Central Bank of Armenia: exchange rates and prices of precious metals – 27-02-24


YEREVAN, 27 FEBUARY, ARMENPRESS. The Central Bank of Armenia informs “Armenpress” that today, 27 February, USD exchange rate down by 0.01 drams to 404.41 drams. EUR exchange rate up by 0.24 drams to 438.87 drams. Russian Ruble exchange rate up by 0.01 drams to 4.39 drams. GBP exchange rate up by 0.23 drams to 512.83 drams.

The Central Bank has set the following prices for precious metals.

Gold price down by 3.90 drams to 26357.82 drams. Silver price down by 2.67 drams to 292.68 drams.

India-Armenia forum held during Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi


YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 22, ARMENPRESS. Armenian Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Narek Mkrtchyan is participating in the Raisina Dialogue, India’s premier conference on geopolitics and geoeconomics committed to addressing the most challenging issues facing the global community.

Every year, leaders in politics, business, media, and civil society converge in New Delhi to discuss the state of the world and explore opportunities for cooperation on a wide range of contemporary matters. The Dialogue is structured as a multi-stakeholder, cross-sectoral discussion, involving heads of state, cabinet ministers and local government officials, who are joined by thought leaders from the private sector, media and academia.

The conference is hosted by the Observer Research Foundation in partnership with the Ministry of External Affairs of India.

The event began with the India-Armenia Dialogue forum.

In his remarks, Minister Mkrtchyan emphasized the importance of the effective partnership between Armenia and India and spoke about the mutual steps for strengthening cooperation. He said that the relations with India have been actively developing, which is among Armenia’s foreign policy priorities.

“Cooperation between Armenia and India gained momentum in several sectors, including in trade, economy, high technologies, education and culture. The age-old mutual respect and trust between the two nations contributes to intensification of people-to-people exchanges in various sectors,” Mkrtchyan said.

Speaking about reforms in the employment migration, he said that the ministry is developing new approaches to ensure the required regulations. He also mentioned the MoU signed with Skill India in 2022, enabling training and skill development opportunities.

Mkrtchyan highlighted the potential of cooperation in AI and proposed to consider the idea of creating a global AI innovation platform to facilitate exchange of research and solutions and promote social benefits through international cooperation.

In context of the importance of peace, cooperation and mutual respect between nations, the minister also spoke about the Crossroads of Peace project, emphasizing that security, economic stability and development must be viewed as a collective global responsibility.

Film: Vidiots, Armenian Film Society to Screen Egoyan’s ‘Exotica’

Glendale News Press
Feb 19 2024
Vidiots, Armenian Film Society to Screen Egoyan’s ‘Exotica’

Vidiots and Armenian Film Society are inviting the public to a special 30th anniversary screening of Atom Egoyan’s “Exotica” on Sunday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m.
A steamy and sensual thriller of erotic obsession and a meditative treatise on loss and trauma, “Exotica” simmers with passion and pathos. Lives, loves and desires intermingle in the upscale Toronto strip club Exotica from the dancers, to the patrons, to the management.

“Exotica” won the FIPRESCI Prize at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival, as well as eight Genie Awards, Canada’s equivalent of the Academy Awards, including Best Motion Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.

Vidiots is a nonprofit video store that’s been around since 1985, and recently relaunched with a cinema at the historic Eagle Theatre in the Eagle Rock district of Los Angeles. It is a one-of-a-kind hub that inspires human interaction around film through theatrical presentations and preserving, growing and providing access to its diverse DVD, Blu-ray and rare VHS collection. The Armenian Film Society is proud to be a community programming partner for Vidiots.

Vidiots is located at 4884 Eagle Rock Blvd. To purchase tickets, visit vidiotsfoundation.org/movies/exotica.

First published in the February 16 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.

EU and Armenia to hold Brussels summit to bolster relations DPA

Feb 13 2024

Representatives from the European Union and Armenia are scheduled to meet in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss cooperation between the Caucasus nation and the 27-country bloc.

The summit is the fifth meeting of the EU-Armenia Partnership Council, first held in 2018.

The two sides plan to discuss the potential for a "dialogue" on liberalizing the visa regime between the EU and Armenia. Also on the agenda are political reform, democracy, the rule of law and human rights, as well as economic and trade cooperation.

Leading the talks is the EU's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, and Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan.

The forum is the product of an "Enhanced Partnership Agreement" signed in 2017 to deepen cooperation on a broad array of matters such as security, the environment, energy, migration, and combatting terrorism, money laundering and the illegal drug trade.

