EU, NATO treat former Soviet Rep. as next phase in expanding theirin


RIA Novosti, Russia
Dec 22 2004

MOSCOW, December 22 (RIA Novosti) – The European Union and NATO
are treating the former Soviet republics as the next phase in the
efforts to expand their influence, Konstantin Kosachev, the head of
the international committee of the State Duma, the lower house of
parliament, told reporters on Wednesday.

Mr. Kosachev said the EU and NATO “are beginning to divide the CIS
states into more preferable and closer partners in the integration
process and less preferable ones.”

Mr. Kosachev said Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia were among the former.
Belarus and five Central Asian states are not prepared to take part in
the integration processes, according to the MP. Mr. Kosachev believes
Azerbaijan and Armenia are somewhere in between the two groups.

Mr. Kosachev believes the situation is unfavorable for Russia. “The
West used to stake on democratic changes in Russia as the means of
implementing joint projects, whereas today its motto is: ‘if we did
not succeed in democratizing Russia, let us demonize it.'”

Mr. Kosachev said the European Parliament and the OSCE had subjected
Russia to constructive criticism recently, as well as accused it of
the “sins” other countries could afford.

While working to turn Russia into some rogue state, the EU and NATO
are getting Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia more energetically involved
in the integration processes.

“This shows that the EU and Russia have failed to implement their
major project of creating a common European space with no dividing
lines,” said Mr. Kosachev.

ANKARA: French Prime Minister Raffarin uses ‘Genocide’ Term

French Prime Minister Raffarin uses ‘Genocide’ Term

Zaman, Turkey
Dec 22 2004

French Prime Minister Jean Pierre Raffarin has followed the lead of
his Foreign Minister, Michel Barnier, in using the expression
“Armenian Genocide” publicly.

At a session organized at the French Parliament to discuss the
opening of membership negotiations between the European Union (EU)
and Turkey, Raffarin disclosed that they have prepared a law on
“Armenian Genocide” at the parliament and that the Armenian and
Kurdish issues will be raised with Turkey. Raffarin pointed out that
Turkey’s EU perspective was assigned in 1963 and that no French
administrations have considered Turkey’s EU membership as a subject
worth discussing since then. He emphasized that nothing can keep
Turkey out of Europe once Turkey fulfills all the requirements and it
will become an EU member.

Ali Ihsan Aydin

Apartments For Refugees


Azat Artsakh – Nagorno Karabakh Republic (NKR)
21 Dec 04

The head of the Agency for Migration, Refugees and Re-settlement under
the NKR government Serge Amirkhanian informed that the 2005 budget
of this sphere was doubled against 2004. This increase is determined
by the fact that the social and housing problems of the refugees
are expected to be solved soon. Next year it is planed to build 40
apartments for refugees of which 30 in Stepanakert. Besides building of
houses the budget also provides for repairs of houses in the villages
resettled since 1994, which need repair and modern conveniences.
According to Serge Amirkhanian, in the coming year 40 houses will be
repaired in four settlements in the republic, and by repairing 30-40
houses a year the problem will be settled in 3-4 years. HOMES FOR
PARENTLESS CHILDREN. According to the NKR minister of social security
Lenston Ghulian, the budget of the social sector for the year of 2005
increased by 316 million drams, which will enable carrying on with the
programs and launching new ones. The new program will involve building
of apartments for parentless children. Next year 7 apartments will
be built for parentless children who are already 18 years old. The
apartments will be built in the places of their residence.


From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Will Pensions and Benefits Rise?


Azat Artsakh – Nagorno Karabakh Republic (NKR)
21 Dec 04

Pensions will grow since January 1. The basic pension will grow
from 3000 to 4000 and the value of each year of service from 140 to
160. Simultaneously the funeral benefit will be increased as well. The
funeral benefit is the basic pension multiplied by 25 and connected
with the raise of the basic pension in the coming year the funeral
benefit will total 100 thousand drams. The unemployment benefit will
be increased, too. Against the 3900 drams in 2005 the unemployment
benefit will total 9 thousand drams in 2005. The benefit of disabled
workers will be increased as well. The minimum benefit will total
20 percent of the minimum salary (15 thousand drams). The percentage
will increase according to the degree of disability. On the occasion
of the 60th anniversary of victory in the Great Patriotic War on
May 9 of the coming year the sums paid to the veterans of war will
increase. According to the NKR minister of social security Lenston
Ghulian, the disabled of the World War II and the Artsakh war will
receive 20 thousand drams, the participants 17 thousand, and persons
equalized to them 15 thousand.


