CENN Daily Digest – March 10, 2004

CENN – MARCH 10, 2004 DAILY DIGEST
Table of Contents:
1. Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan to Sign BTC Pipeline Agreement in 2004 – SOCAR

2. Botas to Finish Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum Pipeline on Time
3. WWF Warns of BTC Eco-threat
4. Animal Rights violated by Georgian Designers?
5. High Water Tariffs not to affect Households, PM says
6. Gas and Water Paying by Internet
7. Garbage Presentation
8. Robert Kocharyan and The Natural Calamity
9. Ecological Library in Tashkent

1. AZERBAIJAN, KAZAKHSTAN TO SIGN BTC PIPELINE AGREEMENT IN 2004 – SOCAR

Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan will sign an intergovernmental agreement for
the transportation of Kazakh oil through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan
pipeline in 2004, Natik Aliyev, president of the State Oil Company of
the Azerbaijani Republic (SOCAR), told journalists.

“Talks on this issue, which began two years ago, are nearing completion
and we will sign it. There is no reason for us to rush because the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan has not yet been launched and Kazakhstan has not yet
got the volume of oil to transport through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan
pipeline. We are trying to resolve all issues that may arise in the
future,” Aliyev said.

He said that to fully regulate all issues it would be necessary to
resolve a number of disputed areas. “Kazakhstan does not want to ratify
the agreement in parliament. Investors are demanding ratification, so
that this law does not change in the future, even if there are changes
in legislation and new regulatory acts are passed for customs and
taxes,” he said.

“I think that this issue can also be resolved. Investors will agree to
an additional document, if the intergovernmental agreement is not
ratified,’ Aliyev said.

He said that the working group for the preparation of the
intergovernmental agreement will next meet in April.
Interfax, March 9, 2004

2. BOTAS TO FINISH BAKU-TBILISI-ERZURUM PIPELINE ON TIME

Turkish state pipeline company Botas plans to complete the Turkish
section of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline on time.

“The Turkish side is able to build its section of the Baku-Tbilisi-
Erzurum pipeline on time, so gas supplies from the Shah Deniz field will
begin in 2006-2007, as expected,” a source in the Botas head office in
Ankara told Interfax.

Participants in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan project said earlier that bad
weather in Turkey is delaying construction work on the Turkish section
of that pipeline.

As a result, experts said that the construction delays may push back the
launch date for the pipeline, which would in turn lead to delays for the
Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline. The two pipelines are being built in one
corridor, using the same construction resources. Therefore, construction
of the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline can only begin once the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan is completed.

The Botas source said that “at the moment research work is continuing
for the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline project and no deviation from
schedule is expected.”

According to plan, the capacity of the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum, which
stretches 225 km in Turkey, will amount to 30 billion cubic meters per
annum,

Reserves at the Shah Deniz field are estimated at 625 bcm of gas and 101
million tonnes of gas condensate.

Shareholders in the project to develop the Shah Deniz field include BP –
25.5%, Statoil – 25.5%, LUKAgip – 10%, TotalFinaElf – 10%, SOCAR -10%,
National Iranian Oil Company – 10% and TPAO – 9%.
Interfax, March 9, 2004

3. WWF WARNS OF BTC ECO-THREAT

The speedy implementation of the project to construct the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) export oil pipeline poses a threat to the
flora and fauna of the entire Caspian region, Trend news agency has
quoted an official of the World Wildlife Fund Frank Merchel as saying in
a statement.
CBN, March 10, 2004

4. ANIMAL RIGHTS VIOLATED BY GEORGIAN DESIGNERS?

Animal Rights Committee of Georgia came out against animal cruelty and
called Avtandil Tskvitinidze and Maka Assathiany – famous Georgian
designers to refrain from using natural fur for the collections soon to
be represented in Moscow fashion show. Recently, Saga Fur Company
presented Georgian fashion designers Avtandil Tskvitinidze and Maka
Assathiany with certain amount of fur to design models for the upcoming
fashion show. And Animal Rights Committee `in response’ `granted’ the
designers with an undercover fur farm video narrated by famous fashion
designer Stella McCartney. The video produced by People for the Ethical
Treatment of Animals (PETA), describes the plight of animals at modern
fur farms.

In a letter enclosed with the video, ARC calls upon Tskvitinidze and
Assathiany to make the right choice between cruelty and kindness, and
offers to provide additional information concerning fake fur and leather
manufacturers.

