Russia Sees No Karabakh Customs Posts

The chief of Russia’s Federal Customs Service appeared to have confirmed on Friday that Armenia will not start collecting duties from goods imported from Nagorno-Karabakh after joining the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).

Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev raised the possibility of Armenia setting up customs posts on its border with the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) earlier this year. Citing Azerbaijani concerns, Nazarbayev demanded in May that the accession treaty with Armenia mention its internationally recognized borders that do not include Karabakh.

The treaty, which was signed by Nazarbayev and his Russian, Belarusian and Armenian counterparts at an EEU summit on October 10, contains no such special references. Armenian officials have said that Yerevan does not plan to set up customs checkpoints with Karabakh.

Tsarukian Signals Caution In Anti-Government Campaign

Gagik Tsarukian avoided demanding President Serzh Sarkisian’s resignation or snap elections on Friday as his Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) and two other major opposition groups again rallied tens of thousands of supporters in Yerevan.

Tsarukian made clear that their ongoing anti-government campaign will not turn into nonstop street protests for the time being. “I’m declaring today that there will be no sit-ins until our trio reaches an agreement,” he told a large crowd that gathered in the city’s Liberty Square. “If there is a need for that there will be a sit-in. We will discuss that issue at the next rally.”

The tycoon stressed that “haste won’t lead to success.” He argued that Sarkisian has already made a concession to the opposition by deciding to “delay” controversial plans to amend the Armenian constitution.

Crimea-Armenia Flights ‘Not Permitted’ By Yerevan

The Armenian government said on Friday that it has not allowed a Russian regional airline to launch controversial flights from Crimea to Armenia that could prompt criticism from Ukraine and even the European Union.

Nevertheless, the Grozny Air carrier based in the Russian autonomous republic of Chechnya seemed to be pressing ahead with the launch of a regular service between Yerevan and Simferopol, the Crimean capital. One of its senior executives, Timur Shimayev, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) that the inaugural flight is scheduled for November 17.

Tickets for the flight can already be purchased from Grozny Air’s website and travel agencies in Yerevan. The company has assigned a number to the flight which would be carried out by a Russian-made Yakovlev-42 aircraft.

EU ‘Still Committed’ To Closer Ties With Armenia

Armenia can forge closer links with the European Union even after joining a Russian-led alliance of former Soviet republics, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said during a visit to Yerevan on Thursday.

Steinmeier also insisted that the conflict in Ukraine will not cause the EU and Germany in particular to lose interest in other ex-Soviet states involved in the EU’s Eastern Partnership program.

“Despite the crisis in Ukraine, which we have discussed at length, Europe is saving no effort as we believe that it is because of this kind of crises that the other Eastern Partnership countries should not be forgotten,” he said after talks with his Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian.

Latest Armenian News:

From Knee Injury to Life Threatening Bone Cancer: Young Soldier Appeals for Help

October 25, 2014 Armenia, Arts No Comments
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18:30, October 24, 2014

“I don’t place any hope on the government”

This is the story of Mayis Geghamyan, a 19 year-old whose life was irrevocably changed on July 15, 2013 while serving as a conscript soldier in Artsakh.

It was on that date, just four days into his military service that Mayis took on a fall during a training exercise and damaged his right knee.

Today, he’s a patient at the Nayri Medical Center in Yerevan receiving chemotherapy for osteosarcoma which has metastasized into his lungs.  His right leg has since been amputated.

On the day I went to visit him in hospital, Mayis was feeling poorly but wanted to talk.

Pizza order saves victim of domestic abuse

October 25, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora No Comments
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A victim of a domestic abuse attack managed to covertly alert the police to her appalling predicament by pretending to order a pizza, The Huffington Post reports.The unidentified victim ordered a “large with half pepperoni, half mushroom and peppers” from a 911 operative who was at first baffled and believed it to be a prank call.Thankfully they soon realised the severity of the situation and sent police to the house in question.

Read full news story at Huffingtonpost.co.uk. 

