Thursday, 28 May 2020

W Weekly Update

28 March - 4 April

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Weekly update

 

4 April

  • NEWS.am informed, as of Saturday 11am, a total of 34 new cases of the novel coronavirus were recorded in Armenia, the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports. According to data released on Friday, 736 cases of coronavirus were registered in the country. Overall, 770 cases of coronavirus are confirmed as of Saturday morning. A total of 3,477 tests have come back negative, and 720 people are currently being treated. According to the latest data, 43 people have recovered, whereas 7 patients have died in Armenia from the coronavirus. 

 

3 April

  • 70 countries have jointed the call for global ceasefire conditioned by the coronavirus crisis, ARMENPRESS reports UN Secretary General António Guterres said in a briefing. ''So far 70 countries, regional partners, public figures and civil society organizations have joint the call'', he said. He noted that the pandemic will be followed by deep social, economic and political consequences, including related with international peace and security. In late March UN Secretary General António Guterres called for global ceasefire conditioned by the spread of coronavirus. Foreign Minister of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan tweeted that Armenia joins the call of the IN Secretary-General. 

 

2 April

  • The Prime Minister Office informed, accompanied by RA Defense Minister David Tonoyan, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan today visited the Yerablur Military Pantheon to pay tribute to those Armenian servicemen who fell in the Four-Day April War of 2016 and during the Artsakh Liberation War. Prime Minister Pashinyan laid flowers at the graves of the April War heroes, as well as at the tombs of Andranik Ozanian and Sparapet Vazgen Sargsyan. Nikol Pashinyan also laid a wreath at the Memorial to Perished Freedom-Fighters.
  • President Armen Sarkissian visited today the Erablur Military Pantheon, the Presidential Office said. The President was accompanied by the former servicemen of the Armenian Army, employees of the Presidential Administration Gor Darmanian and Liparit Melkonian, as well as an employee of the Ministry of Emergency Situations Arkadi Andreasian.  During their service in the Armed Forces they were distinguished for their combat readiness and dedication, and were injured during military actions. They were employed in the framework of the Homeland Defender initiative which aims at supporting the servicemen, who became disabled during the military service, by providing them with jobs. President Sarkissian and accompanying Homeland Defenders laid flowers at the tombs of the heroes, who lost their lives during April 2016 military actions, and paid tribute to their memory.

 

1 April

  • BBC reported, the current coronavirus outbreak is the biggest challenge for the world since World War Two, UN Secretary General António Guterres has warned. He said it could bring a recession "that probably has no parallel in the recent past." His warning comes amid dire predictions about the possible economic impact of measures imposed to fight the virus. The number of confirmed cases around the world is now nearing 860,000, with more than 42,000 deaths. The death toll in the US is now more than 4,000 - higher than the declared number of fatalities in China, where the outbreak began late last year. Johns Hopkins University said 865 people had died in the past 24 hours in the US and in all more than 189,000 people in the country had been infected. 
  • RFE/RL’s Armenian Service (Azatutyun.am) reported, residents of Nagorno-Karabakh went to the polls on Tuesday in presidential and parliamentary elections strongly condemned by Azerbaijan. The presidential ballot was contested by 14 candidates. Only three of them were believed to stand a chance of succeeding Bako Sahakian, Karabakh’s outgoing president who has been in office since 2007. Those are Sahakian’s former prime minister and foreign minister, Arayik Harutiunian and Masis Mayilian, and retired army General Vitaly Balasanian. None of them was openly endorsed by Sahakian or Armenia’s government during election campaign. The parliamentary race was also tightly contested, with 12 parties and blocs vying for 33 seats in the local legislature. Most of their top leaders also ran for president.
  • The National Assembly adopted late on Tuesday the controversial legislative package regulating procedures for tracking citizens through mobile phone calls, TERT.am said. The measure, proposed as an amendment to the laws "On the Legal Regime of a State of Emergency" and "On Electronic Exchange", received a final approval with 71 votes "in favor" at the parliament's special session. Only members of the ruling political bloc, My Step, were in attendance.

