The spokesperson for the Armenian Ministry of Defense Artsrun Hovhannisyan has published photos in which villages of Nakhijevan are visible. Hovhannisyan commented to these photos: “If this were called controlling, then it turns out that we fully control Ordvan-Ordubad and the adjacent villages. I took the pictures myself.” Note that recently the Azerbaijani ministry of defense has been publishing pictures in which the Armenian villages are seen, claiming that they control these areas and the interstate road.
During his press conference on July 20 Nikol Pashinyan made an important statement on Russia’s responsibility for peace and security in the region. “As a super power, Russia can prevent resumption of war in our region. And I cannot believe that Armenia’s strategic ally Russia will not use its leverages in the region to prevent resumption of war. I do not believe this. I cannot believe that Russia will allow a war or will not use its levers to keep Azerbaijan from provocations,” Pashinyan said.
Two days before the press conference the servicemen of the Russian military base drove around and fired their rifles, causing chaos in the village of Panik, Shirak region, later explaining that it was a drill. There have been other incidents caused by the servicemen of the Russian base which has become a real pain for the people living in and around Gyumri City.
Earlier the mayor of Panik village had requested the Russian ambassador to restore the roads damaged by the tanks and armored cars of the base.
The incident in Panik has resulted in appeals to review the role of the Russian base in Armenia and the conditions of its stationing in Armenia. It is known that Russia does not pay for the base. Moreover, the Russian government covers the utility costs of the base and transportation of loads via the Russian Railway.
What have the previous authorities received in return for these privileges provided to the Russian base? Experts say they enjoyed Moscow’s loyalty and approval of retaining power.
The current government of Armenia does not need this. Moscow must explain to Armenia the existence of its base. Bordyuzha, the former secretary general of CSTO said, for example, that the base is not aimed against Turkey. It has also been announced many times that the base will not participate in the war if Azerbaijan attacks again.
What is the purpose of retaining the base if it is not aimed against Turkey and Azerbaijan? Who will the base “protect” Armenia from? Its friends Iran and Georgia? Or does this mean that Russia, not Armenia needs the base?
Nikol Pashinyan has actually uttered the price. Russia must provide guarantees for peace and security and prevent resumption of war. Only these guarantees will justify the existence of the Russian base.
“Today I am amazed by the volume of corruption in Armenia. This defies imagination, and my toughest speech on corruption simply sounds funny compared to the real scales of robbery which took place,” Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said during a press conference yesterday.
“Imagine a country where the prime minister is shocked every day and this is the prime minister who has constantly repeated during his previous political and journalistic career that this country is being robbed. However, even this prime minister is shocked every day because he cannot believe that it is possible to be shameless to this extent,” he said.
The prime minister said unless they understand the real scale of this disaster, there will not be reforms in our country.
“And the fundamental issue is whether we will be capable of establishing relations based on truth in our country. If you do not know the truth, it is different, but when you know, when you are facing the question what to do with the truth. And now, ex officio, I know truths which I am not sure what the public will do when they know. Will they say good for you, government, you told us the truth? Or will they say they didn’t need to know this truth?” Nikol Pashinyan said.
What has become known to the prime minister who thought nothing would surprise him after his intensive journalistic and political career? Of course, one thing is to understand the theory and schemes of what was happening. Another thing is to discover their nature and scale.
Moreover, Pashinyan says there is robbery in such places that it is hard to believe. And it means that corruption has gone into all spheres of life and affected the public in general. Apparently, this is the reason why he doubts whether the public will like the truth or not.
Corruption had become a life style. In Armenia a child is born into such setting, and goes through their further life in nursery school, school, university, career, business, solution of big and small everyday issues. There is not a big choice, and not everyone can overcome it.
The system encourages this state of things with its set of values and motivation, imposing its own notions of right and wrong, technically offering “evidence”. This was the ideology and rules of the system which enabled it to retain its privilege and profits through wasting public and political resources.
During twenty years of existence of the system these phenomena evolved and reached a level of moral perversion when corruption is “hereditary”. We already see how entire families arrested.
Nevertheless, truth is better, even if it is bitter or is not pleasant to people. The public must see this horrid picture in full detail to understand the scale and causes of the disaster. This is the way of cleaning up relations and making change irreversible.
During his press conference on July 20 Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan actually turned over the page of the current stage in the Karabakh settlement. He put forth several important conditions for the resumption of talks but since they were unrealistic for Azerbaijan since the beginning, the talks are apparently in a standstill.
A lasting settlement of the Karabakh issue is impossible without the participation of the people of Artsakh, Nikol Pashinyan said. This is the first condition which Azerbaijan cannot accept.
The second condition is that Azerbaijan must demonstrate its readiness for compromise for the Armenian side to go on to discuss its share of concessions.
