Central Bank of Armenia: exchange rates and prices of precious metals – 06-12-23

 17:09, 6 December 2023

YEREVAN, 6 DECEMBER, ARMENPRESS. The Central Bank of Armenia informs “Armenpress” that today, 6 December, USD exchange rate up by 0.15 drams to 403.10 drams. EUR exchange rate down by 1.54 drams to 434.94 drams. Russian Ruble exchange rate down by 0.05 drams to 4.35 drams. GBP exchange rate down by 1.30 drams to 507.87 drams.

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

Gold price down by 323.19 drams to 26222.54 drams. Silver price down by 11.48 drams to 314.54 drams.

Chair Cardin Presses Administration to Hold Azerbaijan Accountable for Violations in Nagorno-Karabakh

Dec 5 2023

“I write to ensure that we remain focused on holding the Aliyev regime accountable for its brazen campaign of ethnic cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh”

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, recently sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging him to remain focused on holding the Aliyev regime accountable for ethnic cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh and to continue the United States’ support for Armenians who were forced to flee the region.

As reported by Joe Gould of Politico, “Senate Foreign Relations Chair Ben Cardin is upping pressure on Antony Blinken in a new letter urging that the Secretary of State get tougher on Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev over Baku’s ‘brazen campaign of ethnic cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh.’”

“National Endowment for Democracy CEO Damon Wilson argued Cardin’s letter is not a clash with Blinken, but leverage for him to address those concerns,” reported Gould. “Not only are there still Azerbaijani troops on Armenian territory but Baku is, internally, cracking down on its critics.”

“That’s an important factor when we want to see Azerbaijan not overplay its hand and encroach on Armenian sovereignty and stand down,” Wilson told Gould of Chair Cardin’s letter. “Those are things that Baku has to hear directly from Washington on.”

“I remain deeply concerned that Azerbaijan could take further military action to achieve additional political gains, particularly in regards to the so-called Zangezour corridor,” wrote Chair Cardin to Secretary Blinken. “I strongly encourage you to continue to work with international partners and organizations to support accountability for the Aliyev regime’s actions.”

“It is critically important that the United States continues our commitment to prevent the commission of atrocities, protect vulnerable civilians, and hold those responsible for atrocities accountable for their actions,” continued Cardin in his letter. “We must send a clear message to those who believe they can operate with impunity.”

Politico’s reporting can be read here.

A copy of the letter can be found here and below:

Dear Secretary Blinken,

While terrible tragedies elsewhere have diverted the world’s attention, I write to ensure that we remain focused on holding the Aliyev regime accountable for its brazen campaign of ethnic cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh and continue to support Armenians who were forced to flee.

As you are well aware, in September 2023, President Ilham Aliyev launched a military campaign that drove around 100,000 Armenians out of their homes, and during which Azerbaijani forces reportedly killed and wounded civilians. These attacks were not only a clear violation of the November 2020 ceasefire but also reportedly involved heinous atrocities.

Prior to the military invasion, Azerbaijan was effectively imposing a humanitarian blockade on the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, preventing the delivery of food, medicine, and basic humanitarian supplies. Beyond the blockade, the State Department’s 2022 Human Right Report cites numerous reports of Azerbaijani forces committing extrajudicial killings of Armenians. Furthermore, both before and after September, Azerbaijan has continued its well-documented practice of seizing and destroying Armenian cultural property in areas it controls, in further pursuit of its efforts to erase Armenian history and culture.

While Azerbaijan thus far is abiding by the terms of the September 20, 2023 ceasefire, I remain deeply concerned that Azerbaijan could take further military action to achieve additional political gains, particularly in regards to the so-called Zangezour corridor.

I strongly encourage you to continue to work with international partners and organizations to support accountability for the Aliyev regime’s actions. Specifically, I would like to know what steps you have taken and plan to take regarding the following:

  • Supporting efforts to substantiate and collect evidence regarding the Aliyev regime’s potential commission of war crimes and other atrocities;
  • Holding Azerbaijani officials accountable for any such acts, including the application of potential sanctions and visa restrictions;
  • Urging appropriate international justice tribunals to pursue accountability for Azerbaijani officials;
  • Making clear to Azerbaijan that aggression against its neighbors is unacceptable;
  • Supporting Armenians displaced in the September 2023 assault;

It is critically important that the United States continues our commitment to prevent the commission of atrocities, protect vulnerable civilians, and hold those responsible for atrocities accountable for their actions. We must send a clear message to those who believe they can operate with impunity.

I look forward to your response.