Iranian gas pipeline to ensure diverse energy sources for Armenia -m

Iranian gas pipeline to ensure diverse energy sources for Armenia – minister

Mediamax news agency
22 Dec 04

Yerevan, 22 December: The possible transit of gas by the Iran-Armenia
gas pipeline is “an issue of the future”, Armenian Foreign Minister
Vardan Oskanyan said in Yerevan today.

Oskanyan told a press conference at the National Press Club that the
main goal in the construction of the gas pipeline is to have diverse
energy sources for Armenia.

Asked if Russia could interfere in this issue, Oskanyan said “Armenia
is always taking into account the interests of the neighbouring
countries, but is acting, first of all, in line with its own

Commenting on a project to construct a railway between Iran and
Armenia, Oskanyan said the project requires large funds. However,
he said as the trade between Armenia and Iran is growing day by day,
there is a need for a railway between the two countries.

“This issue needs to be discussed and analysed seriously,” Oskanyan

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Pipeline perks for Russia in Armenia-Iran energy deal

EurasiaNet Organization
Dec 22 2004

Samvel Martirosyan 12/21/04

Iran has moved closer to gaining a strategic foothold in Caucasian
energy markets with the start of work on a gas pipeline to Armenia
that has been heralded by Yerevan as bringing “definite changes in
the region.” The project has the potential to undercut Russia’s
control of Armenia’s energy supply, yet two new gas projects could
act as potential deal sweeteners for this longtime Armenian ally.
Plans were recently announced for an increase in Armenian orders for
Russian gas and a possible role in the Iranian pipeline project for
Russian energy giant Gazprom.

Construction on Armenia’s section of the 142-kilometer gas pipeline
began on November 30, with $30 million in costs for the 42-kilometer
strip from the Armenian border town of Agarak to Kajaran, south of
Yerevan, picked up by the Iranian Export and Development Bank. Upon
completion in late 2006, the pipeline will supply the tiny South
Caucasus state with 36 billion cubic meters of Iranian gas over the
next 20 years. Gas from Turkmenistan is also scheduled to be
delivered to Armenia via the pipeline.

At an official ceremony to mark the project’s debut, Armenian Deputy
Prime Minister Andranik Margarian stated that the pipeline, in the
works since 1992, would bring economic benefits to Armenia as well as
foster regional stability. “This project has been implemented
throughout Armenia’s political and economic sufferings,” Armenian
media reported Margarian as saying. “In Armenia’s years of hardship,
Iran has stretched out its hand to help us.”

Expanding Armenia’s energy sources is a critical goal for the
administration of President Robert Kocharian – for both economic and
political reasons. Chronic energy shortages contributed to much of
the country’s economic decline after the collapse of the Soviet
Union, and Armenia’s economic woes continue to attract the criticism
of the country’s opposition. Speaking to reporters about Armenia’s
energy deal with Iran, Kocharian commented during a December 2 visit
by Iranian Energy Minister Habibollah Bitaraf that “[w]e are ready to
do everything possible to support the current level of cooperation,”
according to the Russian news agency Interfax.

In exchange for the gas, Armenia will eventually deliver up to 1,000
megawatts of electricity to Iran with the construction of two
high-voltage power lines between the countries. Additional
electricity projects are also in the works. In 2005 or 2006 Armenia
hopes to start construction on two hydropower plants on the banks of
the Arax River between Armenia and Iran, according to Margarian.

Oil could reinforce Tehran’s ties with Yerevan still further. At a
December 4 meeting between Armenian Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian
and Iran’s Armenian Ambassador Alirza Hagigian, plans were discussed
for construction of a 60-kilometer oil pipeline from the Iranian town
of Julfa to the Armenian border town of Meghri.

Geopolitics, though, rather than the attractions of the Armenian
energy market, appears to drive much of Iran’s push for partnership.
With American troops stationed in neighboring Afghanistan and Iraq
and Iran’s nuclear energy program under intense international
scrutiny, the country’s ruling clerics have taken steps to assure the
outside world that the Islamic Republic is a force for stability in
the region. Iranian President Mohammad Khatami’s September 2004 visit
to Armenia, a close US ally, reinforced that campaign with a “good
neighbor” message that “Iran is interested in peace and stability in
the South Caucasus.”

