Tuesday, 19 June 2018

I am sharing two exciting news with you!

  

I've been eager to share two exciting news with you!
Lithuanian A-Class actor, Leo Pobedonoscevas, has been in Armenia the last few days to work with the creative team to continue to develop his character in the film. Here is his interview with 1TV.
cast - collage

Secondly, we have created new platforms especially designed for Armenians living in Armenia and Russia.
Here is our Idram ID for transfers via Idram payment system: 207203203.
This one is for Armenians living in Russia. Please click here or send the link to a friend or two.
And of course, here is our crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe.
Help us spread the word so your friends can also become part of Gate to Heaven film.
Let's make Gate to Heaven happen together!
Thank you very much on behalf of me and the whole creative team.
Best regards,
Jivan
  

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2 հիանալի նորություն ունեմ

  
Երկու նորություն ունեմ Ձեզ հետ կիսվելու:
Առաջինն այն է, որ Ֆիլմի գլխավոր դերասանական կազմն արդեն ամբողջանում է: Օրերս Երևանում էր լիտվացի հայտնի դերասան Լեո Պոբեդոնոսցևասը: Միասին աշխատեցինք իր կերպարի զարգացման և այլ աշխատանքների վրա: Այստեղ կարող եք տեսնել Առաջին ալիքի անդրադարձը:
image
Հաջորդ նորությունն այն է, որ ստեղծել ենք նոր հարթակներ հատուկ հայաստանաբնակ և ռուսաստանաբնակ հայրենակիցների համար:
Այսուհետ արդեն փոխանցում կարող եք կատարել Իդրամ օնլայն դրամապանակի հաշվին՝ Idram ID - 207203203:
Այս մի հարթակը ստեղծված է ռուսաստանաբնակ հայերի համար: Սեղմեք այստեղ և ծանոթացեք կամ ուղարկեք Ռուսաստանի Ձեր ընկերներին:
Եվ իհարկե շարունակում է գործել համաֆինանսավորման հարթակը GoFundMe-ում, որը կարող եք տեսնել այստեղ:
Եթե ոչ Դուք, ապա մեկ ընկերոջ հորդորեք միանալ և աջակցել «Դրախտի դարպասը» ֆիլմին:
«Դրախտի դարպասը» թո՛ղ դառնա և Ձերը։
Շնորհակալ եմ Ձեզ իմ և ողջ ստեղծագործական խմբի անունից։
Հարգանքով՝
Ջիվան
  
 
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Sunday, 17 June 2018

Dr Dikran Abrahamian - Keghart.com

Բաբգէն Պօյաճեան, Ճարտարապետ, Թորոնթօ
 

Armenian Elected to Ontario Parliament

Congratulatory letters: Minister of Diaspora Affairs of Armenia, speaker of the National Assembly and leader of the Republican Party of Armenia 
 
 
Ռուբէն Յովակիմեան, Փարիզ
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Dr. Dikran Abrahamian · 15 Bridle Rd. · Penetanguishene, On L9M 1J5 · Canada

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Armenian News... A Topalian... Azeri killing of Soldier = Provocation, yet again!

Panorama, Armenia
June 11 2018
Armenian MFA blasts Azeri killing of Artsakh soldier as ’provocation’

A spokesperson for the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has blasted Azerbaijan for the recent ceasefire violation on the contact line that left an Artsakh soldier dead, the ministry’s press service told Panorama.am.

In his commentary issued on Monday, Tigran Balayan slammed the incident as a ‘provocation’, stressing Azerbaijan bears full responsibility for the possible consequences of the incident.

The full statement is provided below:
“Yesterday night, an Armenian soldier was shot dead as result of Azerbaijan's gross violation of the ceasefire regime on Artsakh-Azerbaijan Line of Contact. We extend our deepest condolences to the relatives and fellow servicemen of the deceased.

