces at different times of the year. //

The winners received ֏1 million. The top-20 received smaller monetary prizes. Ara Sargsyan crossed the 42km in just over an hour.

Pashinyan: this is an unprecedented competition in the history of mass sports in Armenia. Its prize fund contributed to the fierce competition. Our oldest competitor is 72. We should have a special prize for the oldest contestants regardless of their results.

The tournament should become an annual tradition. The ultimate goal is to hold a tournament around the entire lake Sevan, and if amateurs can't handle that, we will organize a professional tournament.

The Prime Minister's Cup will eventually expand and consist of cycling, running, table tennis, and swimming competitions. //

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063515.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063519.html https://youtu.be/IWO-Zwk4ulM

How To Start a Business in 2021 - Step-by-Step Guide for U.S. residents

https://youtu.be/0Q4BZhTVSqk

nations that top charts for different characteristics

Loudest: USA

Healthiest: Spain

Fattest: Turkey

Rudest: France (because we replaced merci with grazie?)

Worst drivers: Lebanon (can't drive bad if you don't have fuel)

Netflix & Chill: Greece (87% chill at least once a week)

Netflix & Chill with a happy ending: Norway (get some help, Greece)

Richest: Monaco

Tallest: Netherlands

Shortest: Bolivia

Funniest: UK (debatable)

Happiest: Finland

Most polite: Japan

Best dressed: Italy

Best diet: Israel

Baby production factory: Niger

Most crime: Venezuela

Most naked: Germany (explain yourself)

Long life: Iceland

Table manners: New Zealand

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/16179373/tallest-fattest-around-the-world/

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/ps0qw6/sep202021_150m_metro_station_armenia_is_producing/

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