Armenian President’s speech expected at COP28

 12:36, 1 December 2023

DUBAI, DECEMBER 1, ARMENPRESS. President of Armenia Vahagn Khachaturyan will deliver a speech today at Day 1 of COP28 – the 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Dubai, UAE.

COPs take place every year, and are the world’s only multilateral decision-making forum on climate change with almost complete membership of every country in the world.  

The COP is where the world comes together to agree on ways to address the climate crisis, such as limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, helping vulnerable communities adapt to the effects of climate change, and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

ARF of Eastern USA Central Committee meets with Catholicos Aram I

ARF of Eastern USA Central Committee with His Holiness Catholicos Aram I (l-r): ARF CC member Steve Mesrobian, Vicar of the Eastern Prelacy Very Rev. Fr. Sahag Yemishyan, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy H.E. Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Catholicos Aram I, ARF CC members Ani Tchaghlasian and George Aghjayan, ARF Executive Director Maral Choloyan and Relations Committee member Hrair Baronian

NEW YORK—The Central Committee of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) of Eastern USA met with His Holiness Catholicos Aram I on Tuesday, November 21 before his departure from New York.

During the meeting, the ARF CC members and the Catholicos discussed the genocide in Artsakh and its aftermath, including the internal political situation in Armenia and lack of governmental support for the displaced people from Artsakh. Additionally, there was an emphasis on the toll that the war, the loss of Artsakh and the domestic political situation have taken on the diaspora, along with the need to reinvigorate diaspora communities.

The ARF members discussed continuing efforts in support of Artsakh and its displaced Armenian population through political advocacy (Hai Tahd) and humanitarian relief. Catholicos Aram I outlined the Holy See of Cilicia’s endeavors on behalf of Artsakh, focusing on his political efforts, including with the Vatican.

Finally, the group discussed possible areas of collaboration, including aid to the displaced people of Artsakh and the need to reorganize and refocus diasporan communities, in particular communities in the eastern region.

‘Artsakh Issue’ Does Not Exist for Armenia, Parliament Speaker Blabs to Reporters

Artsakh residents crammed onto and inside a truck leaving for Armenia (Reuters photo)

Armenia’s Parliament Speaker Alen Simonyan, who has become a loose cannon with his statements that often contradict official Yerevan, told reporters on Tuesday that the “Artsakh Issue” does not exist for Armenia.

He explained that by recognizing Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity that includes Baku’s sovereignty over Artsakh, that the self-determination for the people of Artsakh was no longer an issue for Armenia.

“We have already said this eight times in the last year or two. What else needs to be said?” the parliament speaker lashed out at reporters.

Simonyan’s comments came days before the 32nd anniversary of a referendum in Artsakh by which the declaration of independence was ratified by the majority of Artsakh citizens.

He said, currently, Armenia’s main objective is to sign a peace treaty with Azerbaijan, emphasizing that the Artsakh issue was resolved in 2016, presumably referring to the Four-Day war in April of that year.

However, just last week, Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mnatsakan Safaryan said that the issue of the rights of Artsakh Armenians is “on the agenda” of Yerevan’s dealings with Baku and international mediators. This sentiment has also been expressed by Armenia’s Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan, who has been pushing this matter in his diplomatic discussions with world leaders.

Simonyan said that Armenia is ready to sign a peace treaty based on international norms.

“The ball is now in Azerbaijan’s court. And if Azerbaijan declares at the presidential level that they are ready, the peace treaty is ready. The international partners who had a meeting with the president of Azerbaijan said, at the meeting with me, that he also said that 80 percent [of the peace treaty] is ready. If desired, the peace treaty can be signed within the next 15 days if the government of Azerbaijan really shows political will,” Simonyan declared.

Last month, President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan insisted and claimed, during talks with the President of the European Council Charles Michel, that Armenia is occupying eight Azerbaijani villages and demanded their immediate return. This announcement sparked long-dormant issue of the so-called enclaves that exist within both republics since the 1990s.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan cautiously addressed that issue by bringing up the Artsvashen region of Armenia, which has been under Azerbaijani control since the 1990s. Foreign Minister Mirzoyan and other diplomats have not made Yerevan’s official position clear. They have only insisted that Azerbaijan also recognize Armenia’s territorial integrity.

Yet, Speaker Simonyan, on Tuesday declared that Armenia was ready to “return” any so-called enclaves to Azerbaijan.

“We [Armenia] are ready to return their [Azerbaijanis] enclaves, and they must return our Artsvashen. I do not rule out that we will find some solution and, for example, what is on this side of the border will stay here, what is on the other side of the border will stay there. For example, the area of Artsvashen is much larger than the two or three enclaves that Azerbaijan is talking about,” Simonyan told reporters.