Source: TertOriginial Article

Young man killed in roof collapse in Armenia’s Kotayk

October 25, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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A 28-year-old resident of Armenia’s Kotayk region was found dead by emergency officers on Saturday morning.
The team rushed to the scene upon receiving an urgent call that a cattle-shed had caught fire in the namesake village..According to the Emergency Ministry’s official website, the dead body was found in a neighboring construction on which the burning roof (made of concrete and iron) had collapsed. The deceased was identified as L.M.
The construction, which stored 40 hectares of cattle food, belonged to L M, 40. 

Source: TertOriginial Article

Armenian wrestler declared winner of Andiev prize

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A representative of Armenia’s wrestling team, participating in the 36th traditional tournament dedicated to double world champion Soslan Andiev, earned the winner’s title on the first day of the competitions.
Gagik Barseghyan (w/c 57 kg), who had won a bronze medal in the European Championship earlier this year, was declared a winner of Andiev Prize after gaining advantage over Artak Hovhannisyan in the same weight class.
Narek Sanoyan, another representative of Armenia, came in the fifth after losing to the rival in a fight for a bronze medal.
The tournament kicked off in Vladikavkaz, Russia on Friday. It has brought together over 250 wrestlers from Russia, United States, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Apart from the legendary champion, participants, coaches and the crowd of fans, yesterday’s opening event was also attended by Rustem Kelekhsaev, the vice president of North Ossetia’s government.
Armenia’s delegation, headed by coach Arayik Baghdadyan, includes eight sportsmen.

Russia never questioned Ukraine’s right to partner up with EU

October 25, 2014 Armenia No Comments
Armenian News

Russia never put the right of Ukraine to develop partnership relations with the European Union at question, it only warned of the economic risks that such relations entail, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, according to RIA Novosti.”I want to stress that we never questioned Ukraine’s right to develop partnership relations with the European Union. What’s at issue here is that it should not harm Russia, its partners in theCustoms Union and all members of the CIS free trade zone, which includes Ukraine,” Lavrov said in an interview with the Verdens Gang (VG) Norwegian newspaper.The Russian Foreign Minister added that Ukraine’s trade relations with the European Union “should not create side paths for the duty-free entry of cheap European goods into our territory”.The political provisions of the Ukraine-EU association agreement were signed in March, after the then Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted and an interim government came to power in the country. The economic part of the agreement was signed by the current president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in June.Early in September, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union reached a compromise on Kiev’s free trade agreement with the European Union, postponing its entry into force until January 1, 2016.The deal was reached during trilateral talks in Brussels, which were held after Moscow expressed concerns about the economic risks the implementation of the association agreement entailed both for Russia and Ukraine, which is still a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).The CIS currently has nine full members – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – and two participating states –Turkmenistan and Ukraine.

Azerbaijan: Stop reprisals against rights defenders

October 25, 2014 Armenia, Azerbaijan, Europe No Comments
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The targeting of human rights defenders in Azerbaijan must stop, said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, at the end of a two-day visit to the country.“The urgency of this visit was dictated by the arrest and detention over last summer of virtually all the civil society partners of my Office, which makes it increasingly difficult to work on human rights issues in Azerbaijan”, a press release on the Council of Europe’s website quotes him as saying.The Commissioner had already highlighted important deficiencies in the protection of freedom of expression, assembly and association in Azerbaijan in a report he published last year following a visit in May 2013 and in an update he published in April this year, following a worrying deterioration of the situation in the above areas. “The recent repressive measures go in exactly the opposite direction from what I have recommended” he added.

Spain: People Demanding Crackdown Against ‘Untouchable’ Elites

October 25, 2014 Armenia, Europe No Comments
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00:13, October 25, 2014

Alleged corruption among Spain’s elites has authorities taking tougher actions in response to public outrage.

Rodrigo Rato, a former head of the International Monetary Fund and former chairman of the Spanish lender Bankia, is the primary target of the probe.

Rato and a dozen more executives at Bankia allegedly used secret company credit cards to spend US$ 19 million on personal trips and expenses including groceries, and even safaris, reports Agence France-Presse.