In January 2023, EU member states agreed to establish a civilian mission to patrol and monitor the the region of Armenia near the Azerbaijani border, amid hostilities between the two countries.

Echoes of History: The Armenian-Azerbaijani Conflict and the Specter of Ethnic Cleansing

Feb 12 2024
Momen Zellmi
In a recent speech, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stirred controversy by alluding to the specter of ethnic cleansing in Garabagh. However, the roots of this conflict trace back to the 1960s, when the Soviet Armenian KGB orchestrated an operation that set the stage for the displacement of Azerbaijanis and Kurds from Soviet Armenia and Garabagh between 1987 and 1988.

The Garabagh conflict was not a spontaneous eruption of violence but the culmination of a calculated strategy. The expulsion of Azerbaijanis and Kurds from Soviet Armenia and Garabagh in the late 1980s marked a dark chapter in the region's history. Today, the irony is palpable as Armenians level accusations of ethnic cleansing against Azerbaijan, even as over 30,000 Armenians reside in Azerbaijan without fear of expulsion.

Pashinyan's claims of Azerbaijan's reluctance to commit to a peace treaty also warrant scrutiny. Armenia has been bolstering its defense budget and acquiring advanced weaponry, suggesting preparations for a new conflict. The question lingers: Is Armenia genuinely committed to peace, or is it gearing up for another confrontation?

The Armenian Genocide, which occurred during the final years of the Ottoman Empire, resulted in the death or forced removal of the local Armenian population from Eastern Anatolia, a region once part of historic Armenia. This tragic chapter in history has left an indelible mark on the Armenian consciousness.


In the aftermath of the genocide, Armenian toponyms in the region were systematically erased, replaced with Turkish names. This act of cultural erasure further exacerbated the Armenian community's sense of loss and displacement. The term 'Eastern Anatolia,' now commonly used to refer to this region, has been criticized by some as an ahistorical imposition that obscures the Armenian presence.

The Nagorno Karabakh conflict, an ethnic and territorial dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, reached a critical juncture in September 2023. Azerbaijan launched a military offensive in the disputed region, resulting in its surrender and the disbandment of its armed forces. The predominantly ethnic Armenian population faced threats of ethnic cleansing, leading to the displacement of approximately 100,400 individuals.

This mass exodus has been condemned by international experts as a potential war crime or crime against humanity. The deaths of 64 civilians while fleeing to Armenia underscore the gravity of the situation. Despite Azerbaijan's assurances of safe reintegration, concerns persist due to its history of authoritarianism and repression of the Armenian population.

As the world watches the unfolding drama in the Caucasus, the echoes of history continue to resonate. The Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, steeped in a complex tapestry of historical grievances and contemporary power dynamics, defies easy solutions. The path to peace remains elusive, shrouded in the mists of myth and memory.

In the end, the Armenian Prime Minister's recent speech serves as a reminder of the enduring power of narratives in shaping perceptions and fueling conflicts. As the international community grapples with the challenges of fostering peace in the region, it must navigate the treacherous terrain of historical memory and contemporary geopolitics.

The future of the Caucasus hangs in the balance, suspended between the weight of the past and the promise of a more peaceful tomorrow.

Armenia receives most humanitarian aid from United States and EU countries, according to official statistics

 16:10, 8 February 2024

YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 8, ARMENPRESS. Armenia received in 2023 humanitarian aid worth $35,6 million from various countries.

Most of it, worth over $8,1 million, was sent by the United States, followed by Italy ($3,8 million) and Switzerland ($2,8 million) according to official data released by the Statistical Committee.

The volume of humanitarian aid sent to Armenia in 2023 decreased 58,8% compared to 2022.

Germany, China and France are the next top humanitarian aid donors with $2,1 million, $1,8 million and $1,3 million worth of goods respectively.

46,8% of the entire humanitarian aid came from EU countries, 22,8% from the U.S., only 0,1% from CIS countries, and the rest from other nations.

PM Pashinyan, Foreign Policy Advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader exchange views on security issues in the South Caucasus


YEREVAN, JANUARY 29, ARMENPRESS. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Monday met with Kamal Kharrazi, Foreign Policy Advisor to Iran's Supreme Leader and Head of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations of Iran.

According to the PM’s Office readout, Pashinyan emphasized the importance of Kamal Kharazi's visit to Armenia and expressed confidence that it would give a new impetus to the further development and strengthening of Armenia-Iran relations.

