Monday, 18 July 2016

Armenian News... A Topalian... Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Henrikh Mkhitaryan: Manchester United sign midfielder from 

Borussia Dortmund
From the section Football

Henrikh Mkhitaryan is Armenia's all-time top scorer, with 19 goals in
59 appearances

Manchester United have signed Armenia midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan
from German club Borussia Dortmund.

The 27-year-old joins United for an undisclosed fee on a four-year
deal, with the option of a further year.

The Armenia captain was the 2015-16 Bundesliga player of the season
and scored 23 goals in all competitions.

"Henrikh is a real team player with great skill, vision and also has a
good eye for goal," manager Jose Mourinho told United's official

"I am delighted he has chosen to sign for United.

"I believe he will make an impact on the team very quickly as his
style of play is suited to the Premier League.

"We are all looking forward to working with him."

Mkhitaryan said he is "very proud" to sign for Manchester United,
adding: "This move is a dream come true for me.

"I am excited to play for a club with such an illustrious history and
hope to be part of it for a long time.

"I thank the trust the club and Jose Mourinho have put in me.

"Finally, I believe playing for such a great club honours my father's
memory, and the inspiration and drive he gave to me when I was young."

Mkhitaryan made 140 appearances and scored 41 goals for Dortmund after
joining them for £23.5m in 2013.

He is the son of one of Armenia's most famous footballers, Hamlet
Mkhitaryan, and won the first of his 59 caps for his country a week
before his 18th birthday.

Short interview with Henrik from Man United website 
[it will boost Manchester church numbers if he attends] 

RFE/RL Report Armenian Agricultural Exports Soar
July 05, 2016
Emil Danielyan

Exports of Armenian fresh fruits and vegetables mainly going to Russia
nearly doubled in the first five months of this year, according to
Armenia's National Statistical Service (NSS).

The government agency also reported this week significant double-digit
rises in export revenue from alcoholic beverages and prepared
foodstuffs. Russia is the main export market for those products as

NSS data put the combined market value of Armenian fruit and vegetable
exports in January-May 2016 at about $30 million, up from $16.8
million in the same period in 2015.

Armenia's overall farming output rose by only 8 percent year on year,
suggesting that its proportion sold abroad -- and Russia in the first
instance -- is growing far more rapidly. Government officials in
Yerevan will attribute this trend to Armenia's membership in the
Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), effective from January

Armenian exports to Russia plummeted by nearly 27 percent in 2015
primarily because of a sharp depreciation of the Russian ruble. With
oil prices beginning to rally in January, the Russian currency has
strengthened by nearly 20 percent against the U.S. dollar since the
start of this year, translating into more revenue for Armenian

According to the NSS, total Armenian exports to Russia doubled year on
year to $132.4 million in January-May 2016.

Citing figures released by the EEU's executive body in Moscow, the
Yerevan newspaper "168 Zham" reported last week that Armenian brandy,
popular in Russia, accounted for the biggest share of this gain.

Official Armenian statistics show that brandy production in the
country soared by more than half in physical terms in the five-month
period. The Armenian brandy and wine industry traditionally oriented
towards the Russian market was hit hard by the weakened ruble last

"168 Zham" also revealed a more than tenfold surge in exports of
Armenian tomatoes to Russia and other EEU member states. A Russian
government ban on agricultural imports from Turkey imposed late last
year clearly contributed to this unprecedented increase.

Agriculture Minister Sergo Karapetian told reporters on June 22 that
Armenia has exported 63,700 metric tons of fruits and vegetables so
far this year, compared with 76,700 tons exported in the entire year
2015. In his words, apricots accounted for nearly 10 percent of the
total volume and their exports more than doubled in physical terms in

Russia's President Vladimir Putin hailed the increased food and liquor
imports from Armenia when he met with his Armenian counterpart Serzh
Sarkisian in Saint Petersburg on June 20. Putin attributed that to
"integration processes" between the two countries, clearly alluding to
Armenia's controversial accession to the EEU. 

