End of Karabakh conflict would positively impact Caucasus -Bordyuzha

Interfax, Russia
May 14 2010

End of Karabakh conflict would positively impact Caucasus – Bordyuzha


The success of the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process would help resolve
problems facing the Caucasus as a whole, Nikolai Bordyuzha, secretary
general of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), said at
a news conference in Moscow on Friday.

"I hope that the progress that has already been made in sorting out
the Karabakh problem will help find a final comprehensive solution to
all disputes that exist in the Caucasus today," Bordyuzha said.

"The presidents of both Armenia and Azerbaijan have been making
serious efforts to normalize the situation and to prevent a new
crisis," he said.

Turkey Planning ‘Psychological Revolution’ In Caucasus


May 14, 2010 – 14:41 AMT 09:41 GMT

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that Turkey will carry
out a ‘psychological revolution’ in the region.

"A car will freely cross Kars through Yerevan, Kelbajar and Aghdam
towards Baku. We will change the sad destiny of the Caucasus," Haber
Turk quoted Davutoglu as saying.

"It’s necessary to make a revolution in the minds of people living
in the conflict area. Turkey believes in success of its policy,
which was a topic of discussion between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip
Erdogan and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev," he said.

EBRD Participates In Capital Increase Of Araratbank, Armenia


The Financial
ks/63546_EBRD_participates_in_capital_increase_of_ Araratbank,_Armenia_/
May 14 2010

The FINANCIAL — The EBRD is increasing its capital in ARARATBANK,
a privately-owned Armenian bank, by up to 255 million Armenian Dram
(AMD) (approximately $600,000), through a subscription to new shares.

ARARATBANK provides a full range of banking services, focusing
primarily on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and retail

The EBRD’s investment is part of ARARATBANK’s capital increase of AMD
1 billion (approximately $2.4 million), which will support the bank’s
further expansion. The EBRD’s stake will remain at 25 per cent plus
one share.

According to EBRD, the capital increase will enable ARARATBANK to
diversify its loan portfolio and expand its client base by servicing
medium and large businesses, as well as to expand its branch network.

In addition, the enhanced capitalisation will allow ARARATBANK to
attract local currency financing from the Central Bank of Armenia,
which will help the bank to increase its local currency lending.

"The EBRD is pleased to continue its collaboration with ARARATBANK
and to support further development of the bank. The capital increase
will allow ARARATBANK to maintain its ranking in the banking system
and diversify its range of financial products," said Nick Tesseyman,
EBRD Managing Director for Financial Institutions.

"We highly appreciate our cooperation with the EBRD considering it
as a guarantee of introduction and implementation of modern banking
and financial technologies and best international practice. These
allow ARARATBANK to be among Armenian leading banks and provide full
spectrum of financial services correspondent to European banking
standards", said Ashot Osipyan, Chairman of the Executive Board and

The EBRD became a shareholder of ARARATBANK in 2008. Previously the
Bank provided ARARATBANK with a $5 million credit line for micro, small
and medium-sized enterprises, $2 million under the Bank’s Medium-Sized
Co-financing Facility Framework for provision of corporate loans to
medium and large-sized enterprises, and a $2 million trade finance

Since the beginning of its operations in Armenia, the EBRD has
committed over â~B¬393 million in 77 projects in the financial,
corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors.


"Power Is The Biggest Mafia"



"Army is the biggest mafia," says Armenian’s ex Prime Minister,
economist Hrant Bagratyan.

"Army cannot be strong if a serviceman receives indifferent treatment
by officers. We face two options – either to switch to a compulsory
service like Israel, or to have a professional army. We do not need
generals who cannot conciliate with victory. We do not need their

"I wonder how Robert Kocharyan happened to be called a "warrior."

