In April-May of this year an unprecedented nationwide movement swept across Armenia. The movement led by opposition parliamentarian Nikol Pashinyan came to be known as the Velvet Revolution and drastically altered Armenia’s political landscape. As hundreds of thousands of people across the country took to the streets in acts of civil disobedience demanding the resignation of Serzh Sargsyan, (who was elected to the office of prime minister on April 16), a new era emerged in Armenia, one full of great hope and expectations yet ripe with many challenges and potential pitfalls. With the promise of snap elections, rooting out corruption and a new style of governance perhaps unseen in Armenia’s 27 year history of independence, will Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his government be able to deliver?
Here we present the first 100 days of Nikol Pashinyan’s government.
May 8, 2018
Nikol Pashinyan elected as the prime minister of Armenia in a special session of parliament
Immediately following his election as the country’s prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan with his inner circle and wife Anna Hakobyan, joins over a hundred thousand people in Republic Square to celebrate the victory of the Velvet Revolution.
Live from Baghramyan 26
That same evening, Pashinyan goes live from Baghramyan 26, the official office of the Prime Minister. He shows the office and talks about his day. He announces that starting the next day (May 9), citizens of Armenia importing products will not face difficulties and customs clearance processes will be faster. He also asks businesses to print out receipts to help the national budget and promises to keep citizens updated all the time.
Wednesday, May 9, 2018 (Day 1)
Nikol Pashinyan visits Artsakh to celebrate Victory Day
The Prime Minister, accompanied by his wife Anna Hakobyan takes part in victory celebrations in Stepanakert and later visits the cemetery of the Karabakh War heroes to pay tribute to them and their families. Pashinyan lays flowers at their graves and hugs the mothers of fallen soldiers. Afterwards, Pashinyan, joined by the President of Artshakh Bako Sahakyan, visits Shushi to take part in the commemoration ceremony near Vasgen Sargsyan’s statue.
First press conference with national and international journalists in Stepanakert
Pashinyan gives his first press conference, answering questions to more than 30 national and international journalists. He speaks about the resolution of the Artsakh conflict and states that Artsakh must be a side in the negotiation process.
Live from the airplane
Pashinyan goes live from the airplane on his way back to Yerevan. He talks about his press conference and meetings with Artsakh President Bako Sahakyan.
Pashinyan talks to Vladimir Putin
During a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pashinyan expresses his gratitude to Putin for not interfering in the internal political situation in Armenia. The two leaders agree to continue their discussion in Sochi on the sidelines of the EAEU summit. Both leaders express their readiness to continue deepening their strategic relations.
Federica Mogherini (Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy) and Pashinyan discuss foreign policy priorities
Mogherini and Pashinyan speak about the importance of the partnership between the EU and Armenia and opportunities to strengthen relations; Mogherini invites Pashinyan to Brussels at the earliest opportunity.
Thursday, May 10, 2018 (Day 2)
Resignations and appointments
Pashinyan announces the resignation of Armenia’s Police Chief Vladimir Gasparyan and head of the National Security Service Georgi Kutoyan. He appoints Eduard Aghajanyan as his Chief-of-Staff, Valeri Osipyan as Armenia's Chief of Police, and Artur Vanetsyan as the head of National Security Service of Armenia.
After much discussion on social networks, Pashinyan goes live on his Facebook page to talk about the appointments. He says: “Our revolution has opened a new page. Before the revolution, I and Valeri Osipyan, you and Valeri Osipyan, we and the police were physically standing on the opposite sides of the barbed wires...After this decision we all have to appear on the same side. This is symbolic and we have to try to eliminate the culture of barbed wires from the Republic of Armenia. I hope Mr. Osipyan will justify the hopes of the citizens of Armenia, because today much depends on the police.”
During another Facebook live, Pashinyan urges parents of soldiers not to send their sons clothing, food, hygiene products or anything else that the government is obliged to provide them with. He reassures parents that moving forward, the state will fulfill all its obligations to the soldiers serving on the frontlines.
Pashinyan gives interview to the first public TV of Georgia
During his interview, Pashinyan says: “The brotherly relations of Georgia and Armenia must be developed, because we are brotherly countries and partners. Georgia has a decisive role for Armenia in our party’s [Civil Contract] program.”
Friday, May 11, 2018 (Day 3)
First government session with the new Prime Minister
Pashinyan announces the appointment of David Tonoyan as Defence Minister as well as the resignation of Levon Yeranosyan (Commander of the RA Police Troops and Deputy Head of the Police) and Diaspora Minister Hranush Hakobyan.
Pashinyan tasks his Chief-of-Staff to address the retirement benefit issue of Serzh Sargsyan. In March 2018, Armenia’s government provided former president Sargsyan with official premises as part of a presidential retirement benefit. Later, on April 19, Sargsyan rejected the benefit and suggested the next government provide him with the benefit.
- Armenian President Armen Sarkissian signs decrees on appointing Suren Papikyan Minister of Territorial Administration and Development; Mkhitar Hayrapetyan Minister of Diaspora; Ararat Mirzoyan as First Deputy Prime Minister; Tigran Avinyan as Deputy Prime Minister of Armenia; and Arayik Harutyunyan Minister of Education and Science.
- Pashinyan has a telephone conversation with Georgian President Kvirikashvili. The sides emphasized the importance of deepening traditional friendly relations between the two countries.
- Nikol Pashinyan shows the interior of the prime minister’s office during a Facebook live.
