Merchants in Artashat protest against "tax terror": Head of State Revenue Committee promises to study the situation

Arminfo, Armenia
Aug 13 2018
Merchants in Artashat protest againt "tax terror": Head of State Revenue Committee promises to study the situation

Yerevan August 13

Naira Badalian. Today, on August 13, early in the morning a protest action started in Armenian Artashat, held by entrepreneurs of small and medium-sized businesses. The latter closed their stores, gathered opposite the local branch of the State Revenue Committee (KGD) and accused it of "tax terror".

According to the protesters, tax officials terrorize the whole city – large groups of officials conduct inspections, small retail outlets are fined with unbearable amounts. " They are instructed to check cash registers, and when they do not find any violations, they begin to check the workers by their own initiative. Within the law they carry out deliberate persecution, "they said. This situation, as pointed out by protesters, has been observed for many years – tax officials abuse their position and rank''.

Chairman of the State Revenue Committee of Armenia David Ananyan arrived to meet with the traders at the place of the protest action. After listening to them, the head of the tax and customs department promised to carry out an official investigation. At the same time, the head of the department pointed to the need for documentary confirmation of the claims, because demanding to punish an employee without facts, means – to ask to breach the law. "I see that there are grounds for conducting an official investigation, we will hold it and make an appropriate decision. Prior to that I will ask to ease the administration, go and work in your shops. If there are any problems call me or Mr. Mashadyan (deputy chairman of the State Revenue Committee, ed. note) "said Ananyan. At the same time, he pointed out that it is planned to make appropriate amendments to the Tax Code of the country in September, which will solve many of today's problematic issues.

Armenian government asks Lydian Armenia to arm itself with patience

Arminfo, Armenia
Aug 13 2018
Armenian government asks Lydian Armenia to arm itself with patience

Yerevan August 13

Alina Hovhannisyan. A regular protest action by Lydian Armenia employees living in communities adjacent to the field was held next to the government building today. According to Mkhitar Arshakyan, a specialist in biodiversity monitoring of Lydian Armenia, the mining project has been idle for 53 days, during this period 3 letters were sent to the government calling for measures against lawlessness of a small group of activists who blocked the roads to the deposit and thereby stopped the work process.

To note, for almost 2 months the roads leading to the Amulsar gold mine have been blocked by a group of activists, who are against the development of the field. The police are not interfering in the process.

"Despite our appeals to the government, no actions are being taken," Arshakyan said in an interview with the press. Consequently, the employees decided once again to try to get attention of the authorities. This time the result did not take long. The head of the office of Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan – Serzh Varag Siseryan invited 6 employees of the company for a dialog in the presence of journalists.

Presenting the situation at the field, Arshakyan voiced the main issue that worries all Lydian Armenia employees: "We were patient for 53 days, following the Prime Minister's request during his visit to Jermuk. A similar request was sent to protesting activists, but nothing changed after that. Our legal right to work has been violated. We sent a letter to the government three times. Having received no response, yesterday we decided jointly with the residents of the adjacent communities who are employees of the company, to gather near the government building and get an answer to our main question: why is our right to work violated, and when will we be able to return to our working place?"

Serzh Varag Siseryan called for patience until the end of the month, when the conclusions by the working group on the Amulsar project will be presented. "I know that you have waited long enough, and your right to work has been violated. But I ask to be patient for another 15 days. I assure you, at the end of the current month the decision will be made, "he stressed. In this light the Head of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister assured that the results of the research will be objective, as well as the subsequent decisions by the Prime Minister. "Our representative, assistant to Deputy Prime Minister Mikael Nahapetyan, is also a member of the working group. We, for our part, are doing everything possible to ensure the normal functioning of the research team, "he said.

In turn, the mine surveyor of Lydian Armenia Karen Badalyan addressed Serzh Varag Siseryan with a counter proposal: "Since we have made concessions for all these 53 days, why protesters can not do this for the next 15 days, and let us start work before the end of the month? In any case we will not manage to open the deposit in this period but at least people will not lose their jobs. At the same time, the surveyor raised the issue of migration. In particular, he stressed that some of employees from Saravan, which is a border community, have already left abroad in search of earnings. "If the issue is not resolved, I also intend to migrate from the country," K. Badalyan stressed. The head of the office of the Deputy Prime Minister assured that he will talk with the CEO of Lydian Armenia Hayk Aloyan on the issue of keeping the jobs. "The results of the discussion will be known today," he stressed.

