EBRD and GCF support Armenian green investment.

European Union News
October 20, 2018 Saturday
EBRD and GCF support Armenian green investment.
London: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, UK Government has issued the following news release: Ameriabank becomes first EBRD partner in Armenia to receive loan under Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF) programme Loan will help SMEs and corporates investing in green technology Fund co-financed by EBRD and Green Climate Fund Small businesses in Armenia will have more opportunities to invest in green technology thanks to a US$ 12.5 million long the EBRD is providing to Ameriabank for on-lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and corporates for green investments. The loan is co-financed by the EBRD and the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the largest international climate fund created in 2010 under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. GCF supports low-emission and climate-resilient programmes in developing countries.
The funds to Ameriabank are being provided under the EBRD Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF), a framework to help businesses invest in climate adaptation and mitigation technologies, which also help to improve their productivity and reduce costs. Companies interested in small-scale renewable energy projects may also benefit from investment incentives funded by the Strategic Climate Fund (SCF) through the Scaling-Up Renewable Energy Programme (SREP). The GEFF includes a comprehensive technical advisory package, co-financed by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance and the GCF, which helps originate and verify green investment opportunities. Ameriabank is one of the leading banks in Armenia and has cooperated with the Bank since 2010, providing financing to SMEs, energy efficiency projects under the Caucasus Energy Efficiency Programme (CEEP), women-led businesses under the EBRD’s Women in Business programme and to local entrepreneurs under the Bank’s Trade Facilitation Programme. Ameriabank is well positioned to reach SMEs, corporates, technology suppliers, producers, vendors and installers that could benefit from green technologies. The GEFF will contribute towards building a green economy in Armenia by supporting the expansion of green finance in accordance with the EBRD Green Economy Transition (GET) approach. Possible investments include technologies that boost the sustainable use of energy and water resources such as thermal insulation, photovoltaic solar panels, geothermal heat pumps, energy efficient boilers and water efficient irrigation systems. Businesses can identify typical green technologies available in Armenia through the GEFF Technology Selector. Since the start of its operations in Armenia in 1992, the EBRD has invested €1.2 billion in 168 projects in the country’s financial, corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors, with 88 per cent of investments in the private sector. Since 2006, the EBRD has committed over €26 billion to projects furthering the transition to the green economy across its 38 markets of operations.

Process of CSTO Secretary General replacement to be completed shortly, deputy minister says

TASS, Russia
Oct 20 2018
Process of CSTO Secretary General replacement to be completed shortly, deputy minister says

YEREVAN October 20

The process of replacement of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Secretary General Yuri Khachaturov accused of overthrowing the Armenian constitutional order in 2008, will be completed shortly, Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan told TASS on Saturday.

YEREVAN, October 20. /TASS/. The process of replacement of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Secretary General Yuri Khachaturov accused of overthrowing the Armenian constitutional order in 2008, will be completed shortly, Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan told TASS on Saturday.

"The process of Secretary General’s replacement and appointment of the new CSTO head will consist of two stages. As for replacement of the CSTO Secretary General, that process will be completed shortly. As for the second stage, the CSTO regulations do not stipulate for a case like that. An all-embracing solution is required in order to work out a clear approach for such cases in the future," he said.

According to Kocharyan, "either the country that proposed the CSTO Secretary General candidacy will propose a new one, or another country in alphabetical order will take over the chairmanship in the organization."

On July 26, Armenia’s Special Investigative Service pressed charges against Khachaturov, accusing him of overthrowing the constitutional order in 2008, and asked the court to impose a pre-trial detention on him. Khachaturov, who was the Commander of the Yerevan Garrison of the Armenian Armed Forces at that time and has served as CSTO Secretary General since 2017, denied his guilt. On July 28, Yerevan City Court of General Jurisdiction released Khachaturov on his own recognizance after a $10,000 bail was paid.

Armenia was rocked by a wave of protests in the wake of the presidential election held on February 19, 2008. The protesters disagreed with its official results, with Serzh Sargsyan winning the race. The protests were organized by supporters of Armenia’s first President Levon Ter-Petrosyan who had presidential ambitions at that time.

Beirut: President Aoun Meets with Armenian Prime Minister in Baabda

Naharnet, Lebanon
October 20, 2018 Saturday
Aoun Meets with Armenian Prime Minister in Baabda
President Michel Aoun received visiting Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Saturday at the Presidential Palace in Baabda where talks highlighted bilateral ties between the two countries, the State-run National News Agency reported.
The Armenian PM and his spouse had arrived early Saturday in Beirut accompanied by Armenia's Foreign Minister and a delegation of officials, NNA said.
Pashinyan is scheduled to hold talks with senior Lebanese officials during his two-day visit, said NNA.
HE will later hold talks with PM-designate Saad Hariri, Speaker Nabih Berri and several Lebanese officials, added the agency.

