Resident of Armenian border village hit by sniper bullet

An elderly resident of Movses, a border village in the north-eastern region of Tavush, was injured Wednesday afternoon by a sniper bullet fired by Azerbaijan’s armed forces.

In a Facebook post, the Defense Ministry’s spokesperson, Artsrun Hovhannisyan, says that the man is identified as Levon H Andreasyan, 85.

He is now reported to be under treatment in the hospital of Berd town.

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Armenian FM receives CSTO Sec Gen

Armenian FM Edward Nalbandian received on Wednesday Secretary General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Nikolay Bordyuzha.

Armenia highlights cooperation within the CSTO, which is an important security component and will make consistent efforts to strengthen the alliance within the CSTO.

The sides discussed the implementation of decisions approved at the Security Council’s meeting last December and foreign policy issues of the CSTO member-states.

Mr Bordyuzha expressed his deep concern over the recent tension on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and on the Line of Contact. He reiterated the CSTO’s commitment to a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

US move to cut aid to Armenia unlikely to have negative implications – economist

The Obama administration’s decision to reduce its annual aid to Armenia to a record low is not likely to have economic implications, an Armenian economist has said, considering the move too symbolic to require any consideration.

 
“The aid is supplied also to many post-Soviet and developing countries which demonstrate a political will to establish democracy, implement reforms and so on,” Tatul Manasaryan told Tert.am, ruling out pessimistic scenarios.

Instead, the economist called for viewing the issue in a comparative perspective. “The second platform is that the dynamically changing world sees also priorities changing, so naturally, humanitarian aid is now much more important – objectively and subjectively – due to the developments in Ukraine,” he said, pointing out to the country’s priority-based approach.

The economist said he isn’t inclined to attribute all that to Armenia’s membership in the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), noting that the United States has been traditionally maintaining high-level relations with the country.

“Its manifestation is not only that aid – which I find important but not decisive – but also the rhythmic consistent development in all spheres of relations,” he explained.

Recalling the one-time tensions in the Iran-West relations, the economist noted that Armenia had never before been viewed as an ally of the Islamic Republic or faced any restriction at all.

“In this respect, the United States and the West have the appropriate understanding, which means they do not link the relations with Armenia to third countries. These are direct relations,” he said, adding that the same also applies to Armenia’s EEU membership.

“The important thing is that Armenia will continue developing its relations with third countries. I think the United States’ approach is a quite positively evaluated phenomenon. After all, we ourselves choose the path to development, the possible ways and the friend countries. I find that the United States has an adequate and commensurate approach to all those fundamental issues,” Manaseryan noted.

Warning against any attempt of protests against what he called a good-will gesture by a foreign country, the economist said he finds that the issue would really deserve attention in case Azerbaijan were to receive more funding.

Azerbaijan keeps its villages under fire – Armenian defense ministry spokesman

 

A spokesperson for Armenia’s Ministry of Defense has shared news of new Azerbaijani armed provocations.

“The Azerbaijani side kept opening fire in the direction of their villages Parakhli and Ghishchi,” Artsrun Hovhannisyan wrote on Facebook.

In an earlier post, the spokesperson warned of intensive shellings against Parakhli from Azerbaijani defense positions stationed but a short distance from Armenia’s north-eastern region of Tavush.

“That’s yet another provocation by Azerbaijan,” Hovhannisyan said.

Azerbaijani family which sought political asylum in Armenia leaves

 

The five-member Azerbaijani family, which last year requested a political asylum in Armenia, has now left the country, the State Migration Agency’s chief told Tert.am, without giving further details.

Asked where the family has gone and why, Gagik Yeganyan only replied that they are exercising their right to free movement. “A refugee – whether form Azerbaijan, Syria or elsewhere –  is not obliged to inform any authorized governmnet body of his or her departure,” he said.

The family, consisting of a father, mother and three kids, requested an asylum on the territory of Armenia from the customs checkpoint of Bagratashen (Armenia=Georgia border) on January 29, 2014.

Armenia’s domestic political life in ‘standby mode’ – expert

The OSCE Minsk Group’s statement addressed to Azerbaijan is the result of Armenian diplomats’ effective work, political scientist Alexander Iskandaryan told reporters on Friday.

He also points out a great role of developments.

“The Minsk Group’s mission is to maintain the status quo. The Minsk Group is now doing what it meets its interests,” he said.

According to him, the Minsk Group’s current policy is unsatisfactory.

On the other hand, the Minsk Groups work is extremely difficult now. The causes are the general situation, declining oil prices, a global crisis and Russia-West confrontation, border tension and so on.

Also, no important domestic political events are taking place in Armenia. Armenia’s political life is in the “standby mode” now.

All the important events happened last year.

“Preparations for the Armenian Genocide centennial is of importance now,” Mr Iskandaryan said.