India confirms it will sign free trade agreement with Eurasian Economic Union

India has confirmed it will sign a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union on June 18 at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF-2015). “We are definitely signing this agreement,” Amit Telang, First Secretary of India’s embassy in Russia told TASS on Thursday.

The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) is an international organization for regional economic integration. The member states of the union, which started operation on January 1, 2015, are the Russian Federation, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Republic of Armenia.

The EAEU is aimed at economic development of the member states by coordinating their economic policy and guaranteeing free movement of goods, services, capital and workforce.

Apart from India, currently Vietnam, Iran, Egypt and Israel are negotiating the possibility of forming free trade zone agreements with the EAEU.

Turkish officials involved in supplying arms to radical Syrian groups, prosecutor says

A Turkish prosecutor who had carried out a number of investigations into terrorist activities related to Syria has claimed that Turkish officials, including those from the spy agency, have been involved in the supply of explosives and ammunition to radical Syrian Islamist groups, particularly Ahrar ash-Sham, informs, quoting a report by Arzu Yıldız on the news website

Prosecutor Özcan Şişman, who was jailed for intercepting trucks carrying arms into Syria, said in his defense that he spotted a number of times that Turkish officials aided and faciliated the flow of jihadists into Syria, a string of bombings within Turkey and on the Syrian border as well as the transfer of arms into territory held by radical Islamist groups.

US State Department denounces Turkish President targeting journalists, Armenians and gays

US State Department spokesperson Marie Harf denounced President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s attacks against Western media outlets, but brushed aside criticism that Turkey was an unreliable ally despite the growing rift between the two countries.

Asked about President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s accusing the New York Times, CNN and BBC of trying to weaken and divide Turkey, and later expanding on it with a claim that journalists, Armenians and homosexuals were allies in sedition, Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications at the US State Department  that the US supports freedom of expression, and we remain concerned about government interference in freedom of expression in Turkey, “We’ve said that for a long time and we remain concerned.”

“An independent and unfettered media is an essential element of any democratic and open society,” said Harf, “As Turkey’s friend and as their NATO ally, we urge the Turkish authorities to ensure their actions uphold democratic values, including due process, judicial independence, and freedom of expression, including access to media and information.”
When asked if she would ‘denounce or decry or criticize’ Erdoğan for his criticism of homosexuals, Armenians and journalists, she responded “Absolutely.”

50 Cent is dating an Armenian

Rapper 50 Cent is dating an Armenian and she’s a beauty.  Her name is Nancy Babochian and he took her with him to the premiere of his series, Power, in New York yesterday.

The rapper escorted Babochian down the red carpet during the NYC premiere of Melissa McCarthy’s new movie “Spy” on Monday evening (June 1).

And the very next day, she supported Fifty during his “Power” season two debut, according to

President Sargsyan offers condolences over the sinking of Chinese ship

President Serzh Sargsyan today sent a letter of condolence to President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on an accident with a cruise ship which sank into the Yangtze River in China’s Hubei province. The accident left multiple people dead.

“On behalf of the Armenian people and on my own behalf, I extend my deepest sympathy to you and the friendly people of China.

Sharing your grief, I wish steadfastness and strength of spirit to the victims’ families and the Chinese people.

I am confident that the PRC government will try its best to save as much people as possible” reads the RA president’s condolence letter.

NKR President’s address on the Day of the First Armenian Republic

Dear compatriots,

On behalf of the Artsakh Republic authorities and on my own behalf, I cordially congratulate all of you on the Day of the First Armenian Republic.

The Armenian people are among the world’s most ancient civilizations with a rich traversed path that still exist. Our people have passed this way full of difficulties and challenges with flying colors, keeping alive their language and culture, national dignity and traditions, and most significantly, the centuries-old vision of restoring the independent statehood.

This vision became reality in 1918 with the formation of the First Armenian Republic when the Armenians once again felt confident in their strength and stood for their Fatherland. Our heroic ancestors having forged victories in Sardarapat, Bash-Aparan and Gharakilisa had already been paving the ways for our future achievements.

