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Groong: Week in Review



June 13, 2021



     Asbed Kotchikian

     Tevan Poghosyan


     Hovik Manucharyan

     Asbed Bedrossian



Hello, and welcome to the Armenian News Network, Groong, Week in Review. This Week we’re going to talk about the following major topics:

      Meltdown at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

      Philip Reeker’s visit to the region

      15 POWs Return Home

      Latest Election Polls


To talk about these issues, we have with us:


Asbed Kotchikian, who is an Associate Professor of political science and international relations at the American University of Armenia.



Tevan Poghosyan, who is president of the International Center for Human Development. Mr. Poghosyan was an MP in the National Assembly between 2012 and 2017 from the Heritage party. From 1997 to 1999 he served as the Nagorno-Karabakh Public Affairs Office Director in Washington, D.C.


Topics This Week

Meltdown at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Ever since the end of the war, it seems that we have been witnessing the gradual dissolution of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As a reminder, a week after the signing of the Nov 9 trilateral statement, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, then foreign minister, tendered his resignation. While there was no official reason given, it is claimed that Mnatsakanyan’s resignation was linked to him being unaware and essentially sidelined, when signing the Nov 9 statement.

On May 20, Avet Adonts, the Deputy FM, told Hraparak that the foreign ministry had no awareness of any document, referring to the leaked document by Mikayel Minasyan, which to remind our listeners is about the demarcation and delimitation of the common border between Armenia and Azerbaijan. A week after that Foreign Minister Ara Ayvazyan resigned, saying that he and the foreign ministry could have no role in “ideas or initiatives that go against our statehood and national interests.”

A week after that, on June 7, the government also confirmed that all deputy foreign ministers have also tendered their resignations. All this is happening in an environment when there is a caretaker government in place until the elections.

Now, three days ago, we learned that Pashinyan actually didn’t sign one of the Deputy FM’s resignation letters since it would create a legal limbo as it appears that Armenian legislation didn’t foresee a situation when the foreign ministry would be rudderless.

Thus, today we’re only left with one acting deputy prime minister, Armen Ghevondyan.


Do we have a functioning Foreign Ministry?

Some say that the resignation of the FM and his deputies is actually the wrong move, and that Armenia needs a strong ministry of foreign affairs as there are a number of external challenges to overcome.  Was the move by Ayvazyan and his deputies was the right one?


Philip Reeker’s Visit to the Region

This week US Acting Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip T. Reeker visited the South Caucasus. His first stop was Tbilisi, then Baku, then Yerevan.

We know from Pashinyan that Reeker played a mediator role between Yerevan and Baku for the return of 15 POWs, which took place a few days ago.


Do we know more details about the purpose of his visit, outside of the POW issue? What issues of importance were on the table in Tbilisi, Baku, and Yerevan? What was achieved through Reeker’s visit to the Caucasus?


15 POWs Return Home

The POWs were released in exchange for minefield maps of the Aghdam/Akna region.

Hrant Mikaelian, a frequent guest of ours, said that Azerbaijan saved $100M as a result of this transaction, because there are roughly 100K mines in that region and it takes roughly $1000 to demine a single mine.

Was this a fair trade?

Latest Election Polls


On Friday June 11, MPG Gallup released their latest poll.

If Elections Were Held Sunday, Which Political Force Would You Vote For?







If Elections Were Held Sunday, Which Political Force Would You Vote For? (By Region/Cities/Yerevan)













Percent of Seats

Armenia Alliance / Հայաստան Դաշինք






Civil Contract / Քաղացիական Պայմանագիր






I Have Honor / Պատիվ Ունեմ






Prosperous Armenia / Բարգավաճ Հայաստան






Bright Armenia / Լուսավոր Հայաստան









That concludes our program for This Week in Review episode. We hope it has helped your understanding of some of the issues from the previous week. We look forward to your feedback, and your suggestions for issues to cover in greater depth. Contact us on our website, at, or on our Facebook PageANN - Groong”, or in our Facebook Group “Groong - Armenian News Network.


Special thanks to Laura Osborn for providing the music for our podcast. On behalf of everyone in this episode, we wish you a good week. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channels, Like our pages and follow us on social media. Thanks for listening and we’ll talk to you next week.



Tevan Poghosyan, Asbed Kotchikian, Philip Reeker, Joe Biden, Vladimir Putin, Recep Erdogan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Artsakh, Aghdam, Stepanakert, Elections, Robert Kocharyan, Nikol Pashinyan, Hayastan Dashinq, Armenia Bloc, Pateev Unem, Civil Contract