`There are also other organizations that deal against animal cruelty in
Georgia but we work on global issues. There is negative stereotype
deeply enrooted in Georgia that violation against animals doesn’t matter
when the rights of human beings are so frequently disrespected. But the
civilization in the country is measured according to how the animals are
treated. Besides maltreated animals like street dogs which have
developed rabies are dangerous for human beings themselves ` – Lexo
Khubulava, the Chairmen of Animal Rights Committee says.

Heather Mills, wife of former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, has joined his
crusade against the abuse of animals by letting her photographs appear
exclusively on the cover of the 2004 Shopping Guide for Caring
Consumers, produced by People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals
(PETA). Now in its fourteenth year, the PETA Shopping Guide features
more than 500 companies which have signed a statement promising never to
test any ingredients or finished products on animals.

Other McCartney family members are actively involved in animal rights
campaigns. Designer Stella McCartney avoids to use any kind of animal
products in her creations, and her sister Mary created a PETA anti-fur
advertisement featuring pop star Sophie Ellis Bextor. McCartney opened
her first store in Manhattan’s meatpacking district — an odd choice for
such a well-known animal rights campaigner.

`Everything in [my] store and every single garment and accessories that
you see is cruelty free in the sense that no animal has died to make
anything in here. I just think that a lot of people out there don’t want
products that an animal has had to die for.”

Animal Rights Committee is managed by a group of volunteers who
contribute their free time and resources to the protection of animals.
The Committee promotes animal-related laws and regulations. On April 3,
2003 ARC formally proposed amendments to the Ordinance of the City of
Tbilisi on the Maintenance of Dogs, Cats and Other Predator Animals. The
Ordinance was passed by the Sakrebulo (municipality) of Tbilisi on
November 7, 2001. It also supports use of alternatives to animal
experiments as a number of educational and medical research institutions
continue using animals in painful and deadly experiments and
dissections, also support to establish cat shelter

Animal Rights Committee introduces a charity sale of postcards designed
by talented artist Giorgi Akhvlediani. In addition to creating original
pieces of artwork, Mr. Akhvlediani runs a makeshift cat shelter at the
open-air Ethnographic Museum of Tbilisi, where he feeds and takes care
of homeless cats.

`When Avtandil Tskvitinidze and Maka Assathiany watch how the fur is
obtained in `modern’ animal farms and what kind of psychological stress
those animals undergo and see their killing methods that are of middle
ages they will refrain from using natural fur for sure’, – Chairmen of
Animal Rights Committee assured.

In the meantime the manager of Avtandil Tskvitinidze explained that the
fur was provided by Saga Fur Company as a gift and they are not going to
support animal cruelty this way.
Georgian Times, March 9, 2004

5. HIGH WATER TARIFFS NOT TO AFFECT HOUSEHOLDS, PM SAYS

March 3, 2004 Andranik Margarian, the Prime Minister of Armenia, stated
that the increased tariffs for drinking water would not have a
significant affect on households, because the majority of them have
already installed water meters allowing regulating water consumption.

Under a recent decision of a state commission regulating public utility
fees, residents in Yerevan will have to pay 90 drams for 1 cubic meter
of water beginning from April 1 instead of the current price of 56
drams. The prime minister said that out of 280,000 households in Yerevan
240,000 have already installed water meters and owners of the rest of
40,000 apartments are temporarily out of Armenia. However, in regions
only 80,000 households out of the total 290,000 have installed meters.
The deadline there is extended up to 2005, July
ARMENPRESS, March 4, 2004

6. GAS AND WATER PAYING BY INTERNET

Central Bank of Armenia and UNDP set up the first paying system through
Internet in Armenia by `ArCa’ plastic cards. {BR}

Central Bank Chair Tigran Sargssyan informed that the system enables
`ArCa’ owners to pay for public utilities – telephone, gas, water,
electricity on the Internet address of the company, and to buy
`ArmenTel’ easy-cards and `ArmInco ‘Internet cards.

‘ArCa’ Director Shahen Hovhannissyan says that `ArCa’ now has 50.000
cardholders. Anyone can register his or her card in `ArCa’ Internet
address only once a year and to make payments all the year round. The
payment receipt on that address is valid.
, March 3, 2004

7. GARBAGE PRESENTATION

In 2003 an agreement between Armenian Town Planning Ministry and
European Union was signed on implementing an experimental management
project of hard domestic waste in the settlements of Ararat and Vayotc
Dzor Districts. {BR}

As the employee of Town Planning Ministry informed, 1.3-1.5 million
cubic meters of solid domestic waste are annually accumulated in Armenia
and 20% of them in the rural areas.

