Armenia opposition activist gets 10.5-year prison sentence (PHOTOS), Armenia
Armenia opposition activist gets 10.5-year prison sentence (PHOTOS) Armenia opposition activist gets 10.5-year prison sentence (PHOTOS)

11:35, 20.03.2018

YEREVAN. – Armenia’s opposition Founding Parliament initiative leader Jirair Sefilian has been sentenced to 10.5 years in prison, the Armenian reporter informed from the court in capital city Yerevan.

The prosecution, however, had motioned for an 11-year sentence for Sefilian.

Jirair Sefilian was charged with preparing to organize mass unrests and to seize buildings and constructions, with the use of weapons.

Armenian MFA ranked at 19 by Twiplomacy

MediaMax, Armenia
Armenian MFA ranked at 19 by Twiplomacy

Yerevan/Mediamax/. The official Twitter account of the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been ranked at 19 by Twiplomacy.

Twiplomacy studies the use of Twitter by the leaders of almost all states and international organizations.

Armenian MFA joined Twitter in March 2012 and has over 33,000 followers at the moment.

Russian Foreign Ministry tops the Twiplomacy list of 50 Best Connected World Leaders 2017 and is followed by the official account of the European Union. The United Kingdom account is ranked third.

The bottom of the list is occupied by the foreign ministries of Bulgaria and Singapore.

Armenia To Ratify CEPA Deal With EU In April

Eurasia Review
Armenia To Ratify CEPA Deal With EU In April
The Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement signed between Armenia and the European Union will be ratified by the National Assembly on April 10, the head of the foreign relations committee Armen Ashotyan told a press conference on Monday, March 18.
Addressing the press conference alongside a Polish parliamentary delegation in Yerevan, Ashotyan said the deal will enter into effect “part by part”.
“Our joint efforts were dedicated to a number of most important questions, particularly to the ratification of the EU-Armenia agreement,” the Armenian lawmaker was quoted as saying by
“The possibility of launching political dialogue for an EU visa waiver program have also been discussed.”
The Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the EU and Armenia was signed by Mogherini and Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian in Brussels on November 24. The Armenian government approved the 350-page deal in December.

Washington Visit By Leader Of Unrecognized ‘Republic’ Has Russia’s Fingerprints All Over It

