Playwright Vrezh Israelyan commits suicide
 Friday, June 14 2013 12:56

 Playwright Vrezh Israelyan has committed suicide.

The police report that his body was found in his house on Friday. Some sources say that he has shot himself

Israelyan was born in Yerevan on Apr 2 1949. He is the author of lots of plays and stories about the Nagorno-Karabakh war.

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Rostelecom launches night internet service
 Friday, June 14 2013 12:53

Rostelecom has launched a new service providing unlimited Internet speed at night, CEO of GNC-ALFA (subsidiary of Rostelecom) Hayk Faramanyan said during a blog tour on Friday.

The tour was organized in Rostelecom's Abovyan office to mark the World Bloggers Day.

Faramazyan said that the service will be available from June 15 till Oct 1 from midnight till 08:00 AM. The speed will be 100 Mb.

Faramanyan said that the company has started expanding into the regions. "Wireless Internet has become very popular in rural communities and many villages already use Skype. In July we will start providing TV services. We already have presence in 10 towns and will have one in 10 more by the end of this year," Faramanyan said.

Rostelecom bought 75% - 1 stake in GNC-ALFA for $2.5mln in Feb 2012.

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Opposition MP does not believe that the case of gunfight near the house of former governor of Syunik will be fully investigated
 Friday, June 14 2013 12:02

 A member of the opposition Heritage parliamentary faction, Zarui Postanjan, told journalists today that she does not believe that the case of gunfight near the house of former governor of Syunik region, Suren Khachatryan, will be fully investigated.

She also added that the fact that a military prosecutor, Gevorg Kostanyan, in 2 days after the incident, was trying to justify the actions of Suren Khachatryan's supporters proves that the police do not wish to fully disclose this crime.

Kostanyan said that it was an armed attack.

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Head of ARFD Faction compares today's Armenia with Soviet Union under Brezhnev
 Friday, June 14 2013 12:01

 Political monopoly of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia and its attempt so to scoop everything gradually turn Armenia into the Soviet Union under Brezhnev, an area of stagnation that collapsed the powerful empire, Armen Rustamyan, Head of the ARFD Faction in the Parliament, told media, Friday. He
said that political standstill is extremely dangerous of small Armenia.

The Dashnak politician calls cynical the statements of the authorities saying that they are power and opposition at the same time. Neither he welcomes their self-criticism and 'punishment' of their own officials and ministers. He called absurd that the speaker speaks of robbers, embezzlers of budget funds and state property but takes no specific measures to bring them responsible. 

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PM: Negative mass media reports impede government work
 Friday, June 14 2013 10:31

 Negative reports of local mass media impede government's reforms and work, Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan said at the first international conference "Open Government Partnership - Armenia" in Yerevan, Friday.

He said that Mass Media cover the government activity in negative colors constantly reporting of embezzlement of the budget funds without any facts.

"The public perceives sensational news easily, so Mass Media do not filter information. As a result, negative reports flood the public. This leads to distrust and complaints in public and impedes reforms.  He said that statesmen should dispute slander and misreports in the court. "However, it is not practiced in the country, because it may be perceived as pressure on mass media," he said.

Earlier this month the prime minister found himself in an 'offshore scandal'. The appeal to the Prosecutor's Office over an item published in Hetq.am discrediting him. The prime minister is discontented at the recent publication on hetq.am saying that WLISPERA HOLDINGS LIMITED, an offshore company registered in Cyprus has three equal shareholders - RA Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, Primate of the Ararat Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church Archbishop Navasard Kjoyan and Ashot Sukiasyan. WLISPERA (WHL) is directly connected to a case businessman Paylak Hayrapetyan's bankruptcy. The source published also a copy of the document allegedly confirming the given information. Tigran Sargsyan has
repeatedly said he has never registered any company in an offshore area and has not authorized anyone to do that on his behalf.

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Expert: Armenia reaches high level Viral Safety of blood donation
 Friday, June 14 2013 10:24

 For 5 months of 2013 1819 blood donations were registered in Armenia, which is 16.8% more than for the same period of 2012, Smbat Dagbashyan, Director of Hematology Center, told media on June 14. 

The expert said that blood safety is ensured through up-to-date technologies. As a result, Armenia has achieved a very high level of blood viral safety.

Dagbashyan said that 52% of blood donors are relatives and friends of patients that need blood transfusion.  Paid donors are 43.8%. They received 10,000-15,000 drams for food and transport. So, blood donation without compensation is still at a low level.

He recalled that more blood donations will save more lives. Dagbashyan said that the equipment at the regional centers of blood transfusion is outdated. He hopes that a relevant program submitted to the Health Ministry will settle the given problem.

June 14 is the World Blood Donor Day. It was introduced in May 2005 on sidelines of the 58th session of the World Health Assembly in Geneva.

