Spring session: addresses by the Prime Ministers of Georgia and Armenia
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will hold its spring session in Strasbourg from 8 to 12 April 2019, with addresses expected by the Prime Ministers of Georgia and Armenia.
The Assembly will hold joint debates on stopping hate speech and acts of hatred in sport - as well as the role of political leaders in combating hate speech - and on strengthening co-operation with the UN and implementation of the sustainable development goals.
There has been a request for an urgent debate on "The budgetary crisis at the Council of Europe".
Other topics to be discussed include promoting parliaments free of sexism and sexual harassment, the implications for human rights of social media, and a report on balancing the rights of parents, donors and children during the anonymous donation of sperm and oocytes.
The Assembly will also look at so-called “laundromats” and new challenges in combating organised crime and money-laundering, and will take a stand on the creation of a new EU mechanism on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights.
The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights will present her annual activity report for 2018 and take questions, while there will be the usual exchange of views with the current head of the Council of Europe’s ministerial body, Finnish Foreign Affairs Minister Timo Soini, and question time with Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland.
The Assembly will decide its final agenda on the opening day of the session.
Armenia, Ukraine and South Korea protest against the existence of bio laboratories
The global coronavirus pandemic has not only paralyzed economic activity around the world, but has also revealed a large number of socio-political problems in many countries. Political scandals related to the existence of US military bio laboratories have erupted because of coronavirus in countries such as Armenia, Ukraine and South Korea. Recent protests in Armenia and Ukraine have again called for the closure of US military bio laboratories operating in the country. In their demands, the speakers expressed concern that the new US testing viruses in these laboratories posed a deadly threat to both the country's population and the environment. That's why the protesters demanded the immediate closure of American bio laboratories.
Russian researcher Victoria Popova wrote in her article "American Bio-Laboratories in Armenia: Wonders of Multi-Vectorism" as early as 2017 that the entire network operates in Armenia - 12 bio-laboratories created or modernized with US military money under its Biological Threat Reduction Program (BTRP). In turn, it is part of the US Joint Program on Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP). Three of them are in Yerevan: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State Food Service, and the Infectious Diseases Clinical Hospital "Nork". There are regional laboratories at the black plague prevention stations in Ijevan, Gyumri, Martuni, Sisian, Artashat, Vanadzor and other places. The scandal erupted in Armenia after 14 employees of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC) and the country's Ministry of Health became infected with the coronavirus. The party "Armenian Eagles - United Armenia" recently demanded the liquidation of all US sub-bio laboratories in the country within two months from Prime Minister N. Pashinian. A scandal is occurring in Ukraine over the activities of 11 American bio laboratories in the country. A few years ago, the media reported that American bio laboratories had been set up in Ukraine, but this information failed to gain attention. This time, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the opposition demanded that the government explain what is happening on the secret facilities.
Two lead deputies of the "Opposition Platform for Life" - Viktor Medvechuk and Renat Kuzmin (Deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine in the past), have publicly called on the Ukrainian authorities to provide information on the activities of US bio laboratories.
"Independent Military Review" reviewer Vladimir Ivanov writes that after the collapse of the USSR, US bio laboratories were also set up in CIS countries such as Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Moldova and others. Only American specialists have access to them and the results of their research. Local scientists and technical staff are not allowed to enter the areas where the most important and secret surveys are conducted.
Foreign media has reported on the escalation of inter-Korean relations these days. One reason for this is the existence of American bio laboratories in South Korea. North Korea has once again requested the closure of US military bio laboratories in South Korea. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea, for several years has accused United States of preparing the start of a biochemical war. As early as 2018, according to "RIA Novosti", the Democratic People's Republic of Korea accused the United States of preparing for a biochemical war on the Korean Peninsula. Pyongyang's suspicions were linked to a US-South Korean program to set up a network of military biochemical laboratories, which also researches poisonous substances. It should be noted that with the spread of the coronavirus epidemic in South Korea, the protest of citizens has intensified due to the presence of American biochemical laboratories in the country. Protestants have demanded the closure of American biochemical laboratories in South Korea because they pose a major threat to both the country's population and South Korea's ecological security. South Koreans still remember well how the U.S. admitted in 2015 that it mistakenly sent live Anthrax to private laboratories in South Korea. The head of the Pentagon, Ashton Carter, personally apologized to the South Korean Minister of Defense, Han Min-Goo, for this.