Daily Caller
Washington Visit By Leader Of Unrecognized ‘Republic’ Has Russia’s Fingerprints All Over It
Maayan Hoffman
Freelance writer
One Bako Sahakyan — “president” of “Nagorno Karabakh Republic” and a typical post-Soviet warlord with links to Russian military intelligence and Middle East terrorists from Bekaa Valley of Lebanon — has recently spent a weeklong visit in Washington, D.C. for meetings with pro-Armenian members of Congress and other pro-Russian supporters of his unrecognized “republic.” What’s wrong with this picture? Much more than initially meets the eye, and it should touch a nerve with anyone concerned about Russian influence over American politics.
The essential fact in the decades-long Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is that it is internationally recognized Azerbaijani territory, illegally occupied by Armenia — much like Crimea and Abkhazia are occupied by Russia. This is affirmed by numerous U.N. resolutions. The U.S. State Department states America “does not recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent country, and its leadership is not recognized internationally or by the United States,” meaning Sahakyan is no president.
Yet leaders of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues — among them Reps. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), David Valadao (R-Calif.), Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Jim Costa (D-Calif.) — routinely undermine other branches of American government by lending legitimacy to an illegitimate “republic,” by meeting with Sahakyan and by unlawfully visiting Nagorno-Karabakh — a step that Pallone, Valadao, and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) took last year. These lawmakers wine and dine a faux president like Sahakyan to curry favor with Armenian-American constituencies at the expense of U.S. strategic interests, including consistency in relations with allies, while the rest of the U.S. government plays by the rules.
But the danger of Sahakyan’s tour goes far beyond immorality and illegality. It undermines the burgeoning strategic relationship between the United States and Azerbaijan.
It also marks the latest example of Russia’s insidious manipulation of Capitol Hill.
The United States and its allies recently completed a round of talks on increasing the use of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway and Azerbaijan’s flyover rights for operations in Afghanistan and beyond. Additionally, America has placed its full diplomatic and political support behind the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC), which will span nearly 2,200 miles across Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Albania, and Italy. SGC will transform Azerbaijan into the key player while decreasing or even eliminating that continent’s dependence on Russia’s energy supplies. Further aligning the interests of America and Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan is the only viable transit route to Afghanistan and the gateway to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, Washington’s new partners in Russia’s backyard. The chief rival? Russia.
With so much at stake — obvious to anyone familiar with geography — the Kremlin’s only conceivable response is to undermine the strengthened relationship between Baku and Washington, thus utilizing Russia’s modus operandi by deploying its vassal, Armenia. It is widely accepted in foreign policy circles that Armenia is the least sovereign of the post-Soviet nations and a mere extension of the Kremlin. It doesn’t take much imagination to envision Putin himself arranging the separatist leader’s trip to poke America in the eye and to diminish the U.S. in Eurasia.
If you aren’t convinced, look no further than Sahakyan’s private lunch at the Center for the National Interest, hosted by the center’s director Dmitri Simes, including a discussion moderated by former ambassador Richard Burt, a known Gazprom lobbyist. At their core, Simes and Burt can best be described as pro-Kremlin operatives.
The center, under Simes, partnered with Russia’s notorious state-funded Institute for Democracy and Cooperation led by no other than the fiery West-hater, Andranik Migranian, recently expelled from U.S. In 2014, those two think tanks organized a press conference to defend Moscow’s annexation of Crimea. In 2013, Putin called Simes his “American friend and colleague,” the latter being especially telling. The National Interest—the Center for the National Interest’s magazine—published an array of pro-Putin content, including a piece lionizing him as “Russia’s Reagan.”
Meanwhile, Politico reported in 2016 that in the first two quarters of that year, Burt and a colleague were paid $365,000 to lobby for a proposed natural gas pipeline owned by a firm controlled by the Kremlin. Also, in 2016, Reuters reported that Burt promoted a “more realist foreign policy” (Translation: don’t stand up to Russia.)
Simes and Burt were at it again, rolling out the red carpet for Sahakyan, the rogue leader of an unrecognized republic. This is no coincidence. Simes’s and Burt’s long histories of pro-Russian lobbying should be enough for any fair-minded observer of international affairs to draw a direct line from Moscow to Sahakyan’s Washington visit.
That’s why the Sahakyan affair represents more than an affront to international law and U.S. foreign policy — which is enough reason for outrage. Sahakyan’s trip is a real-life manifestation of Americans’ worst nightmares of Russian intervention, and federal lawmakers should understand this, most notably the self-dubbed Russian hunter-in-chief, Adam Schiff, whose anti-Russia sentiments mysteriously stop at anything Armenian. But don’t try telling that to the pro-Russian members of the Armenian Caucus.
Maayan Hoffman is vice president of marketing and brand strategy for Israel365. She is a veteran international journalist, and has been writing about Israel, the Middle East and the former Soviet Union for more than two decades.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

Aliyev stands on site of leveled Armenian church to threaten Yerevan

PanArmenian, Armenia

PanARMENIAN.Net – When making territorial claims against Armenia for the second time in the past month, Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev was standing on the spot where once an Armenian church used to rise.

Addressing the Azerbaijanis on the beginning of Novruz, Aliyev said a big part of the territory of present-day Armenia “is the historical Azerbaijani land.”

It is noteworthy that Aliyev was standing in front of the Maiden Tower where the Armenian church of the Holy Virgin was standing up until 1990, blogger, journalist Sedrak Mkrtchyan said in a tweet.

The church was built in 1797 or 1799 at the foot of the Maiden Tower, a fortress in Baku. According to a diplomat working in the Azerbaijani capital in 1992, the church was demolished in the wake of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. Now, there is an empty space at its former site near the Maiden Tower.

How Decades Of U.S. War In Iraq Shaped — And Scattered — One Family (Simonian)

Huffington Post
“I used to be okay,” said Hilda Simonian, who regularly suffers from paranoia and flashbacks 20 years after reaching safety in Canada.

Yelk faction leaves session of Council of Elders (video)

The Yelk (Way Out) faction left the session of the Yerevan Council of Elders when the discussions on two projects, suggested by the Yerkir Tsirani party, started. The first project reffered to renaming street named after Vazgen Sargsyan and putting a monument to the memory of March 1 victims.

The Yelk faction explained that they did not approve the project on renaiming the street named after Vazgen Sargsyan.