It is equivalent to 370-430 kg garbage per capita. The waste is
transported and accumulated in the 60 trash dumps of Armenia and in the
streets.

‘I hope this process to be a model, which will be applied in the other
districts, too. European Union finances the project and 3 international
and 2 national experts work on it’, Lia Sighurdt, the international
councilor of Town Planning Ministry, says.

European Union has allowed 150.000-160.000 Euros only for studies. The
project was launched this January and will last for 5 months.

CENN Armenia office would like to note that it is already taking part in
discussions with the experts mentioned in this article and hopes to
contribute to public awareness efforts to learn of the needs of local
populations and to help raise their awareness about waste management and
collection, and to contribute to the studies mentioned above for
improvement of waste management infrastructure.

For more details regarding this study, please contact:
[email protected]
, March 9, 2004

P.S. CENN Armenia office would like to note that it is already taking
part in discussions with the experts mentioned in this article and hopes
to contribute to public awareness efforts to learn of the needs of local
populations and to help raise their awareness about waste management and
collection, and to contribute to the studies mentioned above for
improvement of waste management infrastructure.

For more details regarding this study, please contact:
[email protected]

8. ROBERT KOCHARYAN AND THE NATURAL CALAMITY

PM and Ministry of Territorial Management and Coordinating Activity of
Infrastructures have today reported Robert Kocharyan about the measures
taken to eliminate the consequences of the natural calamity during the
last days in the districts. {BR}

It was stated that interdepartmental commissions work in all the
districts having suffered from calamity. They assess the damage and
prepare suggestions over relief to the suffered families and
settlements. Now electricity, water and communication supply is being
restored in those districts.

Robert Kocharyan set tasks to solve the urgent problems and to discuss
at Government sitting the issue on allotting finances and to
periodically inform him about the process of the work.
, March 9, 2004

9. ECOLOGICAL LIBRARY IN TASHKENT

At the press conference held in Tashkent, President of the International
fund for Ecology and Health `Ekosan’ Yusif Shadimetov informed on
founding of the ecological library in Uzbekistan, AzerTAj correspondent
reports. A reader has had an opportunity to obtain information on
ecology, environment protection, as well as flora and fauna. A special
department dealing with ecological education of children has also been
opened at the library.
AzerTag, March 9, 2004


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Russian agency details crimes of ethnic gangs in Moscow

RIA news agency, Moscow, in Russian
10 Mar 04

Russian agency details crimes of ethnic gangs in Moscow

Moscow, 10 March: According to the department for fighting organized
crime, about 4,300 crimes uncovered in Moscow in 2003 were committed
by people from the North Caucasus and Transcaucasus. This was said by
the head of the operative-investigative unit of the Moscow department
for fighting organized crime, Col (Police) Andrey Bolshakov, at a
news conference on Wednesday [10 March].

Crimes committed by these people are mainly of latent nature and the
victims are, as a rule, people of the same ethnic group, or those who
live in Moscow and who are involved in illegal business dealing,
Bolshakov said.

He said that completed investigations (of the cases already submitted
to courts) showed that ethnic criminal gangs committed 295 crimes of
various degree of seriousness last year. A total of 255 of the crimes
are of economic nature, including 250 frauds.

A total of 136 cases have been instituted against leaders of criminal
gangs, including 12 cases against so-called “godfathers”.

Bolshakov said that the largest ethnic criminal group acting in
Moscow is the Azerbaijani one. They are involved in extortion and
kidnapping, mainly of people from the Azerbaijani diaspora, and they
commit crimes on the consumer market.

According to the colonel, the most influential ethnic criminal group
is Armenian. The group is involved in contract killings, gambling and
extortion.

He said that the Georgian-Abkhaz criminal group is one of the
earliest ones in Moscow, it has the greatest number of godfathers and
its members are primarily involved in car thefts and extortion.

Speaking about the Ingush criminal group Bolshakov said that its
representatives are mainly linked to embezzlement in the credit and
finance sphere.

The most odious group is the Chechen criminal group which is mainly
built on clan principles and which is the most closely-knit in
nature. These people are involved in embezzlement, kidnapping as well
as in controlling the arms and drugs trade, Bolshakov said.

