Armenian conscript reported killed

A private of the Armenian Armed Forces was fatally wounded and killed in a defense position on Thursday.
According to a press release by the Ministry of Defense, the deceased is Vladimir A Hayrapetyan, 19. A bullet which penetrated into the soldier’s skull from the forehead is said to have caused the death.
Hayrapetyan was drafted to the military in 2013.
A probe has been launched into the incident.
The ministry has extended its condolences to the family, friends and fellow servicemen of the soldier.


Armenian president hosts award-winning young students

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan on Friday received winners of local and international school contests and secondary school graduates honored with academic excellence medals.
Greeting the young guests, the president expressed his pride and esteem of the progressive generation’s talent.
“Our country’s future lies with you,” he said. “We all take pride in you; and no less than do your parents and teachers. I wish all our citizens were as duteous as you and able to effectively study and work.”
Praising the students’ success, the president encouraged them to continue working hard in future too to keep their achievements high.
Speaking to after the meeting, Zaruhi Hakobyan, a winner of the mathematics contestKangaroo, shared her impressions of the student competition. “It isn’t that difficult; once you start solving [a problem], you are equal with it. It isn’t impossible in any case. They are different from the problems we are taught at school, as the contest focuses on the logical aspect,” said the school-girl, adding that her dream is to become a chess-player.
An annual contest for students of secondary schools, Kangaroo this year had 1,469 participants, of whom 617 demonstrated the best results. Eight students were declared winners.
The past academic year saw 47 students leave secondary schools with medals. Twelve of them are residents of Yerevan.
Members of Armenian teams participating in international school contests have won 19 medals since January (9 silver and 10 bronze).

Armenia interested in developing ties with India – PM

Armenia’s prime minister expressed the country’s interest in developing and deepening relations with India, as he hosted the Indian ambassador in his office on Friday.
Greeting Suresh Babu Thadipaneni, Hovik Abrahamyan praised the current level of the bilateral inter-state ties and the potential of developing fruitful cooperation in future. “Armenia is interested in deepening and expanding its friendly relations with India. The big potential which our countries have in different sectors will help develop and strengthen the cooperation,” he told the guest.
Highlighting the importance of mutual visits, the premier said he hopes that they will impart an new stimulus to the developing partnership.

The sides further discussed a broad framework of issues regarding the development of trade-economic relations. The told unveiled a plan of Armenian IT companies’ visit to India for participating in a big exhibition.
At the end, PM Abrahamyan extended his gratitude to the Indian government for the implementation of educational programs in the regions of Tavush and Lori.
A memorandum of understanding aimed at computerizing the secondary schools of Vayots Dzor was later signed between Hayastan All-Armenian Fund and the Indian Embassy to Armenia. The deal also envisages the development of an internal network among educational institutions.

Erdogan not likely to visit Armenia in 2015 – opinions


The chances that Turkey’s new president will visit Yerevan next year to participate in the Genocide centennial commemoration events are very low given his nationalistic image, an Armenian Turkologist has said, commenting on Serzh Sargsyan’s invitation to Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“In the meantime, considering the team of professionals – image-makers and advisors, including [Prime Minister Ahmet] Davutoglu – I think the Turkish side will react in a certain way and take a counteraction in response to the Armenian side’s steps,” Ruben Melkonyan, a deputy dean at the Yerevan State University’s Oriental Studies Department, told, adding that he expects Turkey’s reaction to be limited only to commemoration events inside the country.
“It is quite possible that Erdogan will make semi-hypocritical condolence addresses and later visit a [commemoration] event. But he will do that not at his own will but upon his team’s recommendation.”
Asked whether he doesn’t expect Turkey to nonetheless join the commemorations in Yerevan on the level of another government official, Melkonyan said he thinks that it will depend on the political situation. He said any possible decision to send a lower-ranking representative to the country in 2015 would be an attempt by Turkey to turn the situation to its advantage by creating the image of a tolerant and civilized state. “And we can make no doubt that such a visit – if it takes place at all – will be accompanied by statements counteracting the truth in an attempt to draw parallels between the Armenian Genocide and the losses suffered by Turkey,” he noted.
Commenting on the issue, Turkologist Hakob Chakryan also ruled out the possibility of Erdogan’s visit to Armenia in 2015. “For Erdogan to visit Armenia, Turkey has to first of all abandon its policies of Genocide denial. The Turkish parliament has to accept the fact of Genocide, and the president has to give his approval to it. Without that, Turkey will not decide on any visit to Armenia,” he said.
Asked whether he thinks that Turkey’s foreign minister or any other cabinet member may respond to the official invitation, Chakryan repeated his statement that no Turkish official is likely to ever visit Armenia unless that country changes its stance on the Genocide issue.
“Many journalists may come to check how the centennial events are being held, but no official representative will be present. A mayor’s [visit] may the maximum,” he added.

