Saturday, 23 October 2021

W Weekly Update

12-19 June

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Weekly update


19 June
Pashinián was appointed Prime Minister of Armenia with promises to fight corruption and evict the old families that had held the most juicy government posts for decades. Three years later, weakened after losing the Nagorno Karabakh war in 2020 to Azerbaijan, which has triggered a political and social crisis in Armenia, Pashinian is measured in the snap elections with some of those old school politicians in elections in which the war of Nagorno Karabakh flies over everything, reported The results are expected to be very tight, says analyst Nikolai Torosyán.  The polarization, anger and division between political groups is enormous and observers fear that strong protests will break out after the elections. The general trend in the opposition is that the fault of the defeat in the Nagorno Karabakh war lies with Pashinyan. “Critics assure that Pashinián has proven to be a weak politician who cannot negotiate or manage a government; while Pashinián’s supporters emphasize that the problem is inherited, that it has to do with the corruption of previous administrations and their bad negotiations. This is a choice between the corrupt but professional, and others cleaner, but not professional,” says Torosyán.


18 June
Aram Navasardyan, the representative of the Gallup International in Armenia, on Friday released the results of the latest survey about Sunday’s snap parliamentary elections in Armenia. According to The survey revealed the highest chances of the election victory for the Armenia bloc, led by second President Robert Kocharyan. Navasardyan also stated the authorities are trying to pressure the organization though fake accounts, SNCOs, as well as some media outlets.

The opinion polls suggest that 28.7% of the respondents will vote for the Armenia bloc, 25.2% – for the Civil Contract Party led by Nikol Pashinyan, 10.8% – for the I’m Honored bloc led by Artur Vanetsyan, 5.4% – for Gagik Tsarukyan’s Prosperous Armenia Party and 5.2% – for Edmon Marukyan’s Bright Armenia Party. The Gallup International representative said the other parties and blocs running in the elections could not overcome even the 3% threshold. 51% of the respondents said that they will definitely participate in the elections, 11.4% of the respondents said they rather will participate, 13.8% said they rather will not participate, 22.9% said they will definitely not participate and 0.7% found it difficult to answer this question.


17 June
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and OSCE Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid will discuss the situation over Nagorno Karabakh in Moscow, Armenpress reports official representative of the Russian MFA Maria Zakharova said in a briefing. Zakharova informed OSCE Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid will visit Moscow on June 21 and will meet with Russian FM Sergey Lavrov. Schmid will attend 9th International Security Conference. According to Zakharova, the agenda of Lavrov, Schmid talks includes a wide range of issues of ongoing OSCE work in three areas of security: military-political, economic-environmental, human rights. She added that the sides will also discuss the situation over Nagorno Karabakh.


16 June
In Nagorno-Karabakh, the liberal framework of negotiated settlement, while organizationally intact, remains weakened. According to, instead, the Kremlin remains in charge of the post-war order in Nagorno-Karabakh, but its capacity and willingness to perform this role remains questionable. Since signing the agreement, the Azerbaijani forces have captured around two hundred Armenian civilians and service members, and the Azerbaijani government refuses to release them. Pressure on Baku for their release is building on both sides of the Atlantic, as a Human Rights Watch report documented Armenian prisoners of war being abused in custody.  More recently, on May 12, 2021, a little over six months after the war’s end, Azerbaijani forces advanced and lodged themselves 3.5 kilometers into Armenian territory. Since May 12, six Armenian soldiers have been captured by Azerbaijani forces occupying Armenian territory.


15 June
Former Deputy Defense Minister of Armenia Artak Zakaryan, a candidate of the I’m Honored bloc running in the June 20 snap parliamentary elections, on Tuesday denounced Nikol Pashinyan for using the release of 15 Armenian prisoners of war (POWs) by Azerbaijan in exchange for maps of mined areas as an election campaign tool. In line with, He noted that the mine maps could have been swapped for the prisoners 5-6 months ago, however the authorities delayed the process to the election period allowing the POWs to be subjected to torture to “mislead and fool the public again”. The former deputy minister said that the maps are of great strategic significance, since the mined areas prevented Azerbaijan from unleashing hostilities against Artsakh for many years. “The maps also go to prove how strong protection was provided by the former authorities. Mining is part of the engineering work. It’s about some 97,000 landmines in the area of Akna alone,” he said. Zakaryan said it is important for Azerbaijan to quickly populate the town of Akna (Aghdam), because it already poses a threat to Karabakh. “This is why they purchased the maps from the capitulators, and the latter sold the maps, to put it bluntly, because if he [Pashinyan] had really cared about our captives, he would have resolved this issue long ago, there would have been no discussions,” he said.


14 June
Azerbaijan is particularly interested in establishing a land corridor to its exclave of Nakhichevan through Armenian territory. According to, this is a project in which Azerbaijan’s main sponsor in the recent war, Turkey, has a particular stake as it would open direct land access to the Turkic republics further east in Central Asia. For that strategy to develop, however, Baku needs a government in Armenia capable of delivering on the trilateral statement, in particular the creation of the Nakhchivan transport route. Baku’s frequent invocation of historical claims on Zangazur, or Syunik, an Armenian territory through which that route is supposed to be established, certainly has not served to build trust. A collapse of Armenian statehood, however, would render that agreement unimplementable. Given the alternatives – prolonged instability or Kocharyan’s restoration – Pashinyan’s victory in the upcoming elections is probably the best option for Baku to achieve its objectives. With renewed domestic legitimacy, but externally weak and dependent, he may be the only one capable of delivering on the agreement he himself signed.


13 June
The Azerbaijani military advanced up to 4 kilometers into the new border area as recently as mid-May. According to, in the process, it occupied more than a dozen heights near the Armenian villages of Kut and Verin Shorzha and began building fortifications. “There are no orders to obstruct the Azeris in this area,” an Armenian officer tells. At all posts, soldiers confirm: Orders are not to open fire, but to try to resolve all disputes through negotiations. Warning shots in the air, however, are allowed. Despite the complex situation in the Gegharkunik region, there are no Russian troops here. They have established several posts in Armenian Zyunik and Goris right on the border with Nagorno-Karabakh. A group of the Russian 102nd Military Base stationed in Gyumri is housed there. The number of Russian border guards has also been increased. Additional Russian soldiers now control the airport in Sissian, Armenia.


12 June
Armenian Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan has called for an end to social website posts that insult and demean one’s political opponents. According to Tatoyan, in a statement, said that such cases are on the rise during the ongoing parliamentary election campaign and that they can only intensify the level of intolerance that exists. “We are talking about our compatriots, real people,” Tatoyan writes, adding that such practices violate the personal rights of those whose photos are being disseminated over the internet. “The right to free expression of opinion, private and family life, dignity and dignified treatment must be considered. These guaranteed to every person by the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia and must be respected,” writes Tatoyan.



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