Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Armenian News... A Topalian... ArmenianPresident to visit UK, France and USA

ARKA, Armenia
June 18 2018
Armenian president off to UK, France and USA

Armenian President Armen Sarkissian has left June 18 for Great Britain, where his press service said he will have a number of official and unofficial meetings and will also be received at the Buckingham Palace. 

His press service said he will also hold a number of meetings with Foreign Ministry officials as a former ambassador of Armenia to the UK.

From London, the Armenian President will head for France. In Paris, Sarkissian is scheduled to meet with representatives of the French business community and present Armenia's competitive advantages and investment opportunities.

In Paris, Sarkissian will also hold working meetings with Secretary General of the International Organization of Francophonie Mikael Jean to discuss the holding of a business forum on the sidelines of the Francophone summit scheduled for October 7-12 in Armenia’s capital.

On June 26 Sarkissian will fly to Washington, USA, to take part in an event to be held by the Smithsonian Institution, dedicated to the Armenian cultural heritage.

In Washington, the president will also take part in a reception at the US Senate dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the first Republic of Armenia. In all countries, which the president plans to visit, he intends to hold meetings with foreign ministers of these countries. 

PRESIDENT of ARMENIA Mr. Armen Sarkissian: Time to Recognize Armenia as Homeland for All Armenians

[extract to demonstrate the most stupid of Azeri propaganda]
Pashinyan avoids negotiations to maintain status quo: Arzu Naghiyev
11 June 2018 

"The expert also touched upon the issue of the Armenian Church's participation in political processes.

"According to the decisions taken, the Church may directly participate and interfere in political processes. It is no secret that the Church itself has even illegal armed groups, which are constantly used both in the occupied territories and in Armenia itself," Naghiyev added.

The expert noted that the military junta, which ruled Armenia, with the "blessings" of Catholicos Garegin II committed crimes against both its own people and other peoples."
Vladimir Putin introduces Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to one another in Moscow

After the first match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Moscow, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin introduced Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to one another.

“After the football match the Russian president had organized a small reception in the format of CIS leaders, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev was also in attendance, and the Russian president introduced us. We simply got acquainted. This is also information that you have to know. No other conversation or substantive interaction took place,” Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in a live Facebook video.

Speaking about his visit to Moscow, the PM said: “I can say that there is no political obstruction for the future development of relations of Armenia and Russia and it is just left to realize this potential and work on developing ties,” he said.

The Armenian PM highlighted his meeting with the local Armenian community, emphasizing that it expressed the atmosphere of excitement of the Armenian community of Russia regarding the political changes in Armenia.

Pashinyan also talked about his meeting with Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev. “This was our first meeting with the Russian Prime Minister, this was an introductory meeting which proceeded in a warm atmosphere. We discussed numerous issues of the Armenian-Russian bilateral agenda. A very good mood is established in the Armenian-Russian relations and a significant level of mutual trust exists, which we will definitely develop,” he said.
Agents discover arsenal, private zoo, car collection at arrested MP’s compound

The National Security Service (NSS) of Armenia has released details over the arrest of Member of Parliament Manvel Grigoryan and the evidences discovered in the lawmaker’s properties.

The NSS said agents searched Grigoryan’s compound in the village of Arshaluys in Armavir province on June 16, and his mansion in Ejmiatsin city (Vagharshapat) within the framework of an ongoing criminal case.

NSS said agents discovered an arsenal and a collection of dozens of both vintage and modern vehicles in Grigoryan’s Arshaluys compound. The compound was also used to store military canned food, medication and military uniforms. NSS said the boxes which were supposed to be delivered to soldiers, contained letters addressed to servicemen, which shows that it was aid sent to frontline soldiers in Artsakh during the 2016 April 4-day war days.

NSS said it is investigating how the military clothing, medicine and other discoveries have appeared in the MP’s compound.

Various kinds of foodstuffs – aid sent from kindergartens and schools to soldiers – have been discovered stored in the compound, NSS said.

NSS said it also found foodstuffs labeled “For Soldier” – a special production supplied to the defense ministry which is not available for sale or any other use.

The huge amount of weapons and ammunition found in MP Grigoryan’s compound in the village included more than a dozen anti-tank grenade launchers, 20 hand grenades, over 20,000 various caliber rounds, TNT explosives, and many other types of weapons.

Weapons have also been found in the Ejmiatsin mansion, namely 79 rifles, 39 handguns and over 12,000 rounds.

Dozens of property ownership licenses have also been found.

The collection of vehicles includes motorcycles and snowmobiles, NSS said.

The NSS said they also discovered SUVs and an ambulance vehicle which were designated to be used in the military during the 4-day war. The vehicles were donated to the Defense Army of Artsakh by representatives of the Armenian community of Russia, and Grigoryan has misappropriated them, according to the NSS.