We consider this action, committed on the eve of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs’ visit to Armenia, as another provocation by Baku aimed at escalating the situation and failing the agreements on reducing tensions. This incident once again stresses the importance of implementing the 1994-1995 trilateral ceasefire agreements with no time limitations, as well as the agreements on introducing a mechanism for investigating border incidents as agreed at the 2016-2017 Summits on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and on expanding the capacities of the Personal representative of OSCE Chairman-in-Office.  

We have repeatedly stated that creating the environment conducive to peace is of key importance in Nagorno-Karabakh peace process. Such actions of the Azerbaijani side are in fact pursuing the opposite goal.

The Azerbaijani side is fully responsible for all the possible consequences of this provocation.”

An Artsakh Defense Army soldier identified as Vahagn J. Eloyan (born in 1992) was fatally wounded as a result of Azerbaijani gunfire on Sunday evening at a military post in the southeastern direction.

A probe has been launched into the incident.


168.am
 June 11 2018

Pashinyan, Aliyev to have first face-to-face meeting at 2018 FIFA World Cup opening in Moscow


According to Azerbaijani news media, President Ilham Aliyev will also participate in the June 14 opening ceremony of 2018 FIFA World Cup in Moscow, Russia.

The grand opening will take place in the Russian capital’s Luzhniki stadium.

The Armenian foreign minister had earlier confirmed Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s participation in the opening ceremony, which means the 2018 FIFA World Cup opening will be the first event where the new Armenian leader will meet Azerbaijan’s president.


TASS, Russia
June 11 2018
Supporters, adversaries of Armenian Church Primate brawl in Yerevan
Protests demanding Karekin II to step down began in Yerevan on June 6

  A demonstration demanding resignation of the Catholicos of All Armenians, Karekin II, grew over into a mass brawl near the downtown church of St Anne in Yerevan on Sunday, a TASS correspondent said in an eyewitness report on Sunday.
 
The protesters started chanting their slogans right at the moment Karekin II had come out of the church building after a mass. Their chanting provoked the supporters of the Catholicos and a scuffle broke out.
 
"You don’t have any right to demand defrocking from our Catholicos," said one of the bishops of the Armenian Apostolic Church who escorted Karekin II. "We know who’s standing behind your backs and what goals you’re pursuing."
 
"These protesters are seeking to enfeeble the Armenian Church," he said.
 
His Holiness Karekin II refrained from comments on the incident and withdrew from the scene.
 
Police managed to break up the fight between the two camps, which consisted mostly of clergymen.
 
Protests waving the demand for Karekin II’s stepping down from the post began in Yerevan on June 6. Secular Armenians take part in them alongside the clerics. The protester claim that the Catholicos’s defrocking is the only way to facilitate reforms in the Church, the oldest denomination of Christianity in the world.
 
The Council of Bishops of the Armenian Church condemned the protests on June 6, while Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said the state did not interfere in Church affairs. He refrained from any comments on the conflict.
 
Under the canonical law of the Armenian Apostolic Church, a Catholicos is elected for life. The Supreme Spiritual Council of the Church elected Karekin II to the post in 1999.
 

News.am, Armenia
June 10 2018
Aurora ceremony held in Yerevan              

The conclusive event of the 2018 Aurora Prize is underway at the National Opera and Ballet Theater named after Alexander Spendiaryan.

The winner of the 2018 Avrora Prize was announced earlier on Sunday. Lawyer and activist Kyaw Hla Aung was awarded for protection of the rights of Rohingya people in Myanmar, despite pressure, persecution and harassment.

The Aurora Prize is awarded by the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative on behalf of all survivors of the Armenian Genocide and as a token of gratitude to their saviors. This year, 750 applications from 115 countries have been received.
During the event, Armenian President Armen Sarkissian delivered a keynote speech.

“It is noteworthy that the regular awarding ceremony takes place in Armenia, at a time when the Armenians, and especially the youth, have increased their aspiration for freedom, light and dream.

It is very valuable that people invest in humanism. Let’s not forget that we were treated like this 100 years ago in different parts of the world, and people provided assistance and shelter to Armenians who survived the Genocide. Today we are striving to return what we received more than 100 years ago.

