Russian emb. in Georgia denies Moscow sending extra troops to Ajaria

Russian embassy in Georgia denies Moscow sending extra troops to Ajaria

RIA news agency, Moscow
12 Mar 04


The Russian embassy to Georgia has denied Georgian media reports that
an additional contingent of Russian servicemen is being sent to Ajaria
(one of Georgia’s autonomous republics).

“This is a routine rotation which the Georgian leadership, Foreign
Ministry and Defence Ministry were informed of in advance,” the
embassy’s press service told Novosti-Gruziya agency [the Georgian
service of RIA news agency].

A routine replacement of servicemen at the 12th Russian military base
in Ajaria is taking place at the moment, the embassy explained.

According to the diplomatic mission, 78 servicemen from the base at
Gyumri (in Armenia) arrived at the base on 12 March, and another 44
servicemen will arrive there over the next few days. An equivalent
number of servicemen are to leave the base during the
rotation. Altogether 188 servicemen will be replaced during the
rotation, the embassy added.

“All the servicemen arriving at the 12th Russian base in Ajaria have
Georgian visas, the lists with their names have been submitted to the
appropriate Georgian authorities,” the press service stressed.

The embassy recalled that this is not the first time such reports have
appeared in the Georgian media of late. “The embassy asks all
journalists to be precise in their reporting. We are willing to answer
any questions,” was the assurance from the press service.
From: Baghdasarian

Armenian deputy foreign minister, US official discuss Karabakh settl

Armenian deputy foreign minister, US official discuss Karabakh settlement

Mediamax news agency
12 Mar 04


Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister Ruben Shugaryan and the director of
the Office of Caucasus and Central Asian Affairs [part of the Bureau
of European and Eurasian Affairs] of the US Department of State, John
Fox, discussed the settlement of the Nagornyy Karabakh problem in
Yerevan today.

The press service of the Armenian Foreign Ministry told Mediamax news
agency today that Shugaryan and Fox also exchanged opinions on the
situation in the South Caucasus and discussed Armenian-American
From: Baghdasarian

Azeris deny NATO conf venue changed over Armenian officer’s killing

Azeris deny NATO conference venue changed over Armenian officer’s killing

Ekspress, Baku
12 Mar 04

The venue for the second planning conference of the Cooperative Best
Effort – 2004 military exercises, which will be held in Azerbaijan
within the framework of NATO’s Partnership for Peace programme this
September, has been changed. The NATO headquarters said in a press
release yesterday that officers from partner countries would meet in
Kiev this time. The NATO leadership links this change to “technical
issues”. We should remind you that the conference was expected to be
held in Baku at the end of this month.

[Passage omitted: NATO official has commented on the issue to Mediamax
news agency]

“The fact that NATO’s second conference is to be held not in Baku, but
in another country has nothing to do with Armenia,” the head of the
press service of the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry, Ramiz Malikov, has
told Ekspress newspaper. According to him, this decision was made
before the Armenian officer’s murder in Budapest and this change has
nothing to do with Yerevan’s groundless accusations: “Since the
Cooperative Best Effort – 2005 exercises will be held in Ukraine next
year, according to general rules, the planning conference of this
year’s exercises should have been held precisely in that country, and
this has happened. I do not see any problems here,” Malikov said.

He also said that the second planning conference was earlier planned
in Ukraine: “Previous information about this was incorrect”.

We should remind you that a representative of NATO’s South-West
command, Turkish Navy Capt Olcay Uyar, has said that the March
conference will be held in Baku.

But after the aforesaid Budapest incident, Armenia refused to send its
servicemen to Baku under the pretext that the implementation of
military programmes in Azerbaijan is “dangerous”.

Leadership failing to prepare Armenian people for war – newspaper

Leadership failing to prepare Armenian people for war – newspaper

Golos Armenii, Yerevan
11 Mar 04

The Armenian army is ready for war, but the people are not, according
to an article in an independent Armenian newspaper. Society trusts
neither the authorities nor the opposition and will not want to fight
for them, the article said. Azerbaijan, and as a result Armenia, have
entered the final pre-war period, a time of intensive propaganda to
mobilize support for war. The following is the text of Arsen
Yalanuzyan’s report in Armenian newspaper Golos Armenii on 11 March
headlined “Imperatives of the threatening period”; subheadings
inserted editorially:

The despicable killing of an Armenian officer in Budapest has marked
Azerbaijan’s entry into a “threatening period”: this is what the final
pre-war stage of a period of peace is called. The characteristic of
that period is intensive military and political propaganda that
mobilizes a country’s citizens to give unconditional support to the
future actions of their own armed forces and the neutralization of
pacifist tendencies and speeches by the population. The official
propaganda of Azerbaijan has practically achieved this objective and
now that the scum who killed Gurgen Markaryan has become a hero, there
is and will be no return to constructiveness in Azerbaijani
society. So this means that we also have automatically entered this
period. This is a fact that must not be ignored.

