Tuesday, 14 July 2020

W Weekly Update

11-18 April

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Weekly update 

 

18 April

The Prime Minister Office informed, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan today hosted President-elect of the Republic of Artsakh Arayik Harutyunyan. The Prime Minister of Armenia once again congratulated Mr. Harutyunyan on his victory in the presidential election and wished him every success in this responsible position. The parties highlighted the importance of close multifaceted cooperation between Armenia and Artsakh. Arayik Harutyunyan availed himself of the opportunity to introduce his upcoming actions and strategic plans in the post of President of Artsakh.

 

17 April

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian reaffirmed on Friday his government’s plans to gradually reopen more sectors of Armenia’s economy, again insisting that the coronavirus epidemic in the country is “manageable.” Pashinian cautioned, however, that the “return to normal life” will be conditional on employers and other Armenians taking necessary precautions against the highly contagious virus. “As long as a vaccine has not been developed, coronavirus will not disappear and we will have infected people,” he said in a televised address to the nation. “Accordingly, our strategic objective is as follows: to make sure that the number of infected people is as small as possible and bearable for the healthcare system.” “On the other hand, we cannot be endlessly locked down and live in an endless quarantine or state of emergency,” he went on. “Therefore, our strategic objective is to live parallel to coronavirus or alongside it, if necessary. We need to use the upcoming period of emergency rule for acquiring necessary skills to do just that. For more information read RFE/RL’s Armenian Service (Azatutyun.am). 

More funding from the American people to help Armenia fight COVID-19, LRAGIR.am said. The U.S. Government, through USAID, has committed an additional $600,000 to Armenia to support the country’s response to COVID-19.  These funds will build on the $1.1 million in support announced last week that will help: prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and event-based surveillance, support technical experts for response and preparedness, bolster risk communication.

 

16 April

On Thursday, at a meeting with the permanent members of the Russian Security Council, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced postponement of the preparations for the Victory Day Parade on May 9 marking the 75th anniversary of the USSR’s Victory in the Great Patriotic War, TASS reported. "There is already less than a month left before the Victory Day and now we face an uneasy and, let us say straight, a hard choice: both May 9 is a sacred date for us and the life of every person is priceless," the Russian leader said. According to the Russian president, "to be able to hold the May 9 parade, the preparations for it should be started already now, right now." "But the risks associated with the epidemic whose peak won’t be over [by May 9] are extremely high and this does not give me the right to start the preparations for the parade and other mass events," Putin stressed. 

President Donald Trump laid out new guidelines on Thursday for U.S. states to emerge from a coronavirus shutdown in a staggered, three-stage approach meant to revive the U.S. economy even as the country continues to fight the pandemic, REUTERS said. The recommendations call on states to show a “downward trajectory” of COVID-19 cases or positive tests for the disease over 14 days before proceeding with the plan, which gradually loosens restrictions on businesses that have been shuttered to blunt the spread of the virus.  “We are not opening all at once, but one careful step at a time,” Trump told reporters at the White House. The president had said earlier this month he wanted to reopen the economy with a “big bang.”

 

15 April

BBC reported, US President Donald Trump has said he is going to halt funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) because it has "failed in its basic duty" in its response to the coronavirus outbreak. He accused the UN agency of mismanaging and covering up the spread of the virus after it emerged in China, and said it must be held accountable. In response, the UN's chief said it was "not the time" to cut funds to the WHO. Mr Trump has been under fire for his own handling of the pandemic. He has sought to deflect persistent criticism that he acted too slowly to stop the virus's spread by pointing to his decision in late January to place restrictions on travel from China. 

According to official results of presidential runoff elections in Artsakh, businessman and former Prime Minister Araik Harutyunyan, has cruised to a comfortable victory, MASSIS POST reports. The Central Election Commission of Artsakh shows that Harutyunyan received 88% of the votes (39,860), while Masis Mayilyan received 12% of the votes (3,784). The second round of election turnout was 45% of eligible voters. The total number of voters in Artsakh is 104,777. Speaking after the announcement of his victory, Harutyunyan stated the economic fallout from coronavirus will be his administration’s first major challenge. “We must unite not only in Artsakh but also … rally around Armenia’s authorities as they now bear the main burden of responsibility for addressing that problem,” he told reporters. “Schadenfreude and political disagreements are our main enemy on this front.” Armenian President Armen Sargsyan and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan congratulated Araik Harutyunyan on his victory. 

 

12 April

Spokesperson of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Priest Vahram Melikyan, presented the appeal of the Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II on Easter, NEWS.am informed. According to him, the Catholicos turned to Armenians from all over the world. His Holiness referred to the epidemic and expressed confidence that the world will overcome this challenge. “However, overcoming this is vitally important, to become stronger, more united and spiritually more powerful, seeking God’s support,” Karekin II noted.

 

11 April

Public commemoration events for the Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day (April 24), the Shushi Liberation Day (May 8) and Great Patriotic War Victory Day (May 9) will not take place in Armenia due to the coronavirus situation, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on social media, ARMENPRESS said. He said that “citizens’ participation in these events must be limited”. “During this one month we have commemoration days and holidays, April 24th, the Shushi Liberation Day and the Great Patriotic War Victory Day. Participation of citizens in these events must be limited. If we were to allow a usual participation then we will have an uncontrollable outbreak of the coronavirus,” Pashinyan said. He said that only “protocol events” will take place during those days. Earlier Pashinyan said the government will extend the state of emergency for another 30 days starting April 14th. 

 

Sources: https://www.primeminister.am/en/, https://armenpress.am, https://news.am/eng/,  https://www.azatutyun.am/en, https://massispost.com/, https://www.bbc.com/news/world, https://tass.com/, https://www.reuters.com/.

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