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Republican Party of Armenia recommends Bryza to refrain from statements on Karabakh discrediting himself
 Friday, June 14 2013 08:38

 New 'sensational discovery' by former co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, ex-ambassador of USA to Azerbaijan Matthew Bryza on the Karabakh conflict and the Armenian-Turkish relations arouse at least surprise, says Hovhanness Sahakyan, Secretary of the Republican Party of Armenia.

Sahakyan spotlighted Bryza's statement that the Madrid Principles of the conflict's resolution contain a condition on restoration of economic relations between Armenia and Turkey.

"Who but Bryza, who was a co-chair of the OSCE MG, must know that Turkey is not mentioned in the Madrid Principles even as a geographical name," the parliamentarian said.

He is shocked with Bryza saying that murder of the Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan by Azerbaijani serviceman Ramil Safarov disappointed Armenians.

"Such statement is beyond any human values. It is surprising that he speaks of that vicious murder so calmly without any condemnation," Sahakyan said recommending Bryza to refrain from dilettante and paradoxical comments on the Karabakh issue and the Armenian-Turkish relations not to discredit himself in future.

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Exchange rate of dram against US dollar and EUR
 Friday, June 14 2013 08:38

Today, the maximum buying rates at commercial banks of Yerevan were 413 drams for 1 dollar, 550drams for 1 EUR and 12,9 drams for 1 Russian ruble. The minimum selling rates stood at 415 drams for 1 dollar, 554 drams for 1 EUR and 13 drams for 1 Russian ruble .

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Alexander Krylov: Both the OSCE MG co-chairs and the populations of Armenia and Azerbaijan have got tired of the status quo in Nagorno-Karabakh
 Friday, June 14 2013 07:57

Russia’s military presence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia is limited enough. In the meanwhile, Russia keeps increasing its military presence in Armenia through equipment of the102nd military base in Gyumri. What are the reasons of such different approach?

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Politician: Local situation in Armenia is leading to social revolt
 Thursday, June 13 2013 17:30

Local situation in Armenia is leading to social revolt and the authorities of the country promote that in the best way possible, the leader of the opposition "New Times" party, Aram Karapetyan, said at today's press-conference.

"Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan and his team are the best "opposition" to the ruling regime. Nobody but the premier with his inadequate actions and statements has been quickly leading the country and society to further worsening, protest and revolt", -he said.

No sober man will trust in the fairy tales about the economic growth and effective management against the background of emigration and growth of prices, he said and added that sooner or later  President Serzh Sargsyan will be forced to take specific though hard for himself decisions, as his potential of imitation and playing is gradually exhausting.

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President of Football Federation of Armenia sees no reasons to resign
 Thursday, June 13 2013 17:29

President of the Football Federation of Armenia sees no reasons to resign, he told media, Thursday.

"Has anyone demanded me to leave the post of FFA President? I think many people took my words wrongly. I said earlier that I will leave my post if football fans, the people, demand me to do it," Hayrapetyan said.

He recommended those who write about his resignation in mass media "to get out of the virtual world and discuss the problem with him personally."

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Archbishop Navasard Kchoyan refutes his complicity in offshore scandal
 Thursday, June 13 2013 16:59

Primate of the Ararat Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Archbishop Navasard Kchoyan has refuted his involvement in any offshore diamond business.

He said that the freedom of speech is good but it does not empower anybody to slander against a person.

In its recent article "Cyprus Troika: Who Stripped Paylak Hayrapetyan of His Property" Hetq.am said that Kchoyan is one of the shareholders of Cyprus-based Wlispera Holdings Limited, along with Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan and businessman Ashot Sukiasyan.

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Parliament Committee for Ethics does not discuss Samvel Aleksanyan's behavior
 Thursday, June 13 2013 09:00

 On June 17 the National Assembly of Armenia will convene extraordinarily, NA President Hovik Abrahamyan said in the parliament on June 13 without specifying the agenda of the meeting.

In the meanwhile, the Parliament Committee for Ethics did not discuss behavior of Samvel Aleksanyan.  The Committee declined the application by Transparency International over S. Aleksanyan's behavior during the past elections to the Elders Council of Yerevan. The Committee motivated its refusal to discuss the application with 'lack of evident substantiation (document substantiating violation, including proofs) of violations.' In addition, the Committee declared that the issue was not within its competence. 

To recall, on May 24, 2013 Transparency International applied to the Committee asking to consider Samvel Alexanyan's behavior to intervene in the voting process and establish "order" in the polling station during Yerevan Elders Council. As a proof, Transparency International brought the video available on the web.  The Committee declared that the video 'bears no relation to the appeal.' In the meanwhile, one can clearly see on video that the parliamentarian attended the polling station to take control over the situation. In addition, Aleksanyan confirms that in response to a journalist's question.

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Exchange rate of dram against US dollar and EUR
 Thursday, June 13 2013 08:59

Today, the maximum buying rates at commercial banks of Yerevan were 411,5 drams for 1 dollar, 549drams for 1 EUR and 12,7 drams for 1 Russian ruble. The minimum selling rates stood at 413 drams for 1 dollar, 549 drams for 1 EUR and 12,8 drams for 1 Russian ruble .
                                                   

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Head of Government Staff to get status of minister
 Thursday, June 13 2013 08:58

Parliament of Armenia passed the second and final reading of amendments to the Law on the Government Structure and the Law on Public Service.

Justice Minister Hrayr Tovmasyan said the government suggests an amendment to establish the position of the minister-head of the government staff to boost interaction with other ministers and lift the burden from the state budget. He said further reforms in the government structure are currently under discussion.

To recall, the Council of the Republican Party Board and Executiive Body met on May 7 in Yerevan. In the course of the meeting, RPA Leader, President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan submitted the changes t the government structure and the Party adopted them. On May 8 the president approved the Cabinet, with establishment of a new position - minister-head of the government staff.

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Court rejects claim against President of Football Federation of Armenia
 Thursday, June 13 2013 08:56

The Court of the Yerevan Avan and Nor-Nork Administrative Communities has rejected the claim against ex-MP, President of the Football Federation of Armenia Ruben Hayrapetyan pursuant to limitation of action.

David Sanasaryan, activist of the Public Movement "We Demand Punishment of Those Guilty in Murder at Harsnakar" appealed to the Court demand compensation moral damage and discrediting from Ruben Hayrapetyan. 

In an interview with Nouvelles d'Armenie Ruben Hayrapetyan insulted, threatened and slandered Sanasaryan calling him 'a worm that will be afraid of him till the end of its life.'

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Armenian PM: Opposition is also responsible for continuing outflow of people from Armenia
 Wednesday, June 12 2013 15:38

The opposition is also responsible for the continuing outflow of people from Armenia, Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan said in the parliament on Wednesday when asked by opposition MP Levon Zurabyan if an outflow of 50,000 people a year was a normal figure for a country declaring a 7% economic growth.

"People are disappointed to see no serious alternative to the ruling regime," Sargsyan said.

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Prime minister of Armenia: Any man can set up an offshore company on behalf of someone without having the permission of that person
 Wednesday, June 12 2013 15:37

Addressing the parliament today, Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan commented on allegations that he is hiding his assets in the offshore. He dismissed rumors calling them absurd.

Tigran Sargsyan Said it is not difficult to set up an offshore company on behalf of, let us say, Nikol Pashinyan, without having the permission of that person. He insists that he did not register any offshore company and likewise did not allow anyone to do that on his behalf.  According to him, these allegations are a wonderful opportunity to defame someone.

Asked where he was on the day the company was registered, he answered that he was in Prague on an official visit, journalists accompanied him and they know about his every step. He said that he has already got used to such allegations because when he was the head of the Central Bank of Armenia, he was accused of closing all the banks in order to become their owner.

He also dismissed rumors about his ownership of Nairit Chemical Plant though he has no relation to it.

To recall, the media report saying that Armenia's Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan is privy to the misuse of $10mln belonging to one of the local commercial banks are not true, Armenia's Finance Minister David Sargsyan told opposition MP Nikol Pashinyan on Tuesday.  He said that the Premier has requested the police to inquire into the report.  Pashinyan said that it would be more logical if the Police requested Sargsyan to explain the situation.  The Premier's request followed Hetq.am's article "Cyprus Troika: Who Stripped Paylak Hayrapetyan of His Property," saying that Tigran Sargsyan is one of the shareholders of Cyprus-based Wlispera Holdings Limited.

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Paruyr Hayrikyan identifies his "killer"
 Wednesday, June 12 2013 15:36

 During a court session on Wednesday Paruyr Hayrikyan confirmed that suspect Khachatur Poghosyan was the man who shot at him on Jan 31.

He believes that Poghosyan was going to kill him.

Poghosyan claims he just wanted to scare Hayrikyan. "Had I actually wished to kill, I would have shot at him more than once," he said.

Hayrikyan thinks otherwise: "They wanted to kill me because I could win the elections and they were scared that I would turn Armenia into a normal country."

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Deputy CEO of South Caucasus Railway: We must do our best to prevent collisions at railway crossings
 Wednesday, June 12 2013 15:34

In Jan-May 2013 we registered 4 collisions of trains with motor vehicles and no deaths at railway crossings against 15 such incidents in Jan-May 2012 and a total of 27 incidents and 7 deaths throughout the last year, Deputy CEO of South Caucasus Railway Sergey Valko told journalists on Wednesday.

"We must do our best to prevent such instances as they pose threat to human lives and cause damage to our equipment," Valko said.  He said that there are lots of unauthorized crossings in Armenia.

"We try to liquidate such crossings, but local populations keep restoring them. So, we closely contact with local administrations to prevent such an activity," Valko said.

He explained that authorized crossings should either have an over bridge or should be guarded.

"We keep informing people of the risks they may face when crossing a railway using an unauthorized crossing. They must know that a train needs 1,000 meters to safely stop," Valko said.

South Caucasus Railway is a 100% subsidiary of Russian Railways. In 2008 it was given 30-year concession to Armenian Railways.

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