Team Reporting Project for Journalists

Team Reporting Project for Journalists
Project start date: 1st of May

Project duration: 10 days

Location: Yerevan and various regions of Armenia.

Media Diversity Institute (MDI) accepts applications from journalists for
participation in a ten-day team reporting project for journalists to report
and write joint feature stories under the supervision of outside team
leaders. The resulting stories will be printed or broadcast by all media
organizations involved, in identical versions, as agreed on by the team.
Journalists who currently work for mainstream media in Armenia and write on
or are interested in developing their writing on issues related to diversity
(ethnic minorities, religion, disability, marginalized and socially
disadvantaged groups etc) are eligible to apply. MDI encourages applicants
from the regions to apply for the workshop.

The project will take place on May 1st to May 12th. All the costs related to
participation are covered by organizers of the event.

The participating journalists will also be paid a participation fee to
compensate for the time away from their media outlets.

Application procedures:

Applicants are required to submit:

– Short cover letter explaining your interest in participating in the
project
– Print journalists are also required to submit 2 samples of their stories
on diversity issues.

Please, submit your applications to MDI Country Coordinator in Armenia,
Artur Papyan at [email protected] or call (01) 53-00-67.

Application deadline: April 23rd.

About copmpany:
The Media Diversity Institute (MDI) is a London-based charitable
organization specializing in media training. It is currently implementing a
three-year project in the South Caucasus, working with the media, journalism
schools and local NGOs. The project aims to create deeper public
understanding of diversity, minority groups and human rights. For additional
information about MDI and available resources, please, refer to

http://www.media-diversity.org

Opposition’s call for Referendum

COALITION’S TIME TO EXPIRE MIDDAY, APRIL 12

YEREVAN
April 9. 2004
Noyan Tapan

The representatives of the opposition, MPs Viktor Dallakian and Alexan
Karapetian, were negotiating with the representatives of the coalition
at about 4:00 p.m. Viktor Dallakian said during the rally on Freedom
square at 5:45 p.m that they suggested that the coalition should
include the issue of amendments to the law “On Referendum” in
accordance with the decision of the Constitutional Court in the agenda
of the next three-day sitting of the National Assmebly starting from
April 12. Dallakian said that they gave the colition time for the
discussion of this issue till midday, April 12. He stressed that it
isn’t an ultimatum to the coalition, but just the proposal of the
opposition. Viktor Dallakian called on the participants of the rally
(their number had not decreased by then) to stay through, until the
resignation of the president. Then he turned to the law-enforcement
bodies with an appeal not to interfere and not to make provocations
against the people. Aram Sargsian, member of the political board of
Republic Party, also made a speech, he gave assurances that victory
isn’t so far. He reported that he is going to stay at Freedom Suare
overnight. Sargsian said that at the moment the mediators were
negotiating with the presidential residence for the president to
resign as soon as possible. Ruben Tovmasian, First Secretary of the
Communist Party of Armenia, also spoke at the rally. He said that the
Communist Party is joining the actions of the opposition towards power
shift.

Armenians worldwide mount campaign to save Melkonian

Armenians worldwide mount campaign to save Melkonian
By Jean Christou

Cyprus Mail
10 April 2003

AROUND 40 influential members of the Armenian community worldwide have
written an open letter to President Tassos Papadopoulos calling on him
to prevent the closure of the Melkonian Educational Institute (MEI) in
Nicosia.

The letter said the decision by the Central Board of the Armenian
General Benevolent Union (AGBU), in New York that the 78-year old
school should close in June 2005 violated human rights within the
sovereign territory of Cyprus.

`We urgently request your help to correct this injustice,’ the letter
said.

It also said that the decision of the AGBU was illegal and contrary to
the Will of the school’s founders, the Melkonian brothers.

`The Will, which was transferred from an Armenian institution to the
AGBU for international political reasons does not confer to the AGBU
the ownership of the belongings mentioned therein,’ the letter said.

It added that the Will does stipulate for the AGBU the prerogative of
the MEI’ s management and the allocation of subsidies drawn from the
Melkonian Funds to three other Armenian institutions devoted mainly to
education and socio-cultural development of Armenians mainly in the
context of Western realities and aspirations.

`The Melkonian brothers’ Will does not confer to the AGBU the right to
denature or destroy these Armenian structures, therefore the closure
of theMEI is not among the prerogatives of the AGBU,’ it said. `More
precisely the closure of the MEI is a direct violation of the human
rights of Armenian communities.’

