Books on Armenia
Principal ethnic groups
Update No: 286 - (28/10/04)
Yerevan objects to Turkey's role in Karabakh settlement
The major impediment to Armenia losing its pariah status in the region is the
fact that it is clinging on to 20% of Azeri territory. Azerbaijan lost control
of Nagorno-Karabakh in a bloody conflict with Armenia in the 1990s. Baku remains
publicly intransigent on the issue.
Armenia objects to Turkey's participation in the current phase of the Karabakh
settlement, Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian told a recent press conference.
"We rule out Turkish participation in the current phase," he said.
Oskanian said Ankara might play a positive role in later phases of the Karabakh
Armenian President Robert Kocharian and Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev have
not made a decision on preliminary agreements on a Karabakh settlement, which
the foreign ministers reached over recent months, he said. "It seems the
presidents need another meeting and discussion of the proposals," he said.
The two leaders will also determine the further course of negotiations, he said.
Oskanian said he reached preliminary agreements with his Azerbaijani counterpart
that might serve as the core of a Karabakh settlement.
The Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents are considering the proposals. If they
are approved, negotiations on a Karabakh settlement will enter their second
phase, he said.
Azerbaijan demands Armenia's exclusion from Council of Europe
Azerbaijan has sent a letter to the Council of Europe demanding that Armenia be
expelled from this organization.
"The document that contains the demand to exclude Armenia from the Council
of Europe has already received the status of an official PACE document. It will
be distributed among PACE countries' representatives on Tuesday and will be
discussed at a session of the Council of Europe ministers' cabinet in the near
future," a representatives of Azerbaijan's delegation at the Strasbourg
PACE session, Rafael Guseinov, told Interfax News Agency.
"This demand is motivated by the fact that Armenia has repeatedly violated
the basic principles of the Council of Europe. Namely, Armenia continues the
occupation of 20% of Azerbaijan's territory, Azerbaijan being another Council of
Europe country," Guseinov said.
The UN Security Council has repeatedly condemned the occupation of Azerbaijani
territory and demanded that Armenian military units be withdrawn from it. The
OSCE Minsk Group, which includes representatives of Russia, France, and the
United States, is mediating the conflict.
Gazprom's involvement in Iran-Armenia pipeline to be discussed
The Armenians are in effect in the pocket of the Russians so long as the dispute
continues, their only real supporters on the issue. Cut off from Turkish and, a
fortiori, Azeri ecenomic relations by the blockade maintained by both countries
with them, Russia is the vital partner, the source of arms and energy.
The Russian-Armenian inter-parliamentary commission on economic cooperation for
example was planning to discuss the involvement of Russia's Gazprom in the
construction of the gas pipeline connecting Iran and Armenia in mid-October, a
source in the Armenian government told Interfax. Gazprom intends to offer its
cooperation on the construction of the 41 km long Armenian section of the
pipeline connecting the town of Megri (located on the Iranian border) to the
town of Kadzharan (320 km southeast of Yerevan) and also on the reconstruction
of the pipeline connecting Kadzharan and Yerevan (which has a pipe diameter of
500 to 700 mm).
The cost of building the Armenian section of the pipeline exceeds the $30
million loan provided for this purpose by the Export Development Bank of Iran,
which increases Gazprom's chances of participating in the project.
In May 2004, Armenia and Iran signed an agreement on the construction of a gas
consortium to supply Iranian gas to Armenia. Under that agreement, Iran took on
the obligation to supply 36 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Armenia over
a period of 20 years, with the possibility of extending the contract by five
years and the total gas supplies to 47 billion cubic meters.
The construction of the Iranian section of the pipeline, which is 100 km long,
began in mid-July, and the construction of the Armenian section were due to
begin before the end of October.
The total cost of building the Iran-Armenia pipeline and renovating the pipeline
currently connecting Kadzharan and Yerevan is estimated at $210-220 million. The
supply of Iranian gas will likely begin no later than January 2007.
Gazprom to participate in Iran-Armenia pipeline project
The Russian-Armenian interparliamentary commission on economic cooperation is
planning to discuss the involvement of Russia's Gazprom in the construction of
the gas pipeline connecting Iran and Armenia in mid-October, a source in the
Armenian government said, Interfax News Agency reported.
Gazprom intends to offer its cooperation on the construction of the 41km long
Armenian section of the pipeline connecting the town of Megri (located on the
Iranian border) to the town of Kadzharan (320km southeast of Yerevan) and also
on the reconstruction of the pipeline connecting Kadzharan and Yerevan (which
has a pipe of 500 to 700 millimetres). The cost of building the Armenian section
of the pipeline exceeds the 30 million Euro loan provided for this purpose by
the Export Development Bank of Iran, which increases Gazprom's chances of
participating in the project.