People not ready for war

Are we ready for war? The military and political leadership of our
country announces confidently: “Our army is ready to carry out all the
objectives it is set.” Any person who is aware of the rate and quality
of the development of our army may have no doubts – the army will do
its job. But the possible war will be a war not of the armies but of
the peoples – Armenian and Azerbaijani. And either our nation or
Azerbaijan will gain victory in that war. That victory will define
their fortunes for the foreseeable future.

The authorities of Azerbaijan along with the army are preparing their
nation for that fateful war. The result is obvious. But how are our
people preparing for the war? To be more accurate – have our
authorities set this objective at all?

War a taboo subject

We have the impression that a taboo has been set in our society on the
word “war”. Ex-President Levon Ter-Petrosyan mainly promoted this. His
statement about the coming to power of the “party of war ” gave the
“hawks” a complex, as any mention of war may be understood as
confirmation of the ex-president’s “prophecies”. Meanwhile, mentioning
the need for a new war to protect the achievements of the national
liberation fight of 1988-94 may not be reprehensible, if it is these
very achievements that are the price of the offered peace. The point
is – who will lead the people (not the army!) to war? Who will make
the address to the nation after a decade of horrible lawlessness, as a
result of which the people lost faith in the authorities?

At that time, at the beginning of the 90s, we won thanks to the cream
of our nation – those volunteer lads who for ideals, which were later
announced by the president to be a “false category”, were ready to
fight and to die. In addition, at that time society had just entered
the path of “democratic development” and national values were
considered something usual. And the Armenian Pan-National Movement
[APNM] as a party (not its separate patriot-members) as the holder of
the leading anational ideology, had nothing to do with that victory,
because it hated that victory as a matter of principle from the very
beginning. Otherwise we would not have such a precedent, unthinkable
in our long history, when not just any person but the president of the
country denies the ideals of the Armenian nation. He denies the reason
and pledge of victory, the laurels of which are being ascribed to him
personally today. He denies the blood of thousands of patriots to whom
we and our future generations are eternally indebted!

And what do we have today? Since the APNM came to power, there has
been no patriotic training in schools and today’s society has been
much poisoned with liberalism, self-interest and cosmopolitanism, but
there is not even a sign about relative social justice. From this
point of view it is not the laurels of previous victories that belong
to Ter-Petrosyan but the seeds of future defeats! As for today’s
president, till now he has not said whether he agrees with
Ter-Petrosyan or not in the matter of national ideology. So who will
prepare society for war and how?

Society trusts neither authorities nor opposition

Let us look truth in the eye: a major part of our population does not
trust the president or government, opposition and clergy. We live
during a threatening time! What are those who have power doing at this
responsible moment to gain the people’s trust?

Contrary to the mood of society, the government is continuing to
introduce a system of social cards. And nobody says: gentlemen, even
if you are right a thousand times, the trust of the people is more
important. Can it be excluded that the sponsors across the ocean of
such programmes are managing to divide our nation from the authorities
precisely at this threatening period? Specialists in psychological
warfare call this method “enlivening religious prejudices in the midst
of the enemy”. The opposition is calling for revolution, again in the
threatening period. And in the instructions of psychological warfare
of all our enemies (not only Azerbaijan!) this is called something
slightly different: “to rouse the civilian population and servicemen
of the enemy to anti-public actions that destabilize the normal
everyday life of society and the army”.

Luxurious private residences and casinos are being built for everyone
to see, costly office cars are bought at the expense of the people,
and nobody is listening to the press when they say “Enough!”. But
tomorrow people will not want to fight for their masters! And our
enemies will register the latest successfully fulfilled objective in
the psychological war: “to stir up contradictions between specific
social groups and strata of society of the enemy country”. This is
how our temporal and religious leaders are preparing our society for
war! As for our nation, it will move mountains, if it knows for what
end and has a just, Armenian leader! The people know what to fight
for. The issue remains of a leader who understands that social justice
today is the most important thing, as justice and trust are the
imperatives of the threatening time.