Saturday, May 12, 2018 (Day 4)
- Pashinyan introduces newly appointed Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan to Defense Ministry staff. President Armen Sarkissian signs a decree relieving Hunan Poghosyan from the post of first deputy police chief; appoints Mher Grigoryan Deputy Prime Minister.
-Pashinyan attends Yerevan Wine Days 2018 where he walks among the crowds, talks with many people, while tasting a variety of wines.
Sunday, May 13, 2018 (Day 5)
- Prime Minister Pashinyan receives UK Ambassador Judith Margaret Farnworth. The two touch upon the developments in Armenia, the formation of the government and Armenian-British relations.
- Nikol Pashinyan holds phone conversation with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. The two discuss bilateral relations between the two countries and the future of the Iran nuclear deal.
- Pashinyan leads a round table with newly appointed ministers
- Pashinyan live from the airplane on his way to Sochi to participate in the session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council.
- In Sochi, Pashinyan meets with Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov and local Armenian religious and community leaders. During his meeting with representatives of the Armenian community, Pashinyan expresses hope that reforms in Armenia will lead to a wave of repatriation.
May 14, Monday (Day 6)
- While in Sochi to participate in the session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, Pashinyan meets Moldovan president Igor Dodon, President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus and Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov
- Pashinyan meets former Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, who is now the chairman of the board of the EEC
- Pashinyan meets Russian president Vladimir Putin who was the first head of state to congratulate Pashinyan on his election as PM. Pashinyan assures his counterpart that political developments in Armenia will in no way jeopardize relations between the two countries.
- Pashinyan’s announcement during the session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council. “I reaffirm Armenia’s full commitment to its international obligations, including those in the sidelines of the Eurasian Economic Union.”
- During a Facebook live, Pashinyan announces that he has invited world-renowned economist Daron Acemoglu to Armenia to aid the new government in its effort to reform the country’s economy.
May 15 Tuesday, (Day 7)
- Pashinyan’s brief conversation with journalists: He expresses hope that the Republican-dominated National Assembly will approve the new government’s program. Pashinyan also vows to hold snap elections within a year.
- PM Pashinyan introduces new Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan to ministry staff. Mnatsakanyan had been serving as Armenia’s ambassador to the United Nations.
- Nikol Pashinyan also introduces several other new members of his cabinet, including Minister of Territorial Administration and Development Suren Papikyan, Finance Minister Atom Janjughazyan, Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Mane Tandilyan, Minister of Economic Development and Investments Artsvik Minasyan, Agriculture Minister Artur Khachatryan, Health Minister Arsen Torosyan, Minister of Energy Infrastructures Natural Resources Artur Grigoryan and Minister of Emergency Situations Hrachya Rostomyan.
- Pashinyan also introduced deputy PM Tigran Avinyan and First Deputy PM Ararat Mirzoyan to the newly formed cabinet.
May 16, Wednesday (Day 8)
- U.S. President Donald Trump congratulates Nikol Pashinyan on his election.
Pashinyan Live on Facebook: He urges the public to differentiate purely political cases from cases involving fatalities when discussing the issue of political prisoners. The Prime Minister was referring primarily to the famous “Sasna Tsrer” case.
- Prime Minister of Romania Viorica Dăncilă congratulates Nikol Pashinyan.
- Armenian Prime Minister and WITSA (World Information Technology and Services Alliance) chairman meet ahead of 2019 WCIT (World Congress on Information Technologies ) Yerevan. During the meeting, Pashinyan stressed that developing Armenia’s IT sector would be one of his government’s primary goals.
- Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia Aram I has a telephone conversation with PM Pashinyan.
May 17, Thursday (Day 9)
- Armenia’s new government holds its second session.
- Prime Minister Pashinyan personally meets with demonstrators outside the government building ahead of the Cabinet meeting.
- Pashinyan announces temporarily suspends speedometers and traffic cameras citing excessive fines and late fees as the primary reasons for the move.
- The Government discusses the possibility of decreasing income tax rates.
- Pashinyan orders investigation of rights violations perpetrated by the authorities during the protests in April. These violations include attacks on protestors and destruction of property.
- Pashinyan stresses the importance of raising public trust in official statistical data. Suggests drastic cuts in the number of official vehicles. He says the new Cabinet will be tasked with a goal of ensuring a high economic growth indicator. Some of the measures Pashinyan proposes include combatting monopolies and incentivizing investment. Pashinyan also reiterated his commitment to amending the Electoral Code.
- During a Facebook live, Pashinyan asks the citizens protesting against Yerevan mayor Taron Margaryan and supporters of the Sasna Tsrer group to stop civic actions. He argues that the formation of a government that enjoyed large public support had ended the era of Armenian politics when such protests were necessary. Instead, the PM urges protestors to air their grievances through proper governmental channels.
- Pashinyan meets Yuri Khachaturov, General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
May 18, Friday (Day 10)
- PM Pashinyan receives Armenia country director of the Asian Development Bank Shane Rosenthal. They discuss the construction of the “North-South” road, Pashinyan’s efforts against monopolies and other priorities of the Government.
- PM Pashinyan introduced newly-appointed secretary of the Security Council Armen Grigoryan to the Council staff. The Prime Minister tasks Grigoryan with convening a session of the Security Council to discuss defense policy and to implement different agenda decisions.
- PM Pashinyan introduces newly appointed president of the State Revenue Committee Davit Ananyan to committee staff. Pashinyan states that the new president should ensure that the SRC does not hinder the functioning of the free market and emphasizes the importance of eliminating Armenia’s shadow economy.
- PM Pashinyan received US Ambassador to Armenia Richard Mills.
- IOM Director General congratulates Pashinyan on his election as Prime Minister.
