Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Armenian News... A Topalian... 7editorials

Mehr News Agency, Iran
June 23 2019
Armenia to stand beside Iran in sanctions era: envoy

TEHRAN, Jun. 23 (MNA) – Armenian Ambassador to Iran Thomas Artashes Toomanian said on Sunday that his country will stand beside Iran despite all the imposed US sanctions on the Islamic country.

In a meeting with Iranian industrialists in Alborz Industrial City, the Armenian ambassador said that “we are fully aware that Iran is coping with foreign sanctions and we will support Tehran.”

Underlining the significance of developing mutual ties between the two sides, he said that the Armenian government has vowed to improve transposition and railway cooperation with Iran.

He also said that Iranian industrial units are lucrative to Armenians for further cooperation.

21 June 2019
Artsakh military carries out “huge” engineering, reinforcement at combat positions

The Artsakh military has carried out large scale engineering and reinforcement works at its combat positions, Lt. Colonel Pargev Martirosyan, deputy commander of a Defense Army base told reporters during a tour.

The works are “increasing the security level and improving the daily conditions of servicemen”, he said. 
“Recently huge engineering and reinforcement works were carried out at combat positions,” he said, adding that trenches have been built. He said all roads that were previously under enemy surveillance have been closed by building “hole-roads”.

Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan

PanArmenian, Armenia
June 24 2019
Armenia is the fifth country by number of migrants in Russia 

Мore than 565,000 migrants traveled to Russia in 2018, 90% of whom came from the CIS countries, a report prepared by the NAFI Research Center and based on data from Russian Federal State Statistics Service (also known as Rosstat) reveals.

Armenia ranks fifth by the number of migrants in Russia. Throughout 2018, 48,400 migrants traveled to the country from Armenia - down by 0.97% against the previous year - reports Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

Panorama, Armenia
June 22 2019
Two judges hearing ex-President Kocharyan’s case ask for guarantees over their safety

Two judges who are hearing the case involving Armenia’s second President Robert Kocharyan have asked for guarantees of their safety. Iravaban.net reports that the judges have applied with the respective request to law enforcement bodies.

“Judges Davit Grigoryan of the Yerevan Court of General Jurisdiction and Armen Danielyan of the Yerevan Criminal Court of Appeals have applied to the General Department of Combating Organized Crime of the Police of Armenia asking to provide safety guarantees,”
 the source wrote, adding the Police have approved the requests and has already taken necessary measures.

Ankeny Daily News, Iowa
June 23 2019
Construction of Solar Farm Boosts Renewable Energy and Employment in Armenia
By Annie Bean 

Construction has started on the first micro-photovoltaic farm in Armenia’s Vayots Dzor region. Landed atop a hill overlooking the village of Gladzor, the projected solar energy plant occupies the spot of a deserted Soviet-era meteorological monitoring center.

Visiting dignitaries and construction staff clad in security gear braved the sizzling Armenian sun to accompany the plant’s groundbreaking celebration on Tuesday. Following opening statements and keynote speeches by high-rating

 Armenian officers and international diplomats, visitors symbolically loaded grime into the foundations of the photovoltaic panel stands.

Andrea Baggioli, the European Union Cooperation Official for connectivity, agriculture, atmosphere, and climate action, said that the brand new plant would create seven permanent high-skilled roles. The progressive initiative can

 also be anticipated to generate employment for a further 25 locals. Per the chief engineer, the Lithuanian-manufactured photovoltaic panels will produce one gigawatt (GW) of energy. The site has the capability to be expanded to provide a further 0.5GW.

The EU is the venture’s primary backer. Brussels has invested 1.5 million euros into the development of the photovoltaic farm as a vital component of a bold regional development mission. This experimental idea, presently being  conducted in the Vayots Dzor province, serves the dual goal of supporting renewable power generation and sustainable native tourism-associated business within the area.