Beirut: Lebanese Officials Meet Visiting Armenian Prime Minister

Naharnet, Lebanon
October 20, 2018 Saturday
Lebanese Officials Meet Visiting Armenian Prime Minister

President Michel Aoun received visiting Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Saturday at the Presidential Palace in Baabda where talks highlighted bilateral ties between the two countries, the State-run National News Agency reported.

After the meeting, Armenian Prime Minister reiterated support for the stability of Lebanon and the Armenian presence in the UNIFIL peacekeeping forces.

He also stressed the importance of establishing an academy in Lebanon for further dialogue between cultures and religions.

The Armenian PM and his spouse had arrived early Saturday in Beirut accompanied by Armenia's Foreign Minister and a delegation of officials, NNA said.

Pashinyan is scheduled to hold talks with senior Lebanese officials during his two-day visit, said NNA.

After meeting Aoun, he held meetings with Speaker Nabih Berri and PM-designate Saad Hariri.

Beirut: Aoun holds talks with visiting Armenian PM

National News Agency Lebanon (NNA)
October 20, 2018 Saturday
Aoun holds talks with visiting Armenian PM
NNA – President of the Republic, Michel Aoun, met Saturday with Armenian Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyan, with talks centering on ways of promoting bilateral relations, activating the work of the joint governmental committee and recent regional developments.
Aoun welcomed Pashinyan at Baabda Palace this morning upon his arrival in Beirut on a 2-day visit, accompanied by an official Armenian delegation.
During their encounter, Aoun congratulated the Armenian PM on the success of the Francophone Summit held in Yerevan last week, thanking him for the warm hospitality extended to members of the Lebanese delegation attending the Summit.
He also praised the bilateral relations existing between the two countries, appreciating Armenia's contribution to the UNIFIL peacekeeping forces in the South. He stressed on the active role played by the Lebanese Armenians in their country's political and economic life, especially as they constitute a bridge of communication with Armenia.
The President also highlighted the importance of the agreements held between Lebanon and Armenia, calling for the conclusion of other pending agreements. Moreover, Aoun briefed Pashinyan on Lebanon's initiative of establishing the "Academy of Encounter and Dialogue", hoping that Armenia would be among the first states to sign its establishment agreement.
Pashinyan, in turn, thanked Aoun for his warm welcome and for attending the Francophone Summit in Yerevan, emphasizing the importance of the role played by Lebanon in the Francophone Organization.
The Armenian PM also stressed on strengthening Lebanese-Armenian bilateral relations, especially in the economic field, hoping for more coordination and collaboration between the relevant ministries of both countries.
Furthermore, Pashinyan expressed his country's support for Lebanon's decision to establish a "Human Academy for Encounter and Dialogue" which will allow for more communication between civilizations, religions and cultures. He said his country would continue to work within UNIFIL to maintain security and stability in the South of Lebanon, adding that the Armenian Defense Minister would visit his country's troops on the Lebanese border to confirm this support.
Touching on the mutual aspects shared between the Lebanese and Armenian peoples, PM Pashinyan hoped that the Lebanese-Armenian Joint Committee would hold a meeting soon to study the common issues and take appropriate decisions in favor of both countries.

Azerbaijani Press: Former U.S. top Karabakh negotiator defends Moscow’s role, criticizes Washington