May 19, Saturday (Day 11)
- Prime Minister Pashinyan gives a virtual tour of his governmental residence and gardens in a Facebook live. He talks about the judicial system and states that corruption must be eliminated in order to establish an independent Judiciary. He also states that the use of pre-trial detention should be limited to cases where it is entirely justified.
- Indian PM Modi sends congratulatory message to Nikol Pashinyan.
- Pashinyan visits several museums on Museum Night with his family, talks to people and expresses his thoughts on Facebook.
May 20 (Sunday Day 12)
- Nikol Pashinyan attends the funeral of Greta Sargsyan, the mother of the late military commander and politician Vazgen Sargsyan.
May 21, Monday (Day 13)
- Inauguration ceremony of the new government takes place. Following the inauguration, Pashinyan talks to journalists where he stresses that rule of law, independent judiciary and competitive market are important for economic development. He also promises amnesty of traffic camera tickets
- Pashinyan tells reporters that he is planning on appointing new governors. He says that snap elections is the primary goal of the new cabinet, however stresses that this is not the only problem requiring a solution.
- Belgium’s Prime Minister Charles Michel congratulates Pashinyan on election.
- PM Pashinyan delivers remarks via live video at the discussion titled “Armenia Tomorrow: Citizen Diplomacy at Work” organized by the Institute of Armenian Studies of the University of Southern California
- Pashinyan speaks of the necessity of solving Armenia’s emigration crisis.
- Pashinyan meets with the organizers of Francophonie. The PM attaches importance to organizing and holding the summit at a high level: “It’s an unprecedented event with its scale in the history of the third Republic. We should do everything for this event to be historic not only for Armenia, but also for the International Organization of La Francophonie.”
- Pashinyan announces that the NK conflict settlement was discussed during his meetings at the EAEU Sochi summit.
May 22, Tuesday (Day 14)
- Pashinyan receives Gallup International Association President Kancho Stoychev.
- Nikol Pashinyan receives Swiss Ambassador to Armenia Lukas Gasser. The Ambassador announces that he will facilitate the participation of Swiss businesses in the Meghri Free Economic Zone.
- Finnish and Mongolian PMs extend best wishes to Armenian counterpart on election.
- Pashinyan goes live on his Facebook page to discuss environmental issues.
- Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan receives a delegation led by President of the House of Representatives of Cyprus Demetris Syllouris who says that Cyprus will advocate for the ratification of the CEPA and the liberalization of the Armenia-EU visa regime.
- President Moon Jae-in of Korea congratulates Nikol Pashinyan. Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki sends a congratulatory letter to the Prime Minister.
May 23, Wednesday (Day 15)
- Pashinyan urges and demands a stop all civil disobedience actions (Facebook post). He reiterates his position that political issues should not be solved through civil disobedience since the new government of Armenia enjoys popular support.
- Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan delivers remarks during 18th congress of the Union of Information Technology Enterprises (UITE). In his remarks, he says: “The development of the information technologies field is a priority for our government and the Republic of Armenia.”
- Pashinyan speaks at National Assembly. During the Q&A session in the Parliament, in response to the question of MP Mihran Poghosyan when the agreement with the Russian side was reached on acquiring Tor air defense systems, PM Pashinyan says the direct response to this question is a state secret, but he touches upon the Armenian-Russian cooperation in all spheres, including the military-technical.
- Pashinyan also announces that he has ordered officials to ensure that soldiers receive the necessary supplies, equipment and hygiene products. He also urges parents to not send their children these items, stating that it is the government’s responsibility to ensure that the needs of soldiers are met. Pashinyan also assured MPs that the commemoration of the centenary of the Republic of Armenia would be celebrated properly. He also says that snap parliamentary elections in Armenia should be held in autumn
- Pashinyan answers Jirayr Sefilyan’s letter. He states that the process of freeing Armenia’s political prisoners is already underway. He also reiterates his position on the use of violence to accomplish political goals, stating that such behavior is unacceptable.
- PM Pashinyan hopes EU member states will ratify CEPA as soon as possible and expresses hope that his government will secure additional funding from the European Union.
- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan receives members of the Central Board of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU).
May 24, Thursday (day 16)
- Nikol Pashinyan meets His Holiness Garegin II, Catholicos of All Armenians.
- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan received the delegation of Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Monitoring Committee co-rapporteurs, headed by Giuseppe Galati.
- The Prime Minister announces the appointment of Major-General Artak Davtyan as the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces.
- Pashinyan calls Garegin Chugaszyan asking him to stop his hunger strike.
- Pashinyan visits Garegin Chugaszyan after which he stops his hunger strike.
- Chugaszyan, 53, was the chairman of the Founding Parliament initiative, an opposition movement, and was detained in 2015 for organizing riots ahead of April 24 – the Armenian Genocide commemoration day. However, the prosecution changed the detention a few days later and Chugaszyan was released on a signature bond. He had been demanding the release of political prisoners.
May 25, Friday (Day 17)
- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan attends the annual meeting of Hayastan All-Armenian Fund (HAAF) Board of Trustees.
- PM Pashinyan introduces the new Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, Major-General Artak Davtyan to officers. Pashinyan notes that one of the first priorities of the new Chief of Staff should be ensuring that soldiers are provided with adequate equipment and rations. Pashinyan also stresses the importance of investing more government funds in the armed forces in order to ensure that officers are financially secure. As for the 2018-2024 Armed Forces Development Program, PM Pashinyan says it should be implemented consistently, meet the requirements of the time, react to the change of the military-political situation and be in line with the real needs of the Armed Forces.