Benefiting from grants allotted to renewable energy producers, the photovoltaic plant will sell power into Armenia’s electrical grid. All earnings made by the plant will likely be reinvested into a unique fund supposed to finance sustainable native business ventures. Within the guidelines of the same venture, the EU has been offering help to promote a local eco-tourism infrastructure. Amongst those visiting the event were a team of prospective bed and breakfast executives undergoing
 an EU-funded coaching program.

Interfax - Russia & CIS General Newswire
June 22, 2019 
Russian airlines ready to transport passengers from Georgia after July 8 via airports of Armenia, N. Ossetia - official
Systemic effort to implement Russian President Vladimir Putin's order suspending air travel with Georgia has been initiated at a conference chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Maxim Akimov, Akimov's representative told the press on Saturday.
"Compatriots, who are currently visiting Georgia, have been recommended to return to Russia before July 8. Passengers will be offered to change dates of their flights with Russian airlines for earlier periods without paying extra," the representative
For instance, Aeroflot has 2,100 vacant seats on flights from Georgia before July 8. Other Russian airlines have vacant seats, too, he said.
"Airlines are duly notifying their clients. There will be interaction between six domestic airlines, which perform flights to and from Georgia, i.e. Aeroflot, Pobeda, S7, Ural Airlines, Red Wings, and Nordavia. Some of them are ready to transport
 Russians after July 8 but via airports of Armenia and North Ossetia," he said.
It was noted at the conference that massive returning of tickets to Georgia would facilitate transportation of Russians remaining in Georgia to the home country.
"Passengers and their luggage will be transported in a routine manner. Citizens who booked particular tourist products, such as accommodation, tours, and the like can contact their travel agents and get a refund consistent with Russian civil law
 and consumer rights legislation," the representative said.

Global Voices
June 23 2019
I found myself in life': Armenian barber excels as a counsellor for his elderly compatriots
 by Anzhela  Frangyan and Inna  Mkhitaryan.

The discussions in Tolik's barber shop highlight masculinity's vulnerable foundations

The following is a story by Chai-Khana.org and
 is republished by Global Voices under a partnership agreement.

The 15m2 room is only for men. Located in the suburbs of Yerevan, Tolik’s Soviet-style barber shop is a place for them to relax: to tell their stories, discuss their worries — and cut their hair. The barber shop has become a refuge for men, a place  to escape from the new-age beauty salons that have become increasingly popular in the capital.

Tolik, 67, is a respected figure for his customers, many of whom have trusted him for more than 40 years with their hair and their thoughts.  In Armenia’s male-dominated society, this barber shop is one of the very few places where men can be open  about their vulnerabilities — including worrying about their hair and their appearance — without being concerned about appearing weak.

Watch video at

Saturday, 22 June 2019

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Armenian News... 9 editorials...

ARKA, Armenia
June 17 2019
Pashinyan unveils new ideology of his party 

Speaking on June 16 at the 5th congress of his Civil Contract Party, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan presented its ideological peculiarities. 

"We are a party that rejects the 'isms," because in the modern world there are no more stereotyped ideologies. In a political sense, we are not liberals, neither centrists, nor social democrats. We are an exclusively civil party," he said. 

According to him, the Civil Contract party has gone beyond ideological standards and is creating an ideologically new platform which is based on four key principles - statehood, citizenship, national identity and individuality. 

"Our activities are aimed at the development of these institutions, since the modern world is changing so rapidly that the ideologies of the 17th and 20th centuries can no longer meet current requirements," he said. As an example, Pashinyan cited China, where the communist ideology is combined with the principle of private property, and the US where its liberal authorities pursue a policy of economic protectionism. 

"It is for these reasons that our ideological core is the rejection of such ideological clichés. We believe in the development, which is a combination of individualism, national identity, statehood and citizenship," he said. 

The congress of the Civil Contract Party was to elect a new 21-member executive board out of 51 candidates. 

17 June, 2019
Artsakh launches massive military exercises

 The Artsakh’s military has commenced command-staff exercises on June 17, the country’s defense ministry reported. It said the drills have been initiated “in accordance with the 2019 training plan of the Artsakh Armed Forces”.

