Thursday, 24 November 2016

Armenian News... A Topalian... Engaged In Caucasus Under Trump

RFE/RL Report
U.S. Said To Stay Engaged In Caucasus Under Trump
November 16, 2016

The United States will stay engaged in the South Caucasus during
President-elect Donald Trump's tenure, a senior U.S. State Department
official reportedly told President Serzh Sarkisian on Wednesday.

Bridget Brink, the deputy assistant secretary of state for European
and Eurasian affairs, met with Sarkisian in Yerevan to discuss
U.S.-Armenian relations and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict one week
after Trump's victory in the U.S. presidential election.

According to Sarkisian's press service, Brink assured him that "under
the new administration the United States will continue to be
interested in developments in the South Caucasus." Washington will
also remain committed to the implementation of Armenian-Azerbaijani
confidence-building agreements reached earlier this year, it said in a

The statement also cited Brink as praising "close relations and
productive interaction in various area" between the U.S. and Armenia.

Sarkisian, for his part, was reported to call for a deepening of
U.S.-Armenian ties. He expressed confidence that "the U.S.-Armenian
political dialogue will not only continue but also receive new impetus
under President Trump."

Sarkisian made a similar forecast in a congratulatory message to Trump
sent on November 9. "I am confident that during your presidency the
close U.S.-Armenia partnership will continue to develop dynamically,"
he wrote.

Throughout his rule, Sarkisian has sought closer ties with the United
States despite Armenia's political and military alliance with
Russia. He has repeatedly said in recent years that U.S.-Armenian
relations have reached the "highest level in their history."

Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharian said last week that Yerevan
does not expect the Trump administration to significantly change
U.S. policy towards the South Caucasus. Kocharian dismissed
suggestions that Trump may have little knowledge of key regional
issues such as the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. 

Al-Manar TV - Hezbollah Media, Lebanon
Armenian President Says Deployment of Russian Iskander 
Missiles Necessary Measure to Ensure Regional Stability
Nov 17 2016

The deployment of Russia’s Iskander missile systems in Armenia was a
necessary measure to ensure regional stability and help balance
situation, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said on Thursday.

“I think this [deployment of Iskanders in Armenia] was a necessary
measure to somehow balance the military situation in our region,”
Sargsyan told Sputnik news agency.

“It is no secret that Azerbaijan has regularly purchased
state-of-the-art weaponry in the past few years. We do not have such
financial capabilities as Azerbaijan, but we are constantly trying to
balance the situation by finding an antidote. I think Iskander is such
an antidote in this case,” he said.

Iskanders were first demonstrated on September 21 at a military parade
in Yerevan marking the 25th anniversary of Armenia’s independence.
They were reportedly adopted by Armenia’s Armed Forces earlier and
were put on combat alert during the escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh in
April this year.

The Armenian President said there is no need to establish new Russian
military bases in Armenia, and it would be enough to expand the
capacity of the existing one in Gyumri.

“I do not believe that there is any need in this because the military
base is able to take in all elements which may be needed. Therefore,
one military base is enough for the small Armenia, it is just
necessary to give it military power,” Sargsyan said.

The Russian 102nd Military Base is located in the Armenian city of
Gyumri. On August 20, 2010, Russia and Armenia agreed to prolong the
agreement on the base location until 2044.

Sargsyan expressed Armenia’s support for Russia’s actions in Syria,
stating: “We fully support Russia providing help to the Syrian
government upon its request. There can be no doubts here. This is a
legal right of the Syrian government to ask for help, and Russia’s
legal right to provide this help.”

According to the president, Yerevan would like to see the Syrian
crisis resolved quickly, but it can only be settled by the Syrian

“Of course, we would like for this issue to be resolved quickly,
however, as I can see, there can hardly be a quick solution. There are
20,000 of our compatriots living [in Syria]. We do not have exact
information,” Sargsyan 
A citizen of Armenia needs the equivalent of more than 
$1000 a month for ‘a very good life’ – survey 
YEREVAN, November 17. /ARKA/. A citizen of Armenia needs the equivalent of more than $1000 a month for a ‘very good life’, according to a National Statistical Service’s report called "Poverty and social panorama of Armenia in 2015", based on a nation-wide survey of 5,184 households.

Respondents of the survey noted that a person needs 568,369 drams or $1,376 per month for "very good life;" 250,672 drams ($ 603) for "good life", and 95 680 AMD ($ 230) ‘just not to die of hunger.’ The minimum monthly wage in Armenia, according to the latest official statistics, is 55,000 drams, while the median gross wage in September this year was 184,992 drams.

According to the survey, 38.5% of respondents aged 16 years and older believe that the improvement of their living standards does not depend on them, and that the government should provide them with jobs and good conditions, while 20% said that they did not plan to raise the level of their life.

At the same time 12.4% of respondents said they were looking for a profitable job in Armenia, and 1.1% wanted to start their own business in the country.

According to 22.8% of the respondents, the next generation will live better, 33.6% believe that its living standards will worsen, and 19.8% think that the next generation’s life will not change. About 23.8% of the respondents could not answer this question.

According to the report, 15% of Armenian citizens consider themselves poor, another 45.1% think that their living standards are below average, and 36.1% of respondents believe they are average. However, only 3.2% of respondents believe that their standard of living is above the average. None of the respondents identified themselves as belonging to the rich class.

The poverty rate in Armenia in 2015 was 29.8%, by 0.2% less than in 2014, according to official data. The total number of poor people last year stood at 900,000, of whom 310, 000 were very poor and 60,000 extremely poor. Therefore, 19.4% of the population was poor, 8.4% - very poor and 2% - extremely poor.
Armenian start-up based in Silicon Valley gets $10 mln investment

Armenian CodeFights startup based in Silicon Valley has received $10 million investment for expanding its platform.

Co-founder and CEO of CodeFights, Tigran Sloyan, told the aforementioned to Armenian News.

“CodeFights will help choose potential workers more correctly, not based on diploma, title and other unnecessary information. The platform makes the programmers’ recruitment process more fair, considering only their knowledge and skills,”the CodeFights co-founder said.

Through CodeFights Tigran Sloyan wishes to expand the labor market of programmers, allowing companies to assess their real knowledge and skills instead of their diploma and the university attended.

“20 years ago one had to have a diploma from Stanford or Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to be considered a good programmer, whereas now it is enough to be smart, diligent and purposeful. Through online educational platforms one can already become eligible for the best work in the area,”Sloyan said.

CodeFights allows opening personal page and organizing programming competitions with each other, as well as company bots.

The platform includes the table of the leaders, which allows tracking their progress. The programming companies can use the platform to look for specialists. Once the worker is chosen, the company pays 15 percent of his one year salary to CodeFights.
Loss amounted to 47.017.882 mln drams caused to the state 
due to criminal activities of Armenia`s Finance Ministry officials 

The General Prosecutor's Office has told ArmInfo that based on the data received from the Ministry it was revealed that some officials working in various departments of the Ministry have ignored the decision on collecting 75.467.232 drams and signed an agreement with the lawbreaker on paying only 28.449.350 drams by this causing a loss amounted to 47.017.882 mln drams.

A criminal case has been initiated based on these facts. The special Investigative Committee conducts preliminary investigation. 
Krzysztof Stopka: Armenians Played Important Role in 
Polish History and Culture 
By Nvard Chalikyan
The Armenian community of Poland has had an important contribution in the life of Poland through history, says Dr. Krzysztof Stopka , Professor of History and Armenian studies at Jagiellonian University in Krakow (Poland) in the interview to website.

“The Armenians played from the 14 th century a very important role in the history of Poland. They played an important role in the diplomatic relations between the Polish state and the Ottoman Empire… as well as with Persia since the 17 th century. The Armenians also contributed to the orientalization of the Polish culture [as well as] played a role in the Polish high culture”, – says Dr. Stopka in the interview.

Dr. Stopka also speaks about his books on Armenian issues, particularly the book Armenian Warsaw (Ormiańska Warszawa) which presents a large collection of facts about the contribution of the Armenians in cultural, economic, political and other spheres of life in Warsaw through history.

“The Armenians were a small group in the capital, but they were very important for the economy and the government of the whole city. It was surprising for us to find this out… They imported oriental goods to Warsaw, but also they founded the manufactures of the oriental textiles. Near Warsaw they founded a factory of Polish belts (very typical for Polish national style) and during the 18 th century this manufacture was very popular… In the 19 th century the Armenians played a very important role in the Polish struggle for independence. They took part in the Polish revolution against Russia in the 18 th century and they supported the Polish case (for the Polish people the Russians were oppressors)… The Armenians also took part in the Polish military during the World War II fighting against [Nazi] Germany. This is a reason for pride for the descendents of Armenians”, – says Dr. Stopka.

Dr. Stopka says the history of the Armenian community in Poland should be interesting for Armenians today because, among other reasons, this small but rich and influential community had a political influence on the Armenian question in the 17-18 th centuries. Also, he says the language that they spoke (both Armenian and Kipchak) is an interesting phenomenon for the linguists to study – he himself has written a book on this.

Other publications by Dr. Stopka on the Armenian issues include Lehahayer – Journal of History of Polish Armenians and Armenia Christiana – a book on the history of the Armenian Church between Constantinople and Rome.

Dr. Stopka plans to write a new book about the Armenian Apostolic Church in Poland – from the beginning up until the union with Rome. He has already collected a lot of new and interesting materials on this topic from the archives of Ukraine.

Another book titled Armenian Krakow is now being prepared by Dr. Stopka’s colleague Dr. Andrzej Zięba, who is also a professor at the Jagiellonian University.

Dr. Krzysztof Stopka started studying Armenian history and culture about 30 years ago when he wrote his Master’s thesis on the history of the Armenian colonies in Old Poland. Since then he has authored many books on the Armenian history, and he says that this subject has never stopped being interesting for him.

See the complete interview at

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