Badri Nachkebia, Political scientist,
Doctor of History
Expert-consultant of several leading universities abroad
(Information is prepared based on internet materials)
Farid Shahbazli: We call on the international community to strongly condemn Armenia's policy of aggression against Azerbaijan and its provocations on the border
Armenia continues its provocative policy against Azerbaijan. On July 12, the Armenian armed forces violated the ceasefire and fired at the positions of the Azerbaijani armed forces in the direction of the Tovuz region of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border using artillery. As a result, soldiers of the Azerbaijani Army were killed.
The statement came from Farid Shahbazli, Editor-in-chief of Azerbaijan's Editor.az news agency and chairman of the Reformist Youth Public Union. He noted that as a result of retaliatory fire and counter-offensive measures of the Azerbaijani armed forces, the attack of the Armenian armed forces was prevented. The Azerbaijani Armed Forces are monitoring the situation. The Armenian side has not been able to acquire any territory.
Shahbazli noted that the militarization of the state border with Armenia and the deliberate targeting of civilians continue systematically:
"Armenia is trying to involve its military-political organizations in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, to evade responsibility for the occupation and aggression against Azerbaijan. Armenia's aggression against Azerbaijan for 30 years and provocations on the border, as well as contradicts the legal documents of the military-political organization. Armenia is trying to justify its policy of aggression and deceive international organizations.
Armenia has occupied Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions of Azerbaijan by launching a military aggression against Azerbaijan in gross violation of the UN Charter and other international legal obligations. UN Security Council Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 demand the full and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan".
According to Farid Shahbazli, the provocation committed by Armenia on the border is another proof of official Yerevan's lack of interest in resolving the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict through negotiations.
While the world community is fighting against COVID-19, this act of attack and provocation was committed by Armenia. This situation and Armenia's continued ceasefire violation prove once again that Armenia's support for the UN Secretary-General's global ceasefire initiative in connection with COVID-19 is nothing but hypocrisy.
We call on the international community to strongly condemn Armenia's policy of aggression against Azerbaijan and its provocations on the border.
Farid Shahbazli, Editor-in-chief of Azerbaijan's Editor.az
The situation in the Tovuz direction remains tense
On the morning of July 16, units of the Armenian armed forces again attempted to attack our positions on the site of the Tovuz region of the Azerbaijan-Armenia state border.
At the same time, the villages of Agdam, Dondar Gushchu and Vahidli of the Tovuz region were fired from large-caliber weapons and mortars. There are no casualties among the civilian population.
Currently, there are fights in this direction. Our units control the operational situation.
The public will be further informed.
The meeting of Archil Talakvadze with the Head of CoE Georgia Office
The Speaker, H.E. Archil Talakvadze held the farewell meeting with the Head of CoE Georgia Office, Mr. Cristian Urse and discussed the relations between the Georgian Parliament and the CoE and the future cooperation prospects.
The Speaker thanked the diplomat for his personal contribution in democratic development of the country and wished good luck in his further career.
EU supports information campaign in Georgia for EU Sustainable Energy Week 2020
On 22 June, the EU Delegation to Georgia launched the EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) campaign. The campaign consists of tips for citizens on saving energy and money, caring about the environment and making their homes more energy efficient.
This year, the EUSEW will run from 22 to 26 June. The event will be held virtually, and the topic will be Beyond the crisis: Clean energy for green recovery and growth.
The EUSEW is the biggest event dedicated to renewables and efficient energy use in Europe. It is organised by the European Commission and brings together public authorities, private companies, non-government organisations and consumers to promote initiatives to save energy and move towards renewables for clean, secure and efficient power.
Find out more