Zvezda to build cellular networks all over Transcaucasia

Agency WPS
TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICES MARKET (Russia)
March 19, 2004, Friday

Zvezda, a Russian-American-Armenian joint venture, is going to build
cellular networks all over Transcaucasia.

Zvezda has recently applied for a GSM-license for Armenia. It also
plans to obtain GSM licenses for two other Transcaucasian countries –
Georgia and Azerbaijan – and unite all networks under a single brand
Kavkazskaya Zvezda (Caucasian Star)

Russia’s Defense Ministry is among LanRusinvest’s major clients, and
until recently, the company used military communication channels in
exchange for the services provided to the Defense Ministry. Now
LanRusinvest leases telecommunication channels not only from Defense
Ministry and Voyentelecom, but also from civil operators Rostelecom
and TransTeleCom, according to V.Zatynaiko, Director General of
LanRusinvest.

Waiting for the GSM license for Armenia, Zvezda began building an
IP-network there. It also plans to launch IP-telephony business in
Georgia and Azerbaijan. “That will allow us provide communication
services with Transcaucasian countries at low rates. Besides, people
living in these countries will have low rates for calls to Russia
through our network, says Zatynako. Zvezda plans to invest about 60
million euros into IP-telephony and GSM projects in Armenia.

According to General Director of Zvezda E.Akobyan, the company has
applied to Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania with a proposition
to build a unified mobile communications system, which would cover
Georgia and Armenia. Zvezda plans to invest the same amount of money
in Georgia as in Armenia and operate under the single brand name
Kavkazskaya Zvesda in three countries – Armenia, Georgia, and
Azerbaijan. Although the license for Armenia has not been granted
yet, and licenses for Georgia and Azerbaijan have not been even
applied for, Mr Akobyan already gives figures for GSM tariffs in
Svezda network. According to him, incoming and outgoing calls will
cost $0.15/min at $10 /month subscription charge.

Participants of the project do not disclose information about
shareholders’ stakes in Zvezda authorized capital stock. It is known
however, that there are several legal entities and natural persons
among Armenian participants of the project, and also representatives
of Armenian diaspora from the USA and Canada. Alcatel is named as the
most likely provider of GSM equipment for Zvezda networks.

There is only one GSM operator in Armenia so far – local
telecommunication giant ArmenTel, which was recently deprived of its
cellular service monopoly by the Armenian government. This move
enraged Greek operator OTE who had bought 90% shares of ArmenTel six
years ago. ATE filed a lawsuit in London arbitration court against
the decision of the Armenian government who had promised that
ArmenTel’s monopoly would continue for 15 years after the
privatization.

ORIGINAL-LANGUAGE: RUSSIAN

Russia interested in removing terrorism from Caucasus

ITAR-TASS News Agency
TASS
March 19, 2004 Friday

Russia interested in removing terrorism from Caucasus

By Igor Shamshin

BRATISLAVA

Russia is interested in the removal of elements of terrorism and
extremism from the Caucasus. It is closely watching the regional
developments and taking an active part in them. Russia wants the
Black Sea region and Transcaucasia to be a zone of prosperity,
Russian delegation head and Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Chizhov
said at an international conference “Development of Europe: New
Horizons” in Bratislava on Friday.

The positive example of regional associations, such as the Vyshegrad
Group and the Vilnius Ten, should be used in the development of the
Caucasian region, he said. The mechanism of interaction between
Russia, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan has proven to be efficient.

The problem of international terrorism is global, Chizhov said. The
recent terrorist acts in the Moscow metro and Madrid have much in
common, both of them are targeted against democracy and humanity, he
said. The whole world must unite to combat terrorism. Russia and
Caucasian nations are cooperating in the anti-terrorist fight, the
diplomat said.

Vneshtorgbank managers to consider expansion in Belarus, Azerbaijan

RosBusinessConsulting Database
March 19, 2004 Friday 11:14 am, EST

Vneshtorgbank managers to consider expansion in Belarus and
Azerbaijan

Vneshtorgbank might be interested in affiliates in Belarus and
Azerbaijan, senior deputy president of the bank Alexey Akinshin told
RBC. According to him, the bank has elaborated on its regional
expansion program, which suggests expansion into the CIS and European
markets. Vneshtorgbank plans to become the sole shareholder in the
Armenian Armsberbank. Vneshtorgbank is also working to create a
Ukrainian subsidiary.

Earlier Vneshtorgbank top-managers reported that the talks were held
on the possible creation of Kazakhstani and Georgian subsidiaries. A
lot of western rivals are present on the Kazakhstani market now.

As for expansion in Europe, Akinshin said that Vneshtorgbank in
cooperation with the Central Bank of Russia is considering a buyout
of the Central Bank’s stake in OST-West Handelsbank (OWHB) and Donau
bank. Currently the Russian Central Bank owns 51.62 percent in OWHB
and Vneshtorgbank holds a 31.92 stake.

It is too soon to consider the buyout of Vneshtorgbank’s stakes in
Eurobank (Paris) and the Moscow Narodny Bank (London), Akinshin
emphasized.

Vneshtorgbank owns 53 percent in Luxembourg-based East-West United
Bank, 100 percent in Zurich-based Russische Kommerzial Bank, 32
percent in Frankfurt-based Ost-West Handelsbank, 100 percent in
Cyprus-based Russian Commercial Bank and 85 percent in Viennese
Donau-Bank.