- Pashinyan celebrates the “Last Bell” in his governmental house with newly graduated students from the borderline villages.
- Pashinyan meets with the representatives from the arts and culture sector; the meeting lasts for two hours.
- The PM receives the delegation of Secretariat of International Organization of La Francophonie.
- UK Prime Minister Theresa May sends a congratulatory message to Nikol Pashinyan.
May 26, Saturday (Day 18)
- In a Facebook live, Pashinyan addresses Armenians from all over the world to come back and serve in the army.
- Pashinyan visits UWC Dilijan and addresses the graduating class: “We are happy to see you in Armenia and hope that you will tell the story of our country when you are back home; you will say that we are a small country, but people have a great heart, a good sense of democracy and solidarity.”
May 27, Sunday (Day 19)
- Pashinyan announces on Facebook that traffic violations by government officials will no longer be tolerated.
- Pashinyan dines with Elton John.
- Pashinyan goes live on Facebook with his son asking Armenians from all over the world to come back and serve in the army.
May 28, Monday (Day 20)
- Pashinyan meets with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in Yerevan. They discuss French-Armenian relations and the upcoming Francophonie summit in Yerevan. Pashinyan says he is looking forward to hosting French President Emmanuel Macron.
- The PM attends festivities dedicated to the 100th Anniversary of the Republic of Armenia at Republic Square
- Pashinyan receives Ramkavar Azatakan Party delegation.
- PM Pashinyan and Deputy Assistant Secretary Bridget Brink discuss further development of Armenian-US ties. Brink congratulates Pashinyan on his election and the 100th anniversary of the First Republic. The two discuss the new government’s fight against corruption and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
May 29, Tuesday (Day 21)
- PM Pashinyan receives EU Special Representative for South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia Toivo Klaar. The two discuss EU-Armenia relations, the ratification of the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
- Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan denies accusations of political vendetta, stating that the actions of the National Security Service are aimed at eliminating corruption and establishing the rule of law and are not politically motivated.
- Armenia is troubled about the situation over the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran Nuclear Programme, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan told Iranian Irna news agency.
As Yerevan and most of Armenia resort back to civil disobedience following the failure of parliament to elect a prime minister on May 1, EVN Report spoke with Davit Sanasaryan, member of the Reject Serzh initiative and one of the key figures of the popular movement in Armenia.
EVN Rerport interview with Davit Sanasaryan during the Velvet Revolution.
- Nikol Pashinyan introduces new head of the State Oversight Service Davit Sanasaryan to the staff. Pashinyan states that Sanasaryan’s main tasks will be ensuring government accountability and aiding in the fight against corruption.
May 30, Wednesday (Day 22)
- Led by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, the Armenian government delegation arrives in Georgia on an official visit. Georgian Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Foreign Affairs Mikheil Janelidze welcome the Armenian Prime Minister at the Tbilisi International Airport.
- Pashinyan meets with Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili; the two leaders issue a joint statement. This is followed by an extended meeting of the two delegations.
- While in Georgia, Pashinyan meets with representatives of the Armenian community. He says, “I am proud of you, I take pride in your will, I am proud to see you proud of being Armenian, proud of seeing the good relationship between Armenia and Georgia, proud of being convinced that the relations between our countries will gradually grow deeper and stronger, Armenians shall feel better in Georgia and Georgians in Armenia.”
- Pashinyan gives an interview to Deutsche Welle.
May 31 , Thursday (Day 23)
- The Catholicos of All Georgia, Ilya II hosts Armenia’s Prime Minister during his official visit to Georgia and expresses confidence in the further development and strengthening of ties between the two nations. Pashinyan conveys warm greetings on behalf of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.
- The Prime Minister, along with his wife Anna Hakobyan visit the Hovhannes Tumanyan House scientific-cultural center in Tbilisi.
- Nikol Pashinyan travels to Georgia’s Samtskhe-Javakheti region and visits the towns of Poka, Gandza, Satkha, Ninotsminda and Akhalkalaki. He meets with representatives of the local Armenian community and visits the Church of the Holy Cross in Akhalkalaki.
- The PM speaks about his discussions with the leadership of Georgia, the prospects of Armenian-Georgian relations, as well as the domestic political situation in Armenia. Pashinyan is accompanied by Georgian Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Foreign Affairs Mikheil Janelidze during the meeting with the local Armenian community in Akhalkalaki.
- Pashinyan meets with Georgian and Armenian businessmen; has a working lunch with Georgian entrepreneurs, then with Georgia-based Armenian business people.
- The Premier briefs them on his government’s economic priorities, including simplification of tax and customs administration, anti-corruption measures, as well as the steps aimed at improving the business environment in general.
June 1, Friday (Day 24)
- Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Karekin II first congratulates Prime Minister Pashinyan on his birthday, wishes him success for the “sake of the Republic of Armenia and the Armenian people.” The Catholicos stresses that the peaceful settlement of the country’s domestic political turmoil has improved the country’s profile and standing internationally.
- Pashinyan receives a delegation led by Francis Malige, EBRD Managing Director for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. The Premier notes the EBRD’s involvement in the country’s economy and stresses the importance of joint efforts to realize projects efficiently. Malige says EBRD is prepared for close cooperation with the new government and interested in expanding its activities.