Armenia leads a consistent struggle for the right to self-determination of the people of Artsakh. Of course, it is not a mere coincidence that Armenia is ready and has taken steps to normalize relations with Azerbaijan, which remained unanswered. Of course, it is not by chance that major changes in Armenia took place in an atmosphere of peace,” the president said.


RFE/RL Report
Ex-Aide Regrets Obama’s Failure To Recognize Armenian Genocide
June 08, 2018
Artak Hambardzumian

Samantha Power, a former special adviser to President Barack Obama, on Friday 
expressed regret at his failure to ensure an official U.S. recognition of the 
1915 Armenian genocide in Ottoman Turkey during his tenure.

Speaking to RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) in Yerevan, Power said 
Obama did not honor a key election campaign pledge because he did not want to jeopardize a rapprochement between Armenia and Turkey and feared that Ankara could obstruct U.S. efforts to defeat the Islamic State extremist group.

Power, who advised Obama on foreign policy and human rights before serving as U.S. ambassador to the United States from 2013-2017, also blamed the “very 
volatile personality” of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Obama referred to the Armenian genocide as a “widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence” when he ran for president in 2008. He said that if elected he will officially recognize the World War One-era slaughter of some 1.5 million Armenians as genocide.

During that presidential race, Power famously recorded a five-minute video that 
urged Americans of Armenian descent to vote for Obama because of his stance on the genocide issue.

“I have great regret that we did not manage to go all the way to full 
recognition in the way that we had promised,” Power told RFE/RL during her 
first-ever visit to Armenia. “I really believed going into the White House that 
we would.”

“But in 2009, which was really the year that we would have done it right at the 
beginning, President Obama made clear that his view of the facts had not 
changed and everybody knew his view,” she said. “But he felt that the 
Armenian-Turkish normalization was at a very important and very fragile stage.

“Then, I think, at the hundred anniversary [of the genocide in 2015,] when it 
would have been another opportune time to recognize, we had just been granted access to Turkish bases to fight ISIS (Islamic State).”

“Turkey is a very powerful and large country that’s a NATO ally and has a lot 
of weight,” added the former U.S. official. “President Erdogan of course is a 
very volatile personality. So that also meant that some of the threats that he 
made were deemed more credible frankly.”

Armenia - Samantha Power speaks at a panel discussion in Yerevan, 8 June 2018.
Power made clear that she thinks none of these factors justified Obama’s 
decisions. “There is really no excuse because, as I wrote before I became a 
U.S. government official, there really is never a good time to do it,” she 
said. “There is always going to be some set of issues and equities on the other 
side of the argument.”

Obama reportedly came very close to recognizing the genocide in an April 2015. 
While avoiding the politically sensitive word, he implicitly praised Pope 
Francis for calling the 1915 mass killings “the first genocide of the 20th 
century.” He also paid tribute to Henry Morgenthau, America’s World War One-era ambassador in Constantinople who tried to stop what he saw as a “campaign of race extermination.”

Obama’s 2015 statement followed a reportedly heated debate within his 
administration. The Associated Press reported at the time that an explicit 
recognition of the Armenian genocide was advocated by administration officials 
who deal more directly with human rights issues. Power was said to be among 
them.

Power said on Friday that the current and future U.S. administrations should 
follow the example of two dozen other nations and “defy the bullying that 
genocide deniers have done.” Asked whether she thinks President Donald Trump 
may do so, she said: “Trump is so volatile. Maybe we wake up one morning and 
there’ll be the tweet that we’ve all been waiting for: recognizing the 
genocide.”

In any case, the former Obama administration official went on, Armenians should keep fighting for greater international recognition of the genocide. They have already made major progress in that endeavor, she said, arguing that “there is almost nobody in any doubt around the world about the events of 1915.”

Power was visiting Armenia as a new member of an international committee that 
will select this weekend the latest winner of an annual humanitarian award 
created in memory of the Armenian genocide victims.

The Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity award was established in 2015 by three prominent Diaspora Armenians: philanthropists Ruben Vardanyan and Noubar Afeyan, and Vartan Gregorian, the president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York. It is designed to honor individuals around the world who risk their lives to help others.


ARKA, Armenia
June 11 2018
Prominent economist Daron Acemoglu willing to support Armenia in development, democratization and reformation 

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has talked to Daron Acemoglu, a prominent economist, via videoconference, the Armenian government’s press office reported on Monday. 

They discussed prospects for developing Armenia and grounds for cooperation. 

According to the government’s press release, Tigran Avinyan, vice premier, Varag Siseryan, head of the vice-premier’s office, Alexander Khachaturyan, head of the Strategic Initiatives Center, and Erik Gyulazyan, the sustainable development director of the innovative laboratory, took part in the video conference.   

The economist said that time has come to initiate and launch short-, mid- and long-term institutional political, judicial and financial reforms.

He also stressed the importance of improvement of investment environment. 

Acemoglu said reforms should imply particular actions for receiving results in particular time. 

He stressed the importance of introduction of flexible mechanisms of institutional balances in different segments of power, which will leave no room for the vicious phenomena that existed before and which will make the government’s work more transparent letting the public keep its eye on the government’s activity. 

Thanks to the current government’s steps, he said, citizens feel their involvement in politics. Many people in Armenia are now inspired and they are anxious to become a part of politics.   

The economist voiced willingness to support the Armenian government in development, democratization and reformation of the country. 

Pashinyan and Acemoglu decided to continue the discussion. 


RFE/RL Report
Karabakh Leader Vows To Quit In 2020
June 11, 2018

Bako Sahakian, Nagorno-Karabakh’s president, announced on Monday that he will not again seek reelection when his current term in office ends in 2020.

Sahakian controversially extended his decade-long rule after Karabakh enacted a 
new constitution in a referendum held in February 2017. The new constitution 
calls for the Armenian-populated region’s transition by 2020 to a fully 
presidential system of government.

The authorities in Stepanakert said that this change will put Karabakh in a 
better position to cope with the unresolved conflict with Azerbaijan. Their 
opponents insisted, however, that Sahakian is simply keen to hold on to power.

In July, the Karabakh parliament voted to allow Sahakian to remain in power 
during the three-year “transition period.” The Karabakh leader did not say 
until now whether he will run in the next presidential election due in 2020.

“I want to officially declare that I will not participate in those elections as 
a presidential candidate,” Sahakian told Armenia’s and Karabakh’s public 
televisions. Instead, he said in remarks cited by the Armenpress news agency, 
he will take “all necessary measures” to ensure that the vote is free and fair.

The announcement followed the resignations of several top Karabakh officials 
resulting from a June 1 violent dispute in Stepanakert between several officers 
of Karabakh’s National Security Service (NSS) and other local residents.

The brawl triggered angry demonstrations against what their participants see as 
impunity enjoyed by law-enforcement officials and their relatives. About 200 
people blocked Stepanakert’s main avenue for four days, demanding the 
resignation of the NSS and police chiefs.

Several individuals, including three NSS officers, were arrested and the 
Karabakh government pledged to ensure an objective criminal investigation. 
These assurances failed to satisfy the protesters. The protests ended only 
after a June 4 appeal from Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian.

Two days later, the chiefs of the local police and NSS as well as the Karabakh 
state minister, Arayik Harutiunian, tendered their resignations.

Sahakian insisted on Monday that the protests did not cause a political crisis 
in Karabakh. He admitted, though, that they exposed public discontent with his 
administration and especially some of its officials. He said the authorities in 
Stepanakert will draw necessary “conclusions” from the unrest. In particular, 
he said, they will now appoint more competent individuals enjoying “the 
people’s trust” to key positions.

Armenian News... A Topalian... Changes needed in Church.

Changes needed in the Armenian Apostolic Church?

There ha been agitation about aspects of the Armenian Church over many years, but this one filmed during a gathering in Armenia seems significant and substantive. 

