Opposition MP: Current Armenian government is ‘known only for its lies’

Panorama
Armenia – May 6 2022

Anti-government protests resumed in Armenia on Friday, with thousands of opposition supporters blocking roads and holding marches in Yerevan for the sixth consecutive day.

"Obviously, the authorities have fears, because our citizens are rising up to fight. They realize how serious the situation is and have now taken to the streets,” MP Tigran Abrahamyan from the opposition With Honor (Pativ Unem) bloc told reporters during a march.

Speaking about Nikol Pashinyan's May 4 statement in the National Assembly that he would make an important disclosure soon, Abrahamyan said: "Pashinyan is trying to fill the information vacuum and continue their propaganda on the common information platform. There could be nothing else. If Pashinyan had information that could cause sensation, he wouldn't have waited 4 years and would have disclosed it long ago.”

“The current government is known only for its lies and fabrications, thus it makes no sense to expect anything serious in these conditions,” the lawmaker said.

Armenpress: Azeri military shooting attack suppressed by Armenian countermeasures

Azeri military shooting attack suppressed by Armenian countermeasures

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 17:17, 7 May, 2022

YEREVAN, MAY 7, ARMENPRESS. The Armenian Ministry of Defense issued a statement on the latest Azerbaijani shooting attack that wounded a worker at the Sotk gold mine in Armenia’s Gegharkunik Province.

The Ministry of Defense said that the Azerbaijani military also targeted the Armenian military positions nearby. 

“On May 7, around 13:50, the Azerbaijani military units opened fire from various caliber small arms at the Armenian military positions deployed in the eastern direction of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, as well as in the direction of the Sotk gold mine, which resulted in one of the workers of the mine sustaining a gunshot wound. His life is not in danger. The Azerbaijani military shooting was suppressed by countermeasures. As of 16:30 the situation at the Armenian-Azerbaijani border is relatively stable,” the Armenian Ministry of Defense said.

Over 20 Australian politicians call on Government to recognize the Armenian Genocide

Public Radio of Armenia
May 5 2022

Over 20 federal and state political leaders have demonstrated the growing disparity between the elected parliamentarians of Australia and the country’s Government with 107th Anniversary statements accurately characterizing the Armenian Genocide and calling on their colleagues in the executive branch to do the same, reported the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU).

Video statements from political leaders across Australia and all represented major parties were broadcast during Australia’s National Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, which was viewed by thousands on Facebook Live and YouTube on 26 April 2022.

These calls for Australia’s recognition of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides followed statements from Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese referring to the Armenian Genocide as “massacres”, “expulsion”. “deportation”, “dispossession” and “deaths”.

Prime Minister Morrison, who in 2011 called on Federal recognition of the Armenian Genocide, acknowledged the outpouring of Australian support for victims of the Armenian Genocide and through the country’s first humanitarian relief effort and went as far as referring to the events of 1915 as “one of the greatest crimes in modern history”.

Opposition Leader Albanese used his statement to call for the Ottoman Empire’s successor state. Turkey to “come to terms with its history”.

Both stopped short of calling these crimes by their name – genocide.

In contrast, the condolence messages from both federal and New South Wales state political leaders in light of the 107th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide went one step further, accurately characterizing the crimes and genocide and calling on the Australian Government to do the same.

Messages were received from Hon. Paul Fletcher MP – Minister Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and Art, Shadow Home Affairs Minister Senator Hon. Kristina Keneally, as well as their Federal parliamentary colleagues, including Leader of The Australian Greens Adam Bandt MP, Co-Chair of the Australia-Armenia Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Union Trent Zimmerman MP, Tim Wilson MP, Julian Leeser MP, Senator Janet Rice, Senator Eric Abetz, Steve Georganas MP, Mike Freelander MP and Jason Falinski MP and Josh Burns MP.

Minister Fletcher conveyed: “I’m proud on this 107th anniversary to repeat my call to again express my strong belief that the Armenian Genocide must be recognised, it must be accurately described for what it was, and that Australia as part of the community of nations must maintain efforts to ensure there is full awareness of what happened,”

Senator Keneally also referred to the Armenian Genocide accurately, and revealed: “(The Australian) Labor (Party) believes the (U.S. President Joe) Biden administration’s decision (to recognise the Armenian Genocide) is an opportunity for the Australian Government to engage in dialogue with diaspora communities in Australia and our international partners on this issue.”