Turan Information Agency, Azerbaijani Opposition Press
October 20, 2018 Saturday
Former U.S. top Karabakh negotiator defends Moscow's role, criticizes Washington
James Warlick, former U.S. top Karabakh negotiator, urges Washington to step up efforts in supporting certain confidence building measures in Nagorno-Karabakh.
"I see no evidence in this [Trump] administration of any interest in Nagorno-Karabakh," Warlick, currently partner and senior policy adviser at a leading Russian firm Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners, said at Atlantic Council in Washington, TURAN's U.S. correspondent reports.
In fact, he added, "our current representative in the Minsk Group, at least, deserves to have a personal rank of Ambassador as the other negotiators do."
Andrew Schofer, current U.S. Co-Chair of the Minsk Group, is a career diplomat without ambassadorial rank.
Speaking on Russia's role in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, Warlick said, he doesn't think it was within Moscow's power alone to resolve the conflict. "Even if Moscow were to decide tomorrow that NK needs to be settled, I don't think, it's going to happen that easily."
In the meantime, the added, there is an interest – first and foremost in Moscow – not having unstable southern border where there is an active military engagement.
"The conventional wisdom with Karabakh [resolution] has been that Moscow really doesn't want a settlement… The problem with that conventional wisdom is that it just doesn't bare itself out," Warlick said, adding that when the hostilities broke out in 2016, Moscow and Washington "worked together pretty well to come with a plan that could form the basis for a settlement. Those same ideas are still in play. The kind of settlement that, in fact, [Russian foreign minister] Lavrov has suggested is not that different."
Asked if Moscow is being accommodative and cooperative within the Minsk Group because there is no chance for moving forward given where the parties are, but that Kremlin actually doesn't want to see a resolution, Warlick disagreed: "If peace were to break out the region would change better," he argued.
In reply to Turan's Washington correspondent's question about Russia's troublemaker role as a supplier of arms to the conflict sides, Warlick said, he is not going to defend arm sales to Armenia and Azerbaijan by any country but, "there needs to be a concerted effort – not only by Russia – to ensure that there is a rough equivalence between military capabilities of Armenia and Azerbaijan. If there weren't such a rough equivalence the dangers of war would be high."
The dangers are high enough as it is. In the meantime, he added, if we see one side or the other prevailing in terms of military capabilities, there could be the risk that in the event of a political or diplomatic stalemate, one side or the other will take military action. We should be worried about that."
"Even with a rough military balance between Armenia and Azerbaijan, I do believe that the sides could be frustrated in the future and come to a conclusion that there can be no resolution through diplomatic channels. That would be unfortunate not only for those two countries but the entire future."
Does Moscow need to have a positive-sum view of relations with the Western world for NK resolution? Answering to the question, Warlick said it's a lot to ask that the conflict be settled in terms of more global view of Russia's role in the world.
"We could work with Russia in a non zero-some game on a path to the settlement. I believe there is an interest in Moscow in supporting certain confidence building measures."
Former negotiator also urged Washington and Moscow to "work collaboratively on things that can be achieved now, such as confidence building measures, people to people steps…"
"I do think that there is an opportunity to begin a discussion about what a peace keeping force would look like in Nagorno-Karabakh. That discussion hasn't taken place yet," he added.
Alex Raufoglu
Washington D.C,

168: One of participants of La Francophonie Economic Forum to establish Canadian ISB engineering company branch in Armenia


Gevorg Torosyan, who participated in the recent La Francophonie Economic Forum in Armenia, is going to establish the branch of Canadian ISB engineering company in Armenia by the support of the Enterprise Incubator Foundation (EIF), deputy minister of economic development and investments Mane Adamyan said on Facebook.

“The company produces security devices which are attached to different production devices and block the devices during human work with sensors in order not to harm the employees. At this stage ISB Armenian branch will be engaged in improvement of software, and at the next stage the devices will already be produced in Armenia.

It’s worth mentioning that one of the key parts of these devices is being produced in Armenia’s Goris for a long time, and our compatriots have exported this part to Canada for many years aimed at organizing the complete production there. We have agreed with Mr. Torosyan to organize the whole cycle of production of the devices in Armenia soon”, Adamyan wrote.

168: The norms of professional ethics and copyrights are grossly violated, the architectural appearance of the buildings is being distorted (photos)


President of the Chamber of Architects of the Republic of Armenia
Mr. Mkrtich Minasyan

To the Chairman of the State Urban Development Committee
of the Republic of Armenia
Mr. A. Eloyan

Honorable gentlemen,

Days ago, in presence of the Presidents of France and Armenia, a project of a “reconstruction” of the Yerevan Aznavour Center was presented to the public in the mentioned center. This project has never been discussed and never agreed in any competent authority of the Republic of Armenia.

A French-Armenian architect Aris Adamian was named as the author of the project.

It was a very disturbing fact that the author of the center, honored architect of the Republic of Armenia Mr. Narek Sargsyan refused to participate to the mentioned event, who, as it turns out, by virtue of copyright didn’t gave his consent to such modifications.

This unacceptable occurrence of arbitrary modifications of the creations of Armenian architects by foreign promoters is unfortunately becoming ordinary nowadays, considering the multitude of similar examples of the past years.

The norms of professional ethics and copyrights are grossly violated, the architectural appearance of the buildings is being distorted.

Recently, with the joint efforts of the RA Government and the Union of Architects of the Republic of Armenia, the RA National Assembly adopted the RA Law on Architectural Activity, on the basis of which the Chamber of Architects of the Republic of Armenia was created with the aim of, beside other functions, protecting the rights of RA architects in Armenia.