Books: Love & death in a Turkish melting-pot

The Independent (London)
March 19, 2004, Friday

BOOKS: LOVE AND DEATH IN A TURKISH MELTING-POT;

YOUNG TURK BY MORIS FARHI SAQI BOOKS POUNDS 9.99 (391PP) POUNDS 9.99

by ALEV ADIL The waterfront of Salonika in the late 1930s

The anxieties and fixations of adolescence are universal. Like
teenagers today, the group of youngsters in mid-20th-century Turkey
whom Moris Farhi brings to life in his latest novel are preoccupied
by burgeoning sexual desires and the contradictory need to impress
parents and peers. The secret rituals of growing up, the first crush,
the bonds of friendship, the desire to understand and make one’s mark
on the world, take place against the darker canvas of Turkish and
European history between 1939 and 1959.

Like the Turkish national identity he describes, Farhi’s novel is a
mosaic of ethnicities: Jews, Armenians, Kurds, Gypsies, Greeks,
Levantines, Pomaks. The weave of voices and stories that emerges
speaks of the interconnectness of fates. While their parents
reconcile themselves to the betrayal of Ataturk’s idealistic vision
of Turkish identity, the children have their own battles.

Tubby Rifat, a convert from Judaism to Islam, is desperate to join
Naim’s neighbourhood gang and secretly in love with Naim’s sister Gul
de Taranto: a beautiful Jewish girl who has premonitions of the
genocide that will sweep across Europe. Bilal and his friends hatch
an ill-fated plot to save his relatives from the Nazis in Salonika.
Selma has to deal with the pain of first love, and the destitution
forced upon her family by the tax on Jews, Armenians and Greeks
imposed in 1943. The neighbourhood rally round: Sufi musicians,
wrestling champions, gypsies, all do their utmost to help their
Jewish neighbours.

Farhi evokes the idealism and erotic energy of male adolescence.
There are strong women here too, as driven by desire and ambition as
their male counterparts. Havva the orphan circus girl is quietly
relentless in her pursuit of Adem the trapeze artist. Handan is
determined to be a great musician. Madame Ruj the matchmaker is a
fiercely independent career woman.

Farhi’s novel emphasises the solidarity and warmth of Turkish culture
as well as its political shortcomings. The contradiction at its heart
is that “the Turks’ innate nobility tempered with the best of Islamic
teaching makes them the most tolerant people in the world, while the
plethora of complexes instilled by the worst of Islamic teaching
could – and sometimes did – turn them into ogres”. Death and desire
are the two forces that forge the characters’ destinies. The novel
begins and ends with the spectre of death, for, as a Turkmen circus
storyteller recounts, death demands courage from even the most
ordinary individual. Ethical and erotic energy are inextricably
intertwined; political resilience is nourished by sexual intimacy.

Poetry, especially Nazim Hikmet’s verse, is a vital presence in the
novel. Hikmet, perhaps Turkey’s greatest 20th-century poet, was
labelled a “romantic communist”. Farhi has inherited that
romanticism; Young Turk is infused with a passionate humanism.

Both a novel of ideas and an entertaining adventure story, this is a
prodigiously researched and lyrical celebration of the multicultural
heritage of Turkish history. Young Turk recounts Turkey’s past, but
also provides a vision of the present and future potential of Turkish
national identity.

NATO months in the Caucasus

Agency WPS
DEFENSE and SECURITY (Russia)
March 19, 2004, Friday

NATO MONTHS IN THE CAUCASUS

SOURCE: Russky Kurier, March 15, 2004, p. 6

by Rada Guseinova, Marina Kalashnikova

VISITS OF AMERICAN DELEGATIONS TO BAKU: THE UNITED STATES HOPES TO
DRAW AZERBAIJAN INTO THE ORBIT OF INTERACTION WITH NATO AS SOON AS
POSSIBLE

American military and diplomatic delegation was met in Baku,
Azerbaijan, on March 12. The delegation includes a group of the
Supreme Consultative Council of the US Army European Command under
General Charles Wald. The delegation comprises Admiral Gregory
Johnson, US Navy Commander in Europe and NATO Commander in South
Europe, and numerous ambassadors.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev met with the Americans on
Saturday. In his speech, Aliyev ascribed rapid rapprochement with
official Washington and NATO in general to the necessity of
“reinforcing regional stability and security.” General Wald in his
turn added that terrorist acts in Spain testifying to activeness of
international terrorism only served to made Western aid in security
matters all the more assured. Efforts of the international community
should be concentrated on settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh
conflict, protection of Caspian energy resources, and elimination of
terrorist groups in the southern part of the Caucasus. That is why an
emphasis is made on military cooperation, not economy. Military
cooperation and interaction was the talk of the week in Baku. In
fact, the whole week became “American” for official Baku because of
the delegations from across the ocean coming one after another.

The capital of Azerbaijan was visited by a group of the US AF
College, Undersecretary Lynn Pasco, a delegation under Eric Schultz
of the US Department of State and Bruce Rogers, assistant political
adviser to the US mission to NATO. Washington’s plans are simple. It
is out to draw countries of the southern part of the Caucasus – first
and foremost Azerbaijan and Georgia – into the orbit of close
cooperation with NATO within the next two or three years. And to
bring their national armies closer to NATO standards. The latter
objective is inseparable from settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani
conflict. All these issues were discussed at length by Defense
Minister of Azerbaijan Safar Abiyev and Schultz and Rogers. A more
detailed discussion is to follow during Abiyev’s upcoming visit to
Washington in the near future.

For the time being, General Wald in Baku continues discussion of the
mobile groups, the idea he first came up with three months ago. A
well-informed and trustworthy source in military circles of
Azerbaijan says that the Americans came with specific suggestions.
Issues of the European ballistic missile defense are being discussed
among other things. An accord with Baku on the use of the Gabala
radar may be of particular interest from this point of view. For the
time being, the radar is a subject of the Russian-Azerbaijani
agreement in accordance with which the signatories share the
information obtained by the radar. Meanwhile, Baku signed several
information exchange accords with advanced countries including the
United States. According to the source, Wold is trying to convince
official Baku that “Azerbaijan should share the information obtained
by the radar with the United States as its military partner” since
“there are no legal obstacles to it, actually.” Details of military
cooperation will be discussed at the meetings with heads of the
Defense Ministry, State Border Service, and National Security
Ministry.