In conclusion, Assistant Deputy Prime Minister for Legal Affairs Vahe Danielyan added that the study of the working group will cover absolutely all the deposits operating in Armenia. ''Your work has not been suspended by the state, but only by a few people who hold the opinion that the Amulsar project contains environmental and health risks. Now, according to the prime minister's decision, a working group has been set up that will determine how much the anxiety of certain social strata corresponds to reality, and if there are risks, how can they be reduced to zero. This also corresponds to the government program and its interests, which are aimed at eliminating all kinds of abuses in the mining sector, "he concluded.

To recall, Lydian Armenia is a subsidiary of British Lydian International, whose shareholders are also large international institutional investors from the United States, Great Britain, a number of European countries, including EBRD. The Amulsar project is the largest industrial project in Armenia for the development of the Amulsar gold deposit at a total cost of $ 370 million. In August 2016, a project for the construction and development of the field was launched. Preliminary work has been carried out since 2006. The life of the Amulsar deposit will be 10 years and 4 months, an annual average of 200,000 ounces of gold (about 10 million tons of ore) is planned. The company's shares are quoted on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Amulsar deposit is the second largest in Armenia.

Syrian youth interested in higher education in Armenian universities

Arminfo, Armenia
Aug 13 2018
Syrian youth interested in higher education in Armenian universities

Yerevan August 13

Alina Hovhannisyan. Syrian youth is interested in higher education in Armenia in the following areas: IT, medicine, linguistics and intercultural communication. This was stated by the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Syrian Arab Republic to Armenia Mohammed Haj Ibrahim during a meeting with the Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Armenia Araik Harutyunyan.

According to the press service of the department, the Ambassador stressed that Armenia is attractive from the point of view of training for Syrian students, in view of the fact that favorable and safe conditions for education have been created in the country.

In turn, Harutyunyan noted that the expansion of bilateral cooperation in the educational sphere is the issue on the agenda of the ministry, since hundreds of Syrian students receive education in Armenia.

According to the source, the sides discussed the draft program of interdepartmental cooperation for 2018- 2021 in the sphere of higher education and a number of other working issues.

IC of Armenia on the death of a soldier-conscript charged the chief of a warehouse of rocket and artillery weapons

Arminfo, Armenia
Aug 13 2018
IC of Armenia on the death of a soldier-conscript charged the chief of a warehouse of rocket and artillery weapons

Yerevan August 13

Mariana Mkrtchyan. The chief of the missile and artillery armament depot of the military unit was charged in the framework of the criminal case on the death of a soldier of conscripted service, private Grant Mangasaryan.

As the press service of the Investigative Committee of Armenia reports, as a result of the complex investigative measures, data were received on the negligent attitude of the authorized representatives of the military unit to their official duties, the circle of persons who committed the alleged crime was specified.

The SC of Armenia recalled that on 4 November 2017 at 12:10 local time, as a result of the explosion in the warehouse of the Nth military unit, the conscripted soldiers Hrant Mangasaryan, who at that moment was carrying out works. Head of the warehouse, contract serviceman G. Yusnunts and Private S. Alumyan were injured of varying severity.

"Based on the factual evidence obtained, it turned out that Major A. Grigoryan, the head of the missile and artillery armament depot of the military unit, violating the rules for the storage of weapons and military equipment in the warehouse, without the right to store the manual cumulative grenades RKG-3, stored them there after the hostilities of 2016 without reporting immediately to the commandership. In addition, ignoring the regulations prohibiting the disassembly of any type of weapons in the warehouse, on November 4, G. Yusnunts, the head of the warehouse of the same service, to bring the above-mentioned grenades into a non-combatant state and put them in boxes. In these works, to which Mangasaryan was involved, an explosion of an anti-tank grenade took place, G. Yusnunts was charged on the grounds of Article 374 of the RA Criminal Code Earlier, in the framework of the criminal case under investigation, the accusation was also brought against the head of the artillery armament depot of the military unit A. Grigoryan (art. 376 Part 2 of the RA Criminal Code)," the RA IC said.