The Australian Greens is the largest cross-bench party in the Australian Parliament with a formal policy supportive of Australian recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Their leader, Adam Bandt said: “The Greens have consistently called on the Australian government to recognise the Armenian Genocide. We must not remain on the wrong side of history along with Turkey and other nations that refuse to acknowledge this horrific tragedy.”

On the 107th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, these sentiments were echoed by nine other federal parliamentarians, while New South Wales Premier Hon. Dominic Perrottet added his name to the long list of the state’s leaders who have addressed the Armenian-Australian community marking the occasion by recalling the “great crime of the Armenian Genocide”.

Perrottet said: “Our commemoration is about more than just remembering, it’s about commitment. Commitment to learn from such atrocities, commitment to making sure these crimes against humanity are never repeated again.”

“25 years ago, the New South Wales parliament became the first in Australia to formally recognise any condemn the Armenian Genocide. I am proud to be part of that parliament because we cannot forget,” he added.

The Premier was joined by fellow state parliamentarians, including Hon. Jonathon O’Dea MP, Hon. Mark Coure MP, Hon. Victor Dominello MP, Hon. Damien Tudehope MLC, Hon. Walt Secord MLC, Hugh McDermott MP, Tim James MP and Tanya Davies MP, who similarly characterised the massacres against Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks accurately.

ANC-AU Executive Director Haig Kayserian welcomed the support from the legislators for their “principled stance”.

“What we saw in November 2021 was the exhibition of Australia’s will on this issue, when the Australian Parliament’s House of Representatives unanimously debated in favour of a motion calling for Federal recognition of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides,” said Kayserian.

“These statements from over 20 representatives we’ve elected to parliament echoes those sentiments and represent a further manifestation of when the everyday Australian stands on this issue, and for this we are eternally grateful.”

Kayserian added: “It is now time for the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader of Australia to stand with their constituents and their elected representatives and take one final step by recognising the Armenian Genocide accurately, and stop bowing to empty threats from a foreign dictatorship, whose century-long campaign of denial has been defeated.”

Sports: Armenian National Championships To Determine National Team For Upcoming IMMAF Events

May 5 2022

(MENAFN- International Mixed Martial Arts Federation)

From May 7-8, the Armenian MMA Federation will host its 2022 National Championships. The tournament will take place at the Dynamo Arena in Yerevan, Armenia. Youth categories A, B and C will take place along with a senior tournament. 

The competition will determine a national team for Armenia that will aim to compete in the upcoming IMMAF tournaments. The Armenian Federation held its first tournament since the Covid lockdown was lifted in May of last year. They have been actively working on the development of the sport since. 

Armenia actively competed in IMMAF competition in 2021, building on their first-ever IMMAF appearance in 2019. They had three entries at the 2021 Youth World Championships, as well as two entries at the European Championships in Arman Avanesyan and Levon Tsatryan .

Speaking ahead of the event, Armenia MMA Federation's President, Garegin Aghabalyan, explained the importance of the event. 

“This is going to be the pivotal event of the year. The result of it will lead us to create a national team for all ages. We expect many participants as MMA gets more and more popular in Armenia. We'll create a strong national team to participate in Youth World's, European and subsequently World Championships.”

MENAFN05052022006291013655ID1104165520

Sports: Armenian National Championships To Determine National Team For Upcoming IMMAF Events

May 5 2022

(MENAFN- International Mixed Martial Arts Federation)

From May 7-8, the Armenian MMA Federation will host its 2022 National Championships. The tournament will take place at the Dynamo Arena in Yerevan, Armenia. Youth categories A, B and C will take place along with a senior tournament. 

The competition will determine a national team for Armenia that will aim to compete in the upcoming IMMAF tournaments. The Armenian Federation held its first tournament since the Covid lockdown was lifted in May of last year. They have been actively working on the development of the sport since. 

Armenia actively competed in IMMAF competition in 2021, building on their first-ever IMMAF appearance in 2019. They had three entries at the 2021 Youth World Championships, as well as two entries at the European Championships in Arman Avanesyan and Levon Tsatryan .

