Exchange rate of dram against US dollar and EUR
 Wednesday, June 5 2013 08:53

Today, the maximum buying rates at commercial banks of Yerevan were 414,5 drams for 1 dollar, 542drams for 1 EUR and 12,9 drams for 1 Russian ruble. The minimum
selling rates stood at 416,2 drams for 1 dollar, 545 drams for 1 EUR and 13,1 drams for 1 Russian ruble .

Elmar Mammadyarov: The USA wants intensification of the Karabakh conflict settlement process
 Wednesday, June 5 2013 08:50

ArmInfo-Turan. Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov told journalists after his meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington on 3 June, that he is going to meet the OSCE MG co-chairmen on 7 June in London.

He said he is pleased with the results of the talks with John Kerry. "America wants the talks with the co-chairmen and other states of the region gain an intensive nature and have a progress. Mr Kerry affirmed that American Administration is interested in budging the settlement process", - he said.

The USA understands that if the talks give no result, that will be a  strong blow upon the region. For this reason, one of the topics of the talks was - "What will the surrender of the "occupied" territories bring to Armenia?", the minister said. "Azerbaijan says: let Armenia withdraw its troops, and in that case the funds which we spend for armament will be directed to development of the region", - Mammadyarov said. He also expressed Baku's displeasure with activity of the OSCE Minsk Group.

US Secretary of State to visit Armenia over the current year
 Wednesday, June 5 2013 08:48

US Secretary of State John Kerry said at the meeting with Armenia's Foreign Minister, Edward Nalbandian, in Washington, on 4 June, that he is going to visit Armenia over the current year, press-service of Armenia's Foreign Ministry reported.

"Armenia today is an important partner with United States in a number of initiatives. Importantly, they're helping us in Afghanistan with ISAF, they've played a key role in Kosovo helping to keep peace there. And one of the most issues, obviously, that we all really want to try to see resolved one day is the frozen conflict of
Nagorno-Karabakh. It is critical that all the parties - when I say all the parties, I mean, obviously, the Azerbaijanis, but also Turkey, Russia, Iran, others - try to find a way to help break the impasse that has kept this struggle alive and always potentially dangerous," John Kerry stated.

"We also have other issues of great importance to us: the economic partnership, the development of the economy and strengthening of democracy, and the security of our friends, the Armenian people," Secretary Kerry said.

Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian thanked Secretary Kerry for the warm welcome and said it's a pleasure to him to be in Washington.

"Both countries have a good interaction in the international arena covering international regional security, proliferation, fight against terrorism, as you mentioned, peacekeeping operations from Kosovo to Afghanistan, other challenges, who are sharing vision - same vision - that it is important to continue efforts to find exclusively peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict based on the principles and norms of international law, particularly non-use of force, excessive force, self-determination, territorial integrity who are sharing the vision that the relations between Armenia and Turkey should be normalized without preconditions, who
are sharing the same values of democracy, fundamental freedoms, liberty, human rights, market economy, who are very thankful that during the last two decades since our independence, United States extended very important support for Armenia, and we are thankful for that, Minister Nalbandian said.

Secretary of parliamentary group of Heritage Party: Mayor of Yerevan and owner of Covered Market project must be made responsible
 Tuesday, June 4 2013 17:46

 The Mayor of Yerevan and the owner of the Covered Market project must be made responsible, the secretary of the parliamentary group of Heritage Party Zaruhi Postanjyan says in an open letter sent to the Prosecutor General, the chiefs of the Police and the Special Investigation Service and the Human Rights Defender.

She believes that the project is illegal and that its owner and the mayor of Yerevan are guilty of destroying a monument of history and culture.

The project is being carried out by a company owned by MP, oligarch, the owner of Yerevan City Trade Chain Samvel Alexanyan.

Cellular communication bad for beekeeping
 Tuesday, June 4 2013 15:42

 Cellular communication has left no space for beekeeping in Armenia, President of the National Association of Beekeepers of Armenia Telman Nazaryan told journalists on Tuesday.  He said that in the Soviet times there were 300,000 bee families in Armenia. In the 1990s their number dropped to 40,000.

"By 2012 we had restored our bee population to 200,000 families, but there are lots of environmental factors that make further growth problematic. One of them is cellular communication," Nazaryan said.

He said that this is not only Armenia's problem. "In the last few years the bee population worldwide has dropped by 40%. In 2012 Germany lost almost 75% of its bee families, Europe and the United States 60%," Nazaryan said.

He said that 800mHz electromagnetic waves are fatal for bees. "And this is exactly the frequency of our cellular communication stations," Nazartyan said.

He still believes that Armenian beekeepers will be able to increase the bee population to 500,000 families. He said that in 2012 Armenia produced just 50-60 tons of honey.

"But we still hope to be able to export our honey," Nazaryan said.