Armenian regions hit by floods

Public Television of Armenia, Yerevan, in Armenian
9 Mar 04

Armenian regions hit by floods

[Presenter] Prime Minister Andranik Markaryan today told President
Robert Kocharyan about measures which are being taken to liquidate
the consequences of the recent natural disaster. Various regions of
Armenia were flooded as a result of a sharp change in temperature and
very hot weather, which is unusual this time of the year. The floods
and strong winds damaged mainly Tavush Region. One person died. At
the present moment commissions were set up in regions to assess the
damage. They will submit proposals on how to assist the families
affected by the floods. The power, water and communications systems,
which have been damaged by the floods, are now being repaired.

[Passage omitted: recap of the above]

[Correspondent] As a result of strong winds in Tavush Region the
roofs of houses and buildings were damaged and villages were left
without electricity. The floods and strong winds have badly damaged
Tavush, Gegarkunik, Kotayk, Aragatsotn and Shirak regions. More than
100 houses and a bridge were destroyed in Aparan.

The regions were left without electricity and communications and with
polluted drinking water. The disaster caused damage to the capital’s
economy. The level of water in Razdan river rose by almost 2.5
meters.

The mayor ordered a special commission be set up to assess the
damage. The deputy mayor of Yerevan, Vano Vardanyan, said that roads,
green areas, constructions and bridges were damaged. He noted that
the commission will assess whether any more damage was done. The
damage will be assessed within the next five days and the government
will be told about the results.

Tereza Kasyan, Aylur.

BAKU: Azerbaijan, Armenia reach broadcasting accord

Azad Azarbaycan TV, Baku, in Azeri
9 Mar 04

Azerbaijan, Armenia reach broadcasting accord

[Presenter] The Azerbaijani Communications and Information Technology
Ministry has taken an important step to prevent the broadcast of
Armenian TV stations in Azerbaijan. The Armenian TV stations, which
conduct anti-Azerbaijani propaganda in western districts of
Azerbaijan, have agreed to stop their broadcasts.

[Correspondent] Starting from today [9 March], Armenian TV will stop
its illegal broadcasts in Qazax. Agstafa and Tovuz districts. The
Azerbaijani and Armenian ministries of communications signed a
protocol on this during talks in Moscow which were mediated by
Russia. Under the protocol Armenia will stop broadcasting on
Azerbaijan’s channels No 22, 23 and 27.

However, this will not stop completely Armenian TV stations’ invasion
of Azerbaijan. Since the talks concerned only broadcasts from
Armenia, the use of the radio transmitting station in Susa was not
discussed, Qulam Abdullayev, senior expert of the communications
ministry, has said.

[Qulam Abdullayev] The station in Susa is internationally listed as
Azerbaijan’s. Hence, we only demanded that measures related to
Armenia-based stations be taken. We did not discuss Nagornyy Karabakh
with them at all.

[Correspondent] Whether the protocol is abided by, will be verified
through monitoring. Should Armenia breach the terms of the agreement,
the issue will first be raised in a meeting of the regional
communications body, and later, with the International
Telecommunications Union [ITU].

Incidentally, another complaint may be lodged in the ITU regarding
Iranian TV stations. In order to avert this, Iran’s TV channels have
to stop illegal broadcast in Azerbaijan.

[Abdullayev] Iran is not a member of the regional communications
body, but it is a member of the ITU. Iran has submitted its list to
the ITU and this issue will be raised with the ITU.

[Correspondent] Abdullayev said that Azerbaijan will conduct talks
with Iran. The Azerbaijani ministry intends to purchase new and
powerful equipment to completely resolve the issue. The ministry will
soon submit to the government a state programme it has drafted to
raise funds for this.

Armenian aide lambasts Georgian way of fighting corruption

Aravot, Yerevan, in Armenian
10 Mar 04 p 3

Armenian aide lambasts Georgian way of fighting corruption

The Armenian president’s adviser, Bagrat Yesayan, who is engaged in
drawing up an anti-corruption policy, criticizes methods of fighting
corruption in Georgia.

[Aravot correspondent] One may fight corruption in the same way as
Armenia is doing it now, i.e. to plan and organize hearings; or in
the same way as Georgia is doing it: to institute proceedings and
arrest those officials whose abuses and bribery are evident. Why do
you prefer only the “Armenian” option for fighting corruption, i.e.
the organization of discussions?