The AGBU administers 22 Armenian schools worldwide including the
Melkonian, which was founded in 1926 and is today the only secondary
school in Cyprus for the Armenian community plus the dozens of other
Armenian pupils that board there from neighbouring countries.

The AGBU announced last month that the school would close next year,
following months of speculation that was initially denied. The
loss-making Melkonian is sitting on a £40 million plot in the
capital’s commercial district and reports were rife that it was up for
grabs by developers.

The AGBU said in November that the school was not for sale but then
changed tack and announced the closure. The schools alumni is
convinced the foundation’ s only aim is to `take the money and run’.

`We, and hundreds of Armenians and non-Armenians of different
professionsâ=80¦ have addressed a letter to the AGBU asking for an
explanation for their decision, ‘ the letter to Papadopoulos said.

Easter Message of HH Karekin II Catholicos of All Armenians

PRESS RELEASE
Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Information Services
Address: Vagharshapat, Republic of Armenia
Contact: Rev. Fr. Ktrij Devejian
Tel: (374 1) 517 163
Fax: (374 1) 517 301
E-Mail: [email protected]

April 11, 2004

The Message of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of
All Armenians
on the Occasion of the Feast of the Glorious Resurrection
Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, 11 April 2004

“Take heart, it is I; Have no fear” (Mark 6:50)

Dearly Beloved People,

Christ thus addressed His disciples, who in a boat on the open sea were
distressed and frightened by the strong winds and rough waters. And they
saw Jesus, Who was walking upon the waves, and He approached and entered the
boat. ‘It is I’, He said, ‘take heart and have no fear’. At that moment,
the winds ceased. The deadly elements turned to peace, and life shone in
their troubled souls.

On the boat, in the person of the Lord, Life itself was present amongst
them, though His disciples yet did not recognize it. They would still walk
much with their teacher, they would see countless healings and would listen
to Him, hearing as well that He would eventually be tortured and betrayed to
death. Afraid and hopeless, they were to see the tomb where their crucified
Teacher was placed. They would yet see Him, Resurrected, standing amongst
them and to hear the Divine message once again: “It is I; Have no fear”. At
that time their minds would be opened, and they would recognize that He was
the Savior of the World, and they would believe that death had been forever
destroyed, and that we have Resurrection and Life. We have the hope of
renewal, of becoming and possessing the same image as the Resurrected, of
being called the children of God and becoming the co-inheritors of the
Kingdom of Heaven.

On this sacred morning of Easter, the mystery of the Resurrection within our
renewed hope and faith, calls to us again, “Take heart, it is I.” Today,
that message of the Lord, like the life-giving and joyous heavenly dew,
descends upon our human souls, when we are troubled by the disturbing events
in the world, when often we are found to be weak before the imperatives of
the present day, feeble by our fears, anxious and uncertain by questions
which concern us. The world has changed much since the days of Christ, and
changed are the possibilities of man. Mankind has completed and continues to
make complete the numerous inadequacies of life, yet the most important
thing continues to be lacking – the response of the human soul to the divine
call to peace and good will amongst men. In the present era of science and
technology, mankind has split the atom, is conquering the universe, and has
the power to make the desert arable. Nevertheless, humanity has not
succeeded in silencing the sounds of war, nor has it eliminated need and
poverty. Every day, thousands of newspapers, periodicals, books, and radio
and television programming speak and witness ‘that man is the crowning glory
of creation’. However, universal and timeless moral values, especially the
love of mankind, still feel the need to be defended. Indeed, what can we
hope for, if moral standards, holiness and philanthropy are absent from the
hearts of men? If men do not have the fear of God? God Himself has given
us the unsurpassed example of the true love of man, by sending His Only
Begotten Son to the world to save us. With Him, we came to know love;
because for us, He took up the Cross, so that we might be raised from the
dead. From our God-loving souls, the love of mankind will pour forth, as
the greatest achievement of all times and of every society.

Once again, we see today Heaven opened by grace, and the face of God who
loves mankind gazing towards us. Today our Risen Lord comes to shoulder our
burdens, to comfort our sorrows, to dispel our doubts, to rescue us from
deadly shipwrecks, and to open the peaceful skies overhead. He has
appointed us as His coworkers in the service of men. Thus, every task which
we embark upon, let us do it in a manner as if we were doing it for God
(Col. 3:23); and Christ with His blessing, will complete the rest – that
which exceeds our human capabilities.