VTB Bank (Armenia) offers a new opportunity for TelCell terminal users
 Tuesday, June 4 2013 15:39

VTB Bank (Armenia) offers a new opportunity for TelCell terminal users: from now on the bank's customers will be able to credit their bank or card accounts or repay their gold-secured loans using any of almost 800 TelCell terminals all over Armenia in a couple of minutes round-the-clock. Once they do it, they will receive an SMS confirming the transaction.

VTB Bank (Armenia) began to cooperate with TelCell in 2011. In early 2013 it switched to the real-time mode, which means that the bank's processing center records a TelCell transaction once it is carried out.

"Our customers are interested in distant banking services. Based on the successful experience of our cooperation with TelCell, we have decided to switch to the real-time mode so as to make our services quicker and easier. We are confident that our customers will like this novelty," says CEO of VTB Bank (Armenia) Yuri Gusev.

VTB Bank (Armenia) is part of VTB Group. Its owner is VTB Bank, the second biggest bank in Russia. The bank has the biggest branch network in Armenia's banking system (67 branches) and the biggest number of issued international plastic cards.

Four Karabakh war veterans go on sit-down strike in protest of hard lives
 Tuesday, June 4 2013 15:39

 Four Karabakh war veterans have gone on a sit-down strike in protest of their hard lives.

The veterans are sitting at Liberty Square and are claiming social privileges.

Gagik Harutyunyan: New form of genocide through self-annihilation has been launched in Iraq and Syria
 Tuesday, June 4 2013 15:28

Judging from recent disagreements in UN Security Council and from reaction of Iran and Israel, Syrian conflict has been gradually developing towards a new field. What impulses we have to wait for around the events in Syria in the near future?

Israeli expert says military coup possible in Turkey
 Tuesday, June 4 2013 13:40

The ongoing unrest in Turkey may lead to a new military coup in that country, Israeli political expert Avigdor Eskin told ArmInfo.  The expert believes that Turkey is changing its image these days. Even if Prime Minister Erdogan manages to suppress the wave of protests, they will have a crucial role in the history for the former Ottoman Empire.

"I witnessed the overthrow of Nicolae Ceausescu in Romania, then the public unrest in Russia in 1991 and 1993. The scales are incomparable. Turkish dissidents managed to awaken the entire city. No spontaneous speeches for the authorities. A silent majority of people went into the streets protesting against extreme forms of
Islamism. They do not favor Erdogan's aggressive behavior and country manners either. Actually, the entire creative class protests against Erdogan's regime. Students, intellectuals, businessmen and artists have come together on the same side of the fence," he said.

Eskin thinks that Erdogan is so far losing with every new day of protest that involves more and more people and shakes once strong positions of the authorities. 

"At present, a military coup is also possible, given that it once had happened in Turkey before. If the police display violence and the victims to clashes reach significant scales, a new military coup is quite possible," he said.

At the same time, Eskin said, interference of external forces into the current developments on the shore of Bosphorus is not real at the given stage. Those forces failed to stop bloodshed in Syria. As regards Syria, the Israeli expert said, the unrest in Turkey may weaken the international pressure on Bashar Assad. The latter can take advantage of the situation and strengthen its positions.

"Inherently, what is currently being observed in Turkey is Middle East autumn. It is Arab Sprint with a negative sign. Nevertheless, at the given stage, the ongoing public unrest in Turkey constitutes no threat to the neighbor states," Eskin said for conclusion.

Expert: Situation in Turkey reflects processes developing in Dar al-Islam
 Tuesday, June 4 2013 11:12

The situation in Turkey reflects processes developing in Dar al-Islam, director of the Armenian Centre for National and International Studies, Manvel Sargsyan, told ArmInfo correspondent when commenting on recent disorders in Turkey.

"These are rather serious and big processes. But it is not clear yet if they will gain the organized nature or not. The position of the state structures and army to the given processes is not clear either", - the expert said.

He also added that if the situation goes on developing, the army will play a crucial role. "If the army supports the ruling regime, the situation will be similar to that in Syria. But if the army supports the people, the process will develop the way it used to develop in Tunis", - he said.

On May 28 2013, a few hundred people gathered at Istanbul's Gezi Park. They were there to protest the demolition of Taksim's last remaining public park. The people gathered in the park were mostly environmental activists, leftists, and a few outspoken public figures; artists, musicians, actors-actresses. They had only one aim:
to protect the trees in the park from being cut down (or ‘transferred to a more suitable spot as claimed by the government representatives) and to protest the planned construction of a replica of 19th century Ottoman Barracks in its place, which was to serve as a luxury residence and Istanbul's 94th shopping mall. They could not have known that they were about to ignite the biggest civil protest movement Turkey has witnessed in the last three decades.

US position on Nagornyy Karabakh conflict remains unchanged
 Tuesday, June 4 2013 10:45

US position on Nagornyy Karabakh conflict remains unchanged, US State Department Spokesperson, Jen Psaki, said at the press-conference, 3 June.

Asked if it was just an ordinary coincidence that the meeting in the US Department of State with Azerbaijani foreign minister took place on 3 June and with Armenia's foreign minister - on 4 June, Paski replied that although she was not aware of the schedule of the meetings, but it is natural that US Secretary of State holds meetings with foreign ministers of the two countries.

