Zareh Sinanyan's working visit to St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region on January 28-29
in Russian - https://www.armspb.org/post/28-1-2023-sinanyan and
On January 28-29, 2023, Zare Sinanyan, High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, visited St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region.
This information in English is more for the Armenian communities and friends of Armenia who understand the importance of developing, despite the difficulties and challenges, Armenia's worthy ties with Russia, where about 3 million Armenians live.
The video recordings below are mainly in Russian, but much is clear even without translation.
Meetings until January 28 in Nizhny Novgorod and Moscow
The website of the Office for Diaspora reports that before coming to St. Petersburg, Zareh Sinanyan had meetings in Nizhny Novgorod and Moscow:
with the Head of the Department of external relations of the Government of the Nizhny Novgorod region Olga Guseva http://diaspora.gov.am/en/news/954 and (in Russian information agency web site) https://www.niann.ru/?id=588499
with members of the council of the Armenian community of the Nizhny Novgorod region http://diaspora.gov.am/en/news/956
with Armenian students in Moscow http://diaspora.gov.am/en/news/957
with representatives of the Association of Armenian lawyers of Russia http://diaspora.gov.am/en/news/959
With Olga Guseva in Nizhny Novgorod
With members of the council of the Armenian community of the Nizhny Novgorod
With Armenian students in Moscow
With representatives of the Association of Armenian Lawyers of Russia
Time for mutual adjustments
The Russian Foreign Ministry on its website published a short note about the meeting between Deputy MFA of Russia Mikhail Galuzin and Zare Sinanyan https://www.mid.ru/ru/foreign_policy/news/1850717/ and http://diaspora.gov.am/en/news/960
The problems of the recent past and the current problems are obvious. Too many of them. The time for words and arguments has passed. The time has come for mutual practical adjustments. The meetings in St. Petersburg also served this purpose.
First day: Meetings on January 28 in St. Petersburg
Several meetings took place during January 28, including:
visit to the multimedia exhibition "No to Genocide!"
meeting with members of the Armenian regional youth association (ARYA).
These meetings were also attended by:
Acting Consul General of Armenia in St. Petersburg Maria Babayan
Chairman of the Armenian national-cultural autonomy of St. Petersburg (ANCA) Karen Mkrtchyan
Greta Mnatsakanyan, head of the "Young Diaspora Ambassador" program.
Visiting the multimedia exhibition "No to Genocide!"
The exposition was organized by the Armenian rergional youth association (ARYA) - https://www.armspb.org/post/against-genocide-jan-2023
Video (3 min)
Meeting with ARYA members
The meeting was moderated by ARMA deputy chairman Aghasi Hakobyan.
As noted on the website of the Office for Diaspora, Zareh Sinanyan expressed gratitude to the association for organising the exhibition and then presented the main directions and programs of the Office. He also answered several young people's questions related to the current situation in Artsakh, community studies, education and culture, the institution of commissioners, information wars, our compatriots in an emergency situation, their support by the state, etc.
Video (8,5 min)
Presentation in PDF format (in Russian) (5 Mb) -
As it is noted in the ARYA web page: "The guests of the meeting asked the Chief Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs their questions, held a lively discussion about the prospects for cooperation between Armenia, Artsakh and the Diaspora."
Zareh Sinanyan expressed gratitude to the association for organising the exhibition and then presented the main directions and programs of the Office. He also answered several young people's questions related to the current situation in Artsakh, community studies, education and culture, the institution of commissioners, information wars, our compatriots in an emergency situation, their support by the state, etc.
At the end of the meeting, the High Commissioner presented a letter of gratitude to the Armenian Regional Youth Association of St Petersburg, represented by President Arshak Hovhanissyan.
At the beginning of this note, it was emphasized that the time has come for mutual adjustments. This also applies to the new level of relations between the Armenian community of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region and the Office for Diaspora. Therefore, at the meeting on January 28, there were dozens of questions.
One of the nearest practical steps is the first youth forum - https://www.armspb.org/post/youth-forum-anons
During the meeting, the new book «In the Light of Conscience and Facts: Armenians in Baku» (in Russian), written by filmmaker and journalist Grigori Mosesov (1944-2004), was presented by his brother Eduard Mosesov.
The guests were also presented with new books by Emil H. Grigoryan (St. Petersburg) "Armenians of the World. A People Unbroken by Fate".
Second day: Meetings on January 29 in city Vsevolozhsk
On January 29, 2023, the High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, Zareh Sinanyan, and the head of one of the programs of the Office for Diaspora, Greta Mnatsakanyan, visited city Vsevolozhsk, Leningrad region. For many years, this was the first visit of an official of this level to a region outside St. Petersburg. It is important to make it a tradition so that civil servants of Armenia hear the opinions of compatriots not only living in megacities, and so that the process of mutual adjustment to be productive. We note right away that the conversation on January 29, as on the previous, the first day of January 28, was fairly sincere.
During this second day Zareh Sinanyan:
visited the Armenian Apostolic Church of St. Astvatsamayr (the Holy Mother of God)
new Armenian Sunday School named after Yeghishe Charents
talked to the parents of the students
gave an interview for regional TV channel
held a discussion with activists of the local and neighboring (other regions of the Leningrad region) Armenian communities
visited the new local Armenian dance school
laid flowers at the memorial complex at the "Road of Life".
Zareh Sinanyan's working visit to the Leningrad region was not an accident. On the one hand, this is a way to support local Armenian communities. On the other hand, this is a new vector for strengthening and developing Russian-Armenian relations.
