Monday, 10 May 2021

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25 April - 2 May

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Weekly update


2 May

Armenia’s Minister of Defense Davit Tonoyan visited Artsakh between May 1-2 as part of the military cooperation and combined action plan of the two countries, said ARMENPRESS. Accompanied by Artsakh’s Defense Minister Jalal Harutyunyan, Tonoyan visited a number of active duty military bases in the northern and central directions, toured various barracks and rear units and met with the troops, the Artsakh Defense Ministry said in a news release. The main discussion points focused on the improvement of the service and social-household conditions of the servicemen, as well as combat and morale readiness, effective application of arsenal and military equipment, modernization and logistical issues. Tonoyan praised the current level of military cooperation between Armenia and Artsakh. The priority directions of future actions as part of the cooperation were adjusted.


1 May

US President Donald Trump has appeared to undercut his own intelligence agencies by suggesting he has seen evidence coronavirus originated in a Chinese laboratory, reported BBC. Earlier the US national intelligence director's office said it was still investigating how the virus began. But the office said it had determined Covid-19 "was not manmade or genetically modified." China has rejected the lab theory and criticised the US response to Covid-19. At the White House on Thursday, Mr Trump was asked by a reporter: "Have you seen anything at this point that gives you a high degree of confidence that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was the origin of this virus?" "Yes, I have. Yes, I have," said the president, without specifying. "And I think the World Health Organization [WHO] should be ashamed of themselves because they're like the public relations agency for China." 

WHO representative in China Dr. Gauden Galea noted that, taking into account all the available data, the organization is convinced that the virus is of animal origin, and was not created by humans. The World Health Organization (WHO) is interested in collaborating with foreign partners and would like to receive an invitation from China to investigate the animal origin of a new type of coronavirus, the official representative of WHO Tarik Jasarevic told TASS on Friday. "WHO would be keen to work with international partners and at the invitation of the Chinese Government to participate in investigation around the animal origins," said Jasarevic, adding that this concerns in particular, a detailed clarification of the "source and type of wildlife species and farmed animals sold in these markets."


30 April

According to RFE/RL’s Armenian service (, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian has launched fresh scathing attacks on Artur Vanetsian, prompting angry rebuttals from the former head of Armenia’s National Security Service (NSS). Vanetsian was one of the most influential members of Pashinian’s entourage until being unexpectedly relieved of his duties in September last year. He criticized Pashinian’s “impulsive” leadership style following his dismissal, triggering a bitter war of words with the premier. The public feud between the two men was reignited in January by Pashinian’s “Haykakan Zhamanak” newspaper. In an extensive article, it charged that Vanetsian is behind a smear campaign against the prime minister’s family waged by anti-government media. The former NSS chief strongly denied the allegations before filing a defamation suit against the paper in February. Earlier this week, Pashinian’s spokeswoman, Mane Gevorgian, accused Vanetsian of cutting shady business deals with Mikael Minasian, a once influential son-in-law of former President Serzh Sarkisian. Gevorgian said that “according to the government’s information” he abused his NSS position to buy Minasian’s minority stake in Armenia’s largest mining company. 

A Cabinet meeting was held today, chaired by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. The Government approved the fifteenth activity to mitigate the pandemic’s adverse economic impact, under which river banks will be built in Armenia’s highlands with the involvement of the local population, informed the Prime Minister Office. The project provides that forest layers shall be created in river valleys through local willow cuttings. The local population will be widely involved in this campaign. Additional jobs will be generated in this way to counter the income-related risks for the population.  Prime Minister Pashinyan noted in this connection: “Three different organizations will implement tree planting activities in the provinces mediating paid work which will result in about 1000 temporary jobs.” The Premier stressed that the government intends to make this program continuous. The Executive amended some of its anti-crisis programs. In particular, 36 thousand households shall become 8th event beneficiaries. Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Zaruhi Batoyan said that in addition to envisaging new activity areas, the amendment will provide for civil contract-based employment. The project has a budget of over 2 billion drams. Applications shall be received on May 4.


29 April

The Human Rights Defender of Armenia established round-the-clock monitoring right after the incident that took place in the Armenian town of Gavar, said By the assignment of the Human Rights Defender, rapid reaction groups were sent to police stations, Gavar town, Gavar Medical Center and Noratus village. In Gavar and Noratus the Ombudsman’s representatives will have meetings with the people whose relatives are at police stations. Police officers have already held personal talks with the apprehended and detained persons and examined the grounds for deprivation of liberty. Several citizens have sounded alarms by calling the hotline of the Office of the Human Rights Defender, and necessary measures are being taken within the limits of the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction. As reported earlier, according to the police statement, there are two casualties and wounded as a result of the shootings that took place Tuesday in Gavar town. Subsequently, an attack took place on Gavar Medical Center. 

Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigorian on Thursday insisted that Russian natural gas has never been as cheap for Armenia as was claimed by Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and that Yerevan is right to seek a reduction in its current price. “I agree that during some periods the gas price at the border has been below international levels but I cannot share Mr. Lavrov’s view that it was ever two or three times lower than the market-based price,” he said in written comments to RFE/RL’s Armenian service ( Lavrov dismissed on Tuesday complaints that European Union member states are now paying less for Russian gas than Armenia and Belarus because of the collapse in.


28 April

ARMENPRESS reported, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan urges to get used to living a normal life under the conditions of the novel coronavirus. Speaking live on Facebook, the PM said the coronavirus crisis may last long. “Who now can say how long this state of emergency or the regime of this state of emergency may last. Our calculations show that we will be in this coronavirus crisis up to March of the next year. Everyone gets prepared that coronavirus will still exist until next March. If we do not get used to living a normal life under the conditions of coronavirus, paying the utility bills, we will have a collapse”, he said. He added that it is necessary to return to normal life step by step. Earlier today Pashinyan stated that the current coronavirus-related restrictions across the country will be reduced in the next 10 days.


27 April

Armenia has repeatedly voiced its positions and priorities on the peace process around Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh), the Foreign Ministry's spokesperson said today, reaffirming the strong opposition to a deal proposing a stage-by-stage settlement option. "Armenia's positions and priorities have been raised repeatedly before, the latest [remarks] having been made at the foreign minister's press conference, as well as in my comments to Kommersant," Anna Naghdalyan told Responding to the Azerbaijani news agency APA - about Russian FM Sergey Lavrov's recent statement in Moscow and the subsequent remark by Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, the foreign minister of Armenia - the Russian Foreign Ministry said that the negoatiation process presupposes the "return" of the surrounding regions and the final determination of Nagorno-Karabakh's status through the expression of its people's will. Speaking to the Russian newspaper on Thursday, the Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman ruled out the possibility of negotiating a peace package proposing the "stage-by stage" approach. "Any option which does not envisage the unrestricted exercise of Artsakh's right to self-determination and is likely to pose hazards to its people's security is unacceptable for Armenia. Neither are the proposals submitted back in 2018, which imply a phased settlement option. Moreover, it is since 2018 that Armenia has not conducted any negotiations that would be based on such a phased settlement process," she said.



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29 March 2021
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