Around 10,000 soldiers, more than 200 artillery systems, nearly 150 armored vehicles, more than 50 air defense systems, more than 400 vehicles and other mobile systems are involved in the drills. The exercises will continue until June 20.

The main emphasis of the exercises is the “completion of missions at nighttime”.
New warfare episodes are also planned to be developed, the Artsakh military said.
Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan

BBC Monitoring Trans Caucasus Unit
Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring
June 14, 2019 Friday
Azeri pundits urge Baku to start war for Karabakh
Two Azerbaijani pundits have called on the government in Baku to start war to reclaim the Armenian-controlled breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven districts around it.
Reserve army Col Sair Ramaldanov was commenting on recent reports that Armenians tried to shoot down Azerbaijani military aircraft by missiles. Ramaldanov told Report news agency that Armenia seeks to aggravate the situation at the front  line to affect the Karabakh peace process and that it might continue "to resort to these kinds of provocations". He said "tension continues to increase in Nagorno-Karabakh" and that "whenever domestic tension runs high in Armenia or another round of [peace] talks is coming up, the enemy stages more provocations at the front line and the cease-fire is violated more frequently". He said that Armenians had never fired on Azerbaijani pilots before and that "it is the first time in recent years that the enemy has used its air defence system and tried, unsuccessfully, to hit Azerbaijani aircraft by missiles". Ramaldanov concluded that that Azerbaijan needs to start war to reclaim the land if Armenia does not "see reason".
The other commentator, military expert Abuzar Abilov, told Minval.az news website that "war is inevitable in the very near future". He suggested the latest tension at the front line showed that "there is something happening in Armenia, and voters who voted for [Armenian Prime Minister Nikol] Pashinyan are now not happy that he is there". He said Pashinyan had always had "unsuccessful" talks with the Karabakh separatists, and the latter therefore "have provoked the aggravation at the front line" just to "spite" the Armenian prime minister. Abilov added that he believes that Baku should no longer pin any hopes on peace talks and needs to start war to reclaim the land.
Abilov also said that three Armenians soldiers were killed on 11 June but the Defence Ministry and media in that country kept silent about it. Meanwhile, Yerevan-based News.am has reported the defence ministry in Nagorno-Karabakh as saying that Azerbaijani troops had killed an Armenian soldier in the breakaway region on 13 June.
In the meantime, news sources have reported that the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia will meet in the United States on 20 June to discuss the Karabakh settlement.

18 June, 2019
President Sarkissian sees need for changes in Hayastan All-Armenian Fund

President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Hayastan All-Armenian Fund, sees need for making changes in the Fund.
During the annual meeting of the Fund’s Board of Trustees today in Yerevan, President Sarkissian said the Fund needs to become more dynamic, mobile, flexible and powerful structure.

“It’s more than 25 years the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund is implementing its pan-national mission as a unique structure uniting Armenia, Artsakh and the Diaspora. It is the most important donor for Artsakh’s development, it is such today and should remain so in the future. In 2018 the Fund has carried out a total of 100 programs of different fields and volumes. Some programs are still in process. The Fund needs to become more dynamic, mobile, flexible and powerful structure. For this purpose first of all it is necessary to be changed with psychology, mind, acting style, composition, programs and charter. There is no need to be afraid of change, especially when the world is changing quite rapidly”, he said.

The President highlighted that the Fund should not be perceived by us as a structure that only builds road or an irrigation network.

“It should be accepted, viewed and perceived first of all as a pan-national trust institution which lives not with the past, but with the future. In other words, lets value the work done in the past and think about the future through the present. Lets move towards the future. Any change relating to the Fund’s activity, be that legal or moral-psychological, should have one clear message, and that is the following: “Hayastan All-Armenian Fund should be a structure beyond suspicions, assumptions, speculations, with Armenia-Artsakh-Diaspora and Armenians goals. The Fund created in the 20th century has reached many successes, it’s time for the Fund to become a national institute of the 21st century”, President Armen Sarkissian said.