But in drawing closer to Iran, Yerevan has risked alienating another
longtime ally – Russia. Though Russian Deputy Prime Minister Boris
Alyoshin assured reporters in Yerevan earlier this year that the
pipeline deal with Iran would only provide additional business for
Russian-operated electricity stations in Armenia, the deal has been
scrutinized with some trepidation. The Russian company United Energy
Systems controls 40 percent of Armenia’s electricity generation
facilities, while heavy hitters Gazprom and Itera control 55 percent
of ArmRogazprom, currently Armenia’s sole natural gas supplier.

When the Iranian pipeline is complete, however, Armenia will no
longer need to depend solely on Russia for its natural gas needs. In
Yerevan, Kremlin concerns about the prospect of Armenia providing a
conduit for Iranian gas to Europe, a key Russian market, are widely
believed to have resulted in a reduction of the pipeline’s size to a
width too narrow for exports.

Yet Russian energy companies have not been idle in defending their
interests. The Russian news agency Interfax reported an unidentified
Armenian government source as saying on December 8 that Gazprom may
be invited to build and repair one part of the Armenian-Iranian gas
pipeline, between Kadjaran and Ararat, at a cost of $90 million. As
payment for its work, Gazprom would receive the No. 5 generating unit
at the Razdan power plant, Armenia’s largest heating and power plant,
which supplies 20 percent of the country’s electricity needs.
Armenian President Robert Kocharian had earlier dismissed reports of
such a deal.

Still other sweeteners are in the works. On December 11, ArmRogazprom
CEO and General Director Karen Karapetyan announced plans to increase
gas supplies to Armenia by roughly 31 percent during 2005 to some
1.6-1.7 billion cubic meters. A $27 million expansion of Armenia’s
gas pipeline from Russia is planned to handle the increased flow. “I
am convinced that the problem of Armenia’s energy security will be
solved soon,” the Russian news agency Novosti reported Karapetyan as
saying, “given the forthcoming opening of the alternative
Iran-Armenia gas pipeline.”

For now, the government line out of Yerevan is that what benefits
Iran benefits Russia. At a May 13-15 summit in Moscow with Russian
President Vladimir Putin, Kocharian took pains to stress that the
pipeline deal with Iran would not damage Russia’s own energy
interests in Armenia or result in a fall-off in Armenian orders for
Russian gas. Gazprom, Itera and United Energy Systems will all
collect “major dividends from the deal,” Kocharian said, Novosti
reported. “They will benefit, too.”

Editor’s Note: Samvel Martirosyan is a Yerevan-based journalist and
political analyst.


From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

State Labour Department To Open


Azat Artsakh – Nagorno Karabakh Republic (NKR)
21 Dec 04

In the coming year the labour department will be opened in the NKR
Ministry of Social Security. According to minister L. Ghulian, there
are too many drawbacks in the relationships between the employer and
the employee and the creation of the department is determined by the
necessity of eliminating them. In this reference the government made
a decision which will be presented to the national Assembly within
the draft law “On Labour Department” in the first trimester of 2005.


Armenian Foreign Minister Summing Up



Armenian foreign minister Vardan Oskanyan said Wednesday summing up
the 2004 in National Press Club he found the year not so bad with
its sudden surges and falls, its achievements and failures.

He presented a broad summing up saying more detailed report would be
made in the beginning of January.

Oskanyan said positive in Karabakh problem solution has outdone

He is convinced some progress is seen in Karabakh conflict settlement
process. In his opinion, today we are at more advantageous position
than were in 1997.

The minister says Armenian leadership, demanding Karabakh to
participate in talks as a negotiating side, today found itself in
dilemma: not to enter negotiations, if Karabakh isnâ[email protected]~Yt included
in the process as side, or continue the talks.

In his words, the authorities are leaning toward the second way.

Oskanyan stressed extraordinary importance of political stability in
Armenia saying it is impacting the negotiation process.

It is remarkable that the minister thinks the opposition is hobbling
democracy in the republic by boycotting parliamentary sessions.