- During the government session, Pashinyan announces that the Armenian-Georgian relations will be elevated to a new level. The government removes six Republican-backed regional governors from office - Aramayis Grigoryan (Ararat), Karapet Guloyan (Kotayk), Harutyun Sargsyan (Vayots Dzor), Hovik Abovyan (Tavush), Arthur Nalbandian (Lori), Karen Botoyan (Gegharkunik). Suren Papikyan, Minister of Territorial Administration and Development Suren Papikyan presents the nominations for new governors, all of whom are approved: Ashot Simonyan (Aragatsotn), Garik Sargsyan (Ararat), Romanos Petrosyan (Kotayk), Vahe Ghalumyan (Tavush), Karen Sarukhanyan (Shirak), Ishkhan Saghatelyan (Gegharkunik), Hrant Margaryan (Lori), Aragats Saghatelyan ( Vayots Dzor).
Representatives of the Dashnaktsutyun and Prosperous Armenia Party are also among the new governors.
- During the session, Cabinet approves the government’s program. The main directions of the program include “the formation of power solely through the people’s free expression of will, the national unity and civil solidarity based on everyone’s being equal before the rule of law and law, ensuring Armenia’s domestic and external security, constant increase of the security level of Armenia and Artsakh, public rejection of corruption and corruption-free society, the practical division of politics and business.” The program also includes preparations for snap parliamentary elections which they say will be truly free, fair, transparent and democratic. To ensure this, significant changes in the Electoral Code and the electoral system will be enacted.
- The government proposes to the Speaker of Parliament to hold an extraordinary session on June 7, at 11:00 a.m. for a vote on the government’s program.
June 2, Saturday (Day 25)
- French-Armenian singer Charles Aznavour sends a congratulatory letter to Prime Minister Pashinyan for his birthday and election as premier noting that he was proud of the recent events in the country: “I have a great desire, when my health allows, to come and see with my own eyes the new Armenia and meet with the vibrant forces who are going to form the future of our people.”
- Pashinyan, during a Facebook live, comments on price increases in major supermarkets noting that the increases are superficial. “Those who by artificially increasing the prices want to prove that illegality is better than the legality, will very soon feel the real power of the lawfulness”, the PM said, urging to boycott the “thieves and corrupt officials.”
June 3, Sunday (Day 26)
No official events.
June 4, Monday (Day 27)
- Nikol Pashinyan sends congratulatory message to Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on his election.
- Pashinyan urges a stop to protests that have been taking place in Artsakh since June 1 after members of the republic’s National Security Service assaulted two citizens in response to an altercation between an NSS officer and residents. He says that the behavior of the officials is concerning and adds: “Any attempt to solve issues by force is unacceptable, irrespective of the fact who uses force. Of course, this situation needs very concrete solutions, with concrete conclusions. I am closely following the developments in Artsakh. During this period, I have always been in touch with Artsakh President Bako Sahakyan. I am pleased to note that the President of Artsakh has met several times with the representatives of the demonstrators and reached concrete agreements.”
June 5, Tuesday (Day 28)
- Prime Minister Pashinyan receives head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski. Pashinyan said that the Velvet Revolution contributed to the development and strengthening of democracy in Armenia, noting that the favorable atmosphere will provide the needed impetus for a reform process and drastic transformation in the country. The two men also discuss the holding of snap parliamentary elections, Electoral Code reform including EU-Armenia relations.
- PM Pashinyan receives German Ambassador to Armenia Bernhard Matthias Kiesler. The two men discuss the development of Armenian-German relations and Pashinyan makes assurances that his government will take steps to reinvigorate political and economic ties between the two countries. The parties discussed ways of increasing trade turnover between the two countries, issues related to the geopolitical situation in the region, the holding of parliamentary elections in Armenia, the amendments to the Electoral Code, as well as other issues of mutual interest.
June 6, Thursday (Day 29)
- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan receives Yulia Ustyugova, Permanent Representative of the International Monetary Fund in the Republic of Armenia. Pashinyan emphasizes that spending efficiency and financial discipline are among his government’s key priorities. The interlocutors exchange views on the new government’s program, including efforts to improve tax and customs administration, the proposed pension system reform, and other issues.
- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his spouse Anna Hakobyan, joined by President Armen Sarkissian and his wife Nune Sarkissian attend the opening ceremony of the 14th Aram Khachaturian International Contest.
June 7, Thursday (Day 30)
- During a special session, Armenia’s parliament discusses and votes on the new government’s program.
- Prime Minister Pashinyan addresses the National Assembly and presents the main priorities of the program that include: formation of power exclusively through the people’s free expression of will, national unity and solidarity based on the rule of law and everyone’s being equal before the law, ensuring Armenia’s internal and external security, constantly increasing the security level of Armenia and Artsakh, eradicating corruption, the separation of politics and business, protection of human rights, creating favorable conditions for a person to live happy and with dignity.
- Following the discussion and Q&A, Armenia’s parliament approves the government program: 62 MPs voted in favor, and 39 MPs voted against.
- Before the extraordinary session, six legislators from the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) (majority, 58 seats) – Felix Tsolakyan, Artur Gevorgyan, Artak Sargsyan, Shirak Torosyan, Arman Sahakyan and Samvel Alexanyan announce that they are leaving the RPA faction. Thus, the RPA essentially loses majority in the Parliament.
June 8, Friday (Day 31)
- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan receives Italian Ambassador Vincenzo del Monaco who says many Italian companies are interested in investing in Armenia - from infrastructure projects to energy.
- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan receives Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran Seyed Kazem Sadjad. Pashinyan stresses the importance of Armenian-Iranian relations and expresses confidence that bilateral cooperation might be bolstered through joint efforts. The interlocutors discuss ways of expanding cooperation between Meghri and Aras free economic zones, deepening ties in the fields of energy, healthcare, road construction and agriculture.
