Average Monthly Wage in Armenia Lowest among Caucasus States

Average Monthly Wages using ILO data
Average Monthly Wages in Caucasus Countries vst Global Average, based on ILO data

Average monthly wage in Armenia is more than 3 times less than the global average, which is estimated to be equal to $1,480 a month according to the study published last year by the United Nations’ International Labour Organization (ILO). Furthermore, the average wage in Armenia is the lowest among the three Caucasian states.
Continue reading “Average Monthly Wage in Armenia Lowest among Caucasus States”

Saakashvili."If you hate Armenians – I am an Armenian"

Georgia -- Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili,  July 2012: Photo of the Day, Photo from the official website: www.president.gov.ge
Georgia — Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, July 2012: Photo of the Day, Photo from the official website: www.president.gov.ge

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili gave an interview to Kanal PIK last week, speaking about a range of topics, including the Russia-Georgia 2008 war, Georgia’s reforms and answered to a personal question about his nationality. Continue reading “Saakashvili."If you hate Armenians – I am an Armenian"”

Georgian FM: I don't see why we should speak Russian in friendly Yerevan

Georgia’s Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze met with President Serzh Sarkisian and his Armenian counterpart Eduard Nalbandian during a two-day official visit to Yerevan than began on Friday.
RFE/RL reports that Vashadze and Nalbandian discussed “a number of issues preoccupying Georgia’s Armenian community.” That included the tense situation in Georgia’s Armenian-populated Javakheti region.
“There is no problem of Javakheti, there is a socioeconomic problem in Javakheti, as well as other regions of Georgia,” Vashadze said at an ensuing news conference with Nalbandian. He insisted that the administration of President Mikheil Saakashvili has done a lot to alleviate the plight of the impoverished region’s population in recent years.
“If somebody in Armenia thinks that people are better off in [Georgia’s second largest city of] Kutaisi than in Samtskhe-Javakheti, then they are deeply deluded,” Vashadze said. “I am ready to pay for your trip and take you [to Georgia] and show that.”
Vashadze denied in that regard any political motives behind the recent controversial arrest of two Armenian activists in the regional capital Akhaltsikhe on espionage charges. “Their rights are protected,” he said. “Lawyers are working for them.”
Nalbandian said the Armenian government is monitoring the high-profile case and has already received relevant explanations from the Georgian side. “The matter is being investigated and as Mr. Vashadze said, things will probably clear up after the investigation is over,” he said.
Regnum news agency reports Vashadze saying: “I have no allergy to Russian language, but I don’t see why should I speak Russian in friendly Yerevan.” The Georgian FM, who is a Georgian citizen as well as Russian, persisted in holding the press conference in Georgian.

Armenian army ranks 68 in Global Military Rating

Military Parade Dedicated to 15th Anniversary Armenia's Independence
Military Parade Dedicated to 15th Anniversary Armenia's Independence

Armenia ranks 68th in rating of armies of the world according to the Press.ge news portal. According to the same source Georgia ranks 94th, Azerbaijan 83-rd.
The Georgian news source has extracted the data using the Strategypage. I tried quite hard to find this information at the source, but was unable to. However, the information is interesting, although – not very reliable.
If this is too, it would be just incredible, that Armenia is so far ahead from both its Caucasian ex-Soviet neighbors, despite the fact, that last year its military budget – around $400 million, was half that of Georgia and 6 times less than that of it’s main rival – Azerbaijan, which announced $ 2 billion in defense spending for 2008.
Coming back to the Georgian news report cited above, it says the rating is based on data of land troops and air forces. The rating contains two basic indicators: COMBAT POWER LAND and Total Quality Index. The Combat Power Land includes such parameters as number of soldiers and weaponry, technical characteristics and so on.
The Total Quality Index includes the quality of commandment, effectiveness of weapon and the level of weapon adequacy, battle experience, the level of logistics and communications, as well as historic military-culture traditions.
Top 20 mighty armies are as follows – the USA (9300), Israel (1280), China (882), the UK (819), India (801), Russia (714), Germany (393), Japan (382), South Korea (359), France (351), Taiwan (184), Pakistan (168), Saudi Arabia (140), Egypt (138), Italy (134), North Korea (131), Iran (113), Switzerland (108) and Spain (108).
Below are links to a couple of other information sources on defense budgets and armies of the region: Moscow Defense briefing, The Armenian Economist, Wikipedia.

Transit of Russian gas to Armenia to resume fully today

Russian gas deliveries to Armenia via a pipeline passing through the territory of Georgia, which were suspended on Friday due to repair works, will resume to full capacity today.

RFE/RL learned yesterday from Armenia’s national gas distribution company, ArmRosGazprom (ARG), that repair works of the Ghazakh-Sagoramo 1000 millimeter pipeline in the territory of Georgia are nearly complete.
“According to our information the works are nearly complete and according to preliminary data gas deliveries to Armenia will start tonight and resume to full capacity tomorrow morning”, – ARG press officer Shushan Sardarian said on Monday.
ArmRosGazprom specialists taking part in repair works are still in Georgia, Sardarian informed.
The pipeline passing through the Azerbaijani-populated Gardabani district of Georgia is the key source of natural gas supplies to Armenia. Gas is the main source of winter heating for Armenian households and generates roughly one third of the country’s electricity.
Georgia suspended on January 9 the transit of Russian natural gas to Armenia through its territory, citing emergency repairs on the key pipeline which officials in Tbilisi said will take several days.
Georgian Energy Minister Aleksandr Khetaguri was reported to say that a section of that pipeline passing through the Azerbaijani-populated Gardabani district has been seriously damaged by increased gas pressure. He attributed it to a seasonal rise in gas consumption in Armenia.
While repair works are underway gas is supplied to Armenian consumers from underground gas reserves of ArmRosGazprom. The underground gas reserves were also instrumental in avoiding a serious energy crisis in Armenia in January 2006, when gas deliveries were halted for 10 days due to an explosion in southern Russia.
Armenia can now also guard against such emergencies by importing gas from neighboring Iran. The final Armenian section of a gas pipeline connecting the two countries was inaugurated in December.
Unlike Armenia, Georgia imports the bulk of its gas from Azerbaijan, rather than Russia.

(based on original reporting by Ruben Meloyan and Emil Danielyan, photo by Photolur)

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