State saves millions of drams by cooperating with private organizations – Armenian Diaspora minister’s interview

Armenpress, Armenia
Aug 13 2018
State saves millions of drams by cooperating with private organizations – Armenian Diaspora minister's interview

YEREVAN, AUGUST 13, ARMENPRESS. The government, formed as a result of the velvet revolution, has brought new logic and agenda of the Armenia-Diaspora ties. There are new and positive moods in both the Republic and Diaspora, there are great expectations, and this should be turned into a tangible result.

Diaspora minister of Armenia Mkhitar Hayrapetyan gave an interview to ARMENPRESS, talking about the Armenia-Diaspora ties and the programs being implemented by the ministry.

-It’s nearly 3 months you are the minister of Diaspora. During your first days in office you have talked about the effectiveness of the expenditures of the programs. In this context several changes were made. What results can you talk about today?

-In terms of the expenditures, I think the greatest achievement was the launch of cooperation with private organizations. In general, I believe that the effective cooperation of the state and private sector based on trust, healthy partnership must become a reality.

Thanks to a joint partnership, a number of private companies, such as fast food service companies, restaurant, nature juice factory and etc, joined us for implementing the transition stage of “Ari Tun” (Come Back Home) program.

In order to organize and implement the Step Towards Home program, we started to cooperate with Teach for Armenia and Birthright Armenia educational organizations. The program’s educational part has been developed thanks to their efforts, and we signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Armenian-Russian Slavonic University which provides necessary amount of classrooms, conditions for lectures for free. The education process is headed by the specialists and teachers of the aforementioned organizations.

The ministry’s Neruzh (Potential) program also expands the number of supporters day by day.

Thanks to the cooperation with these organizations, the state first of all saves millions of drams, and secondly, we are putting a base of new cooperation culture based on new quality and mutual trust.

-From the first days of your tenure, you stated that repatriation is going to be one of the priorities of the ministry. Are there any programs on this path?

-The government, formed as a result of the velvet revolution, has brought new logic and agenda of the Armenia-Diaspora ties. There are new and positive moods both in the Republic and the Diaspora, as well as great expectations. Of course, all this should be turned into a tangible result. After the revolution hundreds of our compatriots returned to homeland or prepare their return, are interested in Armenia’s daily life, call, visit and send letters to us. The government’s program also clearly states that the repatriation is an important precondition for Armenia’s socio-economic development, improvement of demography, security and other processes.

The Diaspora ministry carries out legal and programmatic activities aimed at promoting repatriation. The international experience on state-Diaspora ties, the programs on organization of repatriation process and their integration is being examined. The Diaspora ministry’s Step Towards Home and Potential programs, of course, are directly linked with promoting repatriation.

Full version of the interview is available in Armenian.

Edited and translated by Aneta Harutyunyan

Political analysts point to Russia’s reluctance to incorporate Abkhazia and South Ossetia

Kavkazsky Uzel , Russia
Aug 7 2018
Political analysts point to Russia's reluctance to incorporate Abkhazia and South Ossetia
by Gor Aleksanyan
[Armenian News note: the below is translated from Russian]
Russia prefers to build relations with [Georgia's breakaway regions of] Abkhazia and South Ossetia as with independent states despite statements by South Ossetian politicians on their desire to join [Russia], Russian political analysts have said. They believe that unlike Crimea, Russian elites regard Abkhazia and South Ossetia as alien territories.

Kavkazsky Uzel wrote that Russia recognised the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia on 26 August 2008. This was preceded by a conflict between Georgia and South Ossetia, which Russia interfered in [reference to Georgian-Russian war].

The recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia after the five-day [Georgian-Russian] war in August 2008 enabled to maintain stability in the South Caucasus, the [incumbent] head of the [Russian] government, Dmitry Medvedev, who held the post of president in 2008, said in his interview to the Kommersant newspaper today.

"After the military component of the campaign for 'pacification of Georgia by force' was completed, a question emerged: 'What is next?' It is natural that it emerged first and foremost for me as head of state. I thought for some time and arrived at the conclusion that there was probably nothing better to be proposed than recognising these two formations. I was guided first and foremost by the desire to maintain lasting peace in the future and stability in the South Caucasus and our region. In my opinion, this was the only possible step," Dmitry Medvedev explained.

He also noted that an attempt to "suspend" this decision "would leave space for violent actions". "If these are independent territorial formations, if these are states and we have agreements and treaties on stationing our military contingent there with them, everything is clear. No one will do anything against them. Everyone realises that it is more costly to deal with the Russian Federation than implement some utopian ideas," he stressed.