Kocharyan did not participate in the war. During the crisis I was
with Kocharyan and put down his orders. It was Kocharyan who emptied
Karabakh, not Azerbaijan. He fixed the price of meat at 25 roubles
in Karabakh and 1200 in Armenia. Karabakhi people drove their cattle
to Armenia to sell at higher prices," said Mr. Bagratyan.

Heritage Party is also concerned about army issues.

"Army is one of the sources of corruption. The phenomenon started
in the 1990s and has deep roots," says Heritage board chairman Armen
Martirosyan and advises the authorities to strengthen army building.

"We must assist the Defense Minister to recruit uncorrupted and
unbiased officers," he said.

Human rights expert Arthur Sakunts says army is the most irresponsible
and uncontrollable structure in Armenia.

"Power is the greatest mafia in Armenia. Army is simply a structure
serving the authorities. Up to day, the Control Chamber failed to
check up whether the money allotted by the state budget was spent on
the right purpose.

Arthur Sakunts told A1+ that actions were filed against the Defence
Ministry. In particular, the human rights expert wants to know the
names or organizations supplying the army with food, clothes and

"Not each general is a genuine general. The existence of shoulder
straps does not mean he is a general. Once a general is involved in
politics or business he becomes corrupted," notes Mr. Sakunts.

Tourism In Armenia Has Great Potential To Develop: CAPS



"Competitive Armenian Private Sector" (CAPS) research showed that most
tourists arriving in Armenia are Diaspora representatives. Anyway,
CAPS managed to use the Diaspora potential and propagandize Armenia to
promote tourism, CAPS Chief of Party Artak Ghazaryan told Panorama.am.

"A big list of tourism items is available in Armenia, which, though,
has not been duly advocated worldwide. Tourism in Armenia has great
potential to develop ," he said.

According to him, tourists interested in the cultural, religious,
adventure tourism visit Armenia. He is convinced that in the upcoming
years Jermuk will become a big spa-tourism center.

A. Ghazaryan said, they have conducted some programs and inserted
information panels near the cultural monuments. "I think, the private
sector is interested in the issue and lots of problems will be solved
in the upcoming future. There is quite great attention towards this,"
A. Ghazaryan said.

Contract On "Mutual Help During The Accidents In Electricity Institu


MAY 13, 2010

YEREVAN, MAY 13, ARMENPRESS: Armenian government approved today at
its session the issue on signing contract on "Mutual Help during the
accidents in electricity institutions and other emergency situations".

The latter is included in the protocols of Armenian-Georgian
inter-governmental economic cooperation commission since 2006.

Armenian Energy and Natural Resources Minister Armen Movsisyan
said that the main goal of the signing of the contract is ensuring
conditions for mutual assistance during accidents stemming from the
necessity to ensure stable work of the electricity systems of Armenia
and Georgia.

ANKARA: Turkish PM & Russian President Assess Bilateral Relations In


Anadolu Agency (AA)
May 12, 2010 Wednesday

ANKARA – Turkey’s prime minister and Russia’s president commented on
the bilateral relations between their countries, as well as regional
developments during a joint press conference they held in capital
Ankara on Wednesday.

Appearing at the conference together with Russian President Dmitry
Medvedev, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey
and Russia had the will to raise their trade volume to 100 billion
USD in five years.

"Turkey and Russia have signed 17 agreements today on energy,
agriculture and visa exemption," he said.

Erdogan defined visa exemption as a first step to intermingle the
two nations.

"The two parliaments will pass the nuclear energy agreement, and we
will start construction of Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant," he said.

Turkey has cancelled four auctions for construction of a nuclear
power plant in Akkuyu hamlet of the southern province of Mersin.

Only one participant, the Russian-Turkish "Atomstroyexport-Inter
Rao-Park Teknik" Consortium, submitted an offer in the fourth auction
on September 24, 2008 which was cancelled on November 20, 2009.

Erdogan underlined importance of energy projects like South Stream,
Blue Stream, Samsun-Ceyhan crude oil pipeline and establishment of
a new refinery.