Press Announcement from JAA

December 22, 2004

Junior Achievement of Armenia
1102 North Brand Blvd. #61
Glendale, CA 91202
Contact: Beth Broussalian Tel/Fax: 858-792-4656
E-mail: [email protected]

Ani Darakdjian Named US Director of JAA;
JAA Programs Now Reach 170,000 Youth Annually

Los Angeles, CA – The Board of Directors of Junior Achievement
of Armenia (JAA) has named Ani Darakdjian its US Director, a new
full-time post based in Los Angeles, California.

“The appointment of Ani Darakdjian as US Director marks a significant
development in the history of our organization,” commented Armine
Hovannisian, JAA’s Executive Director. “She is the perfect addition to
the JAA family and comes on board at a time when our growth presents
new and exciting challenges.”

Ms. Darakdjian’s responsibilities cover the entire spectrum of JAA’s
stateside operation, including financial management, collaborating
with JAA’s Armenia-based staff to coordinate and manage all programs
and activities, and actively pursuing new sources of funding for
the organization.

“The establishment of a US Director position is a testament to JAA’s
continued commitment to achieving excellence both in programming
and in organizational operations,” said Jack Berberian, President
of the JAA Board of Directors. “Our program in Armenia is one of
the largest Junior Achievement affiliates in the world, with awards
ranging from innovation to quality. As we reach for the next level, we
are ensuring that Armenia’s youth has every opportunity to receive the
best education possible, to enjoy engaging extracurricular activities,
and to participate in global activities through the programs of Junior
Achievement Worldwide.”

Ms. Darakdjian comes to JAA after an exhaustive nationwide search that
produced many impressive candidates. Her resume stood out among the
dozens received because of her exceptional professional and academic
accomplishments. Her career spans corporate consulting, business
development and international affairs, including experience both in
the US and Europe in economic development and international trade.
She holds an MBA in Finance and Management as well as a Master of
International Affairs, both from Columbia University.

“It’s a privilege to contribute to Armenia’s economic and political
development in this capacity,” said Ms. Darakdjian. “The work of this
organization – instilling in Armenia’s youth the values and principles
of democracy, social responsibility and ethical free enterprise –
is essential to building a strong foundation for the country’s future.”

The hiring of Ms. Darakdjian comes amidst the expansion of JAA’s
vital and much-lauded work in Armenia, which today reaches 170,000
annually through both its economics and civics courses.

In 2005, JAA will sustain and expand its economics courses (currently
in 500 high schools), launch the expansion of civics education and
instruction in Armenia’s Pedagogical Institutes, train future civics
instructors, and continue to offer quality extracurricular activities
that enhance both economics and civics education.

The future of the civics program is secure. JAA has successfully
rolled out its civics program to all of the country’s high schools.
With the conclusion of its current USAID grant in 2005, the Armenian
Ministry of Education and Science will assume the administrative and
financial responsibilities of the program in the 8th, 9th and 10th
grades. JAA will continue to play a critical role in civics education
by providing advanced teacher training, innovative extracurricular
programs, increased access to the Internet, international competitions,
and supplemental civics materials.

To support both economics and civics programs, JAA must actively seek
public and private funding to expand the program.

With JAA’s proven track record, the organization has recently been
selected to partner with the Academy for Educational Development
(AED), one of the world’s foremost organizations dedicated to improving
education, leadership capabilities and economic opportunities around
the world. The goal of this new collaboration is to develop young
leaders as catalysts for change.

Junior Achievement of Armenia was established in 1992 to assist
Armenia’s transition to democratic governance and a free-market
economy. JAA’s mission is to give today’s Armenian youth the necessary
skills and knowledge to compete and succeed in tomorrow’s world.
The mission is accomplished through economics and civics education.
Today, this award-winning program reaches more than 170,000 students in
all 1400 of Armenia’s high schools. By 2005, nearly 20% of the total
population will have taken a course taught by a JAA-trained teacher.
For additional information, please call (818) 753-4997 or visit JAA’s
website at