“If there is peace, Armenia will be able to oversee and provide with its own forces those few small territories that can become an exclave from Armenia. Azerbaijan should do the same. We do everything in the logic of equality,” added Simonyan.

A time will come when Armenians and Azerbaijanis must live side by side, Simonyan said. “We hope for it and will do everything to that end.”

“Armenians and Azerbaijanis need to be able to conduct trade, I do not rule out that some [Armenian] people will return to their homes in the territory of Azerbaijan, I do not rule out that after some time Azerbaijanis will come and settle here,” Simonyan added.

When asked whether such a clause is included in the peace agreement being worked out with Azerbaijan, the speaker of the Armenian legislature responded that he had not come upon such a clause.

IDBank issues the 3rd tranche of dollar bonds of 2023

 17:08, 21 November 2023

YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 21, ARMENPRESS. On November 20, 2023, IDBank placed registered coupon bonds under the abbreviation AMANLBB2NER4 through a public offering on the following terms:


  • Total volume – 5 million dollars
  • Annual interest rate – 4.25%
  • Bond maturity – 27 months
  • Bonds will be paid quarterly
  • Maturity date – February 20, 2026.


The bonds will be placed from November 20, 2023 to January 19, 2024 inclusive.

After the placement, the bonds will be listed in the "Armenian Stock Exchange" OJSC. The bonds will be quoted through the Marketmaker.

As you know, bonds can be easily purchased online in a few clicks, without visiting a Bank branch. To purchase bonds, you just need to go to the "Bonds" section on the IDBanking.am online platform, select the type and number of bonds and make a purchase.

After purchasing the bonds, full information about them will be available in the Idram&IDBank application: the "Bonds" section of the “Banking Services” section provides the distinguishing code, quantity, face value, annual coupon yield, coupon payment date and maturity date of the bonds.

You can get all information about the bonds by following the link.

The Bond prospectus was registered by the CBA, resolution N1/489А of the Chairman of the CBA from October 7, 2022. The electronic version of the prospectus and the final terms of issue are available .



Azerbaijan calls French statement on ICJ decision on Karabakh ‘irrelevant, unacceptable’

Anadolu Agency, Turkey
Nov 20 2023
Burc Eruygur


Azerbaijan said Sunday that a statement issued by the French Foreign Ministry about a decision last week by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) regarding the situation in Karabakh is “irrelevant and unacceptable.”

The ICJ issued an order on Friday which stipulates that Baku should ensure the safety of those who wish to depart Karabakh and that those who wish to stay must remain “free from the use of force or intimidation that may cause them to flee.”

The French Foreign Ministry said this corresponds to the position of Paris.

The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said “France’s disregard for the rejection by the Court of most of the unlawful requests by Armenia is another vivid example of double-standards and bias against Azerbaijan.”

“It is lamentable that this country, which has presented itself as the greatest advocate of justice and order, misinterprets and meddles in the Court’s affairs on a matter that has nothing to do with France,” it added.

It said that France should “focus on the implementation of orders that are related to it, including with regard to its notorious colonial policy and illegal acts, including related to nuclear tests.”

“Unlike France, Azerbaijan takes its international obligations seriously,” it added.


Any encroachment against a place of worship is condemnable and unacceptable, says Armenian Ombudsperson


YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 17, ARMENPRESS. Any encroachment against a place of worship is unacceptable and condemnable, Human Rights Defender of Armenia Anahit Manasyan has said, expressing concern over the attempted arson targeting a synagogue’s entrance in Yerevan.

She stressed that the investigation into the incident must reveal whether the alleged attack was a hate crime.

The Ombudsperson also stressed that the protection of the rights of national minorities, and their safety, must be guaranteed in Armenia.

"Armenia was only reacting to challenges": on the situation after the 2020 war

Nov 9 2023

  • JAMnews
  • Yerevan

Armenia’s and NK’s mistakes

On November 9, three years ago, the leaders of Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan signed a trilateral declaration that cemented the cessation of hostilities in Karabakh, the so-called second Karabakh war. However, in September 2023 Baku launched a military operation in the disputed territory that remained under Armenian control. Almost the entire Armenian population, more than 100 thousand people, left their homes.

What steps should the Armenian side have taken after signing the 2020 ceasefire statement in Karabakh to prevent this situation, what mistakes were made by the authorities of Armenia and the unrecognized NKR? Political scientist Tigran Grigoryan answered these questions.