The law also envisages the process of obtaining a corresponding license for foreign architects to operate in Armenia.

Architectural ethics are of international character and are mandatory for architects of all countries.

Considering the fact that the arbitrary modifications of the Aznavour Center without the consent of the author can become a very bad precedent for the future of the architectural works of each of us, we hereby request to take steps in order to prevent the sacrifice of yet another unique building in Yerevan as prescribed by the above-mentioned law.

We call on foreign partners to be respectful in our country and to our creative approach. We welcome the participation of our Diaspora partners in the construction processes of Armenia, the use of the foreign advanced experience through them, but only in the atmosphere of professional solidarity and mutual respect, and not at the expense of our professional dignity.

Honored architect of the Republic of Armenia Ashot Aleksanyan

Honored architect of the Republic of Armenia Hovhannes Mutafyan

Honored architect of the Republic of Armenia Levon Vardanyan

19 Oct. 2018

168: Spiritual leaders of Christian churches of Jerusalem call shameful the bill on properties in letter addressed to Israeli PM


The spiritual leaders of the Christian churches of Jerusalem – Armenian Patriarch Archbishop Nourhan Manougian, as well as the Greek Patriarch and the Custos of the Holy Land, on October 19 signed a joint letter addressed to Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, Koryun Baghdasaryan – Chancellor of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, said on Facebook.

“In the letter the spiritual leaders are surprised over the fact that the bill authored by Knesset member Rachel Azaria on the properties belonging to the Christian community has been included in the agenda of October 21 discussion of the commission of ministers and call on PM Neyanyahu to intervene and suspend the discussion of the bill. The spiritual leaders called the bill shameful and reminded Netanyahu that in his letter sent to the spiritual leaders in July he assured that the bill should be withdrawn”, he said.

Despite that the bill has undergone some changes, it, however, enables the state to confiscate the church properties.

We need to make economic ties in accordance with high level of political relations – Pashinyan to Lebanese President (photos)


Acting Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan today arrived in Lebanon on a working visit.

Following the welcoming ceremony the acting PM’s delegation departed to the Lebanese presidential palace where he met with President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri.

Pashinyan thanked the Lebanese President for the warm reception, stating that he is very happy for the visit to the brotherly country Lebanon. “Thank you for your participation in the La Francophonie summit in Yerevan just a week ago and for delivering a very comprehensive speech at the event. A month ago we had a chance to exchange views in New York over the bilateral relations between Armenia and Lebanon. Now as well we have a new opportunity for dialogue. Following Armenia’s independence in 1991 the relations of our countries, the centuries-old connections of our peoples have got new quality which is typical to two friendly states and brotherly peoples. We need to serve this at best for the strengthening of our partnership, implementation of our common goals”, the Armenian acting PM said.

In his turn the Lebanese President welcomed Pashinyan’s visit to the country, stating that it will contribute to further developing and strengthening the traditional friendly ties between the two countries. President Michel Aoun congratulated Nikol Pashinyan for the high-level organization of the 17th La Francophonie summit in Yerevan.

During the meeting the officials stated that there is a high-level political dialogue between the two countries which is conditioned by the historical friendly ties and the key role of the Lebanese-Armenian community. Nikol Pashinyan said the Armenian people remember with gratitude the warm attitude of the Lebanese people towards our compatriots who survived the Genocide: “Lebanon is the only country in the region that officially recognized the Armenian Genocide, and this is important not only for the preservation of historical memory, but also for the prevention of new genocides”.

The Lebanese President highly valued the role of the Armenian community in the country’s political, economic, social, cultural, educational and sports life, as well as the intensification of friendship between the two countries and peoples.

The officials also touched upon the opportunities to develop the bilateral commercial ties and attached importance to the active work on this path. “We need to take action to make the bilateral economic ties in accordance with the high-level political and human relations between our countries”, Nikol Pashinyan said. He also introduced the Armenian government’s actions in fight against corruption, simplification of tax and customs procedures, formation of favorable investment environment. The Lebanese President expressed readiness to assist the governments of the two countries in the implementation of programs and initiatives.

Nikol Pashinyan welcomed Lebanon’s initiative to establish a “Human Academy”, which was announced by President Michel Aoun during the UN General Assembly in New York on September 21, 2017. “Armenia welcomes Lebanon’s initiative to become a center of dialogue between various civilizations, religions and races and is ready to assist. We are confident that Lebanon’s efforts and experience aimed at the peaceful coexistence of different religions and nations can be instructive for not only separate countries, but also the entire region”, Pashinyan said.

At the end of the meeting the Armenian acting PM left a note at the Honorary Guest Book.