Priot to the credit card scandal, Rato had survived a previous probe into whether or not he misrepresented Bankia’s fiscal health as it prepared its 2011 stock market listing.

Macedonia: Ex-Official, 8 Others Allegedly Embezzled Millions

October 25, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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00:17, October 25, 2014

Nine people, among them a former Defense Ministry official, have been arrested for allegedly embezzling US$ 2.76 million in a helicopter maintenance scam. According to ABC News, the Oct. 21 arrests stem from an investigation into government spending on a program to maintain military helicopters.

The Macedonian Organized Crime Unit said the nine were involved in fake billing on service contracts for six military helicopters bought by the Macedonian military from Ukraine. Among them, as the Global Post portal reports, is the former head of the Logistics Department of the Ministry of Defense.

Turkey: Woman murdered by husband in Istanbul

October 25, 2014 Armenia, Asia, Diaspora No Comments
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A 28-year-old woman was stabbed to death by her husband on a street on the Asian side of Istanbul on Oct. 23, Hurriyet Daily News reports.
Hulya Cadirci a mother of two, had been living separately from her husband, Gokhan Cadırci, while the legal process for their divorce was ongoing, the report said.
Cadirci was walking with her child in the Umraniye district before encountering her husband at approximately 4:30 p.m. The 40-year-old man stabbed Cadirci five times after a fight broke out between the two, dismissing passersby who tried to prevent the attack.
Paramedics immediately arrived at the scene and took Cadırcı to the hospital, but she ultimately succumbed to her injuries.
The husband was captured by police half an hour after fleeing the scene. 

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Featured Books

Book Reviews

John Balian’s “Novel Approach” Brings the Armenian Saga to the Masses – An interview with John Balian by Lucine Kasbarian

Gray Wolves and White Doves cover art

Armenians often wish for a tale about the Armenian Genocide and its aftermath that would make a blockbuster film and draw attention to their cause. John Balian’s new book, Gray Wolves and White Doves (CreateSpace/Amazon.com), may be that tale.

 Largely autobiographical, this atmospheric novel is presented through the eyes of an innocent young boy trying to make sense of the world as he grows up amid repressive conditions in Western Armenia/Eastern Turkey during the 1960s and 70s.

 This fast-paced, multi-layered narrative takes readers from Hanna Ibelin’s (a.k.a. Jonah Ibelinian’s) close-knit family life in the perilous Asia Minor region of Palu to terror and tragedy while en route to Syria’s Kamishli, to a bleak existence on the mean streets of Istanbul.

New Children’s Picture Book From Armenian Folklore

Teaneck, N.J. and Belmont, Mass. –  An Armenian folktale retold by Armenian-American writer Lucine Kasbarian and illustrated by Moscow-based artist Maria Zaikina debuts with Marshall Cavendish Children’s Publishers in April 2011.

The Greedy Sparrow: An Armenian Tale is from the ancient Armenian oral tradition and culture, which was nearly obliterated during the Turkish genocide of the Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks in 1915. The author learned the tale from her father, editor and columnist C.K. Garabed, who would recite it to her at bedtime. He had learned it from his own grandmother, a celebrated storyteller from the Old Country.  The tale was first put to paper by Armenian poet Hovhannes Toumanian at the turn of the 20th century.

“We Need To Lift The Armenian Taboo”

Turkish writer and publicist Ahmet Insel labels the initiative of the Turkish Nationalist Movement Party to pray namaz on the ruins of Ani as provocation.

In an interview with “A1+,” the publicist said the initiative was supported only by a small percentage of Turks.

“They offered namaz in Ani in protest against Christian rites carried out in Trabzon and Akhtamar. The leader of the Nationalist Movement Party, Devlet Bahceli said if Christians are allowed to pray inside museums, similarly he can pray namaz in Armenian churches,” said Ahmet Insel.

The Turkish writer arrived in Armenia to participate in a book festival. Presentation of Armenian version of Dialogue sur le tabou arménien (Dialogue about the Armenian Tabou) co-authored by Ahmet Insel and Michel Marian was held during the festival.

