Karabakh negotiations. What happened in Moscow?

High level talks on Karabakh conflict resolution concluded on July 17th and July 18th in Moscow. Armenian and Azerbaijani sides didn’t comment much. The OSCE Minsk group mediators sounded disappointed, even if they tried to accurately conceal that with phrases like “very open discussion took place” and “there was no progress, but there was not step back either”. It seems like the reason for failure in progress was Armenia’s stance. There was a serious backlash…

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Podcast: Armenian blogosphere talks Turkey

“Armenia and Turkey have agreed on a comprehensive framework for the normalization of their bilateral relations,” is said in the joint statement disseminated by the Armenian and Turkish foreign ministries. Hot discussions around the statement have started in the Armenian blogs. “Today, a day before the commemoration of the genocide victims, we have learnt that Armenia and Turkey had signed an official joint document on normalizing bilateral relations and identifying a road-map,” Ogostos writes. “I…

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Isolated Armenia leans on Iran

BBC has a very interesting article on Armenia-Iran relations. A highly recommended read. Here are a couple of interesting points: Iran does not have too many friends these days, but in a far corner of the Caucasus, on the edge of Europe, it is forming a special relationship. The story further goes on to tell about Omid Mojahed, a 28-year-old student and entrepreneur, who has started tourism business working in the Iranian market, as well…

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First two appointments to key posts: Foreign Ministery and Ministery of Defense

President Serzh Sargsyan is forming a new government following the April 9 inauguration ceremony held behind the police wall, that separated him from the citizens of the country, which he will try to rule, following disputed elections on February 19th, which resulted in violent clashes between opposition supporters and security forces. Following the appointment of Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, President Sargsyan held consultations with representatives of the 4 party coalition, and today two key ministerial…

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ENP report positive for Armenia, despite concerns over March 2008 developments

The progress report on implementation of the European Neighborhood Policy Action Plan by Armenia has been released. The document has a generally positive assessement of Armenia’s performance. The memo released on this occasion lists the following major points: In general, Armenia has demonstrated a strong commitment towards the implementation of the ENP Action Plan, despite some initial delays caused by Parliamentary elections in May 2007 and internal coordination issues. Good progress was achieved in particular…

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International Media Neglecting Armenian Election?

With only six hours to go till the polling stations close in Armenia, the international media seem to be largely uninterested in the developments here, with very basic coverage of the elections only available from major international news agencies, as well as the BBC and Euronews. The elections are largely described as a transfer of power from outgoing leader Robert Kocharyan to his ally and prime minister Serzh Sarksyan. All international media reports point to…

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"There'r no military solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh issue": Armenian Foreign Minister

“Russia Today” satelite and internet channel has broadcast an exclusive interview with Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian on December 6-th, at 20:30 and December 7th, at 00:30. The interview, where minister Oskanian stresses, that the conflicting sides are very close to finding a solution to the issue, and that a military solution is not possible at this point, is available in a streaming video format from Russia Today’s website.

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ICG: Nagorno-Karabakh: Risking War

The International Crises Group have published a report on Nagorno-Karabakh, where they warn Azerbaijan and Armenia to “halt their dangerous arms race and restrain their belligerent rhetoric and instead renew efforts to find a negotiated settlement for the Nagorno-Karabakh region”. While I have serious reservations as to on what authority does this international NGO find it suitable to come in with its advice on a tangled issue of Nagorno-Karabakh, especially as from the media release…

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Politics of The Armenian Nuclear Power Plant

The Republic of Armenia identifies the need to implement reforms focused on individual branches of industry and sets the following priorities: – to pursue greater energy independence through a diversification of energy supplies and production, the creation of new sources of energy, including nuclear energy, and to develop a stable and reliable export-oriented energy system; National Security Strategy of the Republic of Armenia Fear of the return of dark years in 90’s, when there was…

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EU: Neighborhood Policy Focuses On Economics, Not Membership

The EU/Armenia action plan document, accessible from this ENP page, states, that by joining the ENP “Armenia is invited to enter into intensified political, security, economic and cultural relations with the EU, enhanced regional and cross border co-operation and shared responsibility in conflict prevention and conflict resolution.” Politicians from a lot of ENP countries, especially from Ukraine and Georgia, but also from Armenia as well, have been quite apt on selling the idea of ENP…

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