"After these steps are taken and after it becomes a transit base in
natural gas, Turkey will have a more important location," he said.

Erdogan also said Turkish contractors could undertake projects within
the framework of Kazan universiade to take place in 2013 and Sochi
winter olympic games to take place in 2014.

The Turkish prime minister also said that Turkey would never accept
nuclear weapons in its region.

"Turkey continuously tells this to Iran," Erdogan said, adding
Turkey’s stance on Iran’s nuclear program was obvious, and Iran had
also announced that it had no intention to prepare an atomic bomb,
a weapon of mass destruction that would lead to end of humanity.

"We have always said we support nuclear initiatives with humanitarian
goals," he said.

Erdogan said Turkey and Russia signed an agreement on establishment of
a nuclear power plant to make use of that energy within humanitarian

On Upper Karabakh dispute, Erdogan said Russia’s position on this
issue was different as it was a member of the Minsk Group and a
neighboring country.

Erdogan said Minsk Group should go on with their active initiatives,
and Turkey would also assume responsibilities and take part in the

"I hope we will make this region an area of peace," he said.

Referring to energy cooperation with Russia, Erdogan said the first
step was the establishment of nuclear power plant, and the second
was purchase of natural gas and oil.

Erdogan said Turkey was providing 70 percent of its natural gas
and oil need from Russia, and was willing to further improve Blue
Stream project.

"We also attach importance to Samsun-Ceyhan crude oil project, which
is also an environmental project that will save the Straits," he said.

Erdogan also said Turkey would also construct a refinery in the
southern town of Ceyhun.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said in his part that Turkey and
Russia were real strategic partners.

Expressing satisfaction over improvement in Turkish-Russian relations,
Medvedev indicated that the relations actually gained a strategic

Referring to High Level Cooperation Council between Turkey and Russia,
Medvedev said the issues discussed at the council would help the
parties achieve commercial and economic targets more easily.

Medvedev also commented on the agreements signed today and noted that
studies were carried out in both countries to boost investment volume,
indicating that the fundamental target was to amount trade volume
above a hundred billion USD.

Russian President said cooperation in nuclear energy opened a new page
in relations, noting that the agreement would take effect following
conclusion of necessary procedures and approval process in the
parliament. He said the agreement would present new opportunities
for the countries and the most important could be to ensure energy

Medvedev said works were underway on Blue Stream and South Stream
projects, noting that the projects in question ensured energy
security of the two countries and paved the way for opening of new
energy corridors.

Russian President said Samsun Ceyhan Crude Oil Pipeline project was
also important and that an agreement was reached to develop this
project. He said the parties discussed establishment of a refinery
in Ceyhan, noting that thus the product would be marketed jointly.

Medvedev said cooperation on high technologies area was also discussed.

Responding to a question, Medvedev said Upper Karabakh problem was
discussed with Erdogan.

He said Russia joined the process as a member of Minsk group and
noted that a positive development was recorded on the matter.

Medvedev said a solution could be reached in case the related parties
showed good will and acted with common sense and Russia and Turkey
were always in contact on the matter.

Why Turkey Matters

Doug Sarro

Huffington Post
May 13 2010

Turkey is a country on the move. Its economy is growing like
wildfire–6% a year on average between 2002 and 2008, nearly three
times as fast as the rest of the OECD.

Yet its politics seem to be stuck in neutral. Its Prime Minister, Recep
Tayyip Erdogan, also a newly-minted TIME 100 member, is best-known in
the West for bashing Israel, palling around with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,
and eroding Turkey’s secular values. Some commentators have wondered
aloud whether the West has "lost" Turkey.

Last month I had the chance to travel to Turkey with the Toronto-based
Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies. For about a week
and a half, we met with movers and shakers in Ankara, Istanbul,
and Diyarbakir to get a sense of where Turkey is going.