“We make a methodical mistake when we ask any representative of the Armenian government whether the settlement based on giving up on territories for a status is unacceptable or not. Has anyone asked whether this settlement is acceptable for Azerbaijan or not? Compromise requires two parties which are ready for compromise. I want to understand why we are discussing our readiness for compromise if it is obvious that Azerbaijan is not ready for compromise. When we receive a message that Azerbaijan is ready for compromise, we will discuss nationwide what compromise exists for us,” Nikol Pashinyan said.
The third condition is confidence. “We regularly pass to the co-chairs that we are ready for the settlement and it requires confidence which is being destroyed by Azerbaijan. You will not see Azerbaijan take any such step,” Pashinyan said, adding that Azerbaijan’s bellicose rhetoric is unacceptable for us.
Hence, Nikol Pashinyan has announced about the conditions of Armenia the most important one of which is Azerbaijan’s readiness for compromise. Is Baku ready to discuss the independent status of Karabakh? So far Azerbaijan has stated the opposite, and it means that there is nothing to discuss.
Nevertheless, Nikol Pashinyan thinks that the negotiations as such are useful. He said he is ready to negotiate with the president of Azerbaijan, and there is a topic for negotiations which he needs to discuss and analyze.
Baku has continuously stated that the absence of negotiations may lead to resumption of military actions. Azerbaijan buys weapons and tries to put pressure on the Armenian side with the threat of war.
In this respect, Nikol Pashinynan puts the responsibility for peace in the region on Russia. “As a super power Russia can prevent the resumption of war in our region. And I cannot believe that Armenia’s strategic ally Russia will not use its leverages in the region to prevent resumption of war. I do not believe this. I cannot believe that Russia will allow a war or will not use its levers to keep Azerbaijan from provocations,” Pashinyan said.
In the latest meeting of government Nikol Pashinyan commented on loan programs “which are not implemented, have not even been launched, sometimes were not completed, including due to others’ failure to implement their obligations. Armenia is making payments under these loan programs. We need to study this situation in depth and discuss.”
Nikol Pashinyan has instructed the ministers to submit the full list of these programs to the prime minister’s office. “This is a situation that we need to study in depth, this is at least a strange situation, I don’t want to draw a final conclusion on this,” he said.
The prime minister did not say what loan programs those are. They are supposed to be foreign loans which Armenia is repaying. In addition, those are supposed to be huge amounts and judging by the prime minister’s words, this situation has occurred not on the government’s fault.
It is known that loans and remittances were one of the sources of feeding the former government. This money was an airbag for the system that ensured the stability and profits of quotas.
The Investigative Committee has informed today about a scheme disclosed in the mining sector.
“The stocks of 19 companies dealing with mining and geology were bought at different times by several people and organizations and sold to organizations based in the Cayman Islands. In addition, the stocks of 17 companies were sold to one foreign company,” the Investigative Committee informs.
The assets of the companies incorporated in Armenia and their management is conducted by one center therefore numerous mining companies were managed by one company which killed competition on the market and increased centralization. A criminal case has been brought up under Article 195 Para 1 of the Criminal Code for unlawful artificial increase or decrease or maintaining of monopolistic prices, as well as limiting market competition based on a preliminary agreement or agreed actions which are aimed at dividing the market based on the territorial principle, hindering the appearance of other economic entities, ousting other economic entities from the market, discriminative prices etc.
The disclosures in Armenia are often described as a show. There is also a point of view that these disclosures are not a systemic fight against corruption but separate episodes It is possible, it is possible there are also episodes of a show but today the show ended. These two press releases are about serious systemic schemes next to which General Manvel or Serzh Sargsyan’s driver are just “pickpockets”.
In addition, in both cases we are dealing with an international scale which makes the situation more serious.
The early parliamentary elections must be held under the classic proportional system, the representative of Yelq Alliance Edmon Marukyan said during the meeting of the working group for the reforms of the electoral legislation on July 20. Marukyan said it will facilitate the organization and conduct of elections.
“Yelq and the government have supported this option because the goal is to organize early elections. The more complicated the electoral order, the more the elections will be postponed. And if they are postponed, the situation that we have today when it is not clear who is government and who is opposition will aggravate,” Edmon Marukyan said.
The Republican Party of Armenia disagrees that any system other than the proportional one will set back the elections, Armenpress reports. Republican Davit Harutiunyan says they will support the recommendations of the ARF Dashnaktsutyun if their recommendations are not accepted.
“The model presented by ARF Dashnaktsutyun has one drawback. Their recommendations do not guarantee representation of territorial candidates. Because nobody supported the option that we proposed, we prefer to support the proposal of the ARF Dashnaktsutyun because it is more democratic. This model allows strengthening internal democracy of political parties,” Davit Harutiunyan said.
Tsarukyan Alliance suggests eliminating or reducing the human factor in counting votes. The representative of the Alliance Naria Zohrabyan says this brings up a high risk of stealing votes.