Inspired by the new stimuli of rapprochement with the European Union
and NATO, Aliyev with his Georgian counterpart is about to visit the
countries that have already been drafted into the NATO orbit. He will
meet with leaders of the Vilnius Ten in Bratislava within the
framework of an international conference on the “expanded Europe” and
“new neighbors” on March 18 and 19. Premiers of Ireland, Turkey,
Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovine were invited to the
forum too. NATO General Secretary Jaan de Hoop Sheffer and European
Union Expansion Commissar Gunther Verheugen will also be present.

US State Undersecretary Richard Armitage will tour capitals of the
Caucasus in late March. This visit may speed up the sharp turn of
countries of the southern part of the Caucasus to the West. Armitage
is known as a prominent specialist in matters of security and war on
terrorism. He intends to discuss pressing problems of the war on
terrorism with three presidents of the Caucasus. It was Armitage who
said in his time that establishment of US military bases in
Azerbaijan was but a matter of time. Neither is Armitage exactly
ignorant of Azerbaijani affairs. It is Armitage who knows everything
there is to know about the Aliyevs and their affairs and explains
their interests to the US Administration – both in the spheres of
politics and oil. When in the Caucasus, he will apparently discuss
Caspian oil, security of the Baku – Tbilisi – Dzheikhan pipeline,
location of mobile groups, and roles of the three countries of the
Caucasus in the war on international terrorism.

Translated by A. Ignatkin

Kant wants to be friends with Manas

Agency WPS
DEFENSE and SECURITY (Russia)
March 19, 2004, Friday

KANT WANTS TO BE FRIENDS WITH MANAS

SOURCE: Russky Kurier, March 16, 2004, p. 2

by Vitaly Strugovets

Operational conference of the United Headquarters of the Organization
of the CIS Collective Security Treaty begins in Moscow. Lieutenant
General Vasily Zavgorodny, Senior Deputy Chief-of-Staff, says that
the conference will be attended by chiefs-of-staff of national
armies, General Secretary Nikolai Bordyuzha, and Major General Sergei
Chernomordin, Commander of the Central Asian Fast Response Collective
Forces.

The decision to establish the United Headquarters as “a permanent
working body of the Organization of the CIS Collective Security
Treaty and its Council of Defense Ministers” was made almost a year
ago, in April 2003. Fifty-five staff officers represent members of
the Organization of the CIS Collective Security Treaty in accordance
with their financial contributions. Russia accounts for 50% of the
budget and other countries (Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,
and Tajikistan) 10% each.

Chief-of-staff always represents the country whose defense minister
is currently chairman of the Council of Defense Ministers. Nowadays,
it is Tajikistan. Needless to say, chief-of-staff is quartered in his
native country and not in Moscow. Daily activities of the United
Headquarters are supervised by senior deputy chief-of-staff. The
United Headquarters commands army groups – West, Caucasus, and
Central Asia.

Military experts call the Organization of the CIS Collective Security
Treaty a mini-NATO. There truly are some aspects similar to both
alliances. For example, whenever a country of one of the bloc finds
itself under attack, all of the alliance regards it as an attack on
all. This is a major difference between the Organization of the CIS
Collective Security Treaty and the 1992 Treaty. “There are but two
organizations in the world nowadays that view security matters as the
first priority. They are NATO and the Organization of the CIS
Collective Security Treaty,” General Secretary Nikolai Bordyuzha
(formerly Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian
Federation, head of the presidential administration, and Ambassador
to Denmark) said not long ago. He believes therefore that the two
alliances must interact. “The Organization of the CIS Collective
Security Treaty already has a plan of cooperation and interaction
with NATO,” he said. “Distance between military bases of the
Organization of the CIS Collective Security Treaty and forces of the
counter-terrorism operation in Afghanistan (that means NATO) is under
three dozen clicks.” Needless to say, Bordyuzha meant airfields in
Kyrgyzstan, Kant and Manas. According to what information this
newspaper has compiled, the Council of Foreign Ministers of the
Organization of the CIS Collective Security Treaty has already
drafted a document which will suggest military cooperation between
bases in Kant and Manas.

Unlike NATO, however, its CIS analog is financially unstable. That is
what generates friction among its members. It is clear nowadays that
the Organization of the CIS Collective Security Treaty owes its
existence mostly to the Russian budget. All its structures are
financed by Russia by at least 50%. Actually, Russian contribution is
even larger than that. Consider for example the Kremlin’s decision to
sell military hardware to countries of the Organization of the CIS
Collective Security Treaty at the prices demanded from Russian
buyers. Not even NATO has come up with that. This lenient terms
regime only applies to the units involved in international
contingents these days, but official Moscow contemplates its
application to all armed forces of all members of the Organization of
the CIS Collective Security Treaty. This assistance may even be made
mandatory.

Russia is also prepared to face the bill of training officers for CIS
national armies. 2,700 men from armies of the Organization of the CIS
Collective Security Treaty are being trained in Russia. Members of
the Organization of the CIS Collective Security Treaty pay $1,000 for
every trainee annually. The subject of training them without charge
is being considered now. Russia pays for maintenance of the forces
comprising the nucleus of all army groups of the Organization of the
CIS Collective Security Treaty. First and foremost, the matter
concerns AF bases in Kyrgyzstan and Armenia.

