Armenian News - NEWS.am presents the daily digest of Armenia-related top news as of 17.06.21:
• Human Rights Defender of Armenia Arman Tatoyan posted on his Facebook a video which shows the Presidents of Turkey and Azerbaijan who say that the captives of the Armenian side are illegally kept in Azerbaijan for the exchange of certain mine maps in parts.
“The Office of the Human Rights Defender of Armenia has translated the video into Russian and English and has conducted an analysis of the video. It will be forwarded to the specialized agencies of the UN, the OSCE, and other international organizations along with the official letter of the Human Rights Defender of Armenia,” Tatoyan noted.
Tatoyan also shared on his Facebook news that on Wednesday morning, nine Azerbaijani soldiers stole a cow and a newborn calf from the shepherd of the pasture of Gegharkunik Province village.
He noted that this theft has taken place in the Armenian sovereign territory, and the Azerbaijani troops have come down from the positions that are illegally deployed in Armenia.
• Azerbaijan has even resorted to blackmail, demanding from Armenia the opening of the so-called "Zangezur corridor" in exchange for the Lachin corridor.
The idea was voiced as a “test bubble” by Azerbaijani political scientist Eldar Namazov in an interview with the Azerbaijani media.
The Lachin corridor connects Armenia and Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), and Turkey and Azerbaijan are trying their best to get the "Zangezur corridor" through Armenia's Syunik Province.
Namazov confirmed that the declaration signed recently by the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Turkey in the occupied Armenian city of Shushi in Artsakh refers to the establishment of an Azerbaijani-Turkish military alliance. The deployment of a Turkish military unit in Aghdam has already been announced.
Given that the Lachin corridor is currently under the responsibility of Russian peacekeepers, such "corridor in exchange for corridor" blackmail attempts are becoming even more sinister, apparently with the aim of provoking Russia to take drastic steps.
• The acting Minister of Defense of Armenia, Vagharshak Harutyunyan, on Wednesday, had a phone talk with the Russian defense minister Sergey Shoygu.
They discussed the ways to resolve the current situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.
Harutyunyan noted that the Armenian side respects the calls of partner countries and organizations to settle this issue peacefully, adding that the position of the Armenian side is unchanged in this regard: the Azerbaijani army units must leave the sovereign territories of Armenia without any preconditions.
• President of Russia Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden held their talks in Geneva on Wednesday.
Overall, the talks lasted four-and-a-half hours, break included. In the beginning, the talks were held in a narrow format, attended by Putin and Biden and the FMs of both countries, followed by a wide-format meeting.
Following the talks, Putin said that Russia and the US have agreed to reciprocally resend ambassadors.
He fell short of saying when the ambassadors would be returned.
Overall, Putin said the talks were constructive, noting that even though the meeting wasn’t held in a hostile atmosphere, it proceeded in principle.
Meanwhile, Biden called his meeting with Putin in Geneva ‘positive’.
During a press conference following the meeting, Biden said there were moments when neither of them agreed with each other and they spoke out about this, adding that this wasn’t done in a hyperbolic atmosphere.
• The seismological network of the Ministry of Emergency Situations (MES) of Armenia on Thursday recorded a magnitude-2.7 earthquake in the country.
It was recorded 8km northwest of Yelpin village in Vayots Dzor Province, and 10 km beneath the surface.
The tremor measured magnitude 3 to 4 at the epicenter.
• As of Thursday morning, 96 new cases of the coronavirus were confirmed in Armenia, and the total number of these cases has reached 224,000 in the country. Also, one more death from COVID-19 was registered, making the respective total 4,491 cases.