Dearly beloved Armenian people, with His blessed presence and with His
saving power, the Lord has been at our side, wherever the ship of our life
has been driven during the journeying courses of difficult, as well as
trouble-free periods of our history. God has been at our side and has not
abandoned us in deadly fateful times, when having lost our hope in men, we
have been left alone. The light of the Resurrection soars above all of our
Avarayrs and Sardarapats; the paths of Golgotha for the Armenians, which
dispersed us throughout the world, are crowned with the radiance of the
Resurrection. Today, our statehood is also reborn, and at every stage of
life, the Lord awaits us, to spread His light and His peace over us, to
bless our efforts and labor and to make them fruitful. However, we should
not mix the good with the bad, nor confuse truth with falsehood. The truth
is Armenia independent and Artsakh free, and our patriotism, our solidarity
and unanimity. Let it not be that we remain indebted before these cherished
truths, let it not be that we remain beholden to our history, to our
martyred sons resting at Yerablur, and before our generations. Let us keep
our pan-national unity spotless, for through it, the light of our lives and
our God-seeing faith remains radiant. Indeed, there is no greater
expression of faith than unity, and there is no greater encouragement than
the belief that God with his saving power, is with us.

In our changed and changing reality of today, we have much to do. We still
have journeys to complete, which we will traverse together, with the sacred
oath of unity we have inherited from our forebears, so that the homeland of
Armenia and Artsakh, will develop and be strengthened, and so that Armenian
life blossoms and flourishes in all Armenian communities. Wherever we live,
we will live through the Homeland and Holy Etchmiadzin, with our national
values and patriotic inheritance, so that our children will keep away from
useless and false ideas, and from alien values, which are penetrating our
lives and being imposed upon us from within and without. Clergyman, parent,
official, intellectual, and teacher – all of us shall contribute heart and
soul, so that the Armenian spirit is renewed with faith and will shine with
the sanctities of our forefathers, and in the Homeland and in the Dispersion
we will always see in the eyes of our children, the gaze of the father of
our faith and our Illuminator – St. Gregory, and see the faces of our great
teachers graced by God – Saints Sahak and Mashtots, and see the fearless and
joyful spirit of Saint Vartan and Vartanank.

Dear Armenians dispersed throughout the world, you who can look to Ararat
from near or far, can see under the gaze of the mount that hosts the Ark,
the outstretched ark of Armenian salvation: Armenia and Artsakh. You, who
see the radiating and inexhaustible light of the lantern of the Illuminator
above the heights of Aragats, have faith, that the God of our fathers will
continue His work upon our land through our faith. He will continue His
work throughout our national life, upon which today the hope of Resurrection
is taking flight.

With the great tidings of the wondrous Holy Resurrection of Christ, and from
the Only-Begotten established Mother See of All Armenians, we greet the
incumbents of the hierarchical sees of our Apostolic Holy Church, His
Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia; His Beatitude
Archbishop Torkom Manoogian, Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem; His Beatitude
Archbishop Mesrob Mutafian, Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople; as well as
heads of our sister Christian Churches. We bring our blessings to the
entire rank of our oath-keeping clergy, and members of our diocesan and
parochial administrative boards.

We greet and bless the state leaders of the Armenians, headed by President
of the Republic of Armenia Robert Kocharian, President of the Republic of
Nagorno Karabagh Arkady Ghukasian, and representatives of the diplomatic
missions registered in Armenia, and all of our people in Armenia, Artsakh
and the Diaspora.

On this good morning of light, hope and encouragement, let us pray and ask
together in one voice: With your peace, O Christ our Savior, keep safe and
unspoiled the entire world, and spread your blessings on all nations. Keep
and protect under Your grace the Armenian people, and illuminate the new
paths and new hopes of our homeland. Grace us O Lord, with the spirit of
wisdom and reconciliation, and as well, in accord with your words “Take
heart, it is I”, grant us a fortified heart by Your resurrected presence, so
that we may live the life entrusted to us, and become worthy of eternal
life, and with our holy forefathers, to forever praise You the Only-Begotten
Son, with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Christ is Risen from the dead!
Blessed is the Resurrection of Christ.

