Number of Nagorno-Karabakh refugees in Armenia reaches 2906


YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 25, ARMENPRESS. The number of refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh who’ve arrived to Armenia reached 2906 as of 06:00, September 25, the government of Armenia said in a statement.

Registration data of 2100 of the 2906 forcibly displaced persons has been completed, while the needs assessment for the 794 others is in process.

1000 of the 2100 registered persons are accommodated in residences chosen by themselves, while the 1100 others have been provided accommodation by the government of Armenia. The accommodation process of a part of the refugees is still ongoing.

The flow of the forcibly displaced persons continued throughout the whole night. The registration process for needs assessment and accommodation continued overnight and is still in process.

Blinken, Russia’s Lavrov race to discuss Armenia-Azerbaijan relations

Sept 24 2023

Blinken, Russia's Lavrov race to discuss Armenia-Azerbaijan relations

By Adam Schrader

Sept. 23 (UPI) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, raced Saturday to discuss their relations with Armenia and Azerbaijan, which have been engaged in recent conflict.

Lavrov, who engaged in a lengthy question-and-answer session with reporters Saturday, was asked if Russia believes its influence is waning in former Soviet states after an outburst of anti-Russia protests in Armenia's capital Yerevan.

Azerbaijan launched a new offensive Tuesday against Armenian separatists amid a decades-long territorial dispute between the countries over the ethnic Armenian region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenians largely blame Russian President Vladimir Putin for losing a 44-day war in 2020 when Azerbaijan regained control of land in and around Nagorno-Karabakh and blocked its main supply route to Armenia.

The sentiment was shared this week by Alen Simonyan, the head of Armenia's parliament.

"It is not up to me to judge. It would be very arrogant for me to say that our influence is increasing or if it remains the same. It is up for you to decide," Lavrov began. "Many things are becoming clear right in front of our eyes right now."

Lavrov claimed that non-governmental organizations backed by Western states are in Armenia and other former Soviet nations "advancing the interests of the United States and their allies."

"These interests include undermining Russian influence. This is a fact," Lavrov said. "We see this as artificially created tensions. We once again know who is interested in this and who is pulling the strings and, unfortunately, the leadership of Armenia from time to time adds fuel to the fire itself."

Lavrov added that the 2020 agreements ending the brief war said that Nagorno-Karabakh is "in the realm of responsibility of Russian peacekeeping contingent."

"It was presumed, this was discussed during negotiations, that the decision on the status of Nagorno-Karabakh would be postponed, it would be taken later," Lavrov said. "So after Armenia reaffirmed that Nagorno-Karabakh was a part of Azerbaijan, it was ludicrous to accuse us of this."

Lavrov added that Russian peacekeepers are currently helping to facilitate contacts between the Nagorno-Karabakh representatives and the Azerbaijani officials, including at meetings held Saturday.

"Our peacekeepers have a presence there on the basis of the importance of their role there for confidence building to ensure that the members of the representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh, especially at the beginning to feel themselves to be safe and secure," Lavrov said.

"Time will be necessary, as for the amount of time and the number of peacekeepers, these are issues being resolved on the ground."

Blinken on Saturday held a call with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in which he "reaffirmed U.S. support for Armenia's sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity," according to a readout provided by U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller.

"The Secretary expressed the United States' deep concern for the ethnic Armenian population in Nagorno-Karabakh," Miller said.

"He underscored the United States is calling on Azerbaijan to protect civilians and uphold its obligations to respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the residents of Nagorno-Karabakh and to ensure its forces comply with international humanitarian law."

Meanwhile, the U.N. Security Council — of which both the United States and Russia are a part — warned that the latest clashes between Azeris and Armenians "undermine prospects of peace" in what is one of the longest-running conflicts since the end of the Cold War.

In May, the European Union mediated a long-term negotiation plan for a "comprehensive peace agreement."

"The final statement included their unequivocal commitment to the 1991 Almaty Declaration and their 'respective territorial integrity'," according to an EU document.

"Some experts see the details of the statement as a potential breakthrough in the peace talks, while others warn of the heavy price tag for the population of Nagorno-Karabakh and the potential political costs for Armenia itself."

In additional remarks, Lavrov added: "We are convinced that the Armenian people remember their history, our history and that they will tie their history to that of Russia and other friendly states in the region rather than those that swoop in from abroad."

Turkish citizen receives DNA result: "We were Christians who were kidnapped by the Ottomans"

Sept 22 2023

A Turkish citizen did a DNA test and discovered the truth – "we don't come from these real Turks with slanted eyes; we come from Christians who were kidnapped and used as slaves by these Ottomans."

