Saturday, 23 October 2021

W Weekly Update

17-24 July

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Weekly update


24 July
Armenia’s Human Rights Defender (Ombudsman) Arman Tatoyan has released a new ad hoc report on shootings of the Azerbaijani forces, reports Since 14 July 2021, the Azerbaijani armed forces initiated shootings using different calibers of weapons on the Armenian positions, and towards the Yeraskh community. According to the Human Rights Defender’s Office, as a result of the shootings, a serviceman of the RA Armed Forces was killed in the Yeraskh part. Moreover, fires broke out every day in the immediate vicinity of the community and the Head of Yeraskh, who was extinguishing the fire, was targeted and wounded by the Azerbaijani armed servicemen. This ad hoc public report illustrates the results of the fact-finding activities in Yeraskh community of Ararat Province of the Republic of Armenia conducted by the Human Rights Defender’s Office on 14- 21 July, 2021. The report encompasses actions undertaken by the Human Rights Defender’s Office during the missions, key findings and conclusions of the fact-finding activities, based on the complaints received by the residents, statements of the Ministry of Defense and reports published in media.


23 July
Georgia plans to build what is being called a compact corridor from Armenia to Russia, an alternative route to Russia that does not need to be accessed through Azerbaijan. According to, this project is part of Georgia’s plans to build some 20 roads by 2024, Armenia’s Public Radio correspondent Gita Elibekyan reported while in Tbilisi. The road, that is slated to stretch from the Sadakhlo checkpoint in Armenia to the Russia, will allow Yerevan to become part of the East-West European Highway. The project is being financed through a European Investment bank loan provided to Georgia for the construction of a new road leading to the Armenian border. Contruction on the project, which was postponed due to the pandemic, will begin soon and is expected to cut travel time from Armenia to Russia by 50 percent.The road will bypass Marneuli and other surrounding area, becoming a new transit option for cargo transportation from Armenia to Russia. This effort is part of what is known as “the project of the century,” the East-West Highway (E-60), which is the second largest European transit corridor.


22 July
Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, referred to the Artsakh war and Turkey's counterproductive role in the South Caucasus region during a full committee hearing on U.S. Policy on Turkey with Victoria Nuland, In line with, under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, on Wednesday, reported the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly). In his opening remarks, Chairman Menendez cited the "pattern of Turkish aggression that has become the norm." He stated: "Last summer, Erdogan provided military support to Azerbaijani strikes against ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh. He also facilitated the passage of militants from Syria to fight on the side of Azerbaijan. Yet these actions solicited no penalty from the Trump Administration. No concrete reaction from the international community. No sanction. This is unacceptable." Chairman Menendez said he "expects more" from the Biden Administration and looks forward to "understanding how the State Department views Turkey's role in last year's war and what measures can be taken in response." During an exchange with Under Secretary Nuland, Chairman Menendez asked her if she is familiar with Turkey "facilitating the transfer of fighters from Syria to Azerbaijan during the 2020 war in Nagorno-Karabakh."


21 July
The United States will impose additional unilateral sanctions on Turkey if it continues to acquire large military equipment and systems from Russia, Armenpress reports Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland announced. ''We continue to oppose Turkey's purchase of Russian S-400 air-defense systems. We have made it clear that new large-scale arms purchases from Russia will be followed by additional sanctions. Sales of F-35 fighter jets to Ankara by Washington and their joint production will remain suspended'', Nuland said. Victoria Nuland announced that she and many members of the US administration did not understand why the NATO ally wanted to acquire Russian systems, jeopardizing everything, including the joint production of the new generation F-35 fighter jets.


20 July
Defense Minister Vagharshak Harutiunian resigned on Tuesday ahead of a post-election cabinet reshuffle planned by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian. According to Pashinian had appointed the 65-year-old retired general as defense minister on November 20 in the wake of Armenia’s defeat in the six-week war with Azerbaijan. In what appeared to be a related development, Pashinian appointed another general, Arshak Karapetian, as the country’s first deputy defense minister on Tuesday. At least two independent media outlets have reported after the June 20 parliamentary elections that Karapetian will likely replace Harutiunian. The daily Zoghovurd said on Tuesday that he will be named defense minister “several days later,” after Pashinian forms a new cabinet required by Armenian law. Karapetian, 54, is a former chief of Armenian military intelligence who was fired in 2016 following four-day hostilities around Nagorno-Karabakh which left about 80 Armenian soldiers dead. Then President Serzh Sarkisian said the intelligence service failed to obtain “precise information” about the Azerbaijani offensive beforehand.


19 July
Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold talks with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev in Moscow on July 20, the Kremlin press service announced Monday, adding that the two leaders plan to discuss the implementation of agreements on Nagorno-Karabakh, among other things. In line with, "On July 20, 2021, negotiations will take place between President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Heydar Oglu Aliyev, who will be in Russia with a working visit," the statement says. The leaders will exchange opinions on the ongoing regional issues. "The main focus will be given to the practical aspects of the implementation of November 9, 2020, and January 11, 2021, agreements of leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia on Nagorno-Karabakh, including regarding the unblocking and development of economic and transport ties," the Kremlin said.


18 July
When the person holding the most responsible position in the state makes a reference to unofficial sources, it is incomprehensible not only for experts, but also for the international community, President of the International Center for Human Development (ICHD) Tevan Poghosyan told a news conference on Monday. In line with, his comments came after caretaker Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated at a press conference with President of the European Council Charles Michel on Saturday that “according to information obtained from unofficial sources, Azerbaijan intends to provoke new military clashes in Artsakh and along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.” According to Poghosyan, if such information has been provided by the government institutions, the head of state should proudly announce it, using the formulation "according to our reliable sources" and "according to our security services", rather than “unofficial sources”. “Information from unofficial sources can be obtained on social media or heard on the street,” Poghosyan said. In this case, according to the expert, the head of state either says that “we do not have state institutions, or he sends a message to other institutions.”


17 July
European Council President Charles Michel reaffirmed on Saturday the European Union’s pledge to provide Armenia with up to 2.6 billion euros ($3.1 billion) in economic assistance and investments over the next five years. According to visiting Yerevan, Michel said the “unprecedented financial package” is designed to help the Armenian government continue “democratic reforms” and improve the socioeconomic situation in the country. The hefty sum is part of an “economic and investment plan” drafted by the European Commission for six ex-Soviet republics covered by the EU’s Eastern Partnership program. The EU’s executive body said earlier this month that it has asked the bloc’s 27 member states to approve the plan, potentially worth 17 billion euros in “public and private investments,” at an Eastern Partnership summit slated for December. The commission is specifically seeking 1.6 billion euros ($1.9 billion) in EU grants, loans and loan guarantees for five “flagship initiatives” drawn up by it for Armenia. That includes up to 500 million euros in funding for some 30,000 small and medium-sized enterprises and 600 million euros worth of capital investments in the country’s transport infrastructure. EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi announced in Yerevan on July 9 that the EU will also raise an additional 1 billion euros for Armenia “together with our international partners.”



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