 

31 March

  • Armenian chess grandmaster Levon Aronian’s wife Arianne Caoili has died aged 33, NEWS.am informed. Arianne Caoili got into an accident on March 14 in Yerevan. She crashed into a concrete pillar on the street. After the accident, Ariana underwent several operations. Levon Aronian and Arianne Caoili married in 2017.
  • The presidential and parliamentary elections have kicked off in Artsakh, AYSOR.am informed. All the 281 polling stations opened at 8am. One polling station opened in Armenia. In Shushi penitentiary the voting will open at 11am. Fourteen candidates are running for president, and two blocs and 10 parties are fighting for mandates in the Artsakh National Assembly.
  • The Foreign Ministry of Armenia Office published the statement in regard to the statement of Turkey’s Foreign Ministry on the elections being held in Artsakh.
    “The statement of the Foreign Ministry of Turkey on the elections being held in Nagorno-Karabakh is yet another expression of Turkey's hostile policy towards the Armenian people.
    In line with its traditional method of selective interpretation of international documents, on one hand Turkey invokes the relevant UN Security Council’s resolutions and on the other hand ignores their call to refrain from any hostile actions in the context of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict explicitly addressed to the states in the region. Whereas it is Turkey itself that has been imposing land blockade on the Republic of Armenia for decades and supporting aggressive and atrocious actions unleashed against the people of Artsakh, including in April 2016.
    The reference of Turkey’s Foreign Ministry to the OSCE principles and the Minsk Process is equally groundless. We recall that the OSCE/CSCE decision of March 24, 1992, which laid a foundation for the Minsk Process, refers to the elected representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh as a participant in the process. Elections must be held to have elected representatives, and from this viewpoint, elections conducted in Artsakh don’t contradict, but derive from the logic and fundamental documents of peaceful process.
    Turkey's attempts to act as an international guardian of human rights and its appeals to the international community are more than bankrupted in the light of its constant violations of the rights of peoples and territorial integrity of its neighbors and its aggressive policy which breaches the norms of international law and democracy. “

 

30 March

  • The National Assembly of Armenia voted to pass in the first reading the draft legislative proposing amendments and supplements to the RA Law on the state of emergency regime and the RA Law on electronic communication, PANORAMA said. The draft bill was approved by 57 in favor, 24 against and 1 abstained votes. According to the legislative initiative, during the emergency situation due to the coronavirus pandemic, the government is enabled to intervene with the rights of the citizens to data protection, privacy, the inviolability of personal and family life as well as freedom of communication. According to it, the government will be using citizens’ cell phone location data to legally track and monitor their mobile phone information, including the time, duration of incoming and receiving calls. The measures are to be taken in order to find people that the person with the virus has come in contact with so they can enforce quarantine controls and monitor their movement.

 

28 March

  • The Russian and Armenian Prime Ministers, Mikhail Mishustin and Nikol Pashinyan, focused in a phone call on the measures aimed at stemming the spread of novel coronavirus and emphasized the need to maintain trade flows, the Russian government said in a statement on Saturday, TASS informed. "The heads of government discussed the measures taken to mitigate the spread of the new coronavirus. Mikhail Mishustin and Nikol Pashinyan touched on pressing issues of the Russian-Armenian cooperation in trade and the economy and underscored the importance of maintaining the trade flows between Russia and Armenia in full," the statement said. Meanwhile, Pashinyan wrote on Facebook that "the Russian government’s step has aroused concern among Armenian business people." "I want to calm everyone down. This decision is not related to our cargoes. We discussed the issue with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and he confirmed that the cargoes would be delivered from Armenia to Russia and back as usual," the Armenian prime minister said.

 

Sources: https://www.president.am, https://www.primeminister.am/en/, https://www.mfa.am/en/, https://tass.com, https://www.bbc.com/, https://armenpress.am, https://news.am/eng/, https://tert.am, https://www.panorama.am/en/, https://www.aysor.am/en, https://www.azatutyun.am/en.

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05 April 2020

The Armenian Center for National and International Studies

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