Saturday, 14 July 2018

Armenian News... A Topalian... Earthquake in Gavar

July 9
Earthquake registered 21km west from Armenia’s Gavar town

On July 9, at 15:58 local time, the Seismic Protection Survey Seismological Network of the Armenian ministry of emergency situations registered an earthquake at the northern latitude 40.34 and eastern longitude 44.87 geographic coordinates (Armenia, 21km west from the town of Gavar of Gegharkunik province) with 2.4 magnitude and 12 km depth.

The tremor measured magnitude 3 point at the epicenter area.

10 07.16
Greatest goal is to stop, reverse wheel of emigration, Pashinyan says

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Catholicos Garegin II attended the final event of the Armenian Apostolic Church Global Youth Union’s assembly on July 9. Four hundred diasporan Armenians from over 20 countries took part in the event, during which Pashinyan addressed the crowd and answered questions. When asked by one of the participants about his administration’s most important goal, Pashinyan said that one of his greatest objectives is repatriation.

“Essentially, the wheel of emigration has been spinning back from the times of the Bagratunis — it has been spinning and spinning,” Pashinyan said. “Our most important goal is not only to stop this wheel but also to reverse it.”

Pashinyan noted that it gave him great joy to see his fellow “brothers and sisters” in Armenia.

“We want you to give this happiness to Armenia more and more often. We want you to be here on the occasion of pilgrimage, without the occasion of pilgrimage, be with your sisters, brothers, parents, relatives, be here long and often,” Pashinyan said. “This is our goal, Armenia is a country which is the fatherland of all of us.”

Armenia’s development is a huge priority for his government, according to Pashinyan.

“There is no other goal, which in my opinion has sense in serving for than the goal that Armenia should be the best place for living in the world legally, economically, politically and socially,” Pashinyan said.

ARKA, Armenia
July 11 2018
House of Commons approves CEPA between Armenia and EU

UK’s House of Commons has approved today the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between Armenia and the EU, spokesman for Armenian foreign ministry  Tigran Balayan, said in Twitter.

"The Armenian Embassy in London informs that today the House of Commons of Great Britain has approved the Agreement between Armenia and the European Union, passing it to the House of Lords for the final ratification," Balayan wrote.

The agreement was ratified by the Armenian parliament on April 11. On June 1, 2018, it came into force partially. The agreement was signed on November 24, 2017 at the fifth summit of the EU's Eastern Partnership program in Brussels.

Armenia is the only  member of the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union to have signed a similar document with the European Union. The agreement will fully enter into force after it is ratified by all  28 member states of the European Union. So far it has been ratified by Armenia, Estonia, Latvia, Poland and Lithuania. 

Mnatsakanyan Discusses International Relations with U.K. Under-Secretary

Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan met with Permanent Under-Secretary at the U.K.G. Foreign and Commonwealth Office Simon McDonald in Yerevan to discuss Armenian-British relations as well as concerns regarding situations in Karabakh, Syria and Iran.

Mnatsakanyan hailed the intensification of Armenian-British relations, which were reflected in the frequent visits between diplomats of the two countries. He reiterated Armenia’s commitment to continue expanding the dialogue between the two countries to achieve more tangible results.

McDonald said that it is now a great time to visit Armenia to get first-hand information about the country and discuss the ways of expanding the Armenian-British agenda.

Mnatsakanyan briefed McDonald on the recent domestic developments in Armenia, emphasizing the new government’s willingness to continue with its reforms agenda with support from European colleagues.

Both referred to the Armenia-EU partnership and emphasized the importance of the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement — Mnatsakanyan said he hoped that the United Kingdom would soon ratify the agreement. The diplomats reflected on a number of pressing  issues on the international agenda, including the situation in Syria and Iran’s nuclear programs.

Mnatsakanyan briefed Mr. McDonald on the Karabakh peace process, reiterating Armenia’s commitment to an exceptionally peaceful settlement of the conflict within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship. He noted that Artsakh’s status and security are a priority for Armenia, and emphasized the importance of establishing an atmosphere conducive to peace. Mnatsakanyan welcomed the U.K.’s support for the OSCE Co-Chairs’ efforts.