Armenia loses 3 to 4% of its population annually 
July 2016
The negative balance of migration in Armenia in 2015 was 7.2%, about 220 000 people Aharon Adibekyan announced, the head of Sociometer center in Yerevan. 

According to him, since the natural growth rate of population is 2.5 to 3.5%, this means that Armenia annually loses from 3 to 4% of its population. 

"This does not mean a permanent loss because there is the factor of migrant workers returning to their country of origin. In addition, it is natural for many countries to have about 10% of the population living abroad, "said Aharon Adbekyan in a press conference. 

According to Aharon Adibekyan, about 600,000 Armenians left their country during the term of the first President Levon Ter-Petrossian (1991-1998), following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the war in Nagorno-Karabakh and mass unemployment . 

During the second mandate of President Robert Kocharian (1998-2008) some 130 000 people have left the country to other countries, and 260,000 people emigrated during the current term of Serzh Sargsyan (since 2008). 

"It is about 1 million people have left Armenia since independence, Adibekyan said. According to him, the main reason is the socio-psychological situation. About 90% of the population has migrated to Russia, the remaining 10% to other countries. 

"Russia has become a kind of" black hole "absorbing the Armenian emigrants, although some choose to go back because of the unfavorable economic situation in the country," said Aharon Adibekyan. 
Armenia ranked 67th in Social Progress Index 2016
YEREVAN, July 6. Armenia ranked 67th in the Social Progress
Imperative Group’s the Social Progress Index 2016.

The Social Progress Index measures the extent to which countries
provide for the social and environmental needs of their citizens.
Fifty-four indicators in the areas of basic human needs, foundations
of wellbeing, and opportunity to progress show the relative
performance of nations.

Armenia has scored 66.05 points – 85.26 points on basic human needs,
69.26 on foundations of welfare and 43.63 on opportunities.

In Basic Human Needs, nutrition and basic medical care in Armenia was
assessed by Social Progress Imperative Group at 96.35, access to water
supply and sanitation services at 96.39, shelter at 75.78 and personal
safety at 72.52.

In Foundations and Wellbeing category, access to basic knowledge is
assessed at 88.60, access to information and communication at 75.35,
health and wellness at 51.16 and environmental quality at 61.91.

In Opportunities category, personal rights are assessed at 39.73,
personal freedom and choice at 48.16, tolerance and inclusion at 39.96
and access to advanced education at 46.68.

Of the CIS member countries, only Ukraine and Belarus won a higher
Social Progress Index than Armenia – they ranked 63rd and 66th

Moldova came 73rd in the ranking, Russia 75th, Kazakhstan 76th and
Azerbaijan 77th.
Finland, with its 90.09 points, is topping the ranking. It is followed
by Canada (89.49), Denmark (89.39), Australia (89.13) and Switzerland

Chad, Afghanistan, Central African Republic are in the tale of the ranking.

The Social Progress Index embraces 160 countries. It is based on the
combination of the data received from public opinion surveys, experts’
opinions and statistical reports of international organizations. 
Armenia MP: Knesset decision was predictable

YEREVAN. – What was predicted happened Tuesday at the Israeli Knesset

Tevan Poghosyan, secretary of the opposition “Heritage” Faction of the
National Assembly of Armenia, stated the aforesaid at a press
conference on Wednesday.

“The matter was discussed in the Knesset for the third time,” said
Poghosyan. “In the case when six [Israeli MPs] delivered remarks the
first time, this time—24.

“We need to step by step ensure that Israel recognize the Armenian
Genocide. I believe we will achieve [respective] results thanks to
consistent work.”

The Armenian lawmaker recalled, however, that it is very important not
to forget Turkey’s role in Armenian-Israeli relations.