Aircraft based in Kant, for example, are officially recognized as a
part of the Fast Response Collective Forces. Still, Russia alone
finances the base. It will cost $10 million to outfit the base only,
and annual maintenance is estimated at $4 million more. It is not
exactly a “grant” as some politicians present it.

As a matter of fact, the anti-Taliban coalition pays Kyrgyzstan
$7,000 for every takeoff or landing in Manas. It is this easy money
that spoils the relations between Moscow and Dushanbe, Bishkek,
Astana. The United States alone intends to transact over $6 million
to Kyrgyzstan by way of military assistance (discounting what this
country is paid for the use of the Manas facility, that is). The sum
is double what Kyrgyzstan received in 2003. Kazakhstan is promised
helicopters, military transport planes, and ships under 1,000 tons
water displacement. Considerable technical aid is promised Tajikistan
too. Forget Central Asia for a minute. Even official Minsk in the
course of the recent “gas crisis” began talking of the necessity to
take money from Russia for “the military objects located on the
territory of Belarus.”

It does not take a genius to see that Russia cannot hope to satisfy
all of the demands its “allies” come up with. Financially, that is.
It follows that weapons and military hardware should be offered.
Sources in the United Headquarters say that these deliveries exactly
will be in the focus of attention of the operational conference of
the Organization of the CIS Collective Security Treaty in Moscow.
Defense ministers will even visit Granit, the foremost provider of
antiaircraft means for the Russian Armed Forces. It is common
knowledge that antiaircraft defense is our allies’ major headache.

Official commentary

Major General Sergei Chernomordin, Commander of the Fast Response
Collective Forces: The Taliban has never been abolished

Chernomordin: Headquarters of the Fast Response Collective Forces is
located in Bishkek. The operational group comprising officers from
all countries is quartered there too. National armies of participants
of the Organization of the CIS Collective Security Treaty are
represented in the Fast Response Collective Forces by a reinforced
battalion each. These are units of permanent combat readiness that do
not need a lot of time to up their readiness status. These units are
fully staffed and equipment. Whenever the order is received, the
units are ready for combat in the plains or in the mountains in
virtually no time. These are not ordinary units. I mean, infantry.
The Kazakh Armed Forces for example are represented by a battalion of
paratroops. Hence the weapons – light weapons and portable grenade
launchers. The battalion is quite mobile, up to missions in all
conditions. The national army of Tajikistan is represented by a
similar unit. Kyrgyzstan is represented by a battalion of
mountaineers. All Kyrgyz servicemen are seasoned fighters. The
nucleus of the Kyrgyz battalion is comprised of the veterans who
fought in the Batken region in 1999.

The battalion tactical group of the Russian 201st Motorized Infantry
Division is equipped and trained for mountainous warfare. It has
tanks, armored personnel carriers, mobile artillery systems. All
these units will be promptly airlifted to the endangered area and
deploy there. I do not doubt their efficiency.

Question: Do the Fast Response Collective Forces have an action plan?

Sergei Chernomordin: We have the deployment plan for potential
actions on the territory of any of the four countries. Usually, all
officers and units of the Fast Response Collective Forces remain at
their permanent quarters, working in line with their own curricula.
They come together only in the special period. they have to be
drilled constantly, taught to operate in the designated area. That is
why our units are deployed in Tajikistan today, and tomorrow
exercises may be run in Kazakhstan or Kyrgyzstan. This is how we
train our units the year round. Along with everything else, we remain
in close contact with the CIS Counter-Terrorism Center and national
armies. Whenever necessary, the Fast Response Collective Forces may
operate under the command of a national defense minister. Together
with armed forces and other security structures, of course. If the
appropriate decision is made, I will submit to the defense minister
of the country where our involvement is needed. Or else, I may
operate independently.

Question: What do you think of the situation in Central Asia?

Sergei Chernomordin: The counter-terrorism operation has hurt the
Taliban but never abolished it altogether. Moreover, Taliban
detachments mount more and more resolute attacks on forces of the
counter-terrorism coalition and the government of Khamid Karzai.
Tribal strife continues as well. Instability has not been routed out,
nor weapons have been laid down. Trafficking via Central Asia to
Europe and America increases in scope. This is what worries the
governments of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Russia, and Kyrgyzstan first
and foremost. Traffic means inevitable infiltration of the
territories of Central Asian countries by armed gangs.

Specialist’s opinion

The Fast Response Collective Forces is the Central Asian army group
of the Organization of the CIS Collective Security Treaty. It
comprises Kazbat paratroops battalion, battalion of Kyrgyz
mountaineers, Tajik paratroops battalion, Russian motorized infantry
battalion (of the 201st Motorized Infantry Division quartered in
Tajikistan), and communications units. Numerical strength approaches
1,500 men. Aviation of the Fast Response Collective Forces based in
Kant includes ten SU-25 and SU-27 aircraft, nine military transport
planes, four training planes, and two helicopters (all of them
Russian). Meeting of the Council of Defense Ministers in December
2003 found it necessary to up numerical strength of the Fast Response
Collective Forces 2.5 times this year. Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and
Russia are expected to provide another battalion each, Tajikistan two
battalions.

The Caucasus group comprises units of the Russian and Armenian
armies. Russia is represented by the 102nd Military Base in Gyumri.
There is also a considerable antiaircraft group – a wing of eighteen
MIG-29 aircraft and a battery of complexes with radars.

The West group was first mentioned during President Vladimir Putin’s
visit to Belarus in May 2002. A group 3,000 men strong was mentioned
then. The Defense Ministry of Russia explained afterwards that the
group would comprise some units of the Moscow and Leningrad military
districts, Baltic Fleet, and the Belarusian army. Whenever necessary,
they would follow common operational plans. United headquarters were
established for the duration of command exercises on two occasions.