CIS Security Chief Calls For Global Unity Against Terrorism


Interfax-AVN military news agency web site
12 Mar 04


The Thursday (11 March) blasts in Madrid, the 11 September terrorist
attack in New York and terrorist sallies in Asia are links in one
chain, Secretary-General of the Collective Security Treaty
Organization (CSTO) Nikolay Bordyuzha said on Friday.

“International terrorism is readjusting itself dramatically and is
ready to deliver strike after strike in any region of the globe. In
order to confront this evil, the global community must pool efforts
and create an atmosphere of rejection of terrorism in any form or
manifestation,” Bordyuzha told Interfax-Military News Agency. The CSTO
has repeatedly called for nations and international organizations to
pool their efforts in order to rebuff terrorism and extremism, he
said. “We confirm the CSTO’s readiness to continue making constructive
contributions to combating terrorism,” Bordyuzha stressed.

The CSTO brings together Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,
Armenia and Tajikistan.

Manasaryan Released from Detention

A1 Plus | 20:56:32 | 12-03-2004 | Social |


Armenian National Assembly member Tatul Manasaryan, who had been arrested in
January in the U.S., is already released from custody, Azatutyun radio
station reported Friday quoting Armenian Foreign Ministry Press Secretary
Hamlet Gasparyan.

Manasaryan has been charged with attempt of abduction of his child living
with his former wife in the U.S.A. Charge against him was dropped yesterday
at the court session.

The U.S. Ambassador to Armenian John Ordway received today MP’s relatives
and said them Manasaryan is still under supervision of the U.S. law because
of some problems linked to migration regime.

However, Manasaryan’s relatives said radio station he was in hospital
because of health problems.

Despite laws, artists have little control over piracy, use of work, 12 March 2004

Cultural Theft: Despite laws, artists have little control over piracy and
use of their work

By Gayane Abrahamyan
ArmeniaNow arts reporter

Singers Aramo and Emma Petrosyan sold their apartment to produce their first
compact disc recording.

The husband and wife duo are among the most popular contemporary singers in
Armenia and there is demand for their art. But:

“Up to now, we have made only small profits from sales,” Aramo says.

The reason is not a lack of sales. It is, rather, a loss of control over
their product, due mostly to unenforced copyright laws.

Even though the singers hold copyright to their material, counterfeit copies
of the cds are pirated and sold at a fraction of the cost of the original

“People buy these poor-quality cds without even paying attention to the fact
that the cover is just a piece of black-and-white paper copied from the
original cover,” Emma Petrosyan says. “Meanwhile, Aramo spent several nights
with a designer sitting in front of a computer takings pains and troubles,
thinking and selecting between different colors, shades and hues.

“We dedicate our lives to every cd while thieves earn more than we by doing

Aramo and Emma are not alone in their disgust over the lack of protection of
intellectual property in Armenia and throughout the former Soviet Republics.
Research shows their anger is justified.

Foreign experts estimate that in 2002, piracy of recordings in Armenia
amounted to about $5 million.

Armen Azizyan, president of the Agency for Intellectual Property of Armenia
says 85 to 90 percent of audio, video and computer recordings sold in
Armenia are counterfeit copies.

Producer Grigor Nazaryan says a performer can expect to lose $15,000-20,000
from having a recording pirated. For that reason, local artists rely on
foreign sales to supplement the loses.

“Within recent years ‘pirates’ have become so strong and powerful that they
even begun printing high-quality covers and only producers can differentiate
the fake production from the original by the quality of the cd,” says

And the pirating network is well connected.

Rock band “Oascen Ham” produced a cd in France . But before it was even on
the market there, band leader Vahagn Papayan found a pirated copy for sale
in Yerevan .

Papayan asked the seller where he got the cd. “He said to me ‘Do you think
I’m so stupid to tell you where I got it from? Take it or leave it’.”

Artists are convinced their work is victimized by mafia-controlled sources,
who are so powerful to avoid prosecution.

