- Independent Journalism From Today's Armenia
July 16, 2004



A Week in Seven Days: Matters that made the media since last Friday.

FROM ARMENIA WITH LOVE: A five-year Italian child with leukemia was saved after her genetic make up matched with that of a 22 year old Armenian student, Vahe Vardanyan, who donated a bone marrow transplant to the child, Armenpress reported.

Vahe who joined Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry last year was selected after the Italian bone marrow registry asked their Armenian counterparts to find a suitable match. The registry now has 8,000 members. Although Armenians are considered Caucasian, their unique genetic make up makes it very hard for them to find matches for transplantation.

 ATTACK ON U.S. CITIZEN: A U.S. citizen, David Becker, 29 applied to the Armenian police July 10, accusing 30 year old son of Armenian Armed Forces Chief of Staff Mikael Harutyunyan in beating him in the "Bunker" club in downtown Yerevan, RFE/RL reported.

A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Armenia said that Becker informed the Embassy that he was attacked and injured, however the Embassy refused to intervene, as Becker is not a U.S. Embassy employee. General Harutyunyan refused to comment on the incident involving his son, saying only that that his children were brought up properly.

PARISH MEMBER DISMISSED : Head of Parish Council of St.Nerses Zoravor Church, Ararat Diocese of Armenian Apostolic Church, Khachik Stamboltsyan has been dismissed in connection with his protest against the introduction of social security cards in Armenia, Arminfo reported.

The Press-Service of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin said that Stamboltsyan did not inform either the Council's or the Diocese's leadership of his speech, which aroused dissatisfaction of other members of the Parish Council. Stamboltsyan was one of the activists of the Karabakh Committee established in late 1980s and one of the main propagandists of the idea of closing down the Armenian atomic power plant.

RUSSIA VS TURKEY: Russia 's foreign ministry denounced Tuesday Turkey's efforts to seek a greater involvement in the process of regulation of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, Armenpress reported.

In a statement circulated by Russian mass media, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov accused Turkey of trying to bypass Moscow in an effort to assume the leading role in mediating a peace deal between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Saying that Russia is able to become the guarantor of a mutually acceptable peace formula, the Russian minister reminded that Moscow is Armenia's chief military ally.
Citing a Russian newspaper Baku-based 525 Gazet daily says Lavrov's statement "perplexed Turkish political analysts and NATO members” and that Lavrov's statement can be perceived in Azerbaijan as "a call for war."

 SIDES OF PEACE TALK: Russian Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group Yuri Merzlyakov considers normal the participation of Nagorno Karabakh representatives in the talks over settlement of the Karabakh conflict, PanARMENIAN.Net reported.

After this statement of the Russian diplomat in Baku on July 15 the Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mamedyarov reminded that the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs should act within the OSCE mandate according to which Armenia and Azerbaijan are the parties to conflict, while "the Armenian and the Azeri communities of Nagorno Karabakh are interested parties."

NO CURRENCY YET: The reports that Nagorno Karabakh is going to introduce its own currency are a regular provocation of Azerbaijan, said the head of Karabakh’s government press service, commenting on the information disseminated by Baku newspapers.

He said Nagorno Karabakh makes a single economic space with Armenia and has the same currency as Armenia and therefore has no need to issue its own. He said such misinformation aims to keep the tension high between the conflicting sides.

ARMENIA-RUSSIA MILITARY COOPERATION: Russia and Armenia plan to hold the first session of a joint military-technical cooperation commission in September and October, Interfax agency reported.

According to Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov “there are not bad prospects for the development of military- technical cooperation.” The matter primarily implies involvement of Russian enterprises in the modernization of military equipment and weapons that the Armenian army possesses. In addition, Russia is prepared to supply the Armenian armed forces with essential spare parts and equipment.

MILITARY PARITY : The House Appropriations Committee voted July 9 on the Fiscal Year 2005 foreign aid bill, affirming an earlier decision by the Foreign Operations Subcommittee to maintain parity in U.S. foreign military financing assistance to Armenia and Azerbaijan, Yerkir reported.

The Committee agreed to allocate $5 million in military financing assistance to Armenia and Azerbaijan, as opposed to President Bush's earlier request of $8 million for Azerbaijan and $2 million for Armenia.

DRUG SMUGLING: The EU and UN will provide Armenia with special equipment worth 140,000 euros ($173,661) for the several Armenian border checkpoints and Zvartnots International Airport to stop the possible smuggling of drugs from Armenia to Western Europe, RFE/RL reported.

"Though Armenian officials do their best to prevent Armenia from becoming a transit country for drug trafficking, this doesn't mean that those involved in drug trafficking will not use Armenia for this purpose," said the Paris Customs Service deputy. An official from the Armenian Police Drug Fighting Department said that heroin and opium are being smuggled to Armenia mostly from Turkey, Iran, Russia, and Central Asian countries such as Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

MOBILE OPERATOR RIVAL?: Armenia will have a second operator of mobile communication, Armenian Minister of Justice David Harutyunyan said, responding to "hot line" questions in the "Golos Armenii" newspaper.

According to him, no doubt has ever existed about a new operator entering Armenia's telecommunication market. "As to whether I am satisfied with the current state of affairs, I am not," the Minister said. Without commenting on the arbitration proceedings in London, Harutyunyan pointed out that "they are going on and can be dismissed only if the Government's negotiations with `ArmenTel" produce positive results. The Government has suspended the enforcement of its resolution on depriving "ArmenTel" of its monopoly of mobile communication and Internet access.

GEORGIAN DEBTS : As of June 30, 2004 Georgia's debt to Armenia makes $19.5 million. As reported by News Georgia agency, Armenia is among the 12 creditor countries, which are included in the Paris Club decision to restructure the external debt of Georgia.

The largest creditors out of those countries are Turkmenistan ($219.9 million) and Russia ($156.8 million). The aggregate state debt of Georgia and state-guaranteed credits exceed $1.8 billion.

TRADE CENTER : Armenian center of wholesale trade will soon be built in Moscow, Interfax reports. The Mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov said that the decisions were made on Thursday during the meeting with the Armenian Prime Minister of Armenia Andranik Margaryan.

The Mayor hoped that the new Armenian trade center will positively affect the goods turnover between Armenia and Russia. Also the sides agreed on creation of a working group for further development of the relations between Moscow and Armenia in trade economic and cultural spheres.

NEW REHABILITATION CENTER : Levon Nersisyan, the chairman of Astghik (Starlet) union of handicapped people, told Armenpress that nine international and local organizations pledged $42,000 in donations for starting the construction of a rehabilitation center on 2 hectares of land in a Yerevan Nor Nork community, allocated to it by a government decision.

Nersisyan said his union has developed a program called Hope Shelter, which conforms to all internationally accepted standards for care of the disabled, which he said costs $6 million. He said the Union hopes that the construction of the rehabilitation center will be finished in 2008 and its full operation will require another four years.

MEASLES OUTBREAK: Spread of measles is recorded in Armenia, according to the Armenian Health Ministry, Arka reported. In spite the fact that the disease is usually in winter, this year summer cases were registered.


According to Agnes


The Week in seven days


The Arts in seven days


  Photos of the week
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Click on the photo above to enlarge.
Summer in the City

With Friday temperatures reaching 35 degrees Celsius (95 Fahrenheit), little boys and big girls found relief in the fountains of Republic Square.



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