KAREKIN II
CATHOLICOS OF ALL ARMENIANS

##

The Blowhards of Brussels

THE BLOWHARDS OF BRUSSELS

NYPost

April 10, 2004 — Belgium, which apparently has decided that it was
meant to be the world’s moral compass, has pronounced a new judgment:
The worst genocide in recorded history, declare the Belgians, is
America’s treatment of its indigenous people. American Indians, that
is.

But please don’t take this as a criticism of the United States, they
add.

A display at the nation’s Monument to the Unknown Soldier in Brussels
– meant to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan horrors –
contains a panel listing the tragic history of genocide.

The Nazi Holocaust is there.

So are the killing fields of Cambodia and the massacre of Armenians
during World War I.

But worst of them all, says the official display, came in North
America at the hands of European settlers and immigrants.

And not just in the past, either – according to the display, said
genocide began in 1492 with the arrival of Christopher Columbus and
“continues to this day.”

The Belgian defense ministry defended the display, claiming it was
based on the work of “noted scholars.”

But it’s a curiously selective listing.

For one thing, there’s no mention of the millions of Russians who died
under Josef Stalin’s murderous rule. Nothing about the gulags or the
forced starvation of Ukrainians.

And, wouldn’t you know, there’s not a word in the display about the
reign of terror perpetrated in the Congo for decades by its onetime
occupying power – a place called Belgium.

Of course, the notion that genocide is being waged now on this
continent is taken seriously only by Ramsey Clark and his ilk – and in
faculty lounges from Cambridge, Mass., to Berkeley, Calif.

Equally ludicrous – and increasingly treated as fact in those same
spots – is the notion that Columbus, and the many Europeans who
followed him to the New World, were genocidal maniacs who decimated
the native population.

Of course, had Europeans somehow never managed to discover the
Americas, those same gentle indigenous folk would likely have come
under the control of empires like the Aztecs and the Incas – societies
in which ritual torture, enslavement of women and infant sacrifice
were central.

In today’s politically correct world, though, any society – no matter
how cruel – is considered preferable to a capitalist democracy.

Rather than lecture the rest of the world on moral niceties, the
Belgians should stick to a topic they truly understand.

Like waffles.

CSTO Chief: Armenia – active CSTO member

CSTO Chief: Armenia – active CSTO member

Pravda
16:29 2004-04-10

Nikolai Bordyuzha, Secretary General of the Collective Security Treaty
Organization (CSTO, includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,
Russia and Tajikistan), does not dramatize the internal political
situation in Armenia.

(The Armenian opposition is demanding that the official results of
last year’s presidential elections won by Robert Kocharyan be
invalidated).

The CSTO chief bluntly denied some media reports that his arrival in
Yerevan had been prompted by the internal political situation in the
country.

According to Mr. Bordyuzha, the CSTO can interfere with the Yerevan
developments under no circumstances. “We have calmly discussed the
internal political situation in Armenia with the country’s
leadership. There is no need for dramatizing the situation,” said
Mr. Bordyuzha.

In his opinion, all the issues related to the Armenian developments
will be addressed by political means.

Mr. Bordyuzha noted that Armenia was one of the most active members of
the CSTO and the CIS.

“We can sense it in the attitude of Armenian representatives during
the discussion of different issues at CSTO sessions,” said
Mr. Bordyuzha.

In his opinion, Armenia is actively trying to foster the effectiveness
of the CSTO structure.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Opening a Byzantine Door to the Divine

Opening a Byzantine Door to the Divine;
New York Exhibit Highlights the Exalted Role of Iconographic Art in Eastern
Orthodox Culture

BY Bill Broadway, Washington Post Staff Writer

The Washington Post
April 10, 2004 Saturday

Many people know little of Eastern Orthodox Christian teachings yet
recognize the colorful human figures that adorn the walls, floors and
ceilings of Orthodox churches and peer hauntingly from painted blocks
of wood in museums and magazines.

Those images of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, the Apostles and saints are
meant to show the religious figures as they looked, or might have
looked, when they walked the Earth, and to bring the viewer into
communion with them. The hoped-for result is transcendence of time and
place to an encounter with spiritual truths.

“Icons in their purest form are a way to contemplate the divine,” said
Helen C. Evans, curator of a monumental show on Orthodox iconography
at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

“Byzantium: Faith and Power (1261-1557)” presents more than 350 works
from the last years of Byzantine culture, including frescoes, coins,
jewelry, metalwork, manuscripts, textiles and mosaics. Many of them
never have been shown outside the churches and monasteries where they
have been housed for centuries as part of the communities’ liturgical
and contemplative life.