Yerevan lawyer Artur Varderesyan says the Ministry of Internal Affairs will
soon create a special project for dealing with the piracy problem. (For a
few years the government has been promising such intervention, however,
little has been done to realize anti-piracy enforcement.)

A London-based organization combats piracy in Russia, however, “Armenia is
not a threat to the outer world since Armenian pirate production, as a rule,
is not exported and is sold in the inside market. That proves the fact that
mostly it is the Armenian performers and authors who suffer from piracy,”
Azizyan says.

It is not, though, just the copyright thieves who profit from current
conditions. Television and radio companies and concert promoters use
artists’ material at will and typically without paying royalties.

The Constitution of Armenia includes a law ” On Copyright and Related
Rights”. During Soviet times, Moscow ‘s All-Union organization enforced
copyright laws. In 1994 the task was undertaken by the National Agency on
Copyright. Since 2001, the non governmental organization, Hayheghinak, has
monitored copyright matters in cooperation with the Agency for Intellectual

Senior specialist at Hayheghinak, Sona Vardanyan, says Armenian authors and
singers are unaware of their rights and acting laws.

“If they were aware, then before recording a song they would sign a contract
with the recording studio so that later they don’t illegally collect their
works in bad quality collections,” she says. “In many cases their songs are
used in commercials and they don’t demand a fee either because of not
knowing the law or because of acting on a ‘friendly’ relationship.”

Composer and singer Ruben Hakhverdyan is aware of artists’ rights, but is
disillusioned with hopes of seeing any enforcement.

“How can I protect my copyrights? Whoever opens his eyes starts singing my
songs and I don’t get a penny from it. I don’t give a damn about such
copyrights and such a country,” says Hakhverdyan angrily.

Unlike Hakhverdyan, songwriter Vahan Andreasyan is trying to protect his
rights through law, but according to him the laws of the jungle apply more
than laws of justice.

“It’s been three times that I tired to protect my rights in court but what’s
the good of it? The weaker one is always guilty,” says Andreasyan.

Many artists working in Armenian pop music genre, in particular Andreasyan,
the author of lyrics for Artur Grigoryan’s songs, tried to get his fee
through the legal system. According to him during 10 to 15 concerts a month
at the State Theatre of Song there are at least three or four songs with his
lyrics, but it’s been 15 years and Andreasyan hasn’t received any payment.

“Before, there was no law, so we didn’t demand anything. But now that we
have these market relations, others started making money on my work, so I
demanded my share since I don’t know how to feed my family,” Andreasyan

Andreasyan’s claim against the Theatre of Song ended in a decision in favor
of the Theatre. Its director, Artur Grigoryan, presented a letter from the
Minister of Culture, Youth Issues and Sport stating that most of the monthly
concerts at State Theatre of Song were charitable.

“Without checking, the judge trusted and believed that no concert tickets
have been sold and for my works that have been heard there for eight years I
was paid 6000 drams (about $10),” says Andreasyan shrugging his shoulders.

Hayheghinak director Susanna Nersisyan says its not easy, even with a law in
place, to convince TV and radio companies to pay royalties.

By law, TV and radio stations are obliged to pay two percent of their
monthly profit as royalties for material used.

According to the head of Radio Van company Shushanik Arevshatyan, two
percent is too much for the company to pay.

“We have agreement with Hayheghinak to pay 30,000 drams (about $50) monthly
within several months with presenting a list of songs and authors played
during a month,” says Arevshatyan.

TV companies are also not paying the required amount; paying instead about
$90 a month for materials.

“However, next year we’re planning to increase that sum and to take the
legal two percent with the help of which we’ll be able to pay the authors
fairly,” says Nersisyan.

Hayheghinak divides the money taken from different TV/radio companies
according to the presented list. They also take into account frequency and
length of songs. Also, due to some mathematical actions approved by law, the
sum gets divided among the authors.

“If some refuse to present a list of songs broadcasted by them, then we have
no choice but to follow TV or radio broadcasts in order to write down the
names of songs and authors,” adds Nersisyan.

Tired of copyright violations composer Hasmik Manaseryan complains that she
gets nothing in return for so many of her songs played. She recalled that
only once “three years ago I was called and told that as composer I have to
receive 800 drams ($1.5) while during Soviet years I would make a lot of

Composer Hasmik Manaseryan says she gets nothing for her work. However, she
is not so upset with the fact that she does not get her fees as with the
fact that her works are played in a distorted way.

