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Key Economic Data 
 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
GDP
Millions of US $ 2,797 2,367 2,100 139
         
GNI per capita
 US $ 950 790 570 143
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Books on Armenia


Update No: 344 - (24/11/10)

Azeris harass the Armenians at UNESCO meeting
On November 15-19, Nairobi (Kenya) hosted the 5th sitting of the intergovernmental committee of states parties to the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. 47 nominations have been put on its agenda, including a nomination of the Republic of Armenia: “Symbolism and Craftsmanship of Khachkar – Armenian Cross-stone.”

However, this time Azerbaijan again could not stand aside, making another attempt at politicizing the matter.

The press service of the RA Ministry of Culture reported that on November 16 an Azerbaijani representative demanded to amend the Armenian nomination as follows: “Symbolism and Craftsmanship of Armenian Khachkar – Armenian Cross-stone. Thus, he attempted to prove that khachkar craft belongs not only to Armenians, i.e. it is typical also for the Caucasian Albanians, whose successors are allegedly Azerbaijanis.

To appeal against Armenia’s nomination, an action was organized at the initiative of the Azerbaijani government, during which representatives of Azerbaijani communities of various countries sent 143 letters to UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, urging her to prevent acceptance of the nomination.

Armenia’s representative, Deputy Minister of Culture Arev Samuelyan noted for her part that the stance of the Armenian side is clear. She urged not to politicize the matter and refrain from considering topics, which have no relation to discussion of values expressing national identity.

The intergovernmental committee accepted all the other nominations and offered to postpone consideration of the Armenian nomination until November 17. At the same time, UNESCO offered to organize negotiations between the Armenian and Azerbaijani parties to find an acceptable decision.

As a result of long discussions, the intergovernmental committee has not considered statements of the Azerbaijani side and accepted the Armenian variant of the nomination: “Symbolism and Craftsmanship of Khachkar – Armenian Cross-stone.”

Defence Minister confident
The real conflict is not diplomatic, but military. Armenian Defence Minister Seyran Ohanian says Azerbaijan's recent increases in military spending have not given it an advantage in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Meeting with Yerevan State University students who will soon be drafted into the Armenian army, Ohanian said on November 17 that Armenia and the breakaway Azerbaijani region of Nagorno-Karabakh are successfully "neutralizing" the Azerbaijani military's numerical superiority in weapons and personnel. "We are maintaining the balance of forces vis-a-vis the Azerbaijani armed forces, not with quantitative data but by raising the qualitative standards of our armed forces," Ohanian said. "We are enhancing the combat readiness and fighting spirit of our armed forces."

He added that the Armenian side is also receiving "modern weaponry," though he did not elaborate.

The remarks came just days after President Serzh Sarkisian warned that Azerbaijan will be dealt a "devastating and final" blow if it attempts to resolve the Karabakh conflict by force. Sarkisian issued the warning as he and Ohanian watched what officials called the biggest-ever exercises held by the Karabakh Armenian army.

Armenian Public Television reported on November 15 that the two-week manoeuvres involved thousands of soldiers, hundreds of tanks and armoured vehicles, as well as heavy artillery. It said the tanks and artillery systems fired more than 2,000 rounds, as troops simulated a counter-offensive against Azerbaijan.

Armenia PM to St Petersburg
Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, with his wife, Gohar Sargsyan, flew on November 19 to Saint Petersburg for a two-day official visit.

The Armenian delegation accompanying the premier consisted of Vice Premier and Territorial Administration Minister Armen Gevorgyan, Head of the Government’s Administration David Sargsyan, Culture Minister Hasmik Poghosya, Economy Minister Nerses Yeritsyan, Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan, Deputy Transport and Communication Minister Artashes Avetisyan and other officials.

Sargsyan was attending a CIS prime-ministerial meeting in Saint Petersburg. The meeting participants discussed 20 draft documents. The Commonwealth of Independent States is presided over by Russia this year; hence the venue.

The creation of a free trade zone and dairy market as well as enhancement of food safety in CIS countries and consumption of energy were among top-priority issues on the agenda.

The meeting participants also outlined humanitarian cooperation prospects for 2011 and 2012.

The Armenian premier met with his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts -Vladimir Putin and Nikolay Azarov.

Sargsyan will also attend the 28th session of Eurasian Economic Community’s intergovernmental council.

The nucleus of the competitive integration project of common economic space will be formed in 2011. Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan Customs Union established in July was the first step in this programme.

The Armenian prime minister visited the Saint Petersburg Economy and Finance Institute, from which he graduated in 1983, and Saint Petersburg State University, where he attended the ceremony of unveiling the bust of Iosif (Hovsep) Orbeli, prominent Armenian-Russian orientalist and public activist.

He also met with businessmen in Saint Petersburg.

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