On Tuesday, the Knesset was expected to vote on the matter of Armenian
Genocide recognition. The Israeli parliament, however, decided to send
the matter again for consideration by a special committee. 
The building block of “Zvartnots” airport is demolished. 
According to Tarkhanyan, a stab in the back of the Armenian 
July 6 2016 

“We were not informed, we were saddened that they have begun demolishing. We were trying to go inside to see what is demolished, what is going on there, but it was forbidden in every aspect, as I understood, even the employees of government agencies are unable to enter the area to see what is going on,” – said Mrs. Tarkhanyan about the works of demolishing the round building block of “Zvartnots” airport. 

As mentioned by the architect, as a result of illegal permits, we are losing one of the symbols of the Armenian people, “We have already lost the Youth Palace, we have seen the results when demolishing permits are issued without a design plan and without the confirmation of the plan, now we are losing our cultural and architectural value, our strategic guarantee in the critical point of the security of the Armenian people.” 

As mentioned by Mrs. Tarkhanyan, Armenian businessman Eurnekian for years brought various reasons of demolishing the round building block of the airport, although the agreement clearly states that the airport is leased to him to upgrade, “He brought evidence that the airport cannot be exploited and the available space is impossible to upgrade to comply with modern standards. The international community from cultural aspect reacted that the airport is a historic and important global structure and it is necessary to preserve it. We worked on projects, a committee of engineers was formed, they visited the airport, got acquainted with the situation and confirmed that the building is in good shape and fully complies with the modern standards and there is absolutely no problem with demolishing … and as far as Eurnekian is not a benefactor as he likes to introduce himself but a very simple businessman, we see how his money invested in the airport have affected the cost of the tickets, “In our country, the ticket price is much more expensive than in other countries in the region.” 

Mrs. Tarkhanyan considers the demolishing of the round building block of the “Zvartnots” airport end in itself, “As to what plans Mr. Eurnekian has, I assume that they are vicious and criminal, especially in this case when we have not yet solved all the problems after the April war, I consider the demolition of the airport a mean stab at the back of the Armenian people, I wonder how it is possible to demolish the national airport in this hard time of Armenia, when it is our only guarantee to establish ties with the outside world.” 

RFE/RL Report 
Armenia Stronger After Constitutional Reform, Insists Sarkisian
July 05, 2016
Karlen Aslanian

President Serzh Sarkisian on Tuesday again defended Armenia's ongoing
transition to the parliamentary system of government, saying that it
is making the country "freer and stronger."

Sarkisian stressed the importance of the recent constitutional reform
in a written address to the nation dedicated to Constitution Day. The
public holiday marks the 21st anniversary of a disputed referendum on
Armenia's first post-Soviet constitution.

Sarkisian pushed through his sweeping constitutional changes in
another referendum that was held last December. It too was denounced
as fraudulent by the Armenian opposition.

"The recent constitutional reforms once again demonstrated the
establishment of our sovereign and social state based on the rule of
law and underlined its steady and progressive development," Sarkisian
said in his message.

"The amended constitution is making our society freer and stronger,"
he said.

Armenian opposition parties that resisted the constitutional changes
will strongly disagree with that assertion.

Commenting on the presidential statement, Zaruhi Postanjian, a senior
member of the Zharangutyun (Heritage) party, accused Sarkisian of
lying to Armenians. The Armenian constitution has always "remained on
paper," she claimed.

"We live in a country where there are political prisoners and where
it's impossible to change the government through elections,"
Postanjian told RFE/RL's Armenian service (

The official rationale for Armenia's transformation into a
parliamentary republic is to decentralize power and foster the
country's democratization. Opposition groups insist, however, that its
main aim is to enable Sarkisian to stay in power after completing his
second and final presidential term in 2018.

Sarkisian sought to disprove the opposition claims two years ago when
he declared that he will not seek to become prime minister in 2018 if
Armenia does become a parliamentary republic. However, he pointedly
declined to reaffirm that pledge on the eve of the December 2016

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