Nikol Pashinyan noted that they had agreed with the President of the Republic of Iran to take consistent steps in the direction of the continuous increase in the volume of trade turnover. At the same time, the Prime Minister mentioned that he fondly remembered the meeting with the Supreme Leader of Iran and asked to convey his warm greetings.

According to the source, the interlocutors discussed various issues related to the Armenia-Iran cooperation agenda. They related to political, economic relations, cooperation in energy, infrastructures and other fields and implementation of joint projects.

It is noted that ideas were exchanged on issues related to security and stability in the South Caucasus. The Prime Minister emphasized Armenia's key approaches on this issue.

In the context of unblocking infrastructures in the region, the PM Pashinyan lauded Iran's positive position regarding the Crossroads of Peace project developed by the Armenian government.

RFE/RL Armenian Service – 01/29/2024


Top Aide To Iran’s Khamenei Visits Armenia

Armenia - Kamal Kharrazi, an adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali 
Khamenei, meets Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian in Yerevan, January 29, 

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian praised Iran for supporting Armenia’s position on 
transport links with Azerbaijan when he met with a senior adviser to Iranian 
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Yerevan on Monday.

The official, Kamal Kharrazi, also heads Iran’s Strategic Council for Foreign 
Relations reportedly linked to Khamenei’s office. He had served as Iranian 
foreign minister from 1997-2005.

The Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict was high on the agenda of Kharrazi’s separate 
talks with Pashinian and Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan.

“Minister Mirzoyan presented Armenia’s approaches in detail, emphasizing the 
imperative of unconditional respect for Armenia’s territorial integrity, 
inviolability of borders and sovereignty,” said the Armenian Foreign Ministry.

Both Pashinian and Mirzoyan were reported to stress the importance of Tehran’s 
“positive” reaction to Yerevan’s “Crossroads of Peace” project which they view 
as a blueprint for opening the Armenian-Azerbaijani border to travel and 

The project says that Armenia and Azerbaijan should have full control of 
transport infrastructure inside each other’s territory. Iran’s Foreign Minister 
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian praised it during a December visit to Yerevan.

Azerbaijan afterwards renewed its demands for an extraterritorial corridor that 
would connect it to its Nakhichevan exclave through Syunik, the only Armenian 
region bordering Iran. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said people and cargo 
should be allowed to move through that corridor “without any checks.” Yerevan 
continues to reject those demands.

Iran has repeatedly warned against attempts to strip it of the common border and 
transport links with Armenia. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi reportedly told a 
visiting Azerbaijani official in October 2023 that the corridor sought by Baku 
is “resolutely opposed by Iran.” Khamenei likewise made this clear to Turkish 
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan when they met in Tehran in 2022.

Armenia’s position on the issue has been criticized by not only Azerbaijan and 
Turkey but also Russia, its longtime ally. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei 
Lavrov complained on January 18 that Yerevan opposes Russian control of a Syunik 
road and railway leading to Nakhichevan. Lavrov claimed that a Russian-brokered 
agreement that stopped the 2020 war in Karabakh calls for “neutral border and 
customs control” there. Armenian leaders deny this.

CSTO Decisions Still Not Signed By Armenia

Belarus - Russia's President Vladimir Putin poses for a photo with other leaders 
of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation during a meeting in the 
Belarusian capital Minsk, November 23, 2023.

Armenia has still not signed up to agreements reached by the other members of 
the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) during a November 
summit boycotted by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian, a senior official said on 

“The issue is under discussion,” Deputy Foreign Minister Vahan Kostanian told 
reporters. He gave no reason for the delay.

The decisions made by the presidents of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan 
and Tajikistan at the November 23 meeting in Minsk included the creation of CSTO 
member states’ new joint air-defense system. The secretary general of the 
military alliance, Imangali Tasmagambetov, submitted their copies to the 
Armenian government for consideration during a December visit to Yerevan. 
Tasmagambetov was only received by Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan.

Pashinian’s boycott of the Minsk summit highlighted Armenia’s growing 
estrangement from the CSTO, which is calling into question its continued 
membership in the bloc.

Armenia officially requested military aid from its CSTO allies after 
Azerbaijan’s offensive military operations launched along the 
Armenian-Azerbaijani border in September 2022. It has since repeatedly accused 
them of ignoring the request in breach of the CSTO’s statutes and declared 

Yerevan has not only shunned various-level CSTO meetings but also cancelled a 
CSTO exercise in Armenia slated for 2023, refused to name an Armenian deputy 
head of the organization and recalled the Armenian representative to its Moscow 
headquarters in September.

Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested in December that Armenia is not 
planning to leave the CSTO and attributed Yerevan’s boycott of the organization 
to internal “processes” taking place in the country. By contrast, the Russian 
Foreign Ministry earlier accused Pashinian of systematically “destroying” 
Russian-Armenian relations.

Pashinian Proposes Nonaggression Pact With Azerbaijan (UPDATED)

        • Shoghik Galstian
        • Ruzanna Stepanian

Armenia - Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian speaks during an Army Day celebation in 
Yerevan, .

Armenia is ready to sign a nonaggression pact with Azerbaijan and give other 
“guarantees” to Baku, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian said on Sunday.

The Azerbaijani government dismissed the proposals on Monday.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev demanded safeguards against Armenian 
“revanchism” in December, saying that an Armenian-Azerbaijani peace treaty would 
not be enough to preclude another war between the two countries. Pashinian 
expressed on January 20 readiness to meet this demand if Azerbaijan recognizes 
Armenia’s territorial integrity through that treaty “without any reservations.”

“We are ready to give such long-term and irreversible guarantees but expect the 
same guarantees from others,” he reiterated during an official event to mark the 
32nd anniversary of the official establishment of Armenia’s armed forces.

In that context, Pashinian pointed to a mutual withdrawal of Armenian and 
Azerbaijani troops from the border between the two countries which has been 
proposed by Yerevan and categorically rejected by Baku.

“We have also proposed to Armenia a demilitarization of the border and also a 
mutual mechanism for arms control and the also signing of a nonaggression 
agreement if it turns out that the signing of a peace treaty takes longer than 
expected,” he said.

Pashinian tried hard to negotiate the peace treaty after explicitly recognizing 
Azerbaijani sovereignty over Nagorno-Karabakh about a year ago. He kept pressing 
for such an accord even after Azerbaijan recaptured Karabakh and forced its 
entire population to flee to Armenia last September.

“The Republic of Armenia should identify itself with the territory on which it 
was recognized by the international community … We must state clearly and 
unequivocally that we do not and will not have any claims to any other 
territory, and this should become the strategic basis for ensuring Armenia's 
external security,” Pashinian said on Sunday.

The premier signaled on January 18 plans to try to enact a new Armenian 
constitution for that purpose, prompting scorn from opposition groups.

Commenting on Pashinian’s latest statement, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry 
claimed that the current Armenian constitution contains “encroachments on the 
territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan.” Instead of taking concrete 
steps to eliminate them, the Armenian government is voicing “proposals that make 
no practical sense,” a ministry spokesman said, adding that Yerevan is not 
serious about normalizing Armenian-Azerbaijani relations.

Azerbaijan remains reluctant to formally recognize Armenia’s current borders. In 
early January, Aliyev renewed his demands for Armenia to open an 
extraterritorial corridor to Azerbaijan’s Nakhichevan exclave. He also demanded 
Armenian withdrawal from “eight Azerbaijani villages” and again dismissed 
Yerevan’s insistence on using the most recent Soviet maps to delimit the 
Armenian-Azerbaijani border.

Pashinian rejected those demands, saying that they amount to territorial claims 
to Armenia. His foreign minister, Ararat Mirzoyan again spoke last week of 
“significant regression” in Baku’s position on the peace deal with Yerevan. 
Armenian opposition leaders insisted, for their part, that Pashinian cannot 
prevent another Azerbaijani attack on Armenia with what they see as additional 
concessions offered to Aliyev.

Lilit Galstian, a parliament deputy from the main opposition Hayastan alliance, 
said on Monday that the latest Armenian proposals to Baku revealed by Pashinian 
are further proof of the failure of his declared “peace agenda.”

“Nikol Pashinian … constantly throws out thoughts, new ideas which once again 
subject our society to further stress,” she told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service. “Not 
only has the peace process failed but we keep hearing aggressive rhetoric by 

Pashinian’s government is engaged in “inadequate behavior” in the face of 
Azerbaijani war preparations, she said.

Reposted on ANN/Armenian News with permission from RFE/RL
Copyright (c) 2024 Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, Inc.
1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.


Prime Minister Pashinyan sends birthday greetings to composer Tigran Mansurian


YEREVAN, JANUARY 27, ARMENPRESS. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has congratulated renowned composer, People’s Artist of Armenia, Tigran Mansurian on his 85th birthday.

In a letter to Mansurian, the Prime Minister praised the “master” for his “creative heights” and noted that his personal image commands respect and love.