Information about the Leningrad region according to Wikipedia
The territory is about 84 thousand sq. km. (almost three times of Armenia)
Population over 2 million people
Population density - 20 people per sq km (the density in Armenia is 4 times higher)
GRP (2018) - 1100 billion dollars (GDP nominal of Armenia in 2021 - 13 billion dollars)
Armenians according to the 2010 census - 0.4%.
St. Petersburg and Yerevan are sister cities. There are five-year cooperation agreements. There are mutual representation offices in each city.
There is no city in the Leningrad region that would have a sister city in Armenia.
At the same time:
the city of Gatchina was twinned with various cities in Germany, Sweden, Finland, Moldova...
the city of Vyborg - with cities in Scotland, Norway...
the city of Lomonosov - with Germany...
the city of Tikhvin - with France...
the city of Volkhov - with Latvia, Norway...
Since 2022, many western cities have terminated twinning agreements. Twinning, being symbolic, nevertheless, has always implied, at a minimum, informational and cultural cooperation.
In the Leningrad region there is only lake in the Russian Federation (there are only 2 million lakes in the Russian Federation), which is named after an Armenian, there is the only village in the Russian Federation named after an Armenian... In different cities of the Leningrad region, streets and schools are named after the sons of the Armenian people...
Vsevolozhsk, Volkhov, Kirovsk and other districts of the Leningrad region
Recently, a process of self-organization has taken place in a number of Armenian communities in the Leningrad region. In addition to those listed in the subtitle, there are also ones in the Volosovo, Kirishi, Vyborg districts.
There are Sunday Armenian schools in Vyborg, Volosovo, Vsevolozhsk districts.
Information about the Armenian community of Vsevolozhsk district:
November 27, 2022 - meeting of local Armenian community activistshttps://www.armspb.org/post/27-11-2022
December 4, 2022 - a new Sunday Armenian school named after Yeghishe Charents was initiated https://www.armspb.org/post/4-12-2022-school
December 25 - large Amanor (New Year) event first time in many years https://www.armspb.org/post/25-12-2022-vsevolozhsk
from January 2023 - a new chess school in the Armenian community began to operate https://www.armspb.org/post/15-1-2023-chess
January 29 - a new local branch of "Zartonk" ensemble of Armenian songs and dances was opened https://www.armspb.org/post/29-1-2023-zartonq
The Regional Armenian national-cultural autonomy of St. Petersburg (ANCA) has recently begun to provide relatively greater assistance - informational, methodological, and coordinating to the Armenian communities in Leningrad region. For example, more and more often information materials from the Armenian communities of the Leningrad region are published on the ANCA website, because no one among Armenian communities in the Leningrad region has its own website.
In August 2022, ANCA helped organize the participation of the Armenian side in a large regional Ethnical festival in Volkhov city https://www.armspb.org/post/ethno-27-8-2022
On January 24, for the first time in many years, an ANCA representative participated in a working meeting in the state House of Friendship of the Leningrad region with representatives of another national cultural organizations to agree on a plan for 2023.
The meetings with Zareh Sinanyan on January 29 were attended by the chairmen of the local Armenian communities of the Volkhov and Kirovsk regions, as well as Sertolovo.
Video (30 sec)
Regional TV channel LenTV24
Correspondent of the Leningrad regional TV channel LenTV24 Elena Noritsina interviewed Zare Sinanyan and Karen Mkrtchyan.
We offer a video fragment from the TV news program dated January 30, 2023, which talks about two news on Russian-Armenian relations:
- Meetings with Zareh Sinanyan in city Vsevolozhsk
- News in Yerevan-Petersburg air communication (with a comment from the head of the representative office of the Yerevan Municipality in St. Petersburg Armenak Karapetyan).
Source (from 5:54) - https://vk.com/video-184397039_456253394
Video (4,5 min)
In a new Armenian Sunday School named after Yeghishe Charents.
From left to right: Armen Movsisyan, Karen Mkrtchyan, Zareh Sinanyan
From left to right: Rostom Gabrielyan (city Shlisselburg, Kirovsk district), Harout Balyan (city Volkhov), Vahan Babakhanyan, Karen Tovmasyan
Zareh Sinanyan conveyed official gratitude to Karen Mkrtchyan
Laying flowers in the Alley of Memory at the "Road of Life"
This is a special place on Rumbolovskaya Hill, on the tenth kilometer of the Road of Life in the city of Vsevolozhsk, Leningrad region. There is an alley of memory and several memorials.
Memorial to the legendary truck. Opened in 2012. On the monument is written "In memory of the truck-soldier." This GAZ-AA truck was the most popular in the Soviet army during the Great Patriotic War. Most people were rescued on it, most food was transported during the blockade (Siege) of Leningrad.
In 1989, the first Russian monument to soldiers-internationalists was opened at this place. The initiator of the creation of the memorial was a lieutenant colonel of the reserve, a participant in Afghan war, Armenian by origin Ashot Abramov, the first head of the Vsevolozhsk city organization "Care" created by him in 1989. Every year on May 8, veterans of the Afghan war and armed conflicts in the Chechen Republic, citizens and representatives of public organizations of the Vsevolozhsk region gather on Rumbolovskaya Hill.
On this Alley of Memory in 2007, a monument was erected to the liquidators of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
Nearby is another memorial "Garden of Remembrance" of the crew and passengers who died in 2015 in the sky over the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. All the names of the dead are written on it.
Video (2.5 min)
The first lesson in the new Armenian dance school (a branch of "Zartonk" group)
Video (11,5 min)