“So often I hear my songs performed by this or that ungifted singer, who
doesn’t even know what and whose song he or she is singing,” says
Manaseryan. “For instance, one singer performs the song ‘Who Do I Give My
Flowers To?’ in a terribly changed manner, let alone the fact that in the
video, for some unknown reason someone gets killed, somebody else calls
ambulance” In a word the song is spoiled and the video does not correspond
to it.”

Besides singers, film producers are also unhappy with current conditons.

Movie director Albert Lazarian points out with anger that on December 7
last year his movies were shown eight times on Armenian TV channels, and he
cannot tell the number during other days.

“My movie ‘Merry Bus’ is right now being sold in Germany , the US , Greece ,
without any right on that. But I am the owner of that movie. You trouble
yourself over it, shoot a movie and then someone you don’t know makes money
on it. It’s impossible to prevent that piracy,” says director Albert

The same displeasure is expressed by movie director Ruben Gevorgyan
according to whom an artist gets terribly discouraged and desperate when
something created from his blood, his life and his soul is being negligently
shown, no matter if it’s appropriate or not. “And we find out about it not
in case of a fee, but in case when there isn’t any.”

Kazakh foreign minister condemns Armenian officer’s killing

Kazakh foreign minister condemns Armenian officer’s killing

Mediamax news agency
12 Mar 04


Kazakh Foreign Minister Kasymzhomart Tokayev has sent a letter to his
Armenian counterpart Vardan Oskanyan where he condemns the brutal
killing of Armenian officer Gurgen Markaryan by an Azerbaijani
serviceman in Budapest.

The press service of the Armenian Foreign Ministry told Mediamax news
agency today that Tokayev says in the letter that “we condemn the
inhumanity and savageness of this incident and believe that similar
actions cannot be justified”.

At 0500 [0100] on 19 February, Sr Lt Ramil Safarov of the Azerbaijani
armed forces, who was attending English language courses as part of
NATO’s Partnership for Peace programme, brutally killed Lt Gurgen
Markaryan (born in 1978) of the Armenian armed forces while he was

Armenian leader favours reopening of railway via Georgia’s Abkhazia

Armenian leader favours reopening of railway via Georgia’s Abkhazia

Mediamax news agency
12 Mar 04


Armenian President Robert Kocharyan spoke in favour of making
“strenuous efforts” to resume railway communications via Abkhazia.

Speaking at a briefing in Yerevan today, Robert Kocharyan said that a
resumption of railway communications via this route was “of benefit to
everyone – Georgia, Abkhazia, Armenia and Russia”, Mediamax news
agency reports.

The Armenian president said that in order to tackle this issue, one
should display the will and overcome the peculiar “custom, when any
attempt to upset the existing status quo threatens to cause fresh
internal problems”. At the same time, Kocharyan said that Armenia
understands Georgia’s position on this issue.

President Mikheil Saakashvili said that the resumption of the railway
communications via the Abkhaz section should take place in parallel
with the return of Georgian refugees to Abkhazia, particularly to Gali
District. The Georgian leader said that official Tbilisi was ready for
“more decisive steps to find a peaceful solution to this conflict and
to the problem of resuming regional transport communications”.

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili in Armenia

A1 Plus | 21:31:13 | 12-03-2004 | Politics |


On Friday, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili arrived for a two-day
visit in Yerevan at Armenian President Robert Kocharyan’s invitation.

The Presidents of Armenia and Georgia expressed satisfaction with the fact
that, during the visit, they exchanged the ratification documents of the
October 23, 2001 Agreement on Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Security
between the Republic of Armenia and Georgia. They reiterated Armenia’s and
Georgia’s desire to give a new impetus to the further development of
extensive cooperation and friendly relations based on mutual respect for
each other’s interests.

Taking into consideration the obligation to address various modern
challenges and threats, such as international terrorism, organized crime,
weapons and drugs trafficking, the parties noted the need for increasing the
effectiveness of bilateral and multilateral cooperation and coordinating the
joint efforts in those areas.

Georgian President expressed his gratitude to the Armenian side for the
constructive dialogue and hospitality, and invited the President of the
Republic of Armenia to pay an official visit to Georgia at any convenient

Mikhail Sahakashvili also met with Armenian Prime Minister Andranik