Armenia to consume electricity generated from Iranian gas
Armenia plans to consume up to 20 per cent of the electricity it generates from
Iranian gas, the Armenian energy minister, Armen Movsesian, said, Interfax News
Armenian officials earlier said Armenia would export all the electricity it
generates with Iranian gas to Iran and, possibly to Georgia. The energy ministry
said it would export three kilowatt-hours of electricity to Iran for one cubic
metre of gas received from Iran. Armenia and Iran have signed a 30 million Euro
credit agreement to finance the construction of the Armenian section of the
Iran-Armenia gas pipeline. The pipeline is 141km long, consisting of 41km in
Armenia and 100km in Iran. The total cost of the project is estimated at 210-220
million Euro. The pipeline is expected to be launched before January 1st 2007.
Gas should start to arrive in Armenia from January 1997 and will be used at
Armenia thermal power plants to produce electricity for export to Iran. Iran
will supply 36 billion cubic metres of natural gas to Armenia over 20 years
according to the document.
FOREIGN ECONOMIC RELATIONS
Armenia, Bulgaria set to boost ties
As an outcome of the official visit of Bulgarian President Georgi Purvanov to
Armenia, the presidents of the two countries have noted with satisfaction the
positive results of the Bulgarian-Armenian talks on the whole range of bilateral
relations and on issues of international policy of mutual interest, says a joint
communiqué signed by Armenian and Bulgarian Presidents Robert Kocharyan and
Georgi Purvanov, Arminfo reported.
The presidents confirmed their determination to be receptive to the deepening of
the political dialogue and boosting of bilateral cooperation in all areas, the
Armenian presidential press service has told the news agency. The presidents of
the two countries noted the importance of the further intensification of
economic cooperation. In this connection, the presidents stressed the special
role of future transport infrastructure linking Bulgaria and Armenia, in
particular, joint railway and ferry projects.
The Bulgarian and Armenian presidents have advised members of the Bulgarian and
Armenian intergovernmental commission for trade and economic, scientific and
technical cooperation to find solutions and take the necessary steps to expand
cooperation between the two countries.
The presidents noted with satisfaction general efforts to integrate into
European structures as one of the most important directions in the foreign
policy of the two countries. The presidents welcomed the involvement of Armenia
and other South Caucasus countries in the Wider Europe - New Neighbourhood
programme and expressed willingness to enhance cooperation of the two countries
within the framework of European and regional projects.
The presidents noted Bulgaria's substantial progress in integrating into
European and Euro-Atlantic organizations, as a result of which Bulgaria has
become a member of the North Atlantic alliance and a specific date has been
fixed for the country's accession to the European Union.
Armenia highly rates Bulgaria's role in maintaining stability in the Balkans and
providing political and economic conditions for regional security. In turn,
Bulgaria supports Armenia's readiness to develop good-neighbourly and partner
relations with the countries of the region and Armenia's efforts to boost
cooperation with the European Union, NATO, the OSCE and the Council of Europe.
Bulgaria and Armenia welcome the intensification of talks in 2004 to resolve the
Nagornyy Karabakh conflict. The sides share the opinion that a solution to the
Nagornyy Karabakh conflict should be completely peaceful. As a member of the
OSCE, Bulgaria and Armenia support efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group and its
co-chairmen are aiming at finding a lasting and comprehensive solution
acceptable for the sides.
The presidents resolutely denounced recent terrorist acts in the world and
confirmed their countries' determination to continue combating terrorism as part
of the world antiterrorist coalition. The Bulgarian and Armenian presidents
confirmed the two countries' willingness to boost cooperation within
international organizations and European structures, stating that they will
cooperate in issues of mutual interest in the future as well.
Armenia, Finland sign investment cooperation agreement
Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja and Armenian President Robert Kocharian
have paid special attention to the European Union's Wider Europe - New
Neighbourhood programme in the South Caucasus at a meeting which was part of the
Finnish foreign minister's regional visit, Public Television of Armenia
Kocharian assessed the Finnish foreign minister's visit as a sign of boosting
bilateral political and economic relations.
At a meeting with Armenian Prime Minister, Andranik Markaryan, they signed an
agreement between Armenia and Finland on creating a favourable investment
atmosphere and its protection.
Armenian president discusses South Caucasus with Norwegian foreign minister
Armenian President, Robert Kocharian, recently met the Norwegian foreign
minister and chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe,
Jan Petersen, who was in Armenia as part of a regional visit, Arminfo reported.
Arminfo was told at the Armenian president's press office that Kocharian noted
the importance of the visit by the Norwegian Foreign Minister both within the
framework of Armenia's European politics and within the context of activating
bilateral political and economic ties. He expressed his thanks to the Norwegian
refugee council for its consistent assistance in resolving refugee problems. The
two men exchanged views on regional issues, particularly as regards to finding a
solution to the Nagornyy Karabakh conflict. The president explained in brief the
current stage in trying to resolve the conflict and Armenia's approach in trying
to find a solution to this issue.
In turn, the Norwegian foreign minister stressed the importance of mutually
advantageous regional cooperation which, he said, could become a significant
factor in helping to resolve conflicts.
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