- During the government session Prime Minister Pashinyan asks Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Artur Grigoryan to report on discussions regarding reduction of the electricity tariffs. Grigoryan says that revising the tariff has been discussed with all interested ministries and agencies and while might present risks, it will be possible to lower the cost of energy by 10 drams for 110-120 thousand economically vulnerable households.
- The government also approved te amendments to the laws “On the status of military service and servicemen,” “On citizens not complying with their liability to compulsory military service in breach of the established order” and “On alternative service.”
- Armenia’s government also agreed to donate a plot of land adjacent to the Yerevan-Sevan highway in the southern district of Hrazdan community of the Kotayk Marz (region) to Kotayk & Gegharkunik KCKK LLC. The project supported by the EBRD will provide 11 million Euros to build a regional landfill in line with EU standards that will serve 12 urban communities in two regions.
June 9, Saturday (Day 32)
- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan receives a delegation of the Armenian Assembly of America (AAA), headed by co-chairs of the Board of Trustees Anthony Barsamian and Van Grigorian. Pashinyan remarks that the AAA has played an important role in community life and also undertaken important lobbying efforts in the U.S.
June 10, Sunday (Day 33)
- PM Pashinyan attends the 2018 Aurora Prize Awards ceremony with his spouse Anna Hakobyan at the National Academic Opera and Ballet Theater.
June 11, Monday (Day 34)
- Armenia’s Prime Minister receives MEP Frank Engel. Pashinyan thanks the parliamentarian for consistently raising issues of concern to Armenia and the Armenian people in the European parliament and for supporting the legitimate struggle of the right to self-determination of the people of Artsakh.
- Nikol Pashinyan receives UN Resident Coordinator Shombi Sharp and expresses gratitude for the work done by the UN Office in Armenia and says that the government is keep to develop relations with the international body. The interlocutors stress the importance of having the UN Development Program’s support in Armenia’s electoral processes and, in that context, discussed ways of promoting voting transparency and public confidence in elections.
- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan receives a delegation led by Giovanni Rubini, chief executive officer of RENCO Italian Company. The meeting focused on the implementation of a new thermal power plant construction project. Pashinyan says that the Armenian government is eager to attract investments and implement new projects, while ensuring the country’s energy security and tariff policy.
- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan receives Sam Simonian, founder of TUMO Center for Creative Technologies. Pashinyan notes that TUMO has become Armenia’s international brand and assures Simonian of his government’s readiness to back their initiatives in a bid to raise the quality of education and support the development of the young generation in Armenia. Simonian advised that TUMO centers will be opened in Paris, Moscow, Tirana, Beirut, as well as at different regiments of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia.
- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan receives newly appointed Ambassador of Russia Sergey Kopirkin. Pashinyan expresses confidence that Armenian-Russian relations will continue to deepen and strengthen through close cooperation. He underscores that strategic relations between Armenia and Russia have ushered in a new stage of development and assures that his government is keen to develop multifaceted interactions with the Russian side.
- A special session of cabinet is held chaired by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. In order to improve the business environment and enhance tax administration efficiency, the executive first approves a set of amendments to Armenia’s Tax Code as well as draft amendments to the law “On Tax Authority-established tax benefits” and “On normative legal acts.” The amendments imply removing the privilege of reduced tax rates on export programs from January 1, 2022 and enable taxpayers to join the system of tax benefits until the December 31, 2018 deadline, in which case the privilege will continue to be effective through January 1, 2022.
- The Government also approves a draft amendment to the law “On funded pensions,” which stipulates that the mandatory funded pension component is coming into force on July 1, 2018. The bill suggests that the citizens’ 10 percent contributions to the mandatory funded pension system will be formed in the proportion of 2.5 to 7.5 percent (2.5 percent shall be contributed by the citizen, and 7.5 percent by the State). Under the current system, the State and the beneficiaries are making equal contributions - 5 percent each.
- The meeting next approved the draft law “On amending RA Administrative Procedure Code.” It is expected to provide for a comprehensive framework for the review of judicial acts in the light of new circumstances.
- The Government decides to appoint Sasun Khachatryan to the post of Head of Special Investigation Service of the Republic of Armenia.
- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan, as well as Varag Sisseryan, Chief of the Office of Deputy Prime Minister, Alexander Khachaturyan, Director of Center for Strategic Initiatives, and Eric Gulazyan, Director of Innovations Lab, hold a videoconference with world-renowned economist, professor Daron Acemoglu. The prospects of Armenia’s development and the possible formats of cooperation with Acemoglu were discussed.
- The Prime Minister introduces his government’s upcoming programs and priorities. The economist says that it is the right time to initiate short-term, medium-term and long-term institutional reforms with a political bias in the justice and financial systems, aimed at improving the investment environment through targeted actions in order to record results over a specific period of time.
June 12, Tuesday (Day 35)
- Nikol Pashinyan goes live on Facebook and answers questions of citizens for over one hour.
- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan receives Denmark Statistical Service Director Jorgen Elmeskoff.
- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan introduces to the State Protection Service staff newly appointed Head of SPS Grigory Hayrapetov.
- Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Mane Tandilyan announces her resignation over the mandatory pension fund decision taken by the government one day earlier.
- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan visits the Special Investigative Service headquarters to introduce newly appointed SIS Chief Sasun Khachatryan to the Service staff
June 13, Wednesday (Day 36)
- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan receives a delegation headed by Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao. The Premier notes that he values highly the ongoing close cooperation with the ADB and underlines that many major projects, including in the private sector, were implemented with the Bank’s support in Armenia.
- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan receives OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs Igor Popov (Russia), Andrew Schofer (USA), Stéphane Visconti (France), and Personal Representative of OSCE Chairman-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk. Highly appreciative of the role played by the co-chairs in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement process, the Premier expresses confidence that effective cooperation would be established with his government. The co-chairs congratulate Pashinyan on his election as Prime Minister, assuring that they will make every effort to reach a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Pashinyan reaffirms Armenia’s readiness to pursue a negotiated settlement plan in cooperation with the co-chairs.
-Pashinyan travels to Russia: The Armenian PM and his wife are greeted at Moscow airport by Armenia’s Ambassador to Russia Vardan Toghanyan and head of the state protocol service of Russia’s foreign ministry Igor Bogdashev.
- The Kremlin hosts meeting between Nikol Pashinyan and Vladimir Putin. The leaders of the two strategic partner countries discuss issues related to the Armenian-Russian agenda and joint efforts in bilateral and multilateral formats.
Nikol Pashinyan and Vladimir Putin also discussed other regional issues of mutual interest.
- Prime Minister Pashinyan attends gala concert dedicated to World Foot Championship in Red Square.
June 14, Thursday, ( Day 37)
- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has working breakfast with Andrey Kostin, Chairman of the Board of the Russian VTB Bank and also meets with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Pashinyan and Medvedev stressed the need to step up bilateral trade based on the active and effective efforts of the Armenian-Russian intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation. The interlocutors touched upon cooperation within the EAEU framework, as well as on the need to expand interactions in the energy, industrial, investment and humanitarian spheres.
- The PM attends working dinner with Armenian community representatives in Moscow where he introduced his government’s economic priorities. He spoke about the simplification of tax and customs administration, the fight against corruption, and the upcoming measures aimed at improving the business environment.
- Nikol Pashinyan attends 2018 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony.
- Nikol Pashinyan visits Prelacy of Holy Transformation Church of Russia and New Nakhichevan Diocese.
- Pashinyan goes live from Moscow and summarizes his visit.
June 15, Friday ( Day 38 )
- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan receives French Ambassador to Armenia Jonathan Lacôte. “We look forward to French President Emmanuel Macron’s upcoming visit amid ongoing preparations for the Francophonie Summit due this fall in Yerevan,” Pashinyan said. In turn, the Ambassador noted that the recent political developments in Armenia prompted them to treat the Armenian-French relationship in a new way. “France was closely following the developments and now many people want to come over. The cooperation between Armenia and the International Organization of La Francophonie will continue to develop successfully because the values advocated during your revolution were in line with the Organization’s system of values,” the Ambassador said.
- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan receives world-famous Polish composer and conductor Krzysztof Penderecki.
- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan receives People’s Republic of China’s Ambassador Tian Erlong who says China is ready to expand, deepen and boost multifaceted political and economic ties of mutually beneficial cooperation with Armenia. Noting that integration processes in the Eurasian region offer opportunities for promoting economic exchanges, the Ambassador stressed the need for continued efforts which should encompass the One Belt, One Road initiative.
- The Prime Minister writes on his Facebook page: “It is unacceptable for criminal elements to use the name of the revolution of love and solidarity in their mafia wars. We won’t allow [it].”
- Nikol Pashinyan gives an interview to Russia Today.
June 16, Saturday ( Day 39 )
- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan travels to Artsakh on a working visit. Along with President Bako Sahakyan of Artsakh, as well as Armenian and Artsakh government delegations, the Premier visits the newly built St. Vardanank Church in Chartar community of Martuni region, where a consecration ceremony is held.
- Pashinyan and Sahakyan inspect the Defense Army positions in the eastern regions of Artsakh. The Heads of State are accompanied by Armenian Defense Minister David Tonoyan and Artsakh Defense Minister Levon Mnatsakanyan, as well as Artak Davtyan, Head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, and Movses Hakobyan, Chief Military Inspector of the Republic of Armenia.
- The leaders of the two Armenian States were presented the engineering facilities and infrastructures, as well as the new technologies introduced in a bid to enhance Artsakh’s defensive capacity. Pashinyan thanks the servicemen and commanders on duty for their dedicated service.
- Nikol Pashinyan, Bako Sahakyan chair consultation at Defense Army Headquarters where they are briefed on the situation of the armed forces.
June 17 Day, Sunday (Day 40)
- Former General and member of the Republican Party, Manvel Grigoryan is arrested on charges of possession of illegal arms and ammunition. The Special Investigative Service releases a video taken at the estate of Grigoryan.
- Nikol Pashinyan goes live on Facebook and talks about the arrest.
June 18 Monday (Day 41)
- Prime Minister Pashinyan holds an extraordinary cabinet meeting regarding the arrest of Manvel Grigoryan. In his address to cabinet, Pashinyan says: “Without violating the presumption of innocence, I would like to state that we are perhaps dealing with the largest-scale corruption chain in the history of the Third Republic.” He states that the case is being handled by the Special Investigative Service and expresses hope that the investigation will be thorough and the “Office of Prosecutor General will guarantee the proper level of investigation.”
- The governments asks the National Assembly Speaker to convene an extraordinary parliamentary sitting on June 19, to discuss the Prosecutor-General’s petition on stripping MP Manvel Grigoryan of parliamentary immunity and instituting criminal proceedings against him.
- The PM holds consultation with heads of various government agencies to discuss issues related to milk collection and storage (in particular reasons behind price fluctuations), fruit and vegetable exports and irrigation. The Premier stressed the need for strict adherence to standards in the production of dairy products; he suggests establishing a task force to study the issues in the sector.