I can tell you this–the West hasn’t lost Turkey. But unless Washington
makes a deliberate effort to engage Turkey in the long-run, Ankara
will likely continue to distance itself from the West.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s 23-22 vote to recognize the
Armenian genocide, which caused the Turks to withdraw their Ambassador
to Washington (he has since returned), didn’t help much in this regard.

Did the Committee get its history right? Sure it did. Every credible
historian who has studied the events of 1915 will tell you that a
genocide was committed by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenians.

But politicians have different responsibilities than historians–their
first priority should be the future rather than the past. This means
safeguarding an important relationship for the West by giving Turkey
space to recognize what its Ottoman predecessors did in Armenia at
its own pace, something the Turks slowly seem to be doing.

Why is Turkey so important to Washington?

First of all, with the largest army in Europe, Turkey is well-placed
to take a leadership role in Afghanistan. Afghans, Turkish officials
are quick to note, prefer dealing with Muslim troops from Turkey
to American or European ones. Washington will likely need Turkey to
increase its commitment to Afghanistan as its troops withdraw from
the country.

Turkey is also a valuable partner in Tehran, with clout and contacts
that Washington could only dream to have&mash;assets that will continue
to be useful as the West tracks Iran’s nuclear program.

Also, Ankara may yet prove a useful mediator between the Israelis and
Palestinians. The 2008 Israeli incursion into Gaza may have dumped
cold water on Turkish-Israeli relations, but this won’t last. Ankara
still covets the role of Middle Eastern mediator, which means it’s
only a matter of time before it finds a way to make amends with Israel.

American engagement with Turkey is doubly important now, because
Turkish-Western relations are headed for a serious rupture; the
failure of Turkey’s 23-year-old bid to join the European Union, which,
possibly next to its membership in NATO, is Turkey’s most important
tether to the West.

Both Brussels and Ankara know Turkey’s bid will be rejected. France
will never support anything that shifts the EU’s power center away from
Paris, and European public opinion is cold to the idea of admitting
a Muslim country to their ranks.

For now, Erdogan prefers to pretend his EU bid is still alive, as it
gives him the political capital he needs to push through democratic
reforms that further marginalize his rivals in the Turkish army.

But it’s only a matter of time before the curtain falls on this
long-running bit of Kabuki theater. The EU’s popularity in Turkey is
falling, and the Greek economic crisis will likely exacerbate that
trend. And how long will the Turks tolerate living in EU limbo? Five
years? Ten years? Some think the EU bid could drag on for another
fifteen or twenty years, but I doubt Ankara will be able to justify
waiting this long before calling it quits.

Washington will need to find a way to soften the blow this rupture
between Turkey and the EU will do to Turkish sentiment toward the West,
and the groundwork for this needs to start now.

U.S. engagement helps Turkey as much as it helps the United
States. The EU bid, futile though it is, has been crucial to Turkey’s
modernization–it drove Turkey’s elites to begin recognizing minority
rights, and made democratically-elected politicians, rather than army
generals, the key decision-makers in Ankara.

The Turkish government, though reluctant to admit it, will benefit from
continued Western engagement as it tries to reconcile Islam with its
secular government, accommodate its long-suppressed Kurdish minority,
and, of course, come to grips with the events of 1915.

No matter what happens, Turkey’s economy is likely to continue to
grow, as will its significance to the region. Whether Turkey’s rise
will benefit all of its citizens, along with the West, will depend
on what Washington does.

"Our Son Did Not Commit Suicide"



Three years ago, on May 12, the body of Yerevan citizen Levon Gulyan,
31, appeared outside a police building.

To date, no one has been brought to court for Gulyan’s death.

Although the victim’s legal successors have lodged a complaint to
the Court of Cassation, they believe the complaint will be rejected.

The press release of the police department stated that Gulyan slipped,
fell out of the window of the second floor and died.

Gulyan’s relatives assert the opposite. They say Levon was beaten,
and then thrown from the window.