"I did a DNA test, and I am almost entirely from Christian Europeans, from the Balkans, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, and also some Turkish (Anatolian), Caucasian, and Jewish from Iran," he added.

With the advent of genetic testing, more and more Turkish citizens and diaspora communities are discovering that they are Turkified peoples, mostly pointing towards Greek.

A famous case of a Turkish citizen discovering they are Greek is Yannis Vasilis Yaylalı, born Ibrahim Yaylalı.

Yannis was a former Turkish ultra-nationalist that was proud of his enmity towards Kurds and other indigenous peoples of Asia Minor.

However, he soon discovered he was actually Greek, became Christian and then became an activist for minorities in Turkey despite originally joining the Turkish Army to kill them, as reported by The Armenian Weekly.

Full transcript of the above video:

"If you look at this map, it's obvious which is the good and bad sides. Right next to Europe, the Ottomans enslaved European Christians for 600 years to their harems and Janissary army. How can nobody be talking about this?

"How can there be no Hollywood movies about this? Wouldn't Hollywood be dying to make movies about this?

"They would, but Ataturk destroyed all these real Ottomans with these slanted eyes so that history would not exist anymore. That's why nobody makes movies about it. Nobody talks about it. Us Turks are not considered innocent because we don't come from these real Turks with slanted eyes.

"We come from Christians who were kidnapped and used as slaves by these Ottomans. By making us all Turks, by calling us all the same, by saying 'How happy is he who says calls himself Turk', Ataturk turned to the dark side.

"Instead of telling us that we were turned into Turks, instead of telling us we were kidnapped Christians who were then turned into Muslim Turks, he kept this most important part of our history a secret.

"Instead of telling us we come from Christians, he committed genocide against Christian Armenians and Christian Greeks so he can establish a country without any Christians in them.

"I did a DNA test and I am almost entirely from Christian Europeans, from the Balkans, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, and also some Turkish (Anatolian), Caucasian, and Jewish from Iran. Other Turks' DNA will also look like this. There's only going to be a little bit of Turkish DNA."


Putin is certainly aware of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border tension, says PM Pashinyan


YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 11, ARMENPRESS. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has said that the first phone call he had on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border tension was with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Actually, my first phone call was with the Russian President,” Pashinyan said during an interview with Public Television when asked why he didn’t call President Putin on Saturday but instead held calls with leaders of other regional countries. “He [Putin] is certainly aware of the situation, the Lachin Corridor has been blockaded since December last year, and since then I’ve had dozens of conversations with the Russian President. Unfortunately, the situation hasn’t changed since our last conversation,” Pashinyan said.

The Armenian PM said the purpose of all phone calls was to inform his counterparts about certain nuances which they were unaware of.

On September 9, Pashinyan spoke by phone with French President Emmanuel Macron, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi and Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz.

Armenian Social Council: SDF holds the key to peace in Syria

Syria – Sept 4 2023

Denouncing external efforts to instigate unrest in the region, the Armenian Social Council expressed their support for the SDF and the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria.

Members of the Armenian Social Council made a statement to the press in front of the council’s headquarters in the Kibaba neighborhood of Heseke.

The statement read by the co-chair of the council, Imad Teteryan, denounced the attempts of foreign powers and their collaborators that seek to incite sedition among the peoples in the region by distorting the Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) Operation Security Reinforcement against ISIS cells and criminal elements in Deir ez-Zor region and by portraying it as a campaign against tribes.

“The SDF is not a Kurdish force as some circles claim, but is made up of Arabs, Kurds, Armenians, Syriacs, Assyrians, Turkmens, Circassians, Christians, Muslims and Yazidis. The SDF protects all components and religions. It has freed the region from the atrocities, persecution and terror of ISIS mercenaries and their supporters. Half of the fighters in SDF ranks are made up of the children of the Arab population and tribes,” said the statement.

The Armenian Social Council pointed out that: “We are against any form of discrimination between religions. We are meant to live together in our land with pride, honor, love and peace. We support the SDF and the Democratic Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria. We stand against the intended instigation.”

The council stressed that the SDF holds the key to peace in Syria and is the people’s hope for freedom and equality.

Commentary: Armenians are starving at Azerbaijan’s hands. Why isn’t Biden doing more to help?

The Brunswick News
Sept 1 2023

Last year on World Food Day, President Joe Biden reaffirmed his commitment to a world where “no child has to go to bed hungry, no parent has to worry about how to feed their family, and no one has to face food insecurity.” In that same speech, Biden highlighted how the United States had that year alone committed more than $9 billion in lifesaving humanitarian assistance to vulnerable communities around the world.