Speaking ahead of the event, Armenia MMA Federation's President, Garegin Aghabalyan, explained the importance of the event. 

“This is going to be the pivotal event of the year. The result of it will lead us to create a national team for all ages. We expect many participants as MMA gets more and more popular in Armenia. We'll create a strong national team to participate in Youth World's, European and subsequently World Championships.”

MENAFN05052022006291013655ID1104165520

Blinken tests positive for COVID after meeting with Armenian FM

Panorama
Armenia – May 5 2022

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken tested positive for COVID-19 via a PCR test on Wednesday afternoon, two days after a meeting with Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan, the Department of State reported.

“The Secretary is fully vaccinated and boosted against the virus and is experiencing only mild symptoms. He tested negative on Tuesday and again as recently as this morning. The Secretary has not seen President Biden in person for several days, and the President is not considered a close contact according to guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),” it said.

Blinken hosted Mirzoyan in Washington, D.C., to launch the U.S.-Armenia Strategic Dialogue (USASD) on Monday. “During the Dialogue, the United States and Armenia reiterated their commitment to strengthening bilateral ties across the breadth of the bilateral relationship,” the State Department said.

Yerevan to host ‘Hrant Dink: Here and Now’ exhibition

Panorama
Armenia – May 5 2022

An exhibition on Hrant Dink’s life and struggle will open at the Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art in Yerevan on May 7 to run until July 30.

The Hrant Dink: Here and Now exhibition is organized by the Hrant Dink Foundation on the 15th anniversary of the assassination of the editor-in-chief of Agos newspaper, Armenpress reportes.

Hrant Dink was assassinated in Istanbul in front of his newspaper’s office on January 19, 2007.

The former office of Agos newspaper, where thousands gather every year on the day of his assassination to commemorate and demand justice, opened its doors to visitors on April 23-24, 2019 as the 23.5 Hrant Dink Site of Memory.

23.5 promotes the universal values embraced by Hrant Dink such as democracy, co-existence, equality, truth, peace and justice. With its exhibits, archives and public programs, 23.5 acts as a space for remembrance, reflection, dialogue, learning and mutual understanding.

The site of memory takes its name from Hrant Dink’s article ‘23.5 April’, which was published in Agos on April 23rd, 1996.

The Hrant Dink: Here and Now exhibition is an extension of 23,5, said Talin Suzme, Turkey-Armenia Programme Coordinator at the Hrant Dink Foundation.

Hrant Dink will be the narrator and the guide telling his own story and his path of righteousness. Separate corners of the exhibition will be a focus on themes such as memory, justice and minority rights in Turkey.

Expert: Ukraine cannot have any expectations from Armenia in legal and moral terms

Panorama
Armenia – May 5 2022

The Defense Intelligence of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense has accused Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan of negotiating with Moscow over the re-export of Russian products to international markets.

“The supply is planned to be made in the form of Georgian, Armenian and Azerbaijani products and export them to third countries,” the Defense Intelligence said on May 1.

Panorama.am has spoken with military expert and reserve colonel Hayk Nahapetyan over the matter as well as the legal and moral aspects of Ukraine's expectations from Armenia in the process of imposing sanctions on Russia.

Hayk Nahapetyan: We should look at things from the legal perspective. Ukraine is complaining that individual entrepreneurs or legal entities engaged in economic activities have opened such enterprises in Armenia under domestic laws, isn’t it? That is, what law has been violated? No law has been broken. It is no coincidence that such a statement was issued by the Defense Intelligence. Because if the Armenian side had undertaken some commitments and had violated them, the Ukrainian diplomatic corps and political institutions would have reacted somehow apart from the intelligence office. But Armenia has not violated any agreement. Georgian Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili has also demanded explanations from the Ukrainian authorities over the country’s accusations, asking it to provide evidence. If the Ukrainian side had substantiated evidence, I believe it would have used it first for propaganda instead of just making a statement.

The world has seen such precedents when the intelligence provided inaccurate information to the military and political leadership, as a result of which an entire country and its people suffered, with hundreds of thousands of casualties. Take, for example, the display of a small bottle by first black U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell when Iraq was actually invaded by NATO, and then it turned out that Colin Powell and the U.S. military and political leadership had been provided with inaccurate information about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq by intelligence. That is, intelligence reports cannot serve as a basis and are not enough. But there is a moral aspect of the issue. From the legal terms, they can't substantiate that Armenia or Georgia have violated any verbal or contractual commitments.