Persist with the questioning by reporters in the first section. Later, the speech by the priest from the South of Holland strikes a chord.

You may agree or not that changes in attitude and direction are needed but you should think about the arguments being made.



RFE/RL Report
Top Armenian Judge Resigns
June 05, 2018

One of Armenia’s most powerful judges who has long been accused by lawyers of 
restricting judicial independence in the country stepped down on Tuesday.

Arman Mkrtumian has headed the Court of Cassation, the highest body of criminal and civil justice, for the last ten years. He joined the court as a senior judge in 1998.

In a statement announcing his resignation, Mkrtumian, 57, cited the need to let “experienced young people” play a greater role in Armenia’s judicial system. He made no mention of the recent change of government that followed weeks of nationwide mass protests led by Nikol Pashinian.

Shortly after being elected as the country’s prime minister on May 8, Pashinian said that Armenian courts will no longer be acting on government orders. He urged judges to strictly adhere to laws and ignore possible pressure from state institutions or non-state actors.

Despite having undergone frequent structural changes over the past two decades, the domestic judiciary is still regarded by many Armenians as corrupt and not 
independent.

The Court of Cassation and Mkrtumian in particular have long been the main source of complaints from Armenian trial attorneys. The latter have accused Mkrtumian of severely limiting the independence of lower courts.

In particular, Mkrtumian came under fire in 2011 after engineering the controversial sacking of a Yerevan judge who granted bail to a criminal suspect contrary to prosecutors’ wishes.

The judge, Samvel Mnatsakanian, was dismissed by then President Serzh Sarkisian upon the recommendation of the Justice Council, a state body overseeing Armenian courts. The council was headed by Mkrtumian at the time.

Mnatsakanian claimed after his sacking that many Armenian judges are primarily concerned with not upsetting the Court of Cassation, rather than enforcing laws.

In June 2013, about 200 Armenian lawyers went on a two-day strike to protest against what they called arbitrary decisions routinely made by the high court. They specifically denounced the court’s refusal to consider the vast majority of appeals lodged by them in criminal or civil cases.

Later in 2013, the then human rights ombudsman, Karen Andreasian, released an extensive report that accused judges of routinely taking bribes in return for corresponding rulings.

The report, based on confidential interviews with lawyers, judges and prosecutors, singled out the Court of Cassation. It alleged that the bribes paid to the court’s judges typically range from $10,000 to $50,000 per case.

Both the court and the Judicial Council denied the allegations.


RFE/RL Report
Former Ruling Party Loses Majority In Armenian Parliament
June 06, 2018
Ruzanna Stepanian

Former President Serzh Sarkisian’s Republican Party (HHK) technically lost its majority in Armenia’s parliament on Wednesday when yet another deputy defected from its parliamentary faction.

The lawmaker, Samvel Aleksanian, did not immediately make a public statement on his exit announced by the HHK’s parliamentary leader, Vahram Baghdasarian.

The defection reduced to 52 the number of seats officially controlled by the HHK in the 105-member National Assembly. The party held 58 seats until Sarkisian resigned as prime minister on April 23 amid mass protests against his continued rule. The defections from its ranks began shortly after the protest leader, Nikol Pashinian, was elected prime minister last month.

Aleksanian, 49, is one of Armenia’s richest men who has long controlled lucrative imports of sugar, cooking oil and other basic foodstuffs. He has had close ties with the country’s former leaders, notably Sarkisian. The tycoon has 
been a parliament deputy representing the HHK since 2003.

Aleksanian left the HHK faction one week after a food supermarket chain owned by his family was accused by the National Security Service (NSS) of large-scale tax evasion.

An NSS statement said Yerevan City supermarkets have illegally sold agricultural products and many other items through 461 small firms mainly registered in the name of its employees and their family members. Some of those 
workers were not even aware of that, it said.

Under Armenian law, small firms with an annual turnover of up to 115 million drams ($237,000) are exempt from profit and value-added (VAT) taxes paid by larger businesses. They are only required to pay “turnover tax” equivalent to 2 percent of their revenue. The VAT rate is set at 20 percent.