"Our son did not commit suicide. The forensic examination proved
that Levon had died as a result of torture. The expertise specifies
numerous body injuries and fractures, which adds credibility to the
hypothesis of the death as a result of torture. Falling down form the
second floor cannot lead to the injuries, described in the forensic
report," Levon’s father Ashot Gulyan told A1+ today.

After Gulyan’s death a criminal case was opened by the General
Prosecutor’s office in Yerevan under Article 110 of the RA Criminal
Code. But soon it was discontinued because of the lack of corpus

Gulyan’s relatives connect their son’s death with the name of Hovik
Tamamyan, Deputy Chief of RA Police, who personally interrogated
Gulyan on the day of the accident.

In reply to A1+’s question why the death has not been disclosed to
date, Gulyan’s legal successor Hrayr Ghukasyan said, "We have evidence
asserting that it was not an accident. There is a group of people who
were with Gulyan during his last days and hours. The case cannot be
dismissed for ungrounded reasons. This is not a matter of personality
or circumstances."

"The case speaks of the atmosphere of permissiveness. If a police
employee is punished, it will mean a collapse of the authorities’
foothold and the police will no more serve the authorities," said
human rights expert Avetik Ishkhanyan.

"If Gulyan’s death was revealed in due time, Vahan Khalafyan’s death
in a Charentsavan police department would be averted," added Mr.

Nagorno Karabakh headlines Exhibition Armenia in NSW Parliament Hous

Armenian National Committee of Australia
259 Penshurst Street, Willoughby NSW 2068
PO Box 768, Willoughby NSW 2068
Tel: (02) 9419 8264
Fax: (02) 9411 8898
Email: [email protected]


Nagorno Karabakh headlines Exhibition Armenia in NSW Parliament House

SYDNEY: Nagorno Karabakh was the focus of the Armenian National Committee of
Australia’s (ANC Australia) EXHIBITION ARMENIA poster display held at NSW
State Parliament House on Tuesday.

On the 18th anniversary of the Liberation of Shoushi – a key victory for the
long-persecuted Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh on the way to the region’s
declaration of independence – over 20 NSW State legislators and
representatives of Armenian community organisations attended the exhibit in
the Jubilee Room.

The 32 posters on show guided at tendees through Armenia’s rich history and
culture, its Christian heritage, its bloody battles, its achievements,
Armenia today and Armenia tomorrow. The Armenian Genocide and the Armenian
Relief Fund of Australia were given key focus, while Nagorno Karabakh was
discussed for the first time in NSW State Parliament House.

ANC Australia Political Relations Officer Vache Kahramanian said: "Nagorno
Karabakh is recognised by Armenians as the heart and soul of the Armenian
nation. Its history and current status is something we wish to share with
our friends in NSW Parliament and the NSW Legislative Council."

Nagorno Karabakh belonged to Armenians since before Christ, but was handed
to Azerbaijan by Joseph Stalin despite protests from the region’s
inhabitants. Armenians made up 95% of the total population.

>From 1921 to 1988, for 67 years, the Christian Armenians held off countless
attacks by Azeris, many incidents of uncalle d-for persecution at the hands
of Azeris, and attempts at ethnic cleansing through massacres. Despite this,
Armenians remained the main inhabitants of the region.

In 1988, the Armenian civilians of Nagorno Karabakh rose. Men, women and
children fought against constant persecution, for self-determination, and
the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh was born in 1992.

A key event along the way to this independence was on 9th of May 1992. The
Armenian forces of Nagorno Karabakh rose against the odds to liberate a
region called Shoushi. Shoushi was one of the highest points in Nagorno
Karabakh, and the victory was a turning point in the Karabakh Movement.

While historically-Armenian regions such as Shahumian remain in Azeri
control and constant threats of war are expressed by Azerbaijan’s
government, the Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh remain resilient and proud
defenders the Republic.

Kahramanian added: "ANC Australia is delighted to be able to bring Nagorno
Karabakh’s battle for self-determination to the attention of our