Dmitry Medvedev said that Russia's aim in interfering in the conflict was to "establish order and prevent the possibilities of further escalating violence, i.e. military action".

Russia building relations with Abkhazia and South Ossetia as with independent states

Russia prefers to build relations with Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states, never mind their incorporation in the federation. At the same time, the idea of joining Russia is popular in South Ossetia, but not in Abkhazia, political analysts interviewed by Kavkazsky Uzel think.

"If we speak about Abkhazia, the political elite have never spoken about their desire to join Russia. The elites declared that they wanted to be independent from Tbilisi. Now too, the main aim of Abkhazia is to be independent and outside the Georgian state. If we speak about South Ossetia, a sufficiently big part of the Ossetian elite adhere to the idea of joining Russia, but there is no unity regarding this. There is a part of society that believes that it is necessary to be independent. A second part of society believes that it is necessary to join Russia under any conditions and a third part believes that it is necessary to join Russia, but in the shape of a republic," said Vadim Mukhanov, a senior research fellow of the Centre for the Problems of the Caucasus [and Regional Security] of the MGIMO [Moscow State Institute of International Relations].

Mukhanov also said that the leader of South Ossetia, where the idea of joining Russia was widely discussed, is already trying not to speak about this so frequently. "South Ossetian president Anatoly Bibilov used the slogan of accession for the purposes of domestic political processes. Since his party won a victory and he became president, he has no longer used this slogan and has not allowed himself high-profile statements on accession to Russia. Bibilov cannot speak about accession to Russia, because he cannot ensure this. It was an element of the domestic political struggle," Vadim Mukhanov explained.

He believes that Russia did not want to incorporate Abkhazia and South Ossetia in 2008 and does not want this now either. "Had Moscow been ready at that time, it would have incorporated them, not recognised their independence in 2008, particularly as there was every chance of that then. However, it can now be said for sure that Moscow did not want Abkhazia and South Ossetia to join it and the Russian elite does not have such a desire now either. Moscow prefers to cooperate with Abkhazia and South Ossetia as separate states," Mukhanov believes.

Russia has never expressed the desire to incorporate Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Nikolai Silayev, a senior research fellow of the Centre for the Problems of the Caucasus and Regional Security of the MGIMO, also said.

According to him, in addition, despite the desire of residents of South Ossetia to join Russia, there is no accord within society on the format of doing this. "The form citizens of South Ossetia would like to join Russia is not clear. It is one thing if it implies joining North Ossetia and it is another thing if it implies joining as a new region [within the Russian Federation] [square brackets as published]. It is hardly likely that people in Tskhinvali would like to turn from superiors in an independent state into heads of municipal districts. As regards the creation of a new region, it is not in Moscow's interests. In general, there is no consensus in South Ossetia as regards the form of joining Russia, although the idea proper is popular," Silayev believes.

He also stressed that the idea of joining Russia was not at all popular in Abkhazia.

Russian elites regard incorporation of Crimea as regaining their own territory

Unlike Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the Russian elites have always regarded Crimea as "our land". Political analysts believe that Russia's interests on the Black Sea and inability to guarantee security in some other way because of the geographic location also facilitated its quick accession [to Russia].

"Abkhazia did not demand accession to Russia and did not strive for this. And South Ossetia is not Crimea. First, the Russian government have never said they wanted South Ossetia to join Russia. Second, if we follow purely realistic logic, a sufficient level of geopolitical clarity has been achieved in South Ossetia due to its recognition as an independent state and the guarantees of security Russia has given it. As regards Crimea, it would be insufficient to do this due to the geographic location and its importance for Russia's presence on the Black Sea," Nikolai Silayev explained to Kavkazsky Uzel.

He said that the Russian elite also regarded Crimea as their territory, which is not true of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

"The approach of the people, who made decisions, was that Crimea is our land and Abkhazia and South Ossetia are not our land. When they incorporated Crimea, it was important that it was a region, where most of the population are Russians. No matter what attempts may be made to present the situations in Crimea and South Ossetia and Abkhazia as equal, there is a difference between recognising a country as independent or incorporate it in Russia. It is clear that the latter causes more dissatisfaction in the international community and Russia does not need this," Nikolai Silayev noted.