- Prime Minister Pashinyan receives several delegations including a delegation of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs, a German Development Bank (KfW) delegation, headed by Olaf Zimelka, Regional Director for the Countries of Central Asia and the South Caucasus; a delegation of OSCE-member States’ representatives.
June 19, Tuesday (Day 42)
- Nikol Pashinyan receives newly appointed Japanese Ambassador Jun Yamada and Lebanese Ambassador Maya Dagher who advises that the Lebanese President will visit Armenia in the autumn to attend the Francophonie Summit in Yerevan.
- The PM visits Synopsys Armenia’s headquarters in Yerevan. The Premier tours the educational and production departments of one of Armenia’s leading IT companies to get acquainted with the ongoing and prospective programs and new IT development initiatives.
June 20, Wednesday (Day 43)
-Prime Minister Pashinyan receives delegation led by Jacques Marilosian, President of the France-Armenia Parliamentary Friendship Group of the French National Assembly.
June 21, Thursday, (Day 44)
- Prime Minister Pashinyan does not accept Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Mane Tandilyan’s resignation; government set to make the mandatory pension system more acceptable and reliable. Regarding the resignation, Pashinyan says that after discussions with the Minister, they decide to continue their collaboration: “We likewise will continue to work on the widely discussed and controversial issue of funded pension system.”
- The government revokes a decision of August 24, 2017 “On transfer of trust management rights to High Voltage Electric Network CJSC." The revised version of the agreement between the Founder and the Trust Manager has not been ratified and enacted as the Founder no longer intends to continue work on starting and implementing the process of transferring the management of High Voltage Electric Networks CJSC in accordance with the procedure established by the legislation of the Republic of Armenia.
- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan attends a ceremony dedicated to the 26th anniversary of the formation of the RA Police Force.
- Nikol Pashinyan receives Armenia Air Company President Tamaz Gayashvili. The Premier notes that the Government of Armenia is discussing with sector representatives ways of making aviation more competitive in Armenia.
- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan receives Ambassador of the Czech Republic Petr Mikyska and Malika Genduri, Deputy CEO of Veolia (the water management company of Armenia) for Central and Eastern Europe. The Premier expresses hope that the company will implement a more effective water management policy and stresses the need for taking consistent steps toward reducing water losses.
June 22, Friday (Day 45)
- PM posts a photo on his Facebook page promoting healthy lifestyle
- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan congratulates Mamuka Bakhtadze on being elected Prime Minister of Georgia. Pashinyan gives interview to MIR TV where he says that honest relations have been formed with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
June 23, Saturday (Day 46)
- PM Pashinyan congratulates President Armen Sarkissian on his birthday.
June 24, Sunday ( Day 47)
No official events.
June 25, Monday (Day 48)
- Nikol Pashinyan goes live on Facebook where he answers the questions of citizens
- The first Security Council meeting is held today, chaired by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. The meeting discusses the RA Armed Forces Development Plan, the State Program for Development of Armament and Military Equipment, as well as ways of enhancing the troops’ fighting capacity in the exercise of combat duty.
- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan receives a delegation of Armenian businessmen from Russia, Krasnodar, Rostov, Stavropol, Novorossiysk and other cities.
- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan holds consultation to discuss possibilities of providing assistance for potential investment projects. He stresses that from the first day of the formation of his government, foreign investment has been a priority: “During this time, my office was in close touch with potential investors who have made several proposals and recommendations, including the use of a ‘one-stop-shop principle’ for investments. The idea is that the potential office should have the opportunity and authority to carry out such transactions with public agencies on behalf of investors as may be necessary for starting operations.” The need for continued reforms in tax administration was also discussed.
June 26, Tuesday (Day 49)
- A consultation chaired by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan is held to look at ways of addressing the issues of housing, in particular mortgage lending programs, for young families and families of military servicemen. Central Bank Chair Arthur Javadyan states that after negotiations with commercial banks, mortgage interest rates for young families may be reduced to 7-7.5 percent, with a downpayment of 20 percent and up to 30 years repayment period. As regards military servicemen, 10 percent of the downpayment shall be subsidized by the Ministry of Defense, while interest on the loans will be reimbursed from their income tax. The program will be implemented not only in Yerevan, but also in the provinces to ensure balanced territorial development. Nikol Pashinyan says an interdepartmental commission will be formed to finalize the programs and submit them to the Government for approval.
- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan receives Natalia Vutova, Head of Council of Europe’s Armenia Mission and World Bank Regional Director for the South Caucasus Mercy Tembon.
- The PM holds a consultation regarding the fight against corruption attended by representatives of law enforcement bodies. In his address to participants, he says: “Today, the fight against corruption is the most discussed issue in Armenia, and law enforcement authorities are taking serious measures in this direction...We must strictly adhere to lawfulness and the respect for human rights to prevent any misinterpretation of the actions taken by law enforcement.”
June 27, Wednesday (Day 50)
- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan receives Martina Quick, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Sweden; the PM also receives Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian who says he is ready to assist Armenia in the further development of information technologies. The Prime Minister also receives a delegation of leaders and representatives of the Eastern Apostolic Churches of Australia, headed by Archbishop Robert Rabbat.
- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan chairs a meeting of the Standing Supreme Council for Mid-Term Expenditure Program (MTEG). The meeting discussed Armenia’s main macroeconomic indicators and the fiscal framework that should be taken as a basis in developing the 2019-2021 Mid-Term Expenditure Program.