Why Azerbaijani Laundromat is Bad for Armenia and Georgia

Why Azerbaijani Laundromat is Bad for Armenia and Georgia

Even though Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia are vastly different states, they are always viewed together as one region — the South Caucasus. This means that all international human rights, anti-corruption and democratization reports will look at the indicators from these three countries and try to ‘bring them in line’ together.

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Speak of corruption… keep your money ready

I recently worked with “Banadzev” production company on a story related to corruption. I was presented there as a “young blogger” who “condemns” corruption – which I surely do. Somehow it happened, that on the days when the program was broadcast I fell badly sick. Went to a hospital with diagnosis: “Hepatitis A”. An ugly illness, I tell you. Because this is an infection desease, it is covered by Armenia’s free health care system. I…

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"Magarich" is the magic word

Armenia pays a one-time allowance of AMD 50 thousand ($136 U.S.) to parents of new born children. My wife went over to the Social Security office the other day and came back  – with 49 thousand. She had to pay the 1 thousand ($3 U.S.) as “magarich” or “tip” or money to speed things up. The social security official kept back the 1 thousand dram note, knowing that the mother of a 7-months-old child wouldn’t…

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Bishkek: back in USSR! Waiting for news from Armenia

I avoided flying Aeroflot since 2001 – having had an unforgettably horrible experience of this giant Russan air-company. This year, however, Aeroflot seems to follow me – had to fly to London via Aeroflot this March – with most horrendous experiences of being stuck in Sheremetevo 2 airpot for 18 hours on the way back, with no reasonable explanations. This flight to Blogger Meatup – Barcamp Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan via Airflot again was…

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Wow! Armenia is a Banana Republic after all!

A most incredible story was published by Hetq today: In 2006, Armenia imported 8,614 tons of bananas; 7,056 tons from Ecuador, 1,509 from Costa Rica, 38.2 from Guatemala, 3.2 from Thailand and .2 tons from Iran. In the same year Armenia exported 3,002.2 tons of bananas to the Bahamas and 90.7 tons to Georgia. (emphasis is mine) In 2007, Armenia imported some 17,198 tons of bananas, almost twice as much as in 2006. Armenia didn’t…

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Amid widespread public scepticism government undertakes some positive steps

Public attitude remained generally skeptical towards the efforts of President Sargsyan and PM Sargsyan to restore public trust by undertaking some positive steps over the past couple of weeks. One of the first such steps was the dismissal of Armen Avetisyan, the chairman of the the Armenian Customs Service (ACS) for the last 8 years and the followed by a meeting of President Serzh Sargsyan with the ACS officials. On this highly publicized event President…

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The Son of the General/Parliamentary Deputy Cannot be Punished

After being beaten and horribly tortured in Etchmiadzin on March 13th, 23 year-old Sepuh Karapetyan died. His only ‘crime’ was that he dared to defend one of the neighborhood girls from the person who had been bullying her around. That person was Zarzand Saroyan, the son of Seyran Saroyan who is an Army General and a member of the National Assembly. There are two big criminals in Ejmiadzin, and everybody knows them by name: Manvel…

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Corruption in World Bank projects in Armenia Finally Make News Agenda

The World bank scandal became one of those, so far rare cases, when an important news item is consistently filtered out of the news agenda by traditional media, and only continuous blogging efforts persist in exposing it until the item finally becomes center of attention. As Onnik Krikoryan reports, although media in Armenia refused to cover the World Bank corruption scandal in Armenia several months ago, continuous efforts by British whistleblower Bruce Tasker on his…

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World Bank Denies Corruption Allegations

The continuous efforts of Bruce Tasker and Onnik Krikoryan for drawing attention to what they claim is a major corruption case which involves the Armenian government and the World Bank seem to have finally drawn media attention, Onnik Krikoryan writes, that the The Observer newspaper in the U.K. has published details of Tasker’s allegations, and the A1plus and RFE/RL have reported on the issue: The World Bank on Thursday again shrugged off embarrassing allegations about…

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