US Media Discusses The Armenian Genocide

BURBANK, CALIFORNIA –  KFI 640, a popular news/talk radio station hosted by Bill Handel on September 23 aired a live interview with Michael Bobelian, the writer of a new book titled  Children of Armenia: A Forgotten Genocide and the Century-long Struggle for Justice

The book chronicles the aftermath of the Armenian Genocide of 1915, and recounts a people’s struggle for justice in the face of a century of silence and denial.

During the interview, which was aired during the prime morning time slot, Bill Handel addressed both the efforts within the United States to ensure that the US government appropriately acknowledges the Armenian Genocide and Turkey’s ongoing denial.

Handel, a well known and nationally syndicated radio talk show host, has discussed the Armenian Genocide during past shows.

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Commentary

Yerevan Calling: A Weekly Roundup of Random Musings from Armenia

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13:05, October 3, 2014

Here it is dear readers, the debut of a weekly column I hope to maintain on a regular basis.

It’s sort of a catch-all of news snippets, irreverent commentary, and personal observations on what’s happened during the week here in Yerevan, and throughout Armenia.. Hopefully, you’ll find it interesting, if not slightly diverting.

Your comments and suggestions are welcomed.

Regards – Hrant

Oct. 2 – Protests Throughout Armenia: A Game of Numbers & Solidarity

Three separate protest rallies took place in Armenia today.

As Hetq reported earlier, business owners in the town of Sevan kept their stores and factories shut to protest changes to the so-called volume (sales) tax. Local residents flocked to the bread factory to wait on line for a loaf or two.

China: President Takes Action Against High Ranking Corrupt Officials

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21:31, July 30, 2014

Zhou Yongkang, one of China’s most powerful former leaders, is under investigation in the highest-level corruption inquiry since the Communist Party came into power in 1949.

Under current president Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign, the party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection is investigating Zhou for “serious disciplinary violations,” as the officialXinhua news agency reports. Media has not yet, however, specified the allegations against him.

The probe is an attempt to show the length to which Xi and the party will go in order to combat abuse of power reportsThe Wall Street Journal. 

A commentary published in the officialPeoples Daily makes the point that regardless of  an official’s rank or supporters, punishment will result for violating laws or the party’s discipline. 

Armenian Gangs: Caught between an Archetype and a Cliché

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19:15, July 12, 2014

By Marineh Khachadour

“The whole thing started with a scene straight out of a mobster movie. It was around 6 p.m. when more than a dozen men from two organized crime groups opened fire on each other in a North Hollywood parking lot. Witnesses say nearly everyone was armed, and the shootout quickly went mobile. The men took off in cars, exchanging fire as they weaved through the Whitsett Avenue traffic.”

Stories such as this are not unique to Armenians in the American press, but this investigative report recently published in the LA Weekly is about Armenian Power, the Los Angeles based Armenian gang that operates in the heavily Armenian populated communities of Glendale, Burbank, and North Hollywood.

Want to Write for Hetq?

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10:24, March 14, 2014

I’m looking for freelancers who can broaden the scope of Hetq’s English edition

Arts & Culture, Commentary, Politics, Civil Society, Interviews…

Anything interesting happening in your local community you’d like to share?

Write to me with your ideas and story suggestions.

Hrant at hg.hetq@gmail.com

Source: HetqOriginial Article

For Better or For Worse: Nature Protection Ministry Proposes Amendments to Water Use Laws

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16:44, February 14, 2014

With the goal of providing a systematic solution to issues of effective use of water resources in Ararat valley, the Ministry of Nature Protection of the Republic of Armenia (RA) is proposing amendments and additions to the RA Water Code, and the RA laws on the Republic of Armenia’s National Water Program, on Licensing, and on State Tax.

The proposed legislative package has been sent to the relevant state agencies for their input.

Head of the Ministry of Nature Protection’s Water Resources Management Agency Volodya Narimanyan told Hetq, said that with this amendment package his ministry is attempting to clarify the ideas and the ambiguous commentary, as well as introduce new requirements. For example, one of the main points of the proposed amendments is if water use permit conditions are not met, the water use permit might be annulled.