Sadly, Biden’s pledge is not reaching the Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh, who have been locked in a conflict over their homeland with Azerbaijan since the fall of the Soviet Union.

In this latest chapter, since last December the government of Azerbaijan, under the leadership of its petro-dictator Ilham Aliyev, has implemented an illegal blockade of the only road linking more than 120,000 Armenians, including 30,000 children, in Nagorno-Karabakh to the outside world. It is one of the world’s most overlooked and underreported humanitarian crises taking place today.

By limiting access to food, medicine, gas, electricity and other critical supplies to be delivered by the Lachin Corridor, Azerbaijan is on its way to making living conditions so unbearable that Armenians are forced to leave the region.

In August, a 40-year-old resident of Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, died of starvation, becoming the region’s first reported victim of chronic malnutrition and protein deficiency. The lack of food has also contributed to the number of early-stage miscarriages, which reportedly have nearly tripled this summer.

Using food as a weapon has become a popular tool for autocrats to disrupt the lives of innocent people while trying to force concessions that benefit their interests. Russia’s Vladimir Putin has effectively held the global food supply hostage by attacking Ukraine’s ports and crippling grain exports via the Black Sea, as together the two countries export 30% of the world’s wheat, 60% of the world’s sunflower oil and 20% of the world’s corn.

Azerbaijan is turning to a similar playbook in trying to force its will on the Armenian people by attempting to break their spirit and resolve through food. Biden has steadfastly held Russia accountable for its egregious behavior, and the State Department has been working with European Union officials to attempt to reopen the Lachin Corridor. But those efforts have so far failed.

The lack of leadership from the White House has led other actors on the world stage to fill that void. In August, Luis Moreno Ocampo, former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, released an explosive report stating that when assessing the Azerbaijani blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh, “there is a reasonable basis to believe that a genocide is being committed.” And, the report states, “Without immediate dramatic change, this group of Armenians will be destroyed in a few weeks.”

Having been victims of genocide in the 20th century, Armenians know all too well the horrors of such crimes against humanity and feel their voices and concerns are once again being ignored and sacrificed at the altar of realpolitik.

That type of international gamesmanship was evident at the United Nations last month when the Security Council held an emergency meeting to discuss the worsening humanitarian situation after Armenia urged the global community to help end the blockade. While France and other countries used the opportunity to highlight the principles of international law and humanitarianism as reasons to lift the blockade, other delegations — such as Great Britain, which has significant oil investments in the country — held back on condemning Azerbaijan.

And despite the evidence on the ground, Azerbaijan’s U.N. representative claimed that Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh were happy and well-fed by sharing printouts of Instagram posts that allegedly showed Armenians getting married and celebrating birthdays.

For Biden, as a president who took office claiming that human rights would be central to his foreign policy, this tragedy threatens to stain his legacy.

So, what can he do? For starters, he can begin by unequivocally calling for an immediate end to the blockade and apply pressure on Azerbaijan through sanctions, as Rep. Adam B. Schiff has called for. He can enforce Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act that bans U.S. aid to the Azerbaijani government — restrictions that he, like presidents before him, has waived each year since becoming president. And he can direct Samantha Power, the administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, to allocate more resources and money toward helping Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The U.S. enabling of Azerbaijan’s authoritarianism is now costing lives and giving Azerbaijan cover to do what it wants with impunity. Time is running out for the Armenian people living in Nagorno-Karabakh. If Biden truly believes that no child should go to sleep hungry, then he’ll need to act with far greater urgency to break Azerbaijan’s blockade.



Stephan Pechdimaldji is a communications strategist living in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a first-generation Armenian American and grandson of survivors of the Armenian genocide.

French humanitarian convoy for Nagorno-Karabakh blocked by Azerbaijan


YEREVAN, AUGUST 30, ARMENPRESS. Azerbaijan has blocked a French humanitarian convoy from delivering essential aid to the people of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo personally lead the convoy of 10 trucks from Yerevan to the entrance of blockaded Lachin Corridor. The trucks were unable to continue to Nagorno-Karabakh due to the Azeri blockade.

Xavier Bertrand, the President of the Regional Council of the French region of Hauts-de-France, said that their convoy was barred and condemned the move.

President of Nagorno-Karabakh Arayik Harutyunyan said he hoped the convoy would make it through and mitigate the sufferings of the people.

Meanwhile, a group of residents of Nagorno-Karabakh organized a meeting in the central plaza of Stepanakert to express gratitude to the French regions for the initiative.

The new convoy, sent by the City of Paris, the regions of Île-de-France, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Hauts-de-France, Occitania and Pays de la Loire, joined the Armenian humanitarian convoy and the previously sent French aid truck stranded at the entrance of Lachin Corridor in Kornidzor because of the Azerbaijani blockade.