The annual meeting of the Board of Trustees of Hayastan All-Armenian Fund has kicked off today in Yerevan. The meeting is attended by Armenia’s President Armen Sarkissian, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, President of Artsakh Bako Sahakyan and other high-ranking officials from Armenia, Artsakh and the Diaspora. 

Edited and translated by Aneta Harutyunyan

RFE/RL Report
Former U.S. Mayor To Manage Armenia’s Ties With Diaspora
June 14, 2019
Arus Hakobian

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian on Friday appointed the Armenian-born former mayor of Glendale, a city in Los Angeles County, as head of a newly formed 
government division tasked with coordinating Armenia’s relations with its worldwide Diaspora.

Pashinian created the post of “commissioner general of Diaspora affairs” after abolishing the Ministry of Diaspora as part of a recent restructuring of the 
Armenian government. The first commissioner, Zareh Sinanyan, will have a 25-member staff.

Sinanyan, 43, was born in Soviet Armenia and lived there until emigrating to the United States with his family in 1988. He served as mayor of Glendale, a 
city with a sizable ethnic Armenian population, from 2014-2015 and 2018. 

Sinanyan resigned from the Glendale city council last week ahead of his anticipated appointment to the new government position in Yerevan.

A vocal critic of Armenia’s former government, Sinanyan strongly supported last year’s “velvet revolution” which brought Pashinian to power. In a May 2018 interview with RFE/RL’s Armenian service, he suggested that many Diaspora Armenians will be ready to move to their ancestral homeland after the 

“We must change our policy towards the Diaspora and make it more effective,” Pashinian told Sinanyan when they met later on Friday. He said his government will seek to increase the Diaspora’s involvement in Armenia’s economic, social and even political life.

“You are not an unknown figure in Armenia and the Diaspora, and I think that there is a good chance that we will accomplish our new tasks set in the new 
era,” added Pashinian.

Sinanyan spoke, for his part, of “huge potential” for the Diaspora’s closer ties with Armenia as well as Nagorno-Karabakh.

ARKA, Armenia
June 18 2019
Around $400 million remitted from Armenia to other countries in four months of 2019

Some $396.9 million were remitted from Armenia to other countries by individuals in the first four months of 2019, an increase of 8% over the same period last year, the Central Bank said.

It said $153.7 million were remitted to the Russian Federation through Armenia-based banks, by $21.8 million or 16.6% more than in the same time span of 2019. Some $74.5 million were sent to the USA, an increase of 15.5%. 

At the same time, money transfers to Armenia in the reporting period increased by 10.7% to $535.7 million. About $272.7 million arrived from the Russian Federation, an increase of 0.65%). -- 0--

17 June, 2019
Armenia to receive 19 mln Euro support from CoE for implementing judicial reforms

 The government of Armenia does everything to ensure the independence and impartiality of judiciary, Foreign minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said during an event dedicated to the Council of Europe Action Plan for Armenia 2019-2022.

The Foreign minister said Armenia has showed that it wants to become a country that will be modeled with the European standards and will be firmly based on democracy and human rights. “This year we have a greater aspiration, the budget is quite ambitious – 18.9 million Euros, and is concentrated on those directions of the reforms which are priority for the government. They are mainly directed for the judicial reforms”, he said.

The minister added that this is the will and desire of the people which is reflected with this government’s determination and commitment.

Mnatsakanyan is confident that this action plan will serve at best for the implementation of Armenia’s judicial reforms, and in 2021 the state will already have tangible results.

“The government has clearly stated that it will do everything to ensure the independence and impartiality of the judiciary, with no pressure on judicial authorities”, he said.

The Armenian FM thanked the CoE Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland who expressed readiness to assist the implementation of these reforms.

“This is the meaning of our cooperation with Europe. High-level experts visited here from Europe within a week who started working on judicial reforms, their content and financing directions. This shows how valuable this cooperation is. The completion of the fair and impartial judicial reforms program will make complete the entire philosophy of the revolution for us”, the FM said.