BISNIS: Investment Opportunities in Armenia & Georgia – 03/18/2004

Investment Opportunities in Armenia

BISNIS Armenia Report
March 18, 2004

You are receiving this update as a BISNIS client in order to share with
you the following trade leads and market information concerning Armenia.

1) Armenia Consular Information Sheet

2) TENDER FOR SUPPLY OF SERVICES VEHICLES
3) TENDER FOR SUPPLY OF VALVES, FITTINGS AND FLANGE ADAPTERS FOR POTABLE
WATER

***************************************************************
Armenia Consular Information Sheet
To read the full document, please go to:

Date: January 27, 2004
From: U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC

COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Armenia, located in the southern Caucasus Mountains,
is the smallest of the former Soviet republics. Armenia’s borders with
Turkey and Azerbaijan are closed due to the dispute over the status of the
Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. Long transportation routes and
economic difficulties limit the availability of imported goods. Tourist
facilities, especially outside Yerevan, the capital, are not highly
developed, and many of the goods and services taken for granted in other
countries may be difficult to obtain. Travelers frequently experience
problems with local officials seeking bribes to perform basic duties.

*********************************************************************************
IMI (ARMENIA): TENDER FOR SUPPLY OF SERVICES VEHICLES ANNOUNCED

15 MAR 04
SOURCE: US EMBASSY YEREVAN

INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT, U.S. AND FOREIGN COMMERCIAL
SERVICE AND U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, 2004. ALL RIGHTS
RESERVED OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES.

1. THE MUNICIPAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT MANAGEMENT UNIT
INVITES ARMENIAN AND FOREIGN COMPANIES TO SUBMIT BIDS
FOR THE DELIVERY OF SERVICES VEHICLES. THE DELIVERY
PERIOD IS 60 DAYS AFTER THE DATE OF ISSUING THE LETTER
OF CREDIT. BIDS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY APRIL 9, 2004, NO
LATER THAN 17:00 LOCAL TIME.

2. THE GOVERNMENT OF ARMENIA HAS RECEIVED A CREDIT
FROM THE INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION TOWARDS
THE COST OF THE MUNICIPAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT AND
INTENDS TO APPLY PART OF THIS CREDIT THE PROCUREMENT OF
SERVICES VEHICLES, CONTRACT NO.
IF5/JETTSUCT_BREAKVAN_CRANETRUCK/004:

LOT 1 SEWER SUCTION AND JETTING MACHINES
LOT 2 BREAKDOWN VAN
LOT 3 TRUCK WITH MANIPULATOR CRANE

3. BIDDING WILL BE CONDUCTED THROUGH THE INTERNATIONAL
COMPETITIVE BIDDING PROCEDURES SPECIFIED IN THE WORLD
BANK’S GUIDELINES: PROCUREMENT UNDER IBRD LOANS AND IDA
CREDITS, AND IS OPEN TO ALL BIDDERS FROM ELIGIBLE
SOURCE COUNTRIES AS DEFINED IN THE GUIDELINES.

4. THE BIDDING DOCUMENTS IN ENGLISH CAN BE OBTAINED
FROM THE MUNICIPAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT MANAGEMENT UNIT
UPON SUBMISSION OF A WRITTEN APPLICATION AND PAYMENT OF
A NONREFUNDABLE FEE OF USD 100. FOREIGN CONTRACTORS
WILL BE CHARGED AN ADDITIONAL FEE OF USD 50 PER PACKAGE
TO COVER POSTAGE EXPENSES. THE PAYMENT CAN BE MADE
EITHER IN CASH OR VIA BANK TRANSFER. IN CASE OF
TRANSFER, FEES SHOULD BE TRANSFERRED TO THE FOLLOWING
ACCOUNT:

(SWIFT: MIDLAM22) OF HSBC ARMENIA BANK, YEREVAN,
ARMENIA
ACCOUNT NO. 001-155563-001

5. BIDS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY APRIL 9, 2004, NOT LATER
THAN 17:00 LOCAL TIME TO THE MUNICIPALITY DEVELOPMENT
PROJECT MANAGEMENT UNIT. ELIGIBLE BIDDERS CAN BID FOR
ONE LOT OR MORE/ALL LOTS AND THE EVALUATION OF BIDS
WILL BE ON A LOT-BY-LOT BASIS. ALL BIDS MUST BE
ACCOMPANIED BY BID SECURITIES PER THE FOLLOWING
SCHEDULE OR AN EQUIVALENT AMOUNT IN A FREELY
CONVERTIBLE CURRENCY:

LOT 1 SEWER SUCTION AND JETTING MACHINES – USD 3,300
LOT 2 BREAKDOWN VAN – USD 700
LOT 3 TRUCK WITH THE MANIPULATOR CRANE – USD 1,200

6. FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

MUNICIPAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT MANAGEMENT UNIT
8 VARDANANTS STREET
YEREVAN 375010, ARMENIA
TEL: (374 1) 522-795
FAX: (374 1) 547-072
E-MAIL: [email protected]

******************************************************************
IMI (ARMENIA): TENDER FOR SUPPLY OF VALVES, FITTINGS AND FLANGE ADAPTERS
FOR POTABLE WATER ANNOUNCED

15 MAR 04
SOURCE: US EMBASSY YEREVAN

INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT, U.S. AND FOREIGN COMMERCIAL
SERVICE AND U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, 2004. ALL RIGHTS
RESERVED OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES.