"Dear master, I heartily congratulate you on your 85th birthday,” Pashinyan said in a letter to the composer published by his office. “Your life and biography, which started with emigration, was crowned with the achievement of creative heights, and continued with the activity of an intellectual of an independent state, is an amazing and instructive example of human victory and unwavering responsibility against fate, which deserves being demonstrated. Your personal image is a unique example of modesty and politeness that commands respect. Why are you so much beloved in the Republic of Armenia? Because in your music people see and recognize themselves, their emotions and feelings, pains and joys, disappointments and dreams. Armenians consider your music as their own, they also consider you as theirs, and this is the highest possible appreciation of a creator, intellectual, citizen. For me, your stories about your childhood years in Artik are unforgettable. In the near future, we plan to reconstruct Artik's cultural center bearing your name, implement a comprehensive program there, so that to form and develop an educational and cultural environment worthy of your name. Dear master, I am glad that today you continue to create with all your vigor. Congratulating you again, I wish health and endless creative joy to you.”

60 cases of pressure on journalists: analysis of the situation in Armenia in 2023

Jan 24 2024
  • JAMnews
  • Yerevan

Violations of journalists’ rights

In 2023, pressure on media increased in Armenia. Sixty such cases were recorded, which is 5 more than in 2022. This was reported by Ashot Melikyan, Head of the Committee for the Protection of Freedom of Speech.

He presented to his colleagues a report on the state of freedom of speech in the country, and violations of journalists’ rights and media resources in 2023.

  • Sixth arrest in the Abzas Media case in Azerbaijan
  • The broadcasting of “Sputnik Armenia” radio programs has been temporarily stopped. What’s the matter?
  • Insults against Pashinyan on “Channel One”. Will Russian channels be taken off the air?

Melikyan characterized the past year as a difficult one for media and journalists, as many important events took place in and around the country, and recalled last year’s mass protests and aggravated socio-political situation, the fierce struggle during the pre-election campaign for the Yerevan Council of Elders, which resulted in the election of a new Mayor of the capital.

Among the “alarming events” of 2023, about which Armenian society was expecting information on a daily basis, he named the blockade of Nagorno Karabakh, which lasted for almost 10 months. The media worked hard during the days of September hostilities, which Azerbaijan conducted in NK, and during the days when the entire Armenian population moved to Armenia.

According to the annual report published by the Committee for the Protection of Freedom of _expression_, last year there were cases of pressure on journalists, including manifestations of hatred and threats against media representatives.

However, according to Melikyan, there were “noticeably fewer cases of physical violence” against journalists in Armenia in 2023:

“6 cases were recorded, while in 2022 there were 14 cases.”

Melikyan is concerned about the fact that lately state bodies consider granting accreditation to journalists as a “work permit or a favor”. But the media expert considers even more negative the deprivation of accreditation of journalist of the opposition newspaper “Zhoghovurd” Knar Manukyan in the parliament:

“I can hardly remember if there has been any case of depriving a journalist of accreditation in the last 30 years. But this is the second case under the current government, and it is completely unjustified.”

The report of the Committee for the Protection of Freedom of _expression_ also refers to cases of restriction of freedom of information. State bodies unreasonably rejected requests from media representatives or gave insufficiently complete answers.

“In 2023, 135 cases of violation of the right to receive and disseminate information were recorded, in 2022 – 115. In all 135 cases, open information was required. State bodies did not provide it, or provided incomplete information, vague answers,” Melikyan stated.

He said that in all cases studied by the committee no information containing state or military secrets was requested:

“We analyze these data very carefully. If a media outlet or a journalist applied to a state body with a request for information containing state or military secrets and received a refusal, we do not consider it a violation. Since secrets are not subject to disclosure.”

The expert advises journalists in such cases to apply to the administrative court. He believes that this is necessary not only to obtain the necessary information from a public body, but also to bring it to justice.

The Committee monitors lawsuits against journalists and media resources. Melikyan says it is examining how well-founded the claim is, whether the court’s decision is fair and legal. A separate report will be published summarizing this data.

But already in 2023, more lawsuits were filed with the courts. There were 32 in 2022 and 36 in 2023. Journalists are accused most of all of disseminating offensive information or slander.

Melikyan emphasizes that most of the plaintiffs refused to publish a refutation or the possibility of a response before filing an application with the court.

However, the media expert considers out-of-court solutions more effective and prompt. In particular, he mentions the possibility applying to the Council on Information Disputes or the Supervisory Council on Ethics.