Raffi Hovannisian and Deputy Secretary of State discuss problems of democracy in Armenia
 Tuesday, June 4 2013 10:21

On official visit to Washington,the leader of the Heritage party Raffi Hovannisian met with Deputy Secretary of State Eric Rubin on June 3. As press-service of the Heritage party reported, in a private meeting at the Department of State, they discussed not only Armenia's domestic democratic challenges, but also its international challenges, including a righteous resolution to the conflict surrounding Nagornyy Karabakh Republic and a true recognition of the Armenian Genocide by Turkey.

On the same day Hovannisian delivered a keynote address to an audience of diplomats, policy-makers, and intellectuals at the George Washington University Law School.

Court dismisses petition for release of Suren Khachatryan's son and bodyguard on bail
 Tuesday, June 4 2013 10:10

 Syunik Regional Court has dismissed the petition of lawyers for release of Syunik Governor Suren Khachatryan's son and bodyguard on bail. The press-service of the
Armenian Defense Ministry told ArmInfo a working group of the Investigation Services at the Defense Ministry has charged Tigran Khachatryan and Zarzand Nikoghosyan with Article 103.1 (murder) and Article 235 (illegal use, storage and bearing weapons) of the Criminal Code of Armenia.

To recall, shootouts in front of Syunik Governor's house at 00:10am on June 2 killed former candidate for Goris mayor Avo Budaghyan and wounded his brother Artak Budaghyan (who is in a grave situationcurrently), a commander at a military unit in NKR.  There was another wounded, Nikolay Abrahamyan, a relative and bodyguard of Governor S.  Khachartyan. yunik Governor Suren Khachatryan's son, Tigran Khachatryan, has been arrested over latest shootouts in Syunik. Earlier, the governor's bodyguard Zarzand Nikoghosyan was arrested over the case.

Suren Khachatryan sent in his resignation overnight declaring that everyone must answer for his mistakes. He regretted for failing to prevent the tragic incident near his house. 


Azerbaijani subversive grouping attempts to penetrate into Armenian positions in area of Karvachar
 Tuesday, June 4 2013 09:12

An Azerbaijani subversive grouping attempted to penetrate into the Armenian positions in the area of Karvachar overnight. The grouping was rebuked after crossfire. No victims are reported on the Azerbaijani party. However, there are several wounded among Armenian servicemen. 

Armenian Defense Minister's Spokesperson Artsrun Hovhannisyan says the situation on the front line fully controllable at present. Azerbaijan is responsible for destabilization of the situation.

Karen Donfried: US administration supports the fair settlement of the conflict through peace
 Tuesday, June 4 2013 08:30

At the meeting with Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov, Karen Donfried, Special Assistant to the U.S. President and Senior Director for European Affairs at the National Security, said the US administration supports the fair settlement of the conflict through peace. He called it important for development of the region.

Mamaddyarov, in turn, said that foremost Armenian troops must be withdrawn from "the Azerbaijani territories" and this demand was also reflected in the resolutions of the UN Security Council.

Oppositionist: Protests over Gezi Park demolition are different from those in Yerevan's Mashtots Park
 Tuesday, June 4 2013 08:29

The protests over the Istanbul authorities' decision to build a shopping center instead of the local Gezi Park are different from the last year's protests in Yerevan's Mashtots Park, Secretary of Heritage Party Stepan Safaryan told ArmInfo on Monday.

"The Turkish society is different from the Armenian one. Their people are freer and less humble than ours. That's why their protests are more resounding. Besides, they are a strong country, one of the world's top 20 economies. So, they simply can't have slavish mentality," Safaryan said.

Ilia II Calls on Russian President to Settle Situation in Tskhinvali Region
 Tuesday, June 4 2013 08:24

Tbilisi. Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, Ilia II, sent a letter to Russian President, Vladimir Putin, in which he expressed concern over shifting the administrative boundary line between Tshinvali region and the rest of Georgia by the Russian border guards.

Georgia to Maintain Principled Stance on Situation in Tskhinvali Region - Parliament Chairman
 Tuesday, June 4 2013 08:23

Tbilisi. Georgian government will maintain a principled stance on the situation in Tskhinvali region - Georgian Parliament Chairman, davit Usupashvili, told journalists on June 3.

NATO Supports Georgia Irrespective of the Government in the Country - Appathurai
 Tuesday, June 4 2013 08:23

Tbilisi. The North-Atlantic Alliance supports Georgia irrespective of what government is in the country - NATO Secretary General's Special representative for South Caucasus and Central Asia, James Appathurai, told journalists in course of his one-day official visit to Georgia, on Monday, June 3.

The presidential candidate said Azerbaijan threat to Iran
 Tuesday, June 4 2013 08:22

Baku. Iranian presidential candidate Hassan Rouhani called Azerbaijan - risk threat to Tehran.


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