The exhibition’s opening two weeks ago was timely, given this year’s
coincidence of Easter celebrations on Eastern Orthodox and Western
calendars. Most Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter tomorrow, as do
Roman Catholics and Protestants. But Orthodox churches — more than a
dozen exist worldwide, including Greek, Russian, Armenian and Coptic
— calculate their liturgical calendar differently, often celebrating
Easter a week to a month later than Western Christians.

Among the exhibition’s vast offerings, a few images stand out as
instructive introductions to Orthodox liturgy and theology, especially
as they relate to Jesus’s Passion and Resurrection.

Western depictions of the Resurrection typically show Jesus rising
from the tomb, appearing before His disciples or ascending to
heaven. Orthodox paintings and mosaics most often show Jesus
descending to the netherworld to stomp on the gates of hell and
liberate Adam and Eve. Sometimes, for good measure, he bashes Satan in
the head with his cross.

Such images are based on the “harrowing of hell,” a non-biblical but
widely held Christian belief (East and West) that Jesus journeyed to
hell after his crucifixion but before his ascent to heaven. By
rescuing humanity’s parents, who have fallen in original sin, Jesus
demonstrates his victory over death and the salvation of mankind.

One of the show’s largest and most significant works is a 13th-century
wood-and-gold icon with the crucifixion on one side and the descent
into hell — what Orthodox Christians call the anastasis — on the
other, Evans said in a telephone interview. The 21/4-by-4-foot icon
never has been shown outside its home, the Holy Monastery of
St. Catherine in Egypt.

The 6th-century Greek Orthodox monastery is at the base of the
mountain that many believe to be Mount Sinai, where Moses saw the
burning bush and later received the Ten Commandments. It is the
world’s oldest continuously active monastery and one of the oldest
Christian pilgrimage sites. The monastery owns thousands of
manuscripts and icons, most donated over the centuries by various
pilgrims, including Crusaders, kings and popes.

The icon includes Latin as well as Greek inscriptions — a rarity on
Eastern Orthodox icons.

The Latin suggests that the icon might have been created by someone
from Rome, a Crusader perhaps, or fashioned at St. Catherine’s, Evans
said. Whatever the icon’s origin, the two languages suggest an
ecumenical accord at Sinai 200 years after the patriarchs in Rome and
Constantinople excommunicated each other and their realms began waging
wars over land and theology.

The icon is one of the earliest examples of use of the mandorla, a
motif in which spiky rays emanate from Jesus’s head, Evans said. It’s
the artist’s effort to depict the bright spiritual form that Jesus
took during the Transfiguration, an event described in the Gospels in
which Jesus meets with Moses and Elijah on a mountaintop. Orthodox
iconographers combine the Transfiguration with the descent into hell
to demonstrate the blinding light of salvation, Evans said. And this
particular icon could be tied to a mystical movement that some think
originated at the Sinai monastery.

The Hesychast movement, as it was called, held that a believer,
through controlled breathing and repetitive prayer — much like saying
a mantra during Buddhist meditation — could perceive the divine light
that shone on Jesus during the Transfiguration.

The practice was debated widely in the East and rejected by the West,
Evans said. The East, in turn, refused to accept a belief that later
became doctrine among Roman Catholics: that Mary was physically taken
into heaven after her death.

Orthodox theology doesn’t allow for what Catholics call the
Assumption. Instead, it states that Mary never died but rather fell
into a deep sleep and that Jesus took her soul to heaven. In a
typically Eastern representation of this event, the Dormition, another
icon from St. Catherine’s, shows Jesus standing behind Mary’s bier,
holding her soul in the form of a baby.

The Metropolitan has several examples, on loan from other churches or
monasteries, of what Evans calls “the great images of Easter.” These
large textiles, called epitaphia (epitaphios in the singular form),
are large, embroidered images of the dead Christ that are carried in
processionals on Holy Friday and placed on a carved representation of
the tomb. Most of them depict the incumbent body of Jesus on a stone
slab, but a 14th-century epitaphios in the exhibition shows Jesus
lying in a sea of stars surrounded by seraphim and other celestial
beings.

