Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Armenian News... A Topalian....Armenian soldier killed
Armenian soldier killed by adversary in Karabakh

STEPANAKERT. – The adversary continued violating the ceasefire regime in different sections of the Line of Contact between the Karabakh-Azerbaijani opposing forces Wednesday. Apart from rifle weapons, the Azerbaijani armed forces used AGS-17 grenade launcher and SPG-9 recoilless gun in the northeastern direction (Talish). 

Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) Defense Army serviceman Gurgen Avetik Ayvazyan (born in 1996) sustained a fatal firearm wound at around 5:00 pm Wednesday, at a protection area of a military unit located in the northeastern direction of the Defense Army. 

Investigation is underway to find out the details of the incident. 

The NKR Defense Army shares the grief of the loss and extends its support to the soldier’s family members, relatives and fellow servicemen.
Less Armenians perceive Russia as a friendly nation
October 26.

According to the findings of a yearly research conducted by Eurasian Development Bank's (EDB) Centre for Integration Studies, there was a noticeable decline in the perceptions of Russia as a friendly country in Armenia - from 86% in 2015 to 69% in 2016. In 2014 it was the highest among former Soviet republics standing at 87%.

"In all likelihood, the decline was prompted by the position of Russia on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh that saw a series of upsurge in violence over the last two years , as well as a significant increase in the price of electricity supplied by Russian-owned companies", - according to the study.

It says also that in 2016, an average of 82% of respondents in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Russia and Tajikistan considered neighboring CIS countries as friendly. The lowest trust for post-Soviet countries was demonstrated in Moldova (65%, however compared to 58% in 2015) and Armenia (a decrease from 87% to 72% over the year). While in Moldova the tendency for downgrading the friendliness of other CIS countries, which began several years ago, has shifted to some extent, Armenia's indicator was the lowest over five years of observations.

In the CIS region, Russia remains the friendliest country as viewed by the respondents from the seven countries under consideration. As before, the highest result for this question was recorded in the Kyrgyz Republic (89%), Tajikistan (82%, despite a decrease by 8 percentage points from the previous year), Belarus (82%), and Kazakhstan (81%). The study says also that the perception of Georgia by Armenians as a friendly nation has slashed from 27% to 13%.

The share of respondents in Armenia who found it difficult to provide clear answers was the highest- at 20%. Of them 18% believed that there are no friendly countries at all. The figure for Russia is 16%. It is followed by Moldova (14%) and Belarus (13%).

EDB experts emphasize that the EDB Integration Barometer provides valuable information about citizens' preferences of products from neighboring countries, labor migration, and social and cultural ties. For example, the survey also studied whether people had actual communications with family members, relatives, friends and colleagues in other countries. Approximately 60% of the respondents said they had personal connections in post-Soviet countries. This confirms that the CIS region remains highly integrated in social terms.

The research has been conducted by the EDB Centre for Integration Studies since 2012 in partnership with Eurasian Monitor, an international research agency. -0-

RFE/RL Report
New Armenian PM Defends EEU Membership
October 24, 2016
Suren Musayelyan
Armenia's recently appointed Prime Minister Karen Karapetian believes
it was the right decision for the country to join a Russian-led trade
bloc despite what critics see as the absence of immediate economic
gains from the move.

"Did we need to accede to the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU)?... I
think we did, because thus we become a member of a club where the
market is growing and can realize our potential as much as possible,"
said the former Gazprom executive in an interview with four leading
television channels over the weekend.

Armenia decided to join the Russian-led economic grouping that
currently also includes Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in
September 2013, less than three months before it was to have initialed
an ambitious association and free trade area agreement with the
European Union that would presumably have opened up prospects for a
greater political and economic integration with the 28-nation bloc.

Since then Armenia's successive governments have defended the policy
as economically sound amid arguments from opposition groups and some
business circles that it actually hampered the economic growth of the
country that unlike most of its former Soviet partners did not possess
vast natural resources and, therefore, was effectively put, by the
trade and customs agreements, in less beneficial conditions in terms
of its ability to export goods.

In the October 22 interview Karapetian, in fact, agreed that Armenia
has so far failed to make the most of its membership in the EEU. At
the same time, he argued that the country may have been worse off
without it.

"We haven't yet made any analysis as to what would be the situation if
we hadn't acceded [to the EEU] in conditions of an ongoing crisis," he
said. "Imagine what would happen to our products if we had not joined
the EEU. There is not any accurate analysis made so far."

At the same time, the head of the Armenian government stressed that
membership in the EEU did not stop Armenia from working in other
markets. "We have a great potential to get to new sales markets, while
the EEU is not an impediment at all. Therefore, we can take advantage
of our membership in the EEU. Success largely depends on us. If we do
not use that much, we at least should not put the blame on
others. After all, we do not make friends against others, do we?" the
Armenian premier said.

Karapetian acknowledged that some of the products made in Armenia may
not be competitive in the EEU market due to higher taxes, energy and
transportation costs, but suggested that "it is up to businesses to
determine which products might be competitive based on our complex
logistics and objective situation."

The new Armenian prime minister used much of the interview to talk
about plans of his cabinet to encourage more investments in Armenia's
economy and fight against corruption, which are part of the new
government program overwhelmingly approved by the country's
legislature last week.

Representatives of a number of opposition groups have been skeptical
about the ability of the new cabinet to curb government corruption
that they believe is largely underpinned by oligarchy and monopolies.

Pledging to create a level-playing field for all entrepreneurs in
Armenia, Karapetian, at the same time, stopped short of excluding the
presence of monopolies in certain sectors of the country's economy. "A
small market will sooner or later lead to monopolies in certain
sectors. We may have dominant businessmen in specific areas, because
they work more effectively and so on. The question is how they become
dominant. If administrative leverages are used for that purpose, then
we will have a case of injustice," said Karapetian, adding that
anti-trust services should not necessarily put pressure on businesses
that manage to gain some dominance in the market in a "natural
competitive field."

In the matter of attracting foreign investors Karapetian said that
while his government will still want to encourage Diaspora Armenians
to invest in Armenia, "the rules of the game are going to be the same
for everyone - Armenians, Chinese or others."

Turkish FM voices concern over French ban on denial of Armenian genocide

Turkish foreign minister voiced concern Monday over the French
senate's recent adoption of an amendment that bans the denial of the
Armenian genocide.

Speaking at a joint press conference in the capital Ankara alongside
his visiting French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault, Foreign Minister
Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said the recent ban was limiting the freedom of

"The voting shows us that our concern is shared by many French
lawmakers and senators as it was adopted by a little difference in
votes," Çavuşoğlu said.

"The core values of the European Council such as the freedom of
expression and the superiority of law is binding for all European
countries. We hope that the French constitutional council overturns
the law," the top diplomat added.

Turkey denies the alleged Armenian "genocide", but acknowledges that
there were casualties on both sides during the events during World War

In Turkey's view, the deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia in 1915
occurred after some sided with invading Russians and revolted against
Ottoman forces. A subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in
numerous casualties.

Turkey describes the 1915 events as a tragedy for both sides.

Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission of
historians from Turkey and Armenia plus international experts to
tackle the issue.
The Local Germany
Oct 26 2016
Anger as Berlin scraps Turkey concert on Armenia 
Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

Berlin and Ankara have rowed intensely this year over the sensitive historical question, badly bruising relations between the NATO partners at a time the EU is relying on Turkey's help to contain massive refugee flows.

The Dresden Symphony Orchestra had sent out invitations for its performance of "Aghet", about the Ottoman Empire's World War I-era massacre of Armenians, saying it aimed to "heal the wounds of the Turkish and Armenian past".

Armenians have long labelled the 1915-17 killings that left some 1.5 million of their people dead as genocide, while Turkey argues it was a collective tragedy in which equal numbers of Turks and Armenians died.

The Dresden Symphony Orchestra had sent invitations to the November 13th show to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Minister of Culture Nabi Avci, German media reported.

But a German foreign ministry source said in a short statement Tuesday that "the facilities in the consulate are not available on November 13th".

"The invitations to the event were issued without the foreign ministry's involvement."

German opposition politicians quickly mocked Chancellor Angela Merkel's government and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier for apparently giving in to Erdogan's government.

"Another kowtow by Merkel + Steinmeier before Erdogan," tweeted Sarah Wagenknecht, co-leader of the opposition far-left Linke party.

"Embarrassing! Is government policy being directed from Ankara?"

Relations long strained over disputes on civil rights questions in Turkey took a dive after the German parliament in a June resolution declared the Armenia massacre a genocide.

Turkey for months blocked German parliamentarians from visiting German troops at a NATO base in southern Turkey, until Merkel's government publicly clarified that the vote was non-binding.
Story continues below…

Germany is home to a three-million-strong ethnic Turkish population, the legacy of a massive "guest worker" programme in the 1960s and 1970s.

As Europe's top destination for refugees last year, Germany has relied on an EU-Turkey agreement designed to stop the massive influx of people fleeing war and poverty.

Another major row was sparked by German TV comic Jan Böhmermann who in a so-called "Defamatory Poem" satirically accused the Turkish president of bestiality and paedophilia, sparking a criminal complaint by Erdogan.
Warlick Told Bitter Truth
Hakob Badalyan, Political Commentator
26 October 2016 

The April war took many lives but none of the sides should blame the other, the American co-chair of the Minsk Group James Warlick announced on October 25 in Yerevan when the Armenian journalists asked him that the co-chairs have not condemned the Azerbaijani aggression in April yet.

It is clear to everyone that Azerbaijan started the April war. Of course, the Armenian side wants the Azerbaijani aggression to be condemned duly, to have everyone express a clear stance on Azerbaijan’s step.

On the other hand, however, beyond fairness and morality, one has to be aware that as a country and a society we are dealing with a multi-layer and complicated system of international politics and we have to be adequate to it.

In this sense, it is notable to the world that the Armenian journalists may ask the Minsk Group co-chairs such questions and they never ask different Russian officials visiting Armenia any questions that contain badly disguised claims to condemn the Azerbaijani aggression.

As long as the Armenian society has not put forth its questions to the country which is considered its strategic ally, demanding adequate behavior, questions asked to any international subject or format, whether diplomatic and political or any public format and level will not have adequacy and weight.

Warlick has clearly hinted, announcing that the sides should not blame each other. This is a transparent hint to the Armenian side, its behavior both before and after April. In the long run, the Armenian side has had its role in maturing and strengthening the Azerbaijani aggression with its inadequate foreign policy and ineffective diplomacy.

When did Azerbaijan start intensifying the ceasefire violations, increasing calibers of weapons, moving on to large-scale actions, including the downing of unarmed Armenian helicopter during a training flight? When Armenia took a u-turn from the association agreement to the Eurasian Union overnight, actually demonstrating to what extent it is subject to Russia’s influence, demonstrating that Russia’s, not Armenia’s interests and security are dominant on the orbit of its interests.

The Armenian establishment, both government and non-government, having performed this u-turn, announced that they did it for the sake of security of Armenia.

Afterwards, however, the challenges to the security of Armenia were increasing, Azerbaijan’s breaches were growing in caliber, aggression increased. At the same time, Armenia was humiliated politically in the EEU, through organizing readings of Aliyev’s letters and supplying weapons worth billions of dollars to Azerbaijan.

Russia has had a fundamental role in the increase of Azerbaijan’s aggression, while the Armenian foreign minister Nalbandyan declared him the only ally. The only ally was supplier N 1 for the enemy that threatened Armenia with a war. This sole ally did not even try to condemn any attempt at Azerbaijan’s aggression.

Over this period the Armenian government and the so-called non-governmental opposition was busy handing the sovereignty of Armenia to Russia; the government did it to keep its positions, and the non-government did it to appear in government through offers of better service to Russia.

The so-called political system of the Armenian government and non-government was busy with clownery for two or three years the tragic consequences of which would be born and the nation would be saved from the disaster of clownery by the soldier and officer of the Armenian armed forces.

Warlick merely hints at the bitter truth that nobody should be accused because a fatal role in all this was played by Armenia’s foreign policy has had absolutely nothing to do with the problems that the Armenian armed forces were facing.

Hence, it is not accidental that during the April war the armed forces were forced to edit the mistakes of the foreign policy at the cost of their lives, as well as deal with foreign policy to secure themselves from the rear.

And when after the April war they speak about drawing lessons from mistakes, one of the most important conclusions is that the foreign policy of Armenia must stem from the logic of problems facing the Armenian armed forces to ensure that the soldiers and officers of the Armenian army, as well as volunteers do not have to pay a high price to correct the mistakes of inadequacy of that policy and not to allow them to end up in a disaster for the state.

The Mirror, UK
Jose Mourinho's snub of Henrikh Mkhitaryan at Manchester 
branded "unbelievable"
By Aaron Flanagan
October 25, 2016

The Armenian midfielder has only played 107 minutes of Premier League
football this season despite being one of Mourinho's marquee signings

Former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves is staggered by
Jose Mourinho's snub of Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

The Armenian midfielder was one of Mourinho's marquee signings when he
took over at Old Trafford this summer, spending over £30million on his

But he has since only made four Premier League appearances - with only
one of those coming from the start - to give him only 107 minutes of
game time.

BT Sport pundit Hargreaves says he is shocked by Mkhitaryan's omission
from the team.

He also believes that the 27-year-old former Borussia Dortmund star's
confidence will have been significantly hit by being left on the

"He needs to play, I can't believe that he's not getting a look-in. He
would be a banker in my starting XI," Hargreaves told Squawka.

"He had a slow start at Dortmund too and he was the players' player of
the year last season. He got 23 goals and 32 assists, which is
staggering numbers.

"This wasn't in a terrible league against pub teams and I can't think
of anybody who could put up those numbers besides Messi and Ronaldo.
He's a top player and we haven't seen it yet at United."

Mkhitaryan is in contention to return to the starting XI on Wednesday
night against Manchester City in the EFL Cup.

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