1. THE MUNICIPAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT MANAGEMENT UNIT
INVITES ARMENIAN AND FOREIGN COMPANIES TO SUBMIT BIDS
FOR THE DELIVERY OF VALVES, FITTINGS AND FLANGE
ADAPTERS FOR POTABLE WATER. THE DELIVERY PERIOD IS
WITHIN 120 DAYS AFTER THE DATE OF THE OPENING OF THE
LETTER OF CREDIT. BIDS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY APRIL 13,
2004, NOT LATER THAN 17:00 LOCAL TIME.

2. THE GOVERNMENT OF ARMENIA HAS RECEIVED A CREDIT FROM
THE INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION TOWARDS THE
COST OF THE MUNICIPAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT AND INTENDS
TO APPLY PART OF THIS CREDIT TO THE PROCUREMENT OF
VALVES, FITTINGS AND FLANGE ADAPTERS FOR POTABLE WATER,
CONTRACT NO IF5/VALVE/002.

3. BIDDING WILL BE CONDUCTED THROUGH THE INTERNATIONAL
COMPETITIVE BIDDING PROCEDURES SPECIFIED IN THE WORLD
BANK’S GUIDELINES: PROCUREMENT UNDER IBRD LOANS AND IDA
CREDITS, AND IS OPEN TO ALL BIDDERS FROM ELIGIBLE
SOURCE COUNTRIES AS DEFINED IN THE GUIDELINES.

4. THE BIDDING DOCUMENTS IN ENGLISH CAN BE OBTAINED
FROM THE MUNICIPAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT MANAGEMENT UNIT
UPON SUBMISSION OF A WRITTEN APPLICATION AND PAYMENT OF
A NONREFUNDABLE FEE OF USD 100. FOREIGN CONTRACTORS
WILL BE CHARGED AN ADDITIONAL FEE OF USD 50 PER PACKAGE
TO COVER POSTAGE EXPENSES. THE PAYMENT CAN BE MADE
EITHER IN CASH OR VIA BANK TRANSFER. IN CASE OF
TRANSFER, FEES SHOULD BE TRANSFERRED TO THE FOLLOWING
ACCOUNT:

(SWIFT: MIDLAM22) OF HSBC ARMENIA BANK, YEREVAN,
REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA
ACCOUNT NO. 001-155563-001

5. BIDS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY APRIL 13, 2004, NOT LATER
THAN 17:00 LOCAL TIME TO THE MUNICIPALITY DEVELOPMENT
PROJECT MANAGEMENT UNIT AND MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY A
BID SECURITY OF USD 6,500 OR AN EQUIVALENT AMOUNT IN A
FREELY CONVERTIBLE CURRENCY. LATE BIDS WILL BE
REJECTED.

6. FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

MUNICIPAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT MANAGEMENT UNIT
8 VARDANANTS STREET
YEREVAN 375010, ARMENIA
TEL: (374 1) 522-795
FAX: (374 1) 547-072
E-MAIL: [email protected]

Additional information on Armenia is available via
BISNIS Online, at

BISNIS Programs available to you FREE OF CHARGE:
BISNIS ExpoLink Eurasia
BISNIS Trades & Tenders
BISNIS Search for Partners
fm
BISNIS FinanceLink fm

********** Provided by: ***************************
Joan M. Morgan, BISNIS Trade Specialist for Armenia
U.S. Department of Commerce
Tel: 202/482-2709, Fax: 202/482-2293
e-mail: [email protected]

***********************************************************************************
Investment Opportunities in Georgia

BISNIS Georgia Report
March 16, 2004

Dear BISNIS Clients:

In today’s message you will find:

1) International Bidding for Poti Port Terminals in Georgia (Deadline
extended to May 3, 2004) (3/04)

2) Commercial News Update for Georgia (3/04)
229GGcomnews.htm
3) List of Governmental Institutions in the Republic of Georgia (3/04)

4) Opening an Office in Tbilisi, Georgia (2/04)
130GGopenoffice.htm

***************************** ***************************
1) INTERNATIONAL BIDDING FOR POTI PORT TERMINALS (GEORGIA) (deadline
extended to May 3, 2004)

March 5, 2004
Source: US Embassy, Tbilisi, Georgia

Announcement

“The Sea Port of Poti”- Legal Entity of Public Law, pursuant to the
decision of the Tender Commission, created in compliance with the
Presidential Decree No 104 from March 12, 2002 on transferring certain
terminals (berths) of the Poti Sea Port for long term lease or with
management right through International Tenders, ensuring to carry out
the Presidential Decree, No 424 from 27 September 2000 on Adoption and
Realization of Restructuring and Modernization Strategy of Poti Sea
Port, informs all interested persons, willing to participate in
international tender on transferring Terminals No.9, 10 for long term
lease announced on 04.11.2003 (newspaper “Sakartvelos Respublika”
No.297, 04.11.2003) that the tender terms have been changed as follows:

**********************************************************
2) COMMERCIAL NEWS UPDATE GEORGIA
February 18-29, 2004
9GGcomnews.htm

AUTHOR: HELEN SARADOVA, BISNIS REPRESENTATIVE FOR GEORGIA

This report contains the following information:
§ Tariff increase for transportation of oil;
§ USAID renews support for microfinance stabilization in Georgia;
§ EBRD keeps a full plate in Georgia;
§ Government to regulate price of bread;
§ National Bank increases rate of discount;
§ Russian-Georgian trade-economic co-operation;
§ Oil pipeline construction from Novorossiisk to Turkey via Georgia;
§ New launch services.