Vadim Mukhanov, for his part, reminded that the incorporation of Crimea "was not a result of a long-standing ethnic conflict". "Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia are interethnic conflicts. Therefore, it is incorrect to compare them. The situation in Crimea is an absolutely different precedent and has a different background. It is necessary to analyse the domestic political situation in Ukraine and certain political decisions made in the times of the USS, which resulted in handing over the territory of Crimea from one component [of the USSR] to another," Vadim Mukhanov explained.

Russia actively supports peaceful resolution in Nagorno-Karabakh

The recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and the incorporation of Crimea have had a multifaceted impact on the situation around [Azerbaijan's breakaway] Nagorno-Karabakh, Nikolai Silayev, a senior research fellow of the Centre for the Problems of the Caucasus and Regional Security of the MGIMO, believes.

"The events in August 2008 were a powerful vaccine against attempts to resolve conflicts by force, because before August, post-Soviet elites could have illusions regarding the state of affairs in the Russian military machine, but the illusions evaporated after the tragic events in August 2008. The demonstration of the readiness to use force has sharply raised the stakes in the violent resolution of conflicts for everyone. After 2008, a war in Nagorno-Karabakh became inevitable in case of recognition by Armenia or incorporation in it. In this case, Azerbaijan will have no other choice, but to try to resolve the conflict by military force," the political analyst said.

At the same time, he said that since 2008, Russia has laid emphasis on the fact that the recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is an exceptional case.

"It is no accident that since 2008, we have been able to see Moscow's intensive efforts aimed at resolving other conflicts. There have been active steps since then to resolve the Karabakh conflict and the conflict in the Dniester region. Paradoxically, Moscow's course was aimed at showing that Abkhazia and South Ossetia are unique cases and other conflicts must be resolved in some other manner and they must be resolved without war. The logic has been maintained up to now. Crimea and Sevastopol are also an exception and Donbas is a different case, which must be resolved in some other manner that will be acceptable for parties to the conflict," Nikolai Silayev emphasised.

August 2008 had an impact on the situation around Nagorno-Karabakh, Vadim Mukhanov, a senior research fellow of the Centre for the Problems of the Caucasus and Regional Security of the MGIMO, also believes.

"There was one situation before 2008 and it has been absolutely different since 2008. The situation was calm from 2008 to 2012, but it has tended towards aggravation since the Sochi Olympics again and led to April 2016. A deterioration of the situation can be observed since then," he said.

Minister: Iran Planning to Export Electricity to Russia via Azerbaijan, Armenia

FARS News Agency, Iran
Minister: Iran Planning to Export Electricity to Russia via Azerbaijan, Armenia
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian announced that his ministry is planning to export power to Russia via Armenia and Azerbaijan.
"Connection of Iran's electrical grid to that of Europe is seriously followed and we have different scenarios for that; one of the options is being through Iran's two northern neighboring countries (Armenia and Azerbaijan)," Ardakanian said.
The Iranian electricity minister pointed to the upcoming plans by his ministry for power swap with the regional countries, including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Iraq.
"Energy ties with the neighboring countries, such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Iraq are considered as advantageous to Iran," Ardakanian added.
In relevant remarks in late June, Armenian President Armen Sarkissian underscored his country's willingness to use all the existing capacities to further boost cooperation with Iran in all fields.
Sarkissian made the remarks in a meeting with Iranian Ambassador to Yerevan Kazem Sajjadi.
During the meeting, the two officials also discussed bilateral issues, cooperation in different spheres, and cooperation between Iran's Armenian community and Iranian expatriates.
Iran and Armenia signed four agreements in the fields of economy, customs and sports agreements in February.
The four cooperation agreements in the fields of economy, customs and sports were inked at the closing ceremony of 15th Summit of Joint Commission of Iran and Armenia Cooperation.
Earlier this year, Iranian Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian had placed special emphasis on the necessity of steering public and private sectors to increase transaction volume and joint investment.
"Fortunately, the 15th meeting of Joint Technical, Economic and Cultural Commission between Iran and Armenia was held in an amicable and peaceful environment," he said, adding, "I hope that mutual cooperation would be boosted between the two countries in the best possible form in future."

