Wednesday, 29 January 2020

W Weekly Update

30 November - 7 December

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Weekly update

 

6 December

  • Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian put an optimistic spin on the economic situation in Armenia on Friday as the National Assembly approved his government’s budget for next year calling for further sizable increases in public spending and tax revenue, said Azatutyun.am. “We are doing well,” Pashinian said amid strong opposition criticism of the spending bill passed by 69 votes to 37. The budget commits the government to spending 1.88 trillion drams (almost $4 billion), up by 14 percent from its expenditures projected for this year.

 

5 December

  • Foreign Minister of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan delivered a statement at the 26th meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Bratislava.
  • According to TASS, NATO has not responded to Russian proposals on reducing tensions between Moscow and the alliance, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday. "Russia’s proposals on reducing tensions on the line of contact between Russia and the North-Atlantic Alliance remain unanswered. There has been no response either to a message by the Collective Security Treaty Organization member-states to their NATO colleagues," Lavrov told a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Ministerial Council in Slovakia’s capital of Bratislava. Russia’s top diplomat highlighted that Moscow seeks to continue dialogue with Western states “involving military experts and without politicizing this process.”

 

4 December

  • Natural gas has begun flowing this week along the new 1,800-mile, $55 billion "Power of Siberia" pipeline linking Russia and China -- the most significant energy project for Russia since the end of the Soviet Union. It's a testimony to the increasingly close, and for the United States quite dangerous, ties between the two countries, CNN posted opinion by David A. Andelman. And as if this were not enough to send shivers through American strategic planners, Iran has now announced that it will be joining Russia and China for joint, month-long military exercises in the northern Indian Ocean starting December 22. The gas pipeline project itself brings together America's two leading adversaries, who at one time were utterly at odds with each other, but who have been driven closer than at any time in their history by domestic and international circumstances.
  • Armenia is investigating former president Serzh Sarksyan on suspicion of exceeding his authority and embezzling of around $1 million in state funds, the special investigation service said on Wednesday. Sarksyan stepped down in April last year following protests over him going back on his promise not to become prime minister of the ex-Soviet country after two terms as the president, Reuters reported. Critics have accused Sarksyan and his former allies of cracking down on democracy, corruption and mismanagement during their time in power Armenia, a country that depends heavily on Russian aid and investment. They have denied those allegations. Dozens of former officials, including Sarkysan’s predecessor, ex-president Robert Kocharyan, have previously been arrested on different charges and are awaiting trial. Kocharyan denies wrongdoing. Investigators said on Wednesday that Sarksyan was abusing his power as the president to influence results of the state tenders in 2013.
  • President Armen Sarkissian participated today in the Silicon Mountains technological conference held in Yerevan, said the Presidential Office. In the framework of the conference, which is dedicated to smart decisions in the area of IT and information technologies and trends anticipated at the global market in the coming years, the Armenian IT and information companies and invited foreign experts will present to the business community and state sector the projected challenges and will conduct discussions on the trends of development of modern technologies.

 

3 December

  • Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan received foreign ministers of Armenia and Artsakh Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Masis Mayilyan on December 3. As ARMENPRESS was informed from the Office of the Prime Minister of Armenia, the interlocutors discussed issues referring to the cooperation between Armenia and Artsakh in the peace process of Nagorno Karabakh conflict. They highlighted the regularity of similar meetings for summing up the joint works and outlining the future activities. PM Pashinyan particularly highlighted the involvement of the democratically elected leadership of Artsakh in the process of the peaceful settlement.

 

2 December

  • Russia continues to play an active role in mediating efforts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. This is stated in a commentaryof the Russian Foreign Ministry, said News.am. "One of the priorities of Russia's foreign policy is to assist the parties in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict; the issue is in the focus of the Russian president's attention,” the comment also reads. “We expect that the conflict can be resolved solely through political-diplomatic means, through a dialogue between the parties. We will continue to contribute to the settlement, both within the OSCE Minsk Group and taking into account our close ties with Azerbaijan and Armenia.”

 

Sources: https://armenpress.am, https://www.president.am, https://www.azatutyun.am/en, https://news.am/eng/, https://www.reuters.com/, https://tass.com, http://cnn.com.

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