Also included in the exhibition is an example of the Mandylion, an
image of Jesus believed to have been miraculously impressed on a cloth
placed over the face of the crucified Jesus, created, like the Shroud
of Turin, “without aid of human hands,” the tradition goes.

That image appears as a wood icon, but it is said to replicate the
original cloth image sent by Jesus to the Armenian king of Edessa. In
keeping with Byzantine tradition, even copies of copies, if carefully
created, carry the same spiritual power as the original.

“Few will visit it here expecting to see the very form of the face of
God,” Annemarie Weyl Carr, professor of art history at Southern
Methodist University in Dallas, writes in the exhibition
catalogue. “But many will search it earnestly to see what was seen as
the face of God.”

“Byzantium: Faith and Power (1261-1557)” continues through July 4 at
the Metropolitan Museum of Art. For an overview, including a virtual
tour of the Monastery of St. Catherine, go to or
call 212-535-7710.

www.metmuseum.org

Armenian Leadership to Provoke Clashes Among People to Keep Power

ARMENIAN LEADERSHIP TO PROVOKE CLASHES AMONG PEOPLE TO KEEP POWER

YEREVAN, APRIL 10. ARMINFO. Today the question of confidence referendum in
Armenia is almost exhausted, the chairman of the political council of
the Republic party Albert Bazeyan said during today’s sit down strike.

The coalition parties and Pres. Kocharyan were obliged to ensure the
conduct of the referendum within a year but did not do that. Now the
opposition’s only demand is Kocharyan’s resignation. For this purpose
the opposition is going to hold rallies, processions and strikes all
over Armenia up to civil disobedience.

“We don’t want to fight with the government or provoke clashes among
civilians. The government will do it itself to keep its power.” Dozens
of opposition members have already been arrested. Their flats have
been searched. The opposition has informed human rights and
international organizations of the arrests. For example, MP Viktor
Dallakyan was released only after OSCE Yerevan Office director
Vladimir Pryakhin had met with Armenia’s Prosecutor General. The
arrests will give no results as this is a nationwide struggle and the
government cannot arrest everybody.

Justice bloc leader Stepan Demirtchyan, MP from Justice faction Tatul
Manaseryan, representative of People’ Party Stepan Zakaryan, member of
the political council of the Republic party Artak Zeynalyan and some
other opposition members joined the strikers but not for long.

CSTO: Domestic Political Situation Should Not Be Dramatized

DOMESTIC POLITICAL SITUATION SHOULD NOT BE DRAMATIZED: CSTO SECRETARY GENERAL

YEREVAN, APRIL 10. ARMINFO. The current domestic political situation in
Armenia should not be dramatized, Secretary General of the Collective
Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Nikolay Bordyuzha said at a
press-conference at the Armenian National Assembly today. He said that
during his meetings with the country’s leadership, alongside with
other issues, the domestic political ones were discussed. However,
Nikolay Bordyuzha said that no reasons for concern about the domestic
political situation in Armenia exist. “All we saw that the situation
in the country develops quietly,” he said.

Cooperation of Armenia and Russia Under CSTO at Highest Level

COOPERATION OF ARMENIA AND RUSSIA UNDER CSTO AT HIGHEST LEVEL

YEREVAN, APRIL 10. ARMINFO. Armenian President Robert Kocharyan and Secretary
General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Nikolay
Bordyuzha, who is on a working visit to Yerevan, discussed the
organizational issues related to the summer summit of CSTO Collective
Security Council in Astana. Speaking at a press-conference at the
Armenian National Assembly today, Nikolay Bordyuzha said that the main
direction of cooperation of the CSTO signatory-states must be the
struggle against terrorism, drugs trafficking and organized crime, as
no military treats exist today. He said that the CSTO currently works
to improve the Russian-Armenian and Russian-Byelorussian groupings
operating under CSTO.

Speaking of the statements by several Russian politologists that the
attitude of the Kremlin to Armenia has become cold, Bordyuzha said
that such statements by analysts are groundless. He said that the
relations of Armenia and Russia are based on mutually advantageous
cooperation. Bordyuzha said that Armenia is an active player both in
the CIS and CSTO structures. “Of course, transport problems of Armenia
hinder its economic development and deepening of the Russian-Armenian
economic ties.” However, bilateral political relations, including the
cooperation of the two countries under CSTO, are at a very high
level,” CSTO Secretary General said.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress