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Armenian News - NEWS.am presents a daily digest of Armenia-related top news as of 12.09.2019:

·       The examination of the case involving the second President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan and some other former senior officials accused of overthrowing the constitutional order along the lines of the March 1, 2008 case was held Thursday at the Shengavit seat of the Yerevan Court of General Jurisdiction and presided over by Judge Anna Danibekyan.

Second President Robert Kocharyan, former Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces and former CSTO Secretary General Yuri Khachaturov, former Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan, and former Deputy Prime Minister and ex-Secretary of the National Security Council Armen Gevorgyan are defendants in this case.

According to Seyran Ohanyan, the most important thing now is for the court to commute the preventive measure for Kocharyan and release him.

Meanwhile, the supporters of Armenia’s second President Robert Kocharyan were staging a rally for the fourth day, outside the court.

According to Kocharyan, this is the most disgraceful criminal case in the history of the Republic of Armenia.

“My rights have been violated numerous times during this one year, and I have the impression that they haven’t missed any opportunity for violation in this case,” he said.

·      Armenian government held a sitting Thursday.

The government today approved a draft law on the reduction and prevention of health damage due to the use of tobacco products and their substitutes.

It would ban smoking in all indoor public and workplaces. Certain restrictions are also envisaged in public transport, children's playgrounds, health, cultural, educational institutions, as well as restrictions on the sale and promotion of cigarettes and the promotion of tobacco products and advertising.

Also, the minimum remaining shelf life of drugs imported into Armenia will be reduced to 6 months, while until recently, drugs imported into Armenia should have a residual shelf life of at least 1 year.

During the meeting, it was decided to replenish the list of sights of Armenia with five cities and villages. The list, in particular, includes the city of Meghri, the village of Ashnak (Aragatsotn province), the city of Goris, the village of Khachik, Vayots Dzor province, the village of Verin Dvin, Ararat province.

·      The tourist portal TourStat presented the top of the most interesting wine vacation and festivals of the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) this fall.

Food trips to Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Moldova, and Uzbekistan are in the top five autumn gastronomic tours in the CIS and neighboring countries.

According to TourStat, the destinations include the Telavino festival in Kakheti (Georgia), the Pomegranate Festival in Azerbaijan, the Areni Young Wine Festival in Armenia, the National Wine Day in Moldova and the festival of The Art of Winemaking in Uzbekistan.

·      A Russian soldier was found dead in an apartment in Gyumri, Armenia.

The dead body of Russian citizen Aleksandr Babushkin, 23, was found on Tuesday. The forensic doctor reported that scratches were detected on the face, right hand, and right leg of the body. A forensic medical examination has been ordered.

·      Acting CSTO Secretary General Valery Semerikov commented on the topical issue in Armenia over the organization's cooperation with Azerbaijan.

Asked to comment about the possibility of granting any status to Azerbaijan, Semerikov noted that he is an administrative official of the organization.

All statements or requests to become an observer, partner, or member must be received in an established manner by the CSTO secretariat. I have no statements from Azerbaijan. The issue was not considered he said.

To the remark that minutes earlier, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov did not rule out a similar possibility, Semerikov noted: Let's proceed from the regulatory framework. All decisions, especially concerning membership, partnership, observation, and other issues are made strictly by consensus, consent. If there is no consent of the states, the decision will not be made.

Earlier, Deputy PM Yuri Borisov told reporters in Yerevan that the CSTO will always welcome cooperation with all the former republics of the Soviet era.

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