  • “Apart from Armenia, no one needs the Crossroads of Peace.” Opinion from Yerevan
  • The unrecognised NKR will cease to exist on 1 January by its own decision
  • Arayik Harutyunyan and other leaders of unrecognized regime in Karabakh arrested

The political analyst believes that, as early as 2018, it was obvious that Azerbaijan was preparing for war. Aliyev had a great temptation to solve the issue militarily. The military balance was badly disturbed, and more could be achieved by war than through negotiations.

“The [Pashinyan] government had no experience in foreign policy, in the security sphere, and did not know the details of the Karabakh issue. All these circumstances contributed at least to the acceleration of the processes.”

Grigoryan says that instead of trying to postpone the war, to buy time, to strengthen Armenia’s military and diplomatic capabilities, everything was done to provoke Azerbaijan, and recalls Pashinyan’s statements about bringing about a revolution in Azerbaijan following the example of Armenia, starting negotiations from zero, saying that “Artsakh is Armenia, and that’s it.”

“This is how Aliyev’s arguments that the opponent is destructive and it is impossible to negotiate with him were legitimized. Of course, the international conjuncture also suited Azerbaijan very well: the pandemic, the US elections,” he says.

He considers the July aggravation in the Tavush direction of the border a big mistake. He says that on the eve of the war it gave the impression to the country’s security decision-makers that “the Armenian army has become a significant factor in the region”.

JAMnews talked to Armenian and Azerbaijani experts, interviewed people in Baku and Yerevan, Karabakh Armenians told their stories and how they plan to live their lives in the future

Tigran Grigoryan believes that the resignations of the leaders of Amenia and the unrecognized NKR after the signing of the November statement could have had a positive impact on the situation.

“If the change of power [in Nagorno-Karabakh] had taken place at that time and a more effective team had come to power, everything could have been organized more thoughtfully. Another question is whether there was such a team in Artsakh. And the prolonged change of power, which ended in September 2023, did not contribute to the success of the processes, but on the contrary, accelerated the collapse.”

The analyst also believes that former president of the unrecognized NKR Araik Harutyunyan pursued a “rather problematic personnel policy”, with problems related to decision-making.

“The country was on the verge of collapse, but all forces were busy with some internal political problems.”

Conflictologist Arif Yunusov does not exclude that in case of the beginning of military actions on the part of Azerbaijan on the territory of Armenia, Western partners may resort to sanctions against Baku

This applies especially to the period after the defeat in the 44-day war. Grigoryan says that, theoretically, after November 9, someone from the ruling “Civil Contract” party could have changed the prime minister, and this would have contributed to the improvement of Armenia’s “negotiating position”. At the same time, he notes that the party cannot exist without Pashinyan.

He says that there is a political situation in the country which makes it impossible to change power and “the arrival of any healthy forces”. He explains this as follows:

“On the one hand, you have a defeated government, incompetent in negotiations, foreign policy and security issues. On the other hand, you have representatives of the previous government who also contributed to the disaster. In the end, you get a snap election in 2021, when the defeated government is re-elected.”

And this created a feeling in the international community that Armenian society “has accepted the defeat, according to the government’s policy”. At the same time, he emphasizes that the ruling party ran in those elections with a different agenda and then changed it on key issues.

Main provisions of the statement adopted at the end of the Pashinyan-Macron-Scholz-Michel quadrilateral meeting, as well as a commentary by an Armenian political scientist

In Grigoryan’s opinion, the two Armenian sides did not show a strategic approach. He states that the Armenian government was constantly changing its position on the Karabakh issue and the country’s security.

“There was not a single case when the government had any idea what at least its next step would be. It has always been in the role of responding to challenges, processes initiated by Azerbaijan.”

And the leadership of the unrecognized republic, according to the political scientist, had the impression that they “by and large have no functions, they have nothing to do.”

“The perception was that the Russians guarantee local security, and everything must be done to please them.”

Among such actions, Grigoryan named the decision on the official status of the Russian language. In the same context he considers President Araik Harutyunyan’s welcoming of Russia’s recognition of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics, which he considers “a serious mistake”.

The British expert expressed his opinion on the Karabakh conflict, recent developments in Nagorno-Karabakh, and the future of Armenians who left their homeland

According to the analyst, with the outbreak of the war in Ukraine a “power vacuum” was created in the South Caucasus which Azerbaijan took advantage of. He believes that in addition to the fact that Russia has fully concentrated its resources on Ukraine, its interests in the region have also changed:

“At some stage Russia, having simply failed to convince or impose its approaches on Azerbaijan, adopted Baku’s approach, placing all responsibility for the situation on the Armenian authorities”.

He believes that if not for the Ukrainian war, Azerbaijan would have been much more restrained and cautious in its decisions. He believes that before the September 2023 military operation Baku periodically “probed Moscow’s red lines”. In the end, it became convinced that it would face no opposition if force were used.

