Tuesday, 20 October 2020

W Weekly Update

11-18 January

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Weekly update

17 January

  • Georgi Kutoyan, who headed Armenia’s National Security Service (NSS) in the final years of former President Serzh Sarkisian’s rule, was found shot to death in Yerevan on Friday, RFE/RL’s Armenian Service (Azatutyun.am) A spokeswoman for the Investigative Committee, Naira Harutiunian, reported in the afternoon that Kutoyan’s body had a gunshot wound then it was discovered by his wife at his Yerevan apartment “a short while ago.” Forensic experts and other officers of the law-enforcement agency are already “working at the scene,” Harutiunian wrote on Facebook. A high-ranking Investigative Committee official, Artur Melikian, said later in the day that preliminary indications are that Kutoyan, 38, was killed by a gunshot fired at his head. But investigators also found dozens of bullets in the apartment and forensic experts will determine whether those were fired from the same pistol, he told reporters outside the apartment building cordoned off by police. Melikian said that premeditated murder is therefore one of the theories of Kutoyan’s death considered by the investigators. “We don’t yet have information that anyone heard gunshots,” he said, adding that more residents of the apartment block will be questioned in the coming days.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy rejected the resignation of Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk on Friday, DW Honchurak was caught up in controversy after an audio recording emerged earlier this week that appeared to show him questioning Zelenskiy's ability to manage the economy. He called Zelenskiy a "layman" in economics and said the president should be better educated. Zelenskiy is a former comedian with no political experience until he came into office in 2019.

 

16 January

  • According to BBC, the US Senate formally received the articles on impeachment from the House on Thursday. The whole process has been more colourful, and dramatic, than your standard Congress fare. Speaker Nancy Pelosi used several pens to put her signature on the impeachment bill - annoying Republicans - before House Democrats and the House clerk formally marched over to the Senate Chamber to present the articles. And the sergeant at arms kicked off proceedings on Thursday with a medieval-sounding threat: "Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye, all persons are commanded to keep silent, on pain of imprisonment." It's rare to see so much pomp and circumstance in the US Congress, which typically has far fewer ceremonial traditions than the UK's Parliament.
  • The Senate formally opened the impeachment trial of President Trump on Thursday, bracing for a deeply divisive debate over his fate as senators swore to deliver “impartial justice” and installed Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. to preside over the proceeding, The New York Times In a somber ceremony that initiated only the third presidential impeachment trial in the nation’s history, Chief Justice Roberts vowed to act “according to the Constitution and the laws.” He then administered the same, 222-year-old oath of impartiality to the senators, setting in motion the final stage of a process that has roiled Congress and could shape the outcome of the 2020 elections, along with Mr. Trump’s legacy. Even as the ritual unfolded in the chamber, with senators signing their names one by one in an oath book near the marble Senate rostrum, new evidence was emerging about Mr. Trump’s pressure campaign on Ukraine that is at the heart of the charges against him.

 

15 January

  • The Court of General Jurisdiction of Yerevan has changed the preventive measure of former board chairman of Yerkrapah Volunteers Union Manvel Grigoryan, said Armenpress. He has been released from jail on signature bond not to leave the country. The decision was made based on the health condition of Manvel Grigoryan. Manvel Grigoryan is charged with illegal possession of firearms, embezzlement of more than 101 million drams in property, tax evasion amounting to more than 1 billion drams, misappropriation of state funds of more than 1 billion drams and extortion of 37 million drams.

 

14 January

  • Britain, France and Germany formally accused Iran on Tuesday of violating the terms of its 2015 agreement to curb its nuclear programme, which eventually could lead to the reimposing of U.N. sanctions lifted under the deal, REUTERS The European powers said they were acting to avoid a crisis over nuclear proliferation adding to an escalating confrontation in the Middle East. Russia, another signatory to the pact, said it saw no grounds to trigger the mechanism and Iran dismissed the step as a “strategic mistake.” The three countries said they still wanted the nuclear deal with Tehran to succeed and were not joining a “maximum pressure” campaign by the U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, which abandoned the pact in 2018 and has reimposed economic sanctions on Iran. The countries triggered the deal’s “dispute mechanism,” which amounts to formally accusing Iran of violating the terms of the agreement.

 

13 January

  • Armenia’s top officials visited the Armenian Genocide Memorial to pay tribute to the victims of the Baku pogroms, News.am reported. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, National Assembly Speaker Ararat Mirzoyan, Secretary of the Security Council Armen Grigoryan, Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II, and numerous deputies are at the memorial. On January 13, 1990, the mass pogroms of the native Armenian population began in the Azerbaijani capital. Several thousand supporters of the National Front of Azerbaijan, seeking power, staged large-scale pogroms in Baku on national grounds. The Soviet Azerbaijan leadership had officially acknowledged that the pogroms were committed on national grounds.

 

11 January

  • President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian will conduct a working visit to the United Arab Emirates, the Presidential Office In the framework of the visit, the President of Armenia will have meetings with the highest leadership of the UAE. The discussions will be focused on the agenda items related to a mutually beneficial cooperation. Discussed will be also the agreements reached during the previous meetings. Among significant topics of President Sarkissian’s meetings will also be the areas of nuclear energy, modern technologies, food security, as well as cooperation in the framework of the ATOM (Advanced Tomorrow) initiative aimed at the scientific and technological development. In Abu Dhabi, the President of Armenia will participate as a keynote speaker at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week prestigious international forum. The Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week forum is being held since 2008. It is a global platform which brings under one roof heads of state, politicians, reputable experts, scientists, and entrepreneurs to discuss global challenges for the world’s sustainable development and urgent issues. The opening ceremony of the forum will be attended by nearly 4000 participants from over 175 countries, including heads of state and government, diplomats, political and public figures, major businessmen. This year, the conference will focus on climate change and its consequences, issues of energy and food security, innovation and application of biotechnologies in the area of healthcare, artificial intelligence and youth related issues.

 

Sources: https://www.president.am, https://www.nytimes.com/, https://www.azatutyun.am/en, https://armenpress.am, https://news.am/eng/, https://www.reuters.com/, https://www.bbc.com/, https://www.dw.com/.

11 October 2020
21 September 2020
13 September 2020
19 July 2020

The Armenian Center for National and International Studies

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