Aleksanian has still not commented on the tax evasion allegations. But the chief executives of Yerevan City and a dozen other supermarket chains, also accused by the NSS of tax fraud, issued a joint statement last week saying that 
they were allowed by the previous leadership of the State Revenue Committee (SRC) to avoid paying VAT in order to keep food prices low. They warned that the NSS crackdown could put their continued operations at serious risk.


June 7 2018
A series of defections leaves Armenia's parliament in Pashinyan’s hands
Exodus from the Republican faction puts an end to its decade-long hegemony — and opens a path to a snap election.
Grigor Atanesian 

The Republican Party of Armenia lost its parliamentary majority when MP Samvel Aleksanyan announced on June 6 that he was leaving the faction.

Aleksanyan's defection now leaves the formerly ruling Republicans with 52 out of 105 seats. He joined five other Republican lawmakers who have jumped ship in recent days and are expected to support Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's Yelk bloc, as well as their allies in the ARF Dashnaktsutyun and Prosperous Armenia parties.

This new balance of power in parliament opens a path for a snap election, a priority of the new government that brands itself as an interim one. Earlier this month, Republican bosses had signaled that they were ready to discuss a snap election. They also were expected to approve the government program, a blueprint of new cabinet’s social and economic policies that should be presented in the National Assembly this month. Now, however, any potential drama has been averted: by effectively controlling the majority of votes, Pashinyan and his team are no longer in need of favors from the Republicans.

Aleksanyan’s move comes one week after the National Security Service accused his family-controlled holding of large-scale tax fraud worth of estimated $15 million. The episode was a part of an anti-corruption purge announced on May 19.

Unlike high-profile anti-corruption campaigns in Russia and elsewhere in the post-Soviet space, Pashinyan’s cabinet is not aiming to jail those involved in economic crimes. The NSS head Artur Vanetsyan has said he considers reimbursement of damages made to the state sufficient grounds for dropping criminal charges. Also on June 6, Armen Unanyan, a businessman accused of customs brokerage fraud totaling $7 million, said that he had already repaid $4 million to the state and was preparing to return more.

The Republicans are also being stripped of governorates, which in the past have been a key tool for the party to gain its electoral victories. Pashinyan is in the process of appointing new governors for all of Armenia’s 10 regions from the ruling coalition of Yelk, Prosperous Armenia and ARF Dashnaktsutyun.

With the end of Republican control in parliament, Yerevan city government becomes the party's last legislative stronghold. RPA controls 46 of 65 seats in the city council, and Republican mayor Taron Margaryan has made clear that he had no plans of resigning. The party also maintains control over other local legislatures.

Perhaps the key Republican holdover is Armenia’s General Prosecutor, Artur Davtyan, who has insisted that there are no political prisoners in the country. Through the prosecutor’s office, as well as several judges suspected of taking orders from the Republicans, the party may still exercise indirect control over the judiciary.

Nevertheless, more and more court hearings have been ending in a fashion that suggests the erosion of Republican influence. Since mid-May, half a dozen jailed opposition figures have been released on bail or police bond. Guarantee letters for some of them were signed by Yelk bloc MPs, including the current First Deputy Prime Minister Ararat Mirzoyan.
 
Grigor Atanesian is a freelance journalist who covers Armenia.


RFE/RL Reports 
Karabakh Premier, Security Chiefs Resign After Protests
June 06, 2018
Sisak Gabrielian

The second most important official in Nagorno-Karabakh’s leadership and the heads of the local police and security service resigned on Wednesday following anti-government protests in Stepanakert.

The unprecedented protests were sparked by a violent dispute on June 1 between security officers and other local residents. The men came to blows outside a Stepanakert car wash for still unclear reasons. Several of them turned out to be officers of Karabakh’s National Security Service (NSS).

The brawl triggered angry demonstrations against what their participants see as impunity enjoyed by law-enforcement officials and their relatives. They blocked 
Stepanakert’s main avenue for four days, demanding the resignation of the NSS and police chiefs.

