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Armenian News - NEWS.am presents the daily digest of Armenia-related top news as of 21.07.21:

  • Minister of Defense of Armenia Vagharshak Harutyunyan has submitted his resignation letter, the Ministry of Defense of Armenia reported.

According to Armenian News-NEWS.am’s sources, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, Major General Arshak Karapetyan will be appointed Minister of Defense.

The President’s Staff reported that it has received the petitions for dismissal of Vagharshak Harutyunyan and Arshak Karapetyan.

  • The Yerevan court of general jurisdiction on Wednesday granted the defense’s motion to release Dr. Armen Charchyan — Izmirlian Medical Center director, and a member of the opposition "Armenia" bloc, led by second President Robert Kocharyan—on bail.

The defense had motioned the court to have Charchyan released on bail of 10 million drams (approx US$20,262). It argued that there are no grounds for him to remain in custody.

Armen Charchyan has been charged amid giving bribes to voters, taking bribes, violating the ban on charity during elections, or obstructing the exercise of a voter's free will.

The footage went viral, according to which Armen Charchyan was urging his employees at Izmirlian Medical Center to go and vote in the snap parliamentary elections on June 20. But according to his legal defense team, the edited version of that recording was submitted to the court, whereas in the full version, Charchyan had not threatened or put pressure on his employees.

  • The opposition "I Have Honor" bloc of Armenia has decided to take its parliamentary mandates, Sos Hakobyan, spokesman for the opposition Homeland Party—which is part of this bloc—, told Armenian News-NEWS.am.

MP candidates can submit a petition for self-withdrawal—to the Central Electoral Commission of Armenia—by 6 pm Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the opposition "Armenia" bloc—led by second President Robert Kocharyan—also announced that it would take its parliamentary mandates.

Thus, the "Armenia" bloc will have 29 seats in the new National Assembly, and the "I Have Honor" bloc—7 seats.

 

  • The US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Chair Senator Bob Menendez expressed concern about the Biden Administration's waiver of Section 907 restrictions on U.S. aid to Azerbaijan.

"The Azerbaijanis are now interfering on the physical territory of Armenia in a border issue, and it just seems to me that they will continue to be aggressive unless they have a clear message that it's not acceptable," Menendez said.

  • As of Wednesday morning, 220 new cases of the coronavirus were confirmed in Armenia, and the total number of these cases has reached 227,936 in the country.

Also, one more death from COVID-19 was reported, making the respective total 4,573 cases.

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