Guided by the ideology of brave sons of Armenia and inheriting the helm we were able to gain victory in the Artsakh liberation struggle and revive the independent Armenian statehood.

Today there are two Armenian states and the Armenia-Artsakh-Diaspora unshakable trinity, which is key pledge of all our success. Drawing the moral of the past the Armenian people must continue their path towards the bright and radiant future in the same unified and consolidated manner.

Dear compatriots,

I once again congratulate all of us on this great holiday and wish peace, robust health and all the best.

Turkey must urgently demonstrate commitment to free media and speech, says OSCE PA’s Santos

The Chair of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions, Isabel Santos (MP, Portugal), today expressed deep concern over continuing restrictions placed on freedom of media and freedom of speech in Turkey and urged the country’s leaders to immediately abide by their commitment to upholding these liberties.
“Turkey’s stated goal is to be a modern, European state, but its record on freedom of expression remains incompatible with that goal,” Santos said.

The OSCE PA’s democracy and human rights Chair noted that Turkey continues to have one of the highest numbers of imprisoned journalists among OSCE participating States, despite notable releases last year, and makes more requests to Twitter to remove content than any other country. She also referenced other forms of pressure on and intimidation of journalists, which often result in self-censorship, as causes for concern.

“To cite alleged insults to the president or state as justification for punishing reporters or restricting social media is to openly admit political motivation. Citing problematic anti-terrorism and telecommunications legislation to clamp down on journalism and free speech does not make these actions any more acceptable.

“During the current election campaign period and beyond, the Turkish government and courts must demonstrate respect for dissenting views, whether spoken, printed or posted online. Doing so is essential if Turkey wants to take democracy seriously,” Santos said.

Santos indicated her openness to engaging with Turkish colleagues in the OSCE PA and with Turkish authorities on the topic of freedom of expression and other civil liberties- and democracy-related issues in the country.

Greece and VFS Global extend visa service delivery to Armenia

The Embassy of Greece in Armenia and VFS Global, the world’s largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for diplomatic missions and governments, commenced today their visa application services in Armenia for visas to Greece, with the opening of the Visa Application Centre for Greece. Catering to the growing demand of Greece bound travellers in the region; this new initiative is aimed at offering new services, facilities and benefits to visa applicants, and boost tourism, trade and investments, between Greece and Armenia.

VFS Global will operate Visa Application Centre for visas to  Greece, located at : Nalbandyan 48/1 , Sakharov Business Centre, 02nd floor, 0010 Yerevan, Armenia

Mr Prabuddha Sen, Regional Head – RCIS, VFS Global said, “It is our privilege to be the trusted partner to the Embassy of Greece in Yerevan in providing services to facilitate visa application process for travellers in Armenia. We are committed to provide professional and convenient services to all applicants applying for a visa to Greece  in the region. VFS Global is privileged to be associated with the Embassy of Greece in Armenia. This extension of our association with the Greek Government reflects their faith in our abilities, and we are sure this will go a long way in forging a longstanding partnership with VFS Global.”

The key features of the new centre are:

  • Conveniently located and easily accessible state-of-the art Visa Application Centre
  • Longer operating hours allowing applicants to visit at a time of their convenience
  • Professional and responsive staff dedicated to handle visa queries and applications
  • Automated queue governance for smooth flow of applicants, providing better crowd management
  • Dedicated website for easy access to information including visa categories, requirements and check-list, applicable fees and application status
  • Dedicated call centre and email support to answer queries and status of application
  • 100% secure handling of passports, documents and personal information
  • In-VAC feedback kiosks and forms, and online feedback services for applicants to share their recommendations and feedback about the services
  • Tracking of application status and SMS alerts for visa status update on mobile phones
  • Door-step delivery of passports

The Visa Application Centre will remain open from 09:00 to 16:00 hrs from Monday to Friday, keeping in mind the convenience of the applicants.

VFS Global will be responsible only for acceptance of applications and return delivery of passports and documents. All applications will continue to be assessed and processed by the Consular Office of the Embassy of Greece in Yerevan.