Armenia: Opel tumbles into gorge after highway crash


A representative for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Friday confirmed the report about the transfer of an Armenian captiveto a third state from Azerbaijan.
In comments to the Public Television of Armenia, Valery Yarmak, a delegate of the ICRC Office in Yerevan, said the Committe had been informed that Hakob Injighulyan left Azerbaijan’s territory on August 7.
The state news agency Armenpress reports that ICRC representatives visited Injighulyan while he was in the country to organize the transfer in accordance with the accepted procedures. The family is said to have been immediately reported on the handover.
Yarmak did not report any details on the return of the dead body of Karen Petrosyan, the resident of Armenia’s Chinari village (Tavush region) who was held captive and later reported dead in Azerbaijan after accidentally crossing the eastern border.

Injigghulyan, a serviceman serving in Nagorno-Karabakh, was captured by Azerbaijani soldiers on August 7, 2013 after crossing into the country, having lost bearings on the terrain.

Mine exploitation plan raises wave of protest in Armenian village

Villagers in the southern region of Vayots Dzor are going to organize a protest action against a plan to exploit a gold mine close to their community.
Speaking to, the mayor of Gndevaz, Hayrapet Mkrtchyan, said the project aimed at launching the mine of Amulsar has angered the local youth who are concerned about the arable lands’ future. “The village’s youth has initiated this protest action. Our demand is to understand the technologies of exploitation. The major part of our lands goes to the exploiters. So what will become of the villagers if the stay in the village? What are they supposed to do?” he told
The residents of other village communities in the region are not unanimous on the idea. “I cannot say how many of them are four and how many are against. Some want it; others do not. Some of the people are concerned about the village’s future, while others think there will be workplaces for the villagers,” Mkrtchyan noted.
The village mayor added he personally does not support the mine project. “The project has been submitted to us to let us know how and where the mines are going to be exploited and whether they will be open or close,” he added.
The fact that Gndevaz is in a risk zone was confirmed later by Inga Zarafyan, an environmental activist. “Risks in Gndevaz are rather high, as there are plans to build a cyanide factory there,” she said, pointing out to hazards to other villages as well.
She described mine exploitation plan as a big strategic threat to Armenia’s water resources, biodiversity and soil layers.
Levon Galstyan, another environmentalist whom we contacted for comments, also admitted the negative impact of the project. “The mine may affect the Vorotan river’s basin. If it also affects the water reservoir in Kechut, that will have its impact on [lake] Sevan,” he said.
As for the conflict of interest among different villagers, Galstyan noted that most people agree to work in the mine for X sums of money.
The environmentalist said he knows that 15,000 people in Armenia work in mining industries, the number being less than one percent of the country’s population.
“Seven hundred jobs are due open in Amulsar; some 400 [of the workforce] will be probably from the neighboring villages as there are no specialists in those villages at all. We expose an entire country to pollution for just 400 jobs, turning hectares of land lots into unusable land areas. We don’t have those estimates; a mine similar to the one in Amulsar could not be exploited in any normal country,” Galstyan noted.
Vahan Mkrtchyan, a resident of Gndevaz who owns a land lot, said he is ready to sell it to mine exploiters, citing the need of creating jobs to prevent migration. “Yes, I am ready to give them my yard for money,” he told our correspondent.
International Finance Corporation and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development are shareholders of Lydian International Ltd, the main company which owns the 100% package of Geoteam, a CJSC responsible for the Amulsar mine project’s implementation in Armenia.

Armenia’s border communities need not only soldiers but also population – opinions


The proposal to grant privileges to the population of Armenia’s border villages is being treated differently by different regional governors.
Rafik Grigoryan, the governor of the eastern region of Gegharkunik, says he strongly supports the legal measure initiated by the Government and the parliamentary political forces.
“The border villages do, of course, need any kind of assistance, but I think it would be right to treat the tax exemption and free economic zone concepts separately. It has to serve its purpose to prevent people from trying to evade taxes and encourage them instead to create jobs to strengthen the border not only with the help of soldiers but also residents,” he told
Asked whether he thinks that a villager today is capable of launching a private business, the regional governor admitted that the population in villages is not often skilled enough to be confident about the business’ future. “But a villager does not have to … Why don’t people come to make investments targeted at the border villages? Then the villagers will work with that business,” he noted.
The Gegharkunik governor pointed out particularly to the increasing birth rate in the region, noting that the trend shows positive signs for the future too.
Commenting on the issue, the governor Vayots Dzor, Edgar Ghazaryan, said he doesn’t think legislative solutions are necessary.
“We had internal debates in government, so our opinion was asked. I don’t think that we need a new law to be adopted, for example” he said.
Ghazaryan particularly highlighted the situation in Khachik, a border community where he said apartment-building problems always receive a due attention by the government.
As for business investments, the regional governor said any job creation project not related to agricultural manufacturing has been a private initiative not linked to the government policies.
The region has 13 border communities all of which have a permanent population.
Introducing the key concepts of the legal initiative, Vahram Baghdasaryan of the ruling Republican faction in parliament said the preliminary amount of assistance is within the range of 1-2 million US Dollars.
“It is still under discussion. The proposals we have sent contain two options: tax exemption or exemption from bills in general, free supply of textbooks and increased lump sum payments,” he explained.
As for the possibility of creating free economic zones, Baghdasaryan said he thinks that the budgetary resources need to be considered properly before deciding on such a plan.
The bill, signed by the four parliamentary factions, has been already submitted to the Government.
Baghdasaryan said he hopes that the measure will take effect until the debates for next year’s budgetary allocations.