[Bagrat Yesayan] First, there are not only two types of the fight
against corruption, there are many options. But there is a principle
accepted by the Council of Europe that the fight against corruption
should be comprehensive and include preventive measures,
investigation and punishment. I think that in Armenia, the fight
should mainly be comprehensive and should take place in these three
directions.

[Correspondent] Does it mean that you think that only the punitive
direction has been accepted in Georgia? A representative of the
Armenian Revolutionary Federation – Dashnaktsutyun [ARFD] said that a
country cannot be built in such a way. Why?

[Yesayan] Because I think that by taking only punitive measures, we
shall miss the first two very important options for the fight.
Corruption is a public disease and if we fight only the consequences
of the disease without taking preventive measures, we shall not
achieve any success in that case. And not only Armenia understands
this, it is a long-standing practice accepted in European countries,
and the Council of Europe has established this in its 20 principles.

[Correspondent] Don’t you think that punishing people for corruption,
as is the case in Georgia, will be the best preventive measure for
officials?

[Yesayan] I don’t think so.

[Passage omitted: Various punitive measures in different countries,
including in the Soviet Union]

And I am sure that if Georgia follows the same direction, taking only
punitive measures, they will not be able to overcome bribery as the
system will not change, only people will be replaced.

[Correspondent] Doesn’t your approach contradict the position of
Dashnaktsutyun, which, as part of the authorities, named a number of
former officials during a meeting, accused them of abuses and
demanded that they should answer and be punished?

[Yesayan] No, there is no contradiction. This is the Dashnaks’
approach. I am not aware of the names named during the meeting as I
was not in Armenia at the time. I do not know the context of the
statement, but I suppose that they spoke about political
responsibility. Ask the party about this.

[Passage omitted: Yesayan speaks of his functions as a presidential
adviser]

BAKU: Mediators’ passivity may cause NK deadlock – Azeri official

ANS TV, Baku, in Azeri
10 Mar 04

Mediators’ passivity may cause Karabakh deadlock – Azeri official

The passivity of the mediators in settling the Nagornyy Karabakh
conflict may lead to deadlock in the talks, the Azerbaijani deputy
foreign minister and the president’s special representative for the
Karabakh conflict, Araz Azimov, has said.

The conflicting sides continue to stick to their previous positions,
he added. Azerbaijan is not going to give up on its principled
position. Azerbaijan is ready for compromises only within the
framework of international law, end quote.

Azimov said that Azerbaijan is ready to discuss the conflict
settlement and the status of Karabakh’s Armenian community on
condition that sovereignty and territorial integrity are preserved.
At the same time, he said that Azerbaijan has repeatedly put forward
proposals, but Armenia has rejected them. Azimov added that the last
proposal of this kind was a proposal that was discussed by the
European Parliament early this year and envisaged the opening of the
railway between Azerbaijan and Armenia in exchange for five of the
occupied [Azerbaijani] districts.

Azimov said that the Azerbaijani government was against politicizing
the Budapest incident between an Azerbaijani and an Armenian officer.
Azimov believes that the accusations against the Azerbaijani
serviceman of killing the Armenian officer will influence the talks.
He added that the Budapest incident should not have a direct impact
on the talks. This will depend on the sides’ wish to make use of this
issue. At the same time, Azimov said that unlike Azerbaijan, Armenia
has been trying to form a negative opinion about the incident by
making a fuss at the international level. In my opinion, it is
precisely Armenia that is trying to influence the conflict settlement
and is making use of this incident.

Armenian leader calls for repair of roads with Georgia

Mediamax news agency, Yerevan, in English
10 Mar 04

Armenian leader calls for repair of roads with Georgia

YEREVAN

Today Armenian President Robert Kocharyan received in Yerevan Georgian
ambassador Nikoloz Nikolozishvili, who is finishing his diplomatic
mission in Yerevan and has already been appointed as the Georgian
president’s representative in the region of Samtskhe-Javakheti
inhabited mostly by ethnic Armenians.

At the meeting, Robert Kocharyan and the ambassador stated the
importance of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s official visit
to Armenia to start on 12 March, the presidential press service told
Mediamax today.

The sides also discussed the situation in the region of
Samtskhe-Javakheti. Nikolozishvili told the Armenian president that
he had already been to the region and considered his priority task to
pay more attention to socio-economic problems of its population.

In this respect, Robert Kocharyan stated the importance of repairing
the highway connecting Samtskhe-Javakheti with Armenia.

