Sunday, 29 May 2022

W Weekly Update

27 November - 4 December

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Weekly update


4 December
The Azerbaijani foreign ministry issued a statement about the failed meeting of Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers on the sidelines of the 28th meeting of Ministerial Council of the OSCE in Stockholm, TASS news agency reported. According to the statement, issued by the Azerbaijani side, a few hours before the considered meeting on December 3, Armenian MPs paid what it described 'illegal' visit to Nagorno Karabakh and as a response, 'the Azerbaijani side did not consider it expedient to hold a meeting of Ministers of two countries in Stockholm.' In line with Armenian foreign ministry spokesperson Vahan Hunanyan earlier commented that the expected meeting between Ararat Mirzoyan and his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov didn't take place, adding the Armenian side has never avoided meetings in the framework of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement process under the mandate of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship.


3 December
Turkey’s vice president last week stated that its National Intelligence Organization (Milli İstihbarat Teşkilatı, MİT) played an active role in the Nagorno-Karabakh war in 2020, helping to shape the balances in the field. According to, Vice President Fuat Oktay made a presentation on the annual activities of state institutions operating under the Presidency at parliament’s Planning and Budget Committee on November 26. Stating that MİT is a source of pride for the country, Oktay told deputies that the organization renders great service to Turkey’s interests with the operations it carries out abroad. “In many regions such as Syria, Libya, Upper Karabakh and most recently Afghanistan, the organization has carried out important work that protects our national interests and shapes the balances in the field in favor of our country, in line with our state policy,” he said.


2 December
The Hayastan All-Armenian Fund reports that no credible evidence exists that funds raised as part of the “We Are Our Borders” global fundraising campaign were misappropriated. In line with the Fund launched the campaign when the war in Karabakh broke out in late September 2020. By the end of the war, the Fund had raised some US$170 million. In October 2020, the Fund's Board of Trustees decided to transfer some 60 % of the money raised (about $105 million) to the Armenian government. Immediately thereafter, questions were raised in Armenia and outside the country what the money was spent on and why the Fund decided to hand over the funds to the Armenian government.  In an interview with Hetq on November 19, 2020, Fund Director Haykak Arshamyan said that none of the money transferred to the government had been used to pay salary or bonuses, and that it went towards the refugee problem and healthcare. The Fund’s Board of Trustees says a working group it set up to investigate the matter, as well as a private auditor and Armenia’s Ministry of Finance, found no evidence that the money was used on other than humanitarian and infrastructure needs. Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan, this past September, claimed that all monies raised by the Fund were spent on humanitarian aid. On week later, Diaspora Commissioner Zareh Sinanian confessed that some funds were diverted to the war effort.


1 December
Creative Armenia, in partnership with the EU4Business “Innovative Tourism and Technology Development for Armenia” (ITTD) project, officially launched the creative incubator Artbox on November 23 to provide comprehensive support to creative ideas with potential for commercial success. In line with the program is accepting applications until January 21, 2022. Inspired by innovative models in business and tech, Artbox is a reinvention of the incubator model for the art world — a dynamic entrepreneurial system that supports artists in developing their creative ideas in theatre, cultural tourism, film, music, design, and across all fields into commercially viable and investable creative products. “It is not enough that an idea is brilliant,” said Creative Armenia founding director Garin Hovannisian. “Every idea needs an Artbox.” The application is open for creators with projects from across the world to be realized within the boundaries of the Republic of Armenia. Preference is given to projects that have potential to: 1) contribute to the development of the three Northern regions of the Republic of Armenia’s (Shirak, Lori, and/or Tavush regions); 2) create synergies between the creative industries and tourism; 3) reach commercial success and excite investors.


30 November
Armenia’s government insisted that it will not cede any extraterritorial land corridors to Azerbaijan as a result of the latest talks between the leaders of the two states hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to Putin, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev met in the Russian city of Sochi on Friday one year after a Russian-brokered ceasefire that stopped the six-week war over Nagorno-Karabakh. They reported further progress towards the opening of transport links between Armenia and Azerbaijan envisaged by the ceasefire. In particular, Putin said a trilateral task force dealing with the matter will meet in Moscow this week to announce “decisions which we agreed today.” He did not elaborate. The truce accord commits Armenia to opening rail and road links between Azerbaijan and its Nakhichevan exclave. Armenia should be able, for its part, to use Azerbaijani territory as a transit route for cargo shipments to Russia and Iran.


29 November
Armenia’s Court of Appeals has rejected prosecutors’ demands to overturn a lower court’s decision to throw out controversial coup charges that were brought against former President Robert Kocharian. In line with, Kocharian and three other former officials were prosecuted in connection with the 2008 post-election unrest in Yerevan. Anna Danibekian, a district court judge presiding over their trial, acquitted them in early April ten days after the Constitutional Court declared the charges unconstitutional. The trial prosecutors appealed against the acquittal. They demanded that the Court of Appeals allow investigators to charge the defendants with abuse of power and order Danibekian to resume the coup trial. The Court of Appeals rejected the prosecutors’ appeal in a ruling announced late on Friday. One of Kocharian’s lawyers, Hovannes Khudoyan, welcomed the decision.


28 November
A Yerevan court today decided to detain former Armenian Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan, arrested on embezzlement charges, for another two months. Acording to Tonoyan was arrested on September 30 as part of a criminal probe regarding the supply of defective ammunition to the country’s military. Sergey Hovhannisyan, one of Tonoyan's defense lawyers, told Hetq that a motion filed to have the judge in the case recused was thrown out. Tonoyan, appointed defense minister in May 2018 and dismissed on November 20, 2020, once declared while defense minister that Armenia would capture more Azerbaijani territory in any new war. Tonoyan has rejected the charges, labelling them as baseless. Hovhannisyan argues that the case against his client is politically motivated and designed to disparage Tonoyan’s reputation.


27 November
Russian President Vladimir Putin has briefed members of the Security Council on the results of the discussions with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Kremlin informs. According to Putin told members of the Security Council, “I will briefly inform you about the results of my discussions with the President of Azerbaijan and the Prime Minister of Armenia on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement and on the agreements that were reached in the course of today’s work with colleagues.” The meeting was attended by Chair of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko, Chairman of the State Duma Viacheslav Volodin, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Anton Vaino, Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev, Minister of Internal Affairs Vladimir Kolokoltsev, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov, Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu, Director of the Federal Security Service Alexander Bortnikov, Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service Sergei Naryshkin, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Dmitry Kozak.



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