Alexander Lapshin, a citizen of Russia and Israel, who was arrested in Minsk, Belarus on December 15, 2016, for visiting Nagorno-Karabakh Republic was extradited to Azerbaijan on February 8 due to the request of Azerbaijan.
The quality of tax administration in business sector bears positive changes in Armenia but there are still many unresolved issues in terms of improving the business environment, providing equal competitive conditions for all operators. "On the one hand, the informal economy should be levied a tax, on the other hand, such a competitive environment needs to be provided in order the businesses working in the “white field” have the opportunity to develop, not to go bankrupt.
Malignant neoplasm mortality in Armenia is 21 percent. In 2015, cancer mortality cases increased by 380 cases, compared to 2014. Diana Andreasyan, Head of the Analytical Center of National Institute of Health Information, stated this at Media Center
In the international tourism market, Armenia and Georgia should be introduced by joint tour packages. Iran can also be included in that package because tourists may not be interested in visiting only one state. But simultaneously the infrastructures should be developed, beneficial and interesting packages should be introduced, the condition of roads and transport should be improved. The representatives of the tourism industry in Armenia and Georgia stated about this.
Armenia's new government initiatives and the current economic situation, the challenges are not in accordance. The economy has profound problems of efficiency, logistics, fundraising, and tax administration but the officials make provisional, superficial and temporary solutions. Economists talked about this during the discussion “The New Government's Actions and RA Economic Challenges” at Media Center on January 27.
On January 23, a discussion entitled “Legal and Political Consequences of Aleksander Lapshin’s Extradition” was held at Media Center. Stepan Grigoryan, Director of the Center for Globalization and Regional Cooperation, Ara Ghazaryan Lawyer, Expert in international law and Samvel Martirosyan, Media expert.
Although Yerevan Council of Elders continued its regular work in 2016, several factors had a negative impact on the implementation of some projects stipulated by the budget and the efficiency of the work of the Council. In the past year, a number of parks have been built in the city, green areas have been expanded but fundamental problems remained unresolved. These are buildings in an emergency, lifts that are in poor condition, the public transport, and so on.
Media Center hosted a discussion today about the trial of activist Gevorg Safaryan, a member of the "Founding Parliament", activist, who was sentenced to 2 years in prison on January 16, based on the decision of the Court of General Jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork Marash Administrative Districts of Yerevan.
Although a few months are left for the parliamentary elections, there is no outlined activity in the political process. The political forces are engaged in the negotiations on developing formats of alliances and pre-election cooperation. As experts said, almost no political force managed to establish political capital, which would make them convincing during elections.
A discussion was held ahead of the International Day of Human Rights at Media Center with the participation of Larisa Alaverdyan, Executive Director of "The Foundation Against the Violation of Law" NGO, RA first Ombudsman, Artak Zeynalyan, Member of "Rule of Law" NGO and Artur Sakunts, Head of the Vanadzor office of the Helsinki Citizens' Assembly.
Although there are no precise data, according to advocates, there are still more than five dozen citizens (besides the armed group members) in custody as a consequence of the July events. Arayik Papikyan, Advocate, Representative of Helsinki Association, said during the press conference, entitled "The Cases of Detained Citizens during the July Events: Evaluation of the Preliminary Phase" at Media Center on November 24.
Varuzhan Hoktanyan, Project Director of Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center, presented the results of the Global Corruption Barometer 2016 during the press conference held at Media Centre on November 16.