************************************************************
3) List of Governmental Institutions in the Republic of Georgia
GListMinistries.htm

March 2004
Source: BISNIS Representative in US Embassy, Tbilisi, Georgia

Mr. Mikheil Saakashvili, President
Mr. Irakli Chubinishvili, Head of President’s Administration

Chancellery
Mr. Zurab Zhvania, Prime Minister
Tel: (995 32) 922243; Fax: (995 32) 921069

**************************************
4) Opening an Office in Tbilisi, Georgia (2/04)

January 2004
Source: Helen Saradova, BISNIS Representative, Georgia

GENERAL OVERVIEW

Georgia is a mountainous country bordered by the Russian Federation in
the north, Turkey in the southeast, Armenia in the south, Azerbaijan in
the east and by the Black Sea in the west. Georgia’s main economic
activities include the cultivation of agricultural products such as
citrus fruits, tea, hazelnuts, and grapes; mining of manganese and
copper; and output of a small industrial sector producing alcoholic and
nonalcoholic beverages, metals, machinery, and chemicals. The country
imports the bulk of its energy needs, including natural gas and oil
products. Even though Georgia’s sizable internal energy resource is
hydropower, during the last years it simultaneously suffers from an
energy crisis.

********************************************************************
BISNIS Programs available to you FREE OF CHARGE:
BISNIS ExpoLink Eurasia
BISNIS Trades & Tenders
BISNIS Search for Partners
fm
BISNIS FinanceLink fm

For country-specific information, please go to the Georgia page at

You are receiving this broadcast because you have elected to receive the
Georgia updates from BISNIS. To modify your personal selections or to
unsubscribe, please go to MyBISNIS at

********** Provided by: ***************************
Joan M. Morgan, BISNIS Trade Specialist for Georgia
U.S. Department of Commerce
Tel: 202/482-2709, Fax: 202/482-2293
e-mail: Joan_M[email protected]

http://www.bisnis.doc.gov/bisnis/bisdoc/040210ARconsular.htm
http://www.bisnis.doc.gov/bisnis/bisdoc/040210ARconsular.htm
http://www.bisnis.doc.gov/bisnis/country/armenia.cfm
http://www.bisnis.doc.gov/expolink/
http://www.bisnis.doc.gov/bisnis/tradeleads1.cfm
http://www.bisnis.doc.gov/bisnis/searchfpartnew.c
http://www.bisnis.doc.gov/bisnis/finance/finance.c
http://www.bisnis.doc.gov/bisnis/bisdoc/040305AnnPotiTndr.htm
http://www.bisnis.doc.gov/bisnis/bisdoc/040
http://www.bisnis.doc.gov/bisnis/bisdoc/040303GGListMinistries.htm
http://www.bisnis.doc.gov/bisnis/bisdoc/040
http://www.bisnis.doc.gov/bisnis/bisdoc/040305AnnPotiTndr.htm
http://www.bisnis.doc.gov/bisnis/bisdoc/04022
http://www.bisnis.doc.gov/bisnis/bisdoc/040303G
http://www.bisnis.doc.gov/bisnis/bisdoc/040130GGopenoffice.htm
http://www.bisnis.doc.gov/expolink/
http://www.bisnis.doc.gov/bisnis/tradeleads1.cfm
http://www.bisnis.doc.gov/bisnis/searchfpartnew.c
http://www.bisnis.doc.gov/bisnis/finance/finance.c
http://www.bisnis.doc.gov/bisnis/country/Georgia.cfm
http://www.bisnis.doc.gov/MyBISNIS.cfm
www.bisnis.doc.gov
www.bisnis.doc.gov

Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra ends season with final conductor

The Bay City Times, MI
March 18 2004

COMING TO A CLOSE
Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra ends season with final conductor
candidate

By Amy Jo Johnson
TIMES WRITER

Geoffrey Moull likes Freddie Mercury, Sting and Eric Clapton, but
it’s the symphony that really makes his heart skip a beat.

Conductor of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra in Canada, Moull will
be charged with keeping the beat Saturday when he serves as guest
conductor for the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra.

The 8 p.m. concert at First Presbyterian Church is the final concert
of the orchestra’s 2003-04 season and a tryout for Moull, who is
vying to become the orchestra’s permanent conductor.

Moull is the last of five conductor candidates to lead the orchestra
this year. Symphony leaders hope to select a new orchestra conductor
by the end of May.

Moull said he wants the job because, even though SBSO would have
fewer performances than his present orchestra, there would be more
musicians – allowing for a greater repertoire of music.

“I can perform a repertoire in Saginaw that I can’t perform in
Thunder Bay,” he said.

Moull says he’d also like to move from Thunder Bay’s remote
wilderness setting.

The orchestra will perform songs from Ravel, Tschaikovsky, Debussy
and Mendelssohn under Moull’s direction on Saturday.

“It’s a very nice program. Very eclectic,” he said. “It’s almost like
going on a field day as a kid – meeting a new orchestra and meeting
new people involved with the orchestra.”

Moull is in his glory when working with symphonic music, but he’s
open to other musical styles, too.

He likes some blues, and a Jeans in Classics program in Canada that
teams rock music with symphonic arrangements has struck his fancy. A
recent concert event focused on the music of Queen.

But there will be no Britney Spears or R. Kelly CD purchases in
Moull’s future.

“I don’t feel that has much to do with music anymore,” he said.
“That’s just pure commercialism. There’s no artistic depth to it.”

Moull said the general public has this view that symphonic music is
some elitist thing that they can’t understand and won’t enjoy.

That’s just not true, he said. There’s no education or training
required to enjoy the beauty of the symphony, Moull said.

“You just have to go in with an open mind and listen,” he said.

Moull holds a bachelor of music degree in conducting from McGill
University in Montreal. To his amazement, he graduated without ever
having stood in front of an orchestra.

He went on to further his education at the Staatliche Hochschule fur
Musik in Detmold, Germany, earning master’s degrees in conducting and
piano.