The moral aspect is that Ukraine dares to interfere in the internal affairs of our country. It is for Armenia to decide what kind of relations to establish with a specific country in accordance with the agreements Armenia signed about 30 years ago.

Ukraine, no less, is laying out demands for Armenia, when Armenia has not made such a commitment. Armenia and Georgia did not join the sanctions [against Russia] and it is up to the authorities of the two countries to decide on the matter.

Ukraine would be better off dealing with its internal problems, rather than pointing fingers at who and why did not join the sanctions. As if the planet Earth now moves around Ukraine, and they believe that any state that does not help them, at the very least, is not their friend, if not an enemy.

In essence, I understand that the rule of the Nazi authorities in Ukraine is coming to an end, it is not far off and they are already in agony. They are blaming everyone, including NATO, the U.S., EU countries, and now some allegations are made against the three South Caucasus countries. This state of mind makes them look for others to blame for their own woes and defeats. I understand their feelings; we Armenians are also living through such times. Instead of acknowledging their mistakes and correcting them, our authorities are looking for the guilty outside the country. This is also the case in Ukraine.

Panorama.am: Against the background of the position on the Artsakh issue expressed by Ukraine for decades and especially during the 44-day war, does Ukraine have any moral right to expect Armenia to take a position in its favor? Moreover, after all this the Armenian authorities seem to have taken a neutral stance on the conflict.

Hayk Nahapetyan: Ukraine’s military and political leadership, law enforcement authorities and Security Council still stick to their position. When Azerbaijan occupied certain heights on Karaghlukh and Khramort, the Ukrainian top leadership was excited by the fact that Azerbaijan was about to start military operations against Artsakh, which would entail military actions against Russia, because the guarantor of the Artsakh people’s security is the Russian peacekeeping mission. They hoped that if such operations began, they could escalate into an Armenian-Azerbaijani war, thus a second front would open for Russia. They were extremely enthusiastic and made statements at the level of the heads of security agencies as well as members of the Rada.

Ukraine adheres to the following principle: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Obviously, during the 44-day war and up to present Ukraine is trying to support Azerbaijan. Incidentally, before the well-known events of February 24, the Azeri president visited Kyiv and held a meeting with Volodymyr Zelensky. A memorandum was signed, according to which Azerbaijan and Ukraine, to a certain extent, mutually undertook obligations to each other in case of violation of the territorial integrity of the two countries. They recognized each other's territorial integrity when they joined the UN. Azerbaijan also recognized Crimea as a part of Ukraine in principle, let alone Donetsk and Luhansk. In the same way, Ukraine recognized the Republic of Artsakh as a part of Azerbaijan. An agreement was also signed on military and technical cooperation. They are allies and have common handlers in the person of Turkey, UK and the United States. Naturally, Ukraine’s stance on the self-determination of the Artsakh Armenians and the independence of Artsakh is extremely negative.

Panorama.am: Some reports suggest that Ukraine also provided Azerbaijan with banned weapons which were used in the 44-day war. How would you comment on it?

Hayk Nahapetyan: I can neither confirm nor deny the reports that the cluster phosphorus weapons were supplied [to Azerbaijan] by Ukraine, but it has not been disproved. It is a fact that after Ukraine declared its independence in 1991 it inherited the lion's share of the military-industrial complex of the USSR. It was clearly in its interest to arm a state that was at least in unfriendly relations with Russia. Such military and technical assistance has been provided for years.

Military and technical cooperation is not prohibited by law, but the problem lies with weapons of mass destruction, phosphorus and cluster munitions banned by several international conventions, while the countries using them could face sanctions, just as Iraq was accused of developing chemical weapons and punished by NATO.

Here we have to look at whether such prohibited weapons that Ukraine had were sold to Azerbaijan. Some say that the phosphorus munitions were provided [to Azerbaijan] by Ukraine. At least there is no production of these weapons in Azerbaijan, otherwise other sources would have spoken about it.

Interview by A. Vardanyan