“We can say that to some extent they even reached an agreement with the Russian Federation on this issue.”


Catholicos Aram I of the Great House of Cilicia visits Eastern US Armenian Communities

NEW YORK—Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate of the Eastern Armenian Prelacy, has announced with great anticipation the visit of His Holiness Catholicos Aram I of the Great House of Cilicia to Armenian communities on the east coast of the United States. 

“At this time of turmoil internationally and in Armenia, Vehapar is taking this long journey to bring his message of faith and hope, and also to express his great support to Artsakh and its brave people,” the Prelate stated. 

The Catholicos arrived at Dulles Airport in Washington D.C., on Monday, November 6, and will remain until Tuesday, November 21, when he will depart from New York’s JFK Airport. His schedule is packed with welcoming Hrashapar services, visits, lectures and meetings with religious, humanitarian and governmental leaders.  

In the nation’s capital, the Catholicos will give the opening prayer in the U.S. Congress on Thursday, November 9, pay visits to the Lebanese and Armenian embassies, present a lecture at George Washington University on Friday, November 10, and conduct a youth forum on Saturday, November 11. On Sunday, November 12, he will celebrate the Divine Liturgy at Soorp Khatch Church in Bethesda, Maryland. 

Catholicos Aram I will then visit the church communities of Philadelphia, including the Armenian Sisters’ Academy; New Jersey, including the Armenian Missionary Association of America and the Hovnanian School; Troy, New York; New Britain, Connecticut; and New York City, including the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.

The Powerful 24 Translations

On Saturday, November 18, there will be a unique and profound ecumenical service at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in New York, honoring the 850th anniversary of St. Nerses Shnorhali, a renowned priest, poet and musician. His legendary and holy “I Confess in Faith” will be recited in 24 languages during the Ecumenical Service, followed by a fellowship hour in the church hall and a youth conference at St. Sarkis Church in Douglaston, New York.

On Sunday, November 19, Bishop Torkom Donoyan, Prelate of the Western Prelacy, will celebrate the Divine Liturgy at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral with the Catholicos, delivering the homily. A Thanksgiving gala banquet will follow at the Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Center, with a reception at 2 p.m. and a luncheon at 3 p.m. 

The trip will conclude with several board meetings at the Armenian Prelacy with the Karagheusian Foundation, the Armenian Medical Fund Board, the Near East Foundation Board and with Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, as well as with a visit to St. Vladimir’s Seminary.

Born in Beirut in 1947, Catholicos Aram I was consecrated leader of the Great House of Cilicia in 1995. His extensive educational background includes studies at the American University of Beirut, the Ecumenical Institute in Switzerland, England’s Oxford University and New York’s Fordham University, where he earned two master’s degrees and a Doctorate of Philosophy.

His Holiness Catholicos Aram I of the Great House of Cilicia

A prolific writer of many articles and books in Armenian, English and French, he was an early advocate of the international ecumenical movement. A multi-year member of the World Council of Churches, he is currently one of its eight presidents and one of the founding members of the Middle East Council of Churches, serving as its president since 2007.

The Catholicos first visited the Eastern Prelacy in 1997. This was followed by visits in 2001 for the 1700th anniversary of Christian Armenia; 2005 for the 75th anniversary of the Cilician See’s Theological Seminary; 2012 for a Pontifical visit; 2015 for the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide; and 2016 for the 20th anniversary of his spiritual leadership as Catholicos.

A Commissioned Trip to Artsakh Refugees

The Eastern Prelacy Prelate, Archbishop Tanielian, recently returned from a trip to Armenia, with a group commissioned by Catholicos Aram I. The group also included Bishop Donoyan, Jirair Habibian of the Prelacy of the Arab Gulf Countries, and Hagop Lousararian, member of the Executive Council of the Lebanon Prelacy.

The group had meetings with Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II and refugees from Artsakh in several provinces, especially among the 40,000 refugees in the Kotayk province, giving them cash donations.

Archbishop Tanielian pointed out that Kotayk is especially unique in that it has no borders with any neighboring countries.

His Eminence called the trip to the Artsakh refugees “emotionally devastating. Not only have they lost their homes, schools, churches and been cut off from their ancestral land, but they cannot visit the tombs of their loved ones. And now they don’t know what the future holds. This is a renewal of the Genocide.”

Regarding the current trip of Catholicos Aram I to the eastern U.S. communities, Archbishop Tanielian stated, “The presence of Catholicos Aram I in this current situation will bring us, especially the young generation, new hope and faith in our community at large, as well as a new understanding of the Diasporan role in pan-Armenian advancement.”