After he finished his formal studies, Moull stayed on in Germany for
17 years working his way up the conducting ladder.

“Conducting is a long process,” he said.

Moull returned to Canada in 2000, making Thunder Bay his home.

Today, he conducts the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, which employs
30 full-time musicians for 24 weeks of the year.

The orchestra takes its show on the road touring cities in northern
Ontario for two weeks each season – covering a geographical area the
size of France, Moull said.

“If we didn’t come to these towns, they would have no exposure to
symphonic music at all,” Moull said.

The Thunder Bay orchestra also is active with the schools, where many
of the music and sports programs have been cut, he said.

“We’re essentially the missing link to try to get kids interested in
music again,” Moull said.

The featured soloist for Saturday’s concert is cellist Suren
Bagratuni, of East Lansing.

Born in Yerevan, Armenia, Bagratuni began his musical education there
at age seven. He began performing at age 10 and appeared as a
concerto soloist by age 14.

Bagratuni has performed throughout the former Soviet Union, Europe
and the United States. He’s appeared with the Moscow Philharmonic,
the Boston Pops, the Armenian Philharmonic, the Philharmonic
Orchestra of Halle in Berlin, and the symphony orchestras of Chile,
Guatamala and the Dominican Republic.

Concert tickets for Saturday’s performance can be purchased by
calling the SBSO office in Saginaw at (989) 755-6471 or by calling A
& J Galleries in Bay City at 891-1400.

Season tickets for next year’s concert series aren’t yet available
but should be on sale early in June. Those interested in purchasing
season tickets should call 755-6471 to be put on the SBSO’s mailing
list.

– Amy Jo Johnson covers features for The Times. She can be reached at
894-9637.

WHO: Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra, with guest conductor Geoffrey
Moull and guest cellist Suren Bagratuni

WHAT: Final concert of the ‘Pathway to the Future’ series
WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: First Presbyterian Church, 805 Center Ave.
TICKETS: $30 in advance or at the door, $10 for students
INFO: (989) 755-6471

Eastern Prelacy: Crossroads E-Newsletter 03/18/04

PRESS RELEASE
Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America
138 East 39th Street
New York, NY 10016
Tel: 212-689-7810
Fax: 212-689-7168
e-mail: [email protected]
Website:
Contact: Iris Papazian

CROSSROADS E-NEWSLETTER: March 18, 2004

ARCHBISHOP OSHAGAN ATTENDS
PREVIEW AND DINNER AT
METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART
His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan attended a special preview and
dinner on Monday, March 15, representing His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of
the Great House of Cilicia, ushering in the official opening of the exhibit
Byzantium: Power and Faith (1261-1557). Included in the extensive exhibition
are three pieces from the museum of the Cilician See in Antelias, Lebanon.
Overall there are 10 or 11 Armenian pieces of art included in the 350 pieces
from thirty nations. Most of the pieces in the exhibit are rarely seen and
some have never been shown outside of the churches and monasteries that have
preserved them for the past seven centuries.
Representatives of countries who contributed works of art to the
exhibit, as well as sponsors and special guests including His All Holiness
Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarch, attended the black tie dinner.
The magnificent 656-page book that accompanies the exhibit is a bargain
at $75 for the hardcover edition. The back cover of the jacket is a
Reliquary Triptych of the Skevra Monastery, Armenian Cilicia, 1293. It is on
loan from the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.
The exhibit will open to the public Tuesday, March 23 and continue
through July 4, 2004. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is located at Fifth
Avenue and 81st Street, New York City.

EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEETING
WILL CONVENE IN MID-WEST
As part of a program to bolster communications with parishes, the
Executive Council has been scheduling some of its monthly meetings in areas
outside of New York. The next such meeting is scheduled for next weekend,
March 26 and 27 at All Saints’ Armenian Apostolic Church, Glenview,
Illinois. The Prelate and Executive and Religious Councils will meet
individually with pastors, boards of trustees, and delegates to the National
Representative Assembly of each area parish. The representatives of all the
parishes will have lunch with the Councils and also participate in a joint
meeting following lunch. The parishes participating are: All Saints Church,
Glenview, Illinois; St. Sarkis Church, Dearborn, Michigan; St. Gregory
Church, Granite City, Illinois; St. Paul Church, Waukegan, Illinois; and St.
Hagop Church, Racine, Wisconsin.

FOURTH LENTEN LECTURE EXPLORES
THE FAMILY AS A SMALL CHURCH
The fourth Lenten Lecture, delivered by Rev. Fr. Khatchadour Boghossian,
pastor of Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey, took place last
night. Rev. Fr. Boghossian spoke about the Family as a Small Church.
Rev. Fr. Khatchadour began his lecture by going back to creation and
viewing the relationship between God and human beings. He described various
families in the Bible beginning with Adam and Eve, describing their problems
and showing that sin has always existed in families. Coming to the New
Testament he described the Holy Family, and presented the admonitions of the
Apostles, especially Paul, concerning the family. He also offered the advice
given by Armenian Church Fathers (Nerses Shnorhali, Hovhaness Yerzingatzi,
and Krikor Narekatzi) concerning the Christian education of children and the
responsibility of parents.
A question and answer period followed the lecture. Everyone enjoyed a
time of fellowship while sharing a Lenten meal prepared by the Prelacy
Ladies Guild and the Ladies Guild of St. Illuminators Cathedral. Discussions
on various topics of interest to the Church continued in small groups
following dinner. The Lenten Lectures are sponsored by the Armenian
Religious Education Council and the Prelacy Ladies Guild.

FIFTH LENTEN LECTURE WILL FEATURE
PROFESSOR VIGEN GUROIAN
Professor Vigen Guroian will be the featured speaker on March 24 at the
fifth Lenten lecture