As to the monument, the Yelk faction did not mind; but they considered the justifications to be distorted. According to the members of the faction, an attempt was made to reduce the participation of Serzh Sargsyan and Robert Kocharyan in those events.

Haykaz Vardanyan: They want taxes to be paid for a land that cannot be cultivated (video)

The resident of Nerkin Karmiraghbyur, Haykaz Vardanyan, was surprised when he was asked to pay the land tax.

“They want taxes to be paid for the land which one cannot cultivate,” he said.

And there are a lot of such land: 4000 hectares of vineyards, which remain uncultivated because of Azerbaijan’s target. The man who has participated in the defense of the Homeland is ready to pay any tax if there is an opportunity to cultivate the land. If he could use the land he would have a permanent means of living. Now he lives on the account of his son who sends money to him. “My son works in Russia, he sends money, so we live.”

The majority of the residents of Nerkin Karmiraghbyur get income from land because few are engaged in cattle breeding.

The villagers have not complained about the rise in prices yet. “It did not affect winter season, we still have everything from summer.”

But the effect will be felt when spring works begin. “We need to buy diesel oil to  to start the spring sowing, cultivate the land; and its price has risen.”

The resident of Nerkin Karmiraghbyur follows the political developments but does not want to talk about it. When is their voice heard? In response to a question on rising the concerns with the help of MPs he said joikng “Do we have such…”

Haykaz Vardanyan has hosted one of the village teachers who worked for the “Teach Armenia” program. His daughter, Narine, also teaches in Artsakh with the same program.

Hayk Alumyan: We will appeal to the ECHR on your recent illegalities (video)


Advocate Hayk Alumyan said that an illegal decision had been made on the case of the incident taken place in front of Surik Khachatryan’s house who was the former governer of Syunik region. “According to the decision of the investigator Avetik Budaghyan was the attacker, but the assessment should be given by the court, not the investigator”. The lawyer requested the Prosecutor General.

“We will appeal to the ECHR on your recent illegalities, and do not hope that we will stop fighting as long as the perpetrators are not punished.”
Hayk Alumyan noted that Avetik Budaghyan’s father, Emil Budaghyan, had no procedural status in the case and was deprived of the right to obtain facts and to file a complaint. Advocate Hayk Alumyan was also deprived of the opportunity to challenge procedural decisions.

“The situation has become even worse. We rely only on the European Court. As a result of these mistakes, our chances to succeed in the ECHR are growing.”


It should be reminded that as a result of the operative-invastigative actions taken by the RA NSS bodies on July 3, residents of Kapan Garen Romik Atajanyan, Henrikh Shahen Avagyan and Ara Emil Budaghyan, who were suspected of attempting assassination against Surik Khachatryan, governor of Syunik region, and his companions on May  20, at 6:15 pm. It should be noted that Ara Budaghyan is the brother of the injured Colonel Artak Budaghyan and Avetik Budaghyan, killed near the governor’s house.

As to the case of Vahan Shirkhanyan, Hayk Alumyan mentioned that the trial was being delayed. “It becomes more and more evident that it is difficult or impossible to expect a fair decision in this case.”

Hayk Alumyan noted that the European Court had made a decision in the case of Vahan Shirkhanyan to conduct a quick trial, but the case was still delayed in Armenia.

It should be noted that former Deputy Defense Minister is suspected of participating in criminal cooperation created by Arthur Vardanyan and acting in his favor.

Zaruhi Postanjyan: Your dads have been behind the events taken place in the Republic (video)

At today’s session of Yerevan Council of Elders, head of Yerkir Tsirani faction Zaruhi Postanjyan made a suggestion to rename Vazgen Sargsyan St. after Woodrow Wilson. It was unacceptable, in response to which Zaruhi Postanjyan mentioned:

“I do not deny the fact that Vazgen Sargsyan is a national hero, but we should not have two streets named after the same person, we can rename one. Vazgen Sargsyan, of course, has done heroism, but we have other heroes like him.”

Zaruhi Postanjyan spoke about the split of her and the Yelk faction.

“The Yelk has been created as an artificial unit by those who cursed each other a week ago. The creator of your faction wants you to split, and he splits you. As for the fact that some people stand behind this initiative, yes, since 1996, your dads have been behind the events taken place in the Republic. ”