From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress


Sunday, December 19, 2004
“We sent our representatives all the way to Berlin to liberate us from the yoke of Kurdish and Turkish bloodsuckers, as if our own bloodsuckers were not worse than any Kurd or Turk.”
There are two things on which our turn-of-the century writers agree: the detestable nature of our bourgeoisie in Istanbul and the suffocating influence of the clergy in the provinces. To which I can only add: the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Others may speak of their silent majority; we can speak only of an indifferent one.
Agreement and disagreement in our context might as well be meaningless. For everyone who agrees with you, there may be 2 or even 22 who may disagree, and 222 who will not give a damn one way or the other.
But when two schmucks agree, they assume they have achieved national consensus.
-Your greatest mistake?
-Being born an Armenian.
-Your second greatest mistake?
-Writing for Armenians.
-Why is that a mistake?
-It’s like writing for an army of Napoleons?
-Why Napoleons?
-Make it, lunatics who think they are Napoleons.
Monday, December 20, 2004
The central concern of all intellectual labor is human nature. “Scientific experience,” writes Spengler, “is spiritual self-knowledge.”
By devising extensions of the human body, technology reveals the secret direction of our desires.
To say that psychology, historiography, mythology, philosophy, sociology and the writing of fiction share in common an interest in human nature is to say the obvious.
Consider the following thought by Freud as a case in point: “It is not our hatred of our enemies that harms us: it is our hatred for the people we really love that destroys us.” What better key to our own history or status as perennial losers and victims!
The following passage by a historian (Toynbee), that explains many aspects of universal history, including – and especially – our own, could have been written by Jung or Freud: “The egocentric illusion…this most fantastic of all freaks of Maya… has always beset every living organism in which an ego has ever asserted itself.”
When our own turn-of-the-century novelists like Arpiarian, Gamsaragan, Nar-Dos, and Zohrab wrote about the repulsive nature of our bourgeoisie in Istanbul, they might as well have been echoing Spengler’s sentiments in the following passage from THE DECLINE OF THE WEST: “The parasitical city dweller, traditionless, utterly matter-of-fact, religionless, clever, unfruitful, deeply contemptuous of the countryman….”
And speaking of religion:
All social movements are conceived by underdogs and confiscated by top dogs. Which amounts to saying, eventually, Marx will be followed by Stalin, and Christ by anti-Christ (Renaissance popes and American televangelists).
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
A history of late 19th- and early 20th-century Armenian literature reads today like a work of science fiction of another nation, from a different planet, in a distant galaxy.
Whenever I read biographies of Abovian, Raffi, Baronian, Arpiarian, Gamsaragan, Voskanian, and many, many others, I marvel at their fearless dedication and stubborn refusal to compromise or to cushion their blows. And the question I keep asking myself is: What the hell happened to our literature? The only answer I can come up with is also the most obvious: our bosses, bishops, benefactors and their parasitical panchoonies finished the job begun by Talaat and Stalin.
Unlike Odian’s Panchoonie, today’s Panchoonie is as smooth, well fed, and soft-spoken as any American Chief Executive Officer. He sports a blue suit, red tie, a laptop and a salary of over a hundred thousand dollars (according to an insider in New York, whose word I have no reason to doubt).
If a writer like Baronian or Odian were to appear among us today, he would be silenced and starved before anyone can say Jack S. Avanakian.
I don’t write to change things – my megalomania has its limits. I write to remind our midgets and their dupes that once upon a time, giants walked among us – giants whose shadow would be enough to pulverize their bones.
What will a history of 21st Century Armenian literature written a hundred years hence read like? Imagine, if you can, the description by a blind man of a non-existent black hat in a dark room.
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
-What’s your racket?
-I am in the business of being misunderstood.
-Any money in that?
-Only insults.
-What kind of insults?
-Being called all kinds of names.
-Such as?
-Son of a whore, disgrace to the nation.
-What nation?
-No, Armenian.
-No, no. Armenian.
-What’s the difference?
-Aramaeans are extinct.
-And Armenians aren’t?
-Only the real ones.
-You mean, the phonies aren’t?
-So, why write for them?
-To defend the honor of the real ones who can no longer defend themselves.
-But since they are dead and buried, they are in no position to express their appreciation: am I summing up the situation correctly?
-I couldn’t have said it better myself.
-In that case, your situation is shituation.
-You took the words right out of my mouth.
-As a matter of fact I did: I read some of your things on the Internet.
-So, tell me. What do you think?
-About what?
-My things.
-You really want to know?
-I do.
-You are wasting your time.
-I agree.
-So, why go on?
-I was hoping you would tell me.
-Sorry, friend. I can’t help you there. Unless, of course, you believe in an afterlife.
-I don’t.
-Then I ask you again: if the living insult you and the dead will not thank you, why go on?
-How about, to balance the score.
-But who will know – if the living don’t give a damn and the dead can’t speak?
-I will…and now, you will too.
-Is that enough?
-No, but it may be a step in the right direction.