“Nobody can guarantee that their fellow party members will not pick ballots voted for another person and put it under their name,” Naira Zohrabyan said.
The representative of ARF Dashnaktsutyun Armen Rustamyan is also prone to eliminating the human factor and notes the lack of team confidence in this case.
“If there is a risk of stealing votes from each other, it means there is lack of confidence within the team and the precinct. This is one of the cornerstones of the electoral process. We cannot resume the elections. I am for technical solutions to eliminate the human factor and it’s worth investing money,” Armen Rustamyan said.
During the meeting of the working group the issue of individual campaigns of candidates was discussed as well. The political parties have a unified approach on this matter. The state will not enable an individual to conduct their individual campaign.
“Individuals cannot establish electoral funds. If they want to campaign for themselves, they can do it on their expense, such as going door to door in their precinct,” the representative of the ARF Dashnaktsutyun Armen Rustamyan said.
Tsarukyan Alliance announced that they are ready for consensus and to discuss all the options.
During the next meeting the political forces will discuss all the recommendations and specify the ones which must be included in the draft amendments to the electoral code.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan described the sale of weapons to Azerbaijan by Belarus a major issue, Armenpress informs, referring to his interview with euroradio.fm.
“We have good relations with Belarus but I think that we have a big potential and we must use it. Of course, we have concerns about the sale of weapons to Azerbaijan by Belarus and this is a major issue for our relations. I have talked to President Lukashenko about this. And you know, the problem is aggravated by the fact that Armenia and Belarus are strategic partners within CSTO. All the citizens of Armenia are concerned about the fact that Belarus sells weapons to Azerbaijan,” Nikol Pashinyan says.
The reporter said he knows that the prime minister and other Armenian officials are trying to persuade Minsk and Lukashenko not to sell weapons to Azerbaijan and asked Pashinyan’s opinion whether they will succeed.
In answer to this the prime minister said: “I think he was wrong that we try to persuade. We explain our position on this issue. We respect the interests of Belarus and we hope that Belarus respects the interests of Armenia. Unfortunately, such actions are unacceptable, and I want to say it straightforward.”
The Investigative Committee has launched proceedings on the criminal case of intentional hiding of information on pollution by officials of the Ministry of Environmental Protection after a report came on pollution caused by operations of Amulsar gold mine by Lydian Armenia CJSC.
It became known that Geoteam CJSC which was later renamed Lydian Armenia CJSC has submitted an environmental impact assessment report to the Environmental Impact Assessment Center SNCO based on which on 29 April 2016 the SNCO issued a positive conclusion despite available information on possible risks of chemical pollution in case of operation of the ore extraction facilities.
Meanwhile, information was received during the preparation of files that officials of the Ministry of Environmental Protection were informed about the aforementioned high risk but intentionally hid information on risk to their life and health.
Criminal proceedings were launched under Article 282 Para 1 of the Criminal Code, the Investigative Committee informed.
In his press conference on July 20, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan answered the question about Russian prankers who have telephoned several times high-ranking officials of EU and member states and talked to them on behalf of Nikol Pashinyan. The latest was their telephone call to the President of the European CommissionJuncker and High Commissioner Mogherini.
Nikol Pashinyan has announced that there is humor but he thinks there is also political context, and the prankers are trying to find out through these conversations whether the EU has assisted the revolution in Armenia and to what extent. “I hope they have clarified and are done. That is it,” Pashinyan said.
Note that according to the Russian press, prankers work closely with the special services of the Russian Federation and serve as a source of information.
In 2018 on July 19th “HayPost” CJSC has cancelled and put into circulation a postcard with one stamp dedicated to the theme “National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet after A. Spendiaryan. 150th anniversary of the first Armenian opera “Arshak II””. The cancellation has taken place in the National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet after A. Spendiarian.
The postcard has been issued with a print run of 500 pcs. The author of the postcard’s design is the designer of “HayPost” CJSC David Dovlatyan.
The postage stamp of the postcard depicts a fragment of the performance of Tigran Tchoukhadjian’s first Armenian opera “Arshak II”. The left part of the postcard depicts the night photo of the building of the National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet after A. Spendiaryan.
The participants of the postcard signing ceremony were the RA Deputy Minister of Transport, Communication and Information Technologies Armen Arzumanyan, Director and Artistic Director of the National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet after A. Spendiaryan Constantine Orbelian, “HayPost” CJSC Postal Branches Administration Area Manager Lilit Tadevosyan, President of the Union of Philatelists of the RA Hovik Musayelyan.
The cancellation ceremony of the postcard was followed by the presentation of Tigran Tchoukhadjian’s “Arshak II” opera.
Date of issue: July 19, 2018
Designer: David Dovlatyan
Printing house: “Asoghik”
Stamp size: 35,0 x 25,0 mm
Postcard size: 150,0 x 110,0 mm
Print run: 500 pcs.
“HayPost Trust Management” BV