Putin, Nazarbayev deem situation surrounding CSTO sec gen problematic

Kazakhstan General Newswire
Monday 10:10 AM MSK
Putin, Nazarbayev deem situation surrounding CSTO sec gen problematic
AKTAU. Aug 13
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev has addressed the situation surrounding the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) secretary general at a meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
"From all the issues, which should be discussed, this is the issue of the CSTO secretary general, which became a problem for us," Nazarbayev said.
"As to broader relations, as part of the CSTO, the EAEU, here there is a very large agenda, major programs, and there are some problematic issues, like those you have mentioned now," Putin said.
Armenian representative Yury Khachaturov now serves as CSTO secretary general.
Khachaturov was identified as a defendant as part of a criminal case opened by Armenian law enforcement in July.
The Armenian Special Investigation Service has indicted Khachaturov in a case dealing with the dispersal of a demonstration on March 1, 2008. Ten people were killed and over 250 injured when security forces dispersed thousands of protesters following a presidential election won by Serzh Sargsyan.
Khachaturov was serving as the head of the Yerevan garrison of the Armenian Armed Forces at the time.
He was appointed CSTO secretary general for three years in 2017.
On July 28 of this year, a court in Yerevan ruled to arrest Khachaturov on charges of violating the country's constitutional order in 2008 and granted him bail. The Special Investigation Service allowed Khachaturov to leave Armenia and go to Moscow to perform his duties as CSTO secretary general as long as he reports when necessary.
Armenia has suggested that CSTO member states start the procedure of replacing the secretary general.
Former Armenian President Robert Kocharyan has also been arrested on charges of violating the constitutional order in 2008

Sports: Serobyan is happy for medals of Armenian athletes from European Championship

MediaMax, Armenia
Aug 14 2018
Serobyan is happy for medals of Armenian athletes from European Championship

“The competition was held among young people between 14 and 18, while Gagik isn’t 16 years old yet. This is the first major competition for him and he perfectly coped with his task. Performing pommel horse exercises isn’t easy, but Gagik succeeded in gaining good points and winning a medal,” Serobyan said in a conversation with Mediamax Sport.

He noted that he was especially happy with the fact that these results of Khachatryan will give him an opportunity of a year off to continue pursuing gymnastics.

“The European Championship among juniors takes place once in 2 years. Baku will host the 2020 event, so we will not participate definitely. We are happy that Gagik won a medal now and will be able to continue his trainings,” the coach added.

Serobyan is also content with all-around athlete Zhora Smbatyan, who also performed in accordance with his abilities.

Azerbaijani Press: Pashinyan worried about his decreased popularity in Armenian society

AzerNews, Azerbaijan
Aug 14 2018

By Rashid Shirinov

Nowadays, many in Armenia wonder when the Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan will end his revolutionary show and begin the real implementation of the promises he made during the “velvet revolution” this April.

The exhausted population of Armenia already does its utmost in order to show the prime minister that people can wait no longer. On August 9, a man who has been unemployed over the past two years and is unable to feed his family, resorted to self-harm in the center of Yerevan. In the hope of attracting the attention of the new authorities, he nailed his feet to a bench in a park.

A month ago, on July 10, another Armenian citizen doused himself with gasoline near the residence of Pashinyan and tried to commit self-immolation.

It is obvious that these people and almost 3 million of Armenia’s population are not interested in the corruption exposures and other similar activities that Pashinyan has set as his main goal at the moment. It is much more important for Armenian citizens to know when their own problems will be solved and whether they will have the opportunity to feed their families tomorrow.

However, Pashinyan’s government still fails to work in this direction. The prime minister spends all his energy on vendetta with the former authorities of Armenia. The new government has not yet proposed any effective economic programs, neither has it developed a strategy for pulling the country out of the impasse.

Meanwhile, Pashinyan’s team is well aware of the negative mood of the public. Armenian media have found out that the prime minister is concerned about his popularity among Armenia residents and believes that the meeting with Armenia's population that he scheduled for August 17 may not be as large-scale as he would like it to be.

On the one hand, Pashinyan wants to check how loyal the crowds remained to him, and on the other hand, he fears shame. Therefore, the prime minister's team has decided to ensure a crowded rally at all costs. Armenian media note that all offices of Pashinyan’s Civil Contract party began to actively engage in preparatory work in order to attract as many people as possible.

Thus, Pashinyan’s team now has an important task – to ensure that its chief does not fail at the meeting on August 17. If the prime minister continues to waste all energy on fighting the former authorities and continues to ignore the problems of the ordinary population, the day when Armenians will start to hate their new leader will not be far off.