Several individuals, including two NSS officers, were arrested in the immediate aftermath of the incident. The Karabakh government pledged to ensure an objective criminal investigation. These assurances failed to satisfy the protesters, however.

The protests ended only after an appeal from Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian. The latter urged the protesters on Monday to give Bako Sahakian, the 
Karabakh president, more time to draw “concrete conclusions” from the violence.

The chief of the Karabakh police, Kamo Aghajanian, cited “public demand” for his exit when he tendered his resignation on Wednesday morning.

The head of the NSS, Arshavir Gharamian, and his deputy, Gagik Sargsian, followed suit later in the day. Unlike Aghajanian, they did not issue statements.

Also stepping down was Arayik Harutiunian, the Karabakh state minister responsible for the government’s day-to-day affairs. He previously served as prime minister, a position formally abolished after local lawmakers controversially voted last year to extend Sahakian’s decade-long rule until 
2020.

Harutiunian attributed his unexpected resignation, which was not demanded by the protesters, to popular expectations of a “new phase of reforms” in Karabakh. He said those expectations were heightened by the recent democratic revolution in Armenia which brought Pashinian to power.

“Of course we have made serious progress in terms of democratic development,” he told a news conference in Stepanakert. “But those events [in Armenia] increased popular demand [for change] in Artsakh and the authorities led by the president must take that into account.”

He said that Sahakian decided to embark on major reforms late last month and that his resignation will help to speed up their implementation.

The premier also defended his track record. He argued, in particular, that the Karabakh economy has grown by more than 10 percent annually for the last decade.

Harutiunian’s Free Fatherland party has the largest faction in the Karabakh parliament.

Harutiunian was replaced by Grigori Martirosian later in the day. Martirosian served as finance minister until now.

Sahakian also appointed the new heads of the Karabakh police and NSS.


News.am, Armenia
June 7 2018
Ambassador: UK government is in process of ratifying EU-Armenia deal
                  
The UK government is in the process of ratifying the EU-Armenia agreement, and it is one of our priorities, UK Ambassador Judith Farnworth told reporters ahead of the opening of UK-Armenia business forum in Yerevan.

The Ambassador emphasized that it is not absolutely a trade agreement but it provides a framework for continuous support of reforms in Armenia which will improve business environment.

“We have a very thorough and detailed process of consideration across of all our government ministries that have an interest in such agreements. UK is a parliamentary democracy and it has to be considered by the parliament. And the parliamentary process is going to start within the next few weeks and we expect that in a number of months it will be ratified,” Judith Farnworth said.


Geo Super
June 7 2018
Five Armenians charged in Belgium over tennis match-fixing

Five Armenians have been charged in Belgium with corruption, money laundering and other crimes as part of a major international investigation into match-fixing in tennis, Belgian federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

They were among 13 people detained in Belgium on Tuesday amid simultaneous raids also launched in the US, Germany, France, Bulgaria, Slovakia and the Netherlands.An investigating judge in Belgium issued an arrest warrant for five people, “all of Armenian nationality,” the federal prosecutor’s office said.

“They were charged with corruption, money laundering, forgery and membership of a criminal organisation.” The judge ordered the release of the eight other people following questioning, the office said.

The raids were part of an international probe into an Armenian-Belgian criminal network suspected of bribing players to throw games.Belgian prosecutors said the matches involved were on the low-level Futures and Challenger circuits, away from the gaze of television coverage and where meagre prize money leaves players susceptible to backhanders.


News.am, Armenia
June 7 2018
FIFA: Armenia drops in world ranking

The International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) on Thursday issued its new World Ranking.

Accordingly, the Armenian national squad ranked 100th in the FIFA standings.

Reigning world champions Germany still top the FIFA World Ranking where Brazil are still second, and Belgium—still third.

The top ten includes Portugal, Argentina, Switzerland, France, Poland, Chile and Spain.
As reported earlier, Armenian squad has played friendlies with Moldova (0-0) and Malta (1-1).