BAKU: Azeri, Armenian Mins. to meet OSCE mediators in late March

Trend news agency, Baku, in Russian
10 Mar 04

Azeri, Armenian ministers to meet OSCE mediators in late March –
Russian envoy

BAKU

Trend correspondent E. Huseynov: The Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign
ministers will meet the co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group on the
Nagornyy Karabakh settlement in late March, the Russian ambassador to
Azerbaijan, Nikolay Ryabov, has told Trend news agency. He did not
name the venue for the meeting, but said that the discussions would be
held in a European country.

Ryabov also commented on a recent statement by the [Russian]
president’s special representative for the Nagornyy Karabakh
settlement [and first deputy foreign minister], Vyacheslav Trubnikov,
that the conflict had reached deadlock. “This was said somewhat
emotionally and hastily. The search for a mutually acceptable agenda
is under way,” Ryabov said. The forthcoming meeting of the foreign
ministers and the co-chairmen is to elaborate the agenda of a
peaceful settlement to the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, he added.

BAKU: Officer suspected of killing to serve time at home – lawyer

Space TV, Baku, in Azeri
10 Mar 04

Azeri officer suspected of killing Armenian to serve time at home –
lawyer

[Presenter] Ramil Safarov’s interpreter has finally spoken out and
informed the Azerbaijani public about the latest news. We present you
with a telephone conversation with the interpreter as follows:

[A female voice on the phone] He is in a normal state and is being
held in normal conditions. He is treated well by everyone.

[Passage omitted: Personal belongings can be sent to Safarov in
prison]

[Presenter] Lawyer Adil Ismayilov, who has returned after visiting
Safarov [who is suspected of killing an Armenian officer], says that
to all appearances, Safarov will serve a prison term in Baku.

[Correspondent over video of news conference] To recap, the incident
occurred at about 0500 [0100 gmt] on 19 February.

[Passage omitted: Reported details of incident]

Ismayilov did not answer a number of questions to preserve the
secrecy of an investigation. He only said that the incident had
occurred because of the Armenian officer’s unethical behaviour. As
for the future stages of the process, Ismayilov said that the trial
could have been held in Azerbaijan in accordance with a European
convention. But it is impossible to hold the trial in Azerbaijan as
most of the witnesses are in Budapest. The investigation is expected
to finish by the end of this month. As for the lawyer appointed by
the Azerbaijani side, Ismayilov said that the lawyer has already been
named. His name is Elcin Usubov, a member of the Board of Lawyers.

[Ismayilov] The Azerbaijani lawyer can meet Safarov and take part in
the investigation only with the prosecutor’s preliminary consent.

[Correspondent] Ismayilov believes that the key issue now is to prove
the reason for the incident. That’s why, it is necessary to furnish
the trial and Budapest television with facts about the Xocali tragedy
[1992 massacre of Azeris in Karabakh] and other Azerbaijani lands
under occupation because the Armenians have already started an active
propaganda campaign in this sphere. The Armenians have managed to
broadcast two programmes of this kind on Hungarian TV in the last 15
days. Ismayilov is confident that although Safarov will be sentenced
in Hungary, he will serve his prison term in Azerbaijan. This is not
our demand, but a requirement of international law.

Mircavad Rahimov and Rasad Bagirov, Space.

Armenian leader urges nationwide fight against corruption

Mediamax news agency, Yerevan, in Russian
10 Mar 04

Armenian leader urges nationwide fight against corruption

YEREVAN

Armenian President Robert Kocharyan expressed his regret today that
“the fight against corruption in our country is not nationwide”, the
Armenian president said at a meeting with Yerevan State University
students today, according to a Mediamax correspondent.

Kocharyan said that for an efficient fight against corruption, it is
necessary to regulate all the functions of the state. “For example,
in Armenia, four years ago, it was impossible to have a commercial
company registered without a bribe. Moreover, it took about a month.
Now it takes only two days to have a company registered and nobody
can dare to demand a bribe,” the Armenian president said.

Robert Kocharyan cited the energy system as another example, he said
that “it used to be one of the most corrupt spheres in Armenia”. “The
privatization of the Armenian grids has led to a considerable drop in
the level of corruption in this sector,” the president said.

“We have the necessary political will that enables us to reduce the
volume of corruption every year. The elimination of corruption
demands daily laborious efforts, and this is not a problem that can
be resolved very quickly by chanting big slogans,” Kocharyan said.