]look at who is talking!!!]
July 10 2018
President Aliyev: Criminal, corrupt, thievish, deceitful power of bloodsuckers in Armenia completely collapsed

The criminal, corrupt, thievish, deceitful power of bloodsuckers in Armenia has completely collapsed, said Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev.

The head of state made the remarks making an opening speech at a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers dedicated to the results of socio-economic development in the first half of 2018 and future objectives.

"The criminal, corrupt, thievish, deceitful power of bloodsuckers completely collapsed over 20 years. Today, the Armenian people say what I said. I have several times accused the former authorities of Armenia from the highest tribunes, the UN rostrum. I said that this is the criminal junta regime and now the Armenian people are saying this. I said that this is a thievish corrupt regime and now the Armenian people are saying this. I said that this is a regime that sucks the blood of its own people,” said President Aliyev.

President Aliyev added that the Sargsyan regime, which was ousted from power with disgrace, is in reality a collapse of the Armenian statehood.

"If 20 years out of 26 years of independence have passed under this authority, what positive qualities could this state have ?! Armenia is a loser state. The Armenian statehood has suffered a fiasco. Their heroes, their generals are thieves and their army is an army of thieves. Today, the people of Armenia see this and the Armenian authorities say this. Justice triumphed, and the thievish, criminal regime that led Armenia for 20 years, became completely dishonored and was ousted from the political arena,” said the head of state.

Apricot export volumes from Armenia increase by more than one and half times
July 11,2018

Information and Public Relations Department of the RA Ministry of Agriculture informs that as of July 11, 2018, a total of 101.492 tons of fresh fruits-vegetables have been exported from Armenia, compared to the 56.856 tons of the same products of the previous year.

44.131 tons of apricots have been exported – against the last year’s 19.525 tons.

Compared to the same period of the previous year, the export volumes increased by 44.636 tons or 78.5%.

An unprecedented growth of apricot export volumes has been recorded during this year: the increase is nearly by 55%.

Most of the exports – nearly 94.862 tons, were exported to Russia, and the remaining to Georgia, Belarus, Iraq, Kazakhstan, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Belgium, Romania, Kuwait, Qatar and the US.

Information and Public Relations Department of the RA Ministry of Agriculture:

A1+Ara Vardanyan: 
I would like to apologize to all of you
July 10,2018 

Ara Vardanyan, who stepped down after authorities revealed he had been misappropriating funds of the charity organization for personal goals and even online gambling, said he deeply regrets that he has unwillingly compromised the reputation of the Hayastan All Armenian Fund.

“Yesterday I tendered my resignation as executive director of the Hayastan All Armenian Fund, clearly realizing that my further tenure will damage the Fund’s reputation, which is inadmissible for personally myself”, he said.

“Dear people, I would like to apologize to all of you, to all donors of the Fund, small and big, pensioners and major philanthropists, representatives of local bodies of the worldwide Diaspora, all devotees of the Fund. All donations of the Fund had and have their addressed significance, which is the prosperity of our country, construction and reconstruction of schools, kindergartens, hospitals, roads, homes and cultural structures in Artsakh and Armenia. I thank the governments of Armenia and Artsakh for close cooperation, and all philanthropists and devotees for their practical participation in the [development] of our country,” he said.

Vardanyan was detained by national security agents on July 2 in suspicion of embezzling the fund’s finances. During interrogation, Vardanyan admitted to misusing the fund’s credit card for personal goals, including online gambling. He was placed under arrest but later released on a 1,000,000 dram bail.

He tendered his resignation on July 9 to President Armen Sarkissian.

Vardanyan has not been formally charged yet.

RFE/RL Report
Government Details First Results Of Crackdown On Tax Fraud
July 10, 2018
Emil Danielyan

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian said on Tuesday that his government has recovered more than 20 billion drams ($42 million) of unpaid taxes in less than 
two months.

Pashinian attributed that to an ongoing “fight against corruption, abuses and the shadow economy.” “This is a very important indicator, and I think that we must keep up our efforts in this direction,” he said at a weekly cabinet meeting in Yerevan.

Davit Ananian, the head of the State Revenue Committee (SRC), specified that the sum equivalent to almost 1.8 percent of Armenia’s 2017 tax revenue was collected from 73 companies accused of tax evasion. They have been investigated by not only the SRC but also the National Security Service (NSS) and the police, he told cabinet members.

Ananian singled out a tax fraud case brought against a customs brokerage company reportedly linked to his predecessor, Vartan Harutiunian.

The NSS claimed in late May that the company, Norfolk Consulting, has evaded $7 million in taxes since being set up last summer and obtaining exclusive rights to process imports from China, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey. Norfolk’s executive director, Armen Unanian, and two chief accountants were arrested at the time. They all were freed a week later after Unanian agreed to transfer the allegedly unpaid taxes to the state.

In mid-June, the SRC accused two other customs brokerage firms of failing to pay more than 2 billion drams in taxes.

Armenia’s leading food supermarkets have been the other major targets of the new government’s stated crackdown on tax evasion. They have agreed to pay hefty fines despite insisting that they stuck to taxation rules that were set by the previous government.

Ananian promised a tougher crackdown on companies and individuals underreporting their earnings when he was appointed as head of the SRC in late May. He said that the government’s tax revenue will be “substantially higher than planned” this year. It rose by more than 7 percent in 2017.

Pashinian said on Tuesday that the unpaid taxes detected by the law-enforcement authorities will be added to Armenia’s 2018 state budget. In particular, he 
said, the government will allocate 10 billion drams ($21 million) in additional subsidies to impoverished communities outside Yerevan.

The premier also stressed: “This figure [$42 million] doesn’t include illegal enrichment and embezzlement cases and cases involving other corrupt practices, 
which are also extremely large in scale. This process will definitely continue, and we will recover very serious sums and reverse damage inflicted on the state.”

The most high-profile probes of “illegal enrichment” launched to date involve former President Serzh Sarkisian’s former chief bodyguard, Vachagan Ghazarian, 
and brother Levon.

Ghazarian was arrested late last month after the NSS confiscated more than $2 million worth of cash from him. According to the NSS, he claimed to have 
“forgotten” to add this and other money to his official income declarations.

Around the same time, the SRC discovered documents showing that Levon Sarkisian and his two children hold nearly $7 million in an Armenian bank. Sarkisian and 
his daughter are now facing prosecution for their failure to disclose these sums to a state anti-corruption body.

An Armenian court issued an arrest warrant for Levon Sarkisian on Saturday. He has still not been arrested, however, suggesting that he may have fled the country.
9 July 2018
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan holds meeting with Youri Djorkaeff to discuss development of Armenian football

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has held a meeting today with legendary French-Armenian footballer Youri Djorkaeff, who arrived in Yerevan for the July 8 all-star exhibition game featuring Latin American and European football stars.

“I am very happy to welcome you here in the Armenian government. I hope you know that during your entire career all Armenians were very proud of you and were willing to help you with good wishes and emotions. I am happy that you are in Armenia and I hope that your ties with Armenia will be continous and we will be able to cooperate in order for you to assist Armenian football, development of infrastructures and inspire the new generation to begin a football career,” the Armenian PM said.

Djorkaeff said that he has already been to Armenia for several times, including as part of the delegations of French Presidents Chirac and Sarkozy. “And this is very important for me, because everyone knows that I have Armenian blood. What you did recently was wonderful, indescribable, you inspired many Armenians, you changed the face of the state, you brought hope, something that didn’t exist previously. And this is a fundamentally different thing because there is a chance to do something right, and that is why I would like to ask you how can I be useful for the country. I want to make my step too. My foundation is ready to launch new projects in Armenia,” Djorkaeff said, adding that he also works with UNICEF, and is willing to assist Armenia in this capacity too.

The PM thanked the French-Armenian and welcomed his initiatives. Pashinyan expressed certainty that Djorkaeff will boost development of Armenian football with his projects.

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