NSS said it also discovered a private zoo in the premises of the mansion, with bears and a tiger among the animals. The mansion also has a horse track. According to information, Grigoryan has used the military food which was supposed to go to soldiers of the 4-day war to feed the animals of his private zoo.

The NSS said the investigation continues and additional information will be provided.

RFE/RL Report
Armenian PM Vows No Letup In Anti-Corruption Drive
June 18, 2018
Artak Hambardzumian

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian pledged to continue combatting corruption in Armenia in “the most resolute” way on Monday following the arrest of a retired 
army general accused of illegal arms possession and embezzlement.

Pashinian suggested that Manvel Grigorian is facing grave criminal charges as a result of “the most large-scale corruption revelation” in the country’s post-Soviet history.

“I want to once again make clear that there will be no compromise with corruption, that corruption in the Republic of Armenia will be rooted out, and let nobody doubt that we will achieve this goal with the most resolute and most effective steps,” Pashinian told an emergency session of his cabinet.

“We can now explicitly note that our long-standing claims that the country is systematically plundered are being borne out and all participants of this plunder must be exposed and held accountable,” he said.

The premier spoke before ministers approved his proposal to initiate an extraordinary session of the Armenian parliament on Tuesday. The National Assembly will meet to discuss law-enforcement authorities’ request to lift 
Grigorian’s immunity from prosecution.

Grigorian, who represents the former ruling Republican Party (HHK) in the parliament, was arrested by the National Security Service (NSS) on Saturday on suspicion of illegal arms possession. The NSS also accused him of embezzling 
large amounts of food and other supplies meant for Armenian military personnel.

The 61-year-old ex-general, who has been a key backer of former President Serzh Sarkisian, denied any wrongdoing immediately after being taken into custody.

Prosecutor-General Artur Davtian said earlier on Monday that there is sufficient evidence to press criminal charges against Grigorian. For his part, Artur Vanetsian, the NSS director also present at the cabinet meeting, 
expressed confidence that the case “will have a judicial conclusion.”

Pashinian praised the NSS for exposing the alleged abuses. He hinted that more high-profile arrests could be made as part of the ongoing investigation which will now be conducted by another law-enforcement body, the Special 
Investigative Service.

“I as well as the Armenian public see no obstacles to identifying all participants of this case and holding them accountable, regardless of their ranks, statuses or related circumstances,” said the premier. “This case must be 
solved in full.”

Pashinian pledged to eradicate endemic corruption immediately after he swept to power last month in a wave of mass protests organized by him against the country’s previous leadership.

"Therefore, the leadership of the Church is criminally responsible to the full," said Naghiyev.'

RFE/RL Report
Armenian Agricultural Exports Jump In 2018
June 15, 2018

Armenia’s exports of fresh fruits and vegetables have doubled so far this year, with Russia remaining their principal destination, the Ministry of Agriculture said on Friday.

Figures released by the ministry show that they totaled almost 67,300 metric tons as of June 15, compared with 33,820 in the same period of 2017.

The National Statistical Service (NSS) reported earlier that Armenian agricultural exports more than doubled in monetary terms in the first four months of 2018. They fell by as much as 30 percent in 2017, to $71 million, due 
to poor harvests.

Weather conditions have been more favorable this year. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Armenia has exported 14,752 tons of apricots since the beginning of this year, sharply up from just 26 tons in the year-earlier period.

The ministry figures also show that over 95 percent of the 2018 agricultural exports went to Russia. Armenian exporters enjoy tariff-free access to the Russia because of their country’s membership in the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).

Russian President Vladimir Putin noted rising Armenian exports to Russia when he met with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian in the Kremlin on Wednesday. Putin attributed that to Armenia’s membership in the Russian-led trade bloc.

Pashinian described his trip to Moscow as “productive” on Friday. “The government and its bodies must work hard so that we fully realize the potential for [greater] fruit and vegetable exports because the Russian market needs 
that,” he told a cabinet meeting in Yerevan.

PanArmenia, Armenia
June 14 2018
Armenia launches new program for Diaspora children and youth

The programs “Ari Tun” (Come Home) and Diaspora Summer School will be replaced by a new program called;Take A Step Towards Home, new Diaspora Minister,Mkhitar Hayrapetyan, said in a Facebook post.

Both programs were designed for young Armenians living outside the country.

The new familiarization trip will involve children and youth aged 13-21 and will this year be held on August 10-24.
The programme has two components: educational and awareness raising. The first one consists of intensive Armenian language courses, while the awareness raising component offers tours to cultural, historical and contemporary sites.

Participants will mainly stay with host families throughout the programme and are set to participate in outdoor camping in the last four days.

The deadline for submitting applications is 30 June, 2018.

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