 Edited and translated by Aneta Harutyunyan

Panorama, Armenia
June 17 2019
The country of Parajanov in need of modern model of cinematography - Piotr Świtalsky

The European Union is set to assist Armenia in developing its cinematography, the Head of the EU delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalsk stated on Monday during the parliamentary hearings on developing legislative initiatives in the sphere of cinematography. 

To note, the hearings have brought together the sector representatives to elaborate on the cinema legislation and the development of the sector.

“First, we believe that culture is a great tool for Armenia that may not only raise the country’s image but also bring investments into the economy. Secondly, cinematography is one of the spheres where Armenia has huge potential which should be restored and developed. The country of Parajanov is in need of modern model of cinematography. And finally, we want to support Armenia’s participation in the “Creative Europe” program,” Świtalsky said during his speech, adding Armenia is part of two ongoing subprograms that may bring benefits to the country.

“We learnt in Brussels that Armenia wants to participate in the 2020-2022 Cooperation Plan, and culture is a major comonent to make that involvement possible. We will do our best to ensure Armenia’s involvement in the “Creative Europe” program,” added the Ambassador.

ARKA, Armenia
June 17 2019
First smart cattle-breeding farm opens in Stepanavan

The first smart cattle-breeding farm opened today in Stepanavan, in Armenian province of Lori. The opening ceremony was attended by Deputy Minister of Economy Artak Kamalyan.

The building of the farm was built under the program Animal Health Management in Armenia and Georgia, implemented by the CARD Foundation with the financial support of the Austrian Development Agency. 

The building was built on the basis of a greenhouse construction, which is considered an innovative method in Armenia. As an innovation, a cooling system, ventilation, lighting, and a remote animal video surveillance system have been also installed. Favorable conditions have been created for animals to increase yields and meat. The farm has 12 cows.

In early April the government of Armenia approved an assistance program for construction, reconstruction and technological re-equipment of small and medium-sized "smart cattle-breeding farms.’ The goal of the program is help farmers increase their productivity. In 2019-2021 some 3.2 billion drams are to be invested in the construction of 230 "smart’ farms. 

Earlier Deputy Economy Minister Tigran Gabrielyan said  the government  planned to finance 30 farms this year, but already received 135 applications and approved 123 of them. Gabrielyan said that all the submitted projects will get government funding. He said also ten day intensive courses will be held for farmers by the Agrarian University.

Three models of farms are offered – with 130-280 square meters, designed for 15 cattle worth 11 million drams, with 280-450 square meters for 25 cattle worth 23 million drams and with 450 square meters for 45 cattle worth 35 million drams.

The deputy minister said the government will provide grants for the construction of these cattle-breeding farms in the amount of 5.5 million drams, 11.5 million drams and 17.5 million drams respectively, which is almost half of the cost.

The size of subsidies for residents of border regions and for persons, who received disabilities during military service, will be 7.7 million drams, 16.1 million drams and 24.5 million drams respectively (70% of the cost).

17 June, 2019
Armenian international footballer Henrikh Mkhitaryan gets married at St. Lazarus Island

Midfielder of Armenia national football team and London's Arsenal club Henrikh Mkhitaryan got married with Betty Vardanyan.

ARMENPRESS reports Mkhitaryan posted a photo on his twitter page with his wife Betty Vardanyan and wrote, “Merry me and stay with me forever”. The wedding ceremony took place in Venice, in Armenian St. Lazarus Island.

Mkhitaryan’s wife is the daughter of Armenian businessman Mikayel Vardanyan.

Edited and translated by Tigran Sirekanyan

For photos.click on;

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The Armenian Institute is a London-based charity (charity registration number: 1088410) dedicated to making Armenian culture and history a living experience through innovative programmes, educational resources, workshops, exhibits and performances. Its work is supported by voluntary donations from Friends, Patrons and Benefactors. For more information about the Armenian Institute or to find out about supporting the important work of the Institute, please visit our website at www.armenianinstitute.org.uk, contact us at info@armenianinstitute.org.uk, or call 020 7938 3336. 
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