Armenia economic activity index grows 10,4% in January-July


YEREVAN, AUGUST 25, ARMENPRESS. The economic activity index in Armenia grew 10,4% in January-July 2023 compared to the same period of 2022, according to data released by the Statistical Committee.

Industrial production volume increased 0,5%, construction grew 17,2% and trade turnover grew 23%.

Services grew 14,9%.

The consumer price index grew 3,6%, while the industrial product price index remained the same.

Electricity production dropped 3,5%.

62,6% growth was recorded in foreign trade turnover (exports grew 62,1% while imports grew 63%).

Pashinyan congratulates Modi on Independence Day of India

 10:12, 15 August 2023

YEREVAN, AUGUST 15, ARMENPRESS. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has congratulated Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Independence Day.

“I extend my warmest congratulations to you on Independence Day of the Republic of India. The independence struggle of the people of India waged for centuries attests to the highest value of having a sovereign and democratic state, which is the foundation of the traditionally friendly ties and mutual respect between our two peoples,” PM Pashinyan said in a congratulatory telegram addressed to PM Modi.

“During our last meeting, we assumed commitment to maximally utilize the existing potential between Armenia and India in the most various areas, and now we can proudly note that the Armenian-Indian age-old friendship has entered a new qualitative phase, attested by the intensification of the bilateral agenda and dialogue between our two countries. We attach importance to the increasing role of India, the bearer of democratic values, in global politics and we support India’s efforts in advancing international institutional reforms. I am convinced that through joint efforts the partnership between our countries in bilateral and multilateral formats will further strengthen, and mutual high-level visits between the sides will significantly contribute to this. I reiterate my invitation to visit Armenia at a time of your convenience. Your Excellency, taking this opportunity, I wish you robust health and new successes, and all the best and welfare to the friendly people of India,” Pashinyan added.

Chaarat inks deal to sell Armenia’s Kapan mine

Aug 16 2023
Chaarat Gold announced a binding agreement to sell its 100%-owned Armenian subsidiary Chaarat Kapan on Wednesday, which is responsible for the Kapan mining operation in southern Armenia.

The AIM-traded firm said the deal, worth $55.4m, is between Chaarat and Gold Mining Company – a known entity in the Armenian mining space.

It said the Kapan Mine had been functional since the 1960s, and was known for its polymetallic ore body, producing copper and zinc concentrates as well as by-products including gold and silver.

Chaarat took ownership of the Kapan Mine in 2019, and since then, there had been significant improvements in the mine's operational performance.

It consistently met production guidance for between 50,000 and 65,000 gold equivalent ounces annually under Chaarat's administration.

The mine – Chaarat’s sole operating asset – brought in EBITDA of $22.7m in 2021 and $12.6m in 2022.

However, its financial performance in the first half of 2023 was impacted by a persistently high Armenian dram against the dollar, as well as reduced production.

The company said the sale's consideration consisted of $55.4m, including $5m in cash and the remaining being offset by intra-group payables due to Chaarat Kapan.

No adjustments would be made for debt, working capital, or other obligations.

The board said completion remained contingent on a number of conditions, including approvals from Chaarat shareholders, Ameriabank, the Armenian Competition Protection Commission, and the buyer's shareholders.

Chaarat Gold justified the sale by highlighting its commitment to enhancing the Kapan Mine's value over the years.

Despite geopolitical challenges, including hostilities with neighbouring countries and the indirect effects of the Ukraine conflict, the firm said it managed to uphold its operational performance.

However, the appreciation of the Armenian dram significantly affected its financial performance, with the sale set to allow Chaarat to concentrate on developing assets in Kyrgyzstan, and consider other external merger and acquisition opportunities.

Post-sale, the proceeds would bolster Chaarat's balance sheet, reducing its liabilities by $39m and offering a cash influx of $5m to support its ongoing projects, especially the Tulkubash project.

With the sale, Chaarat would transition from a producer to a developer, as it planned to invest resources in its larger, low-cost development assets while simultaneously seeking funding for the ventures.

Chaarat's said its focus post-sale would be on its gold development assets, which had a combined book value of $82.5m and a potential production capacity of more than 350,000 ounces of gold annually.

“The proposed sale allows Chaarat to focus on its growth pipeline in the gold sector with the aim of developing lower cost and higher value options within its portfolio,” said chief executive officer Mike Fraser.

“It accelerates our strategic objective of developing the Tulkubash project and evaluating opportunities for inorganic growth options.”

At 0908 BST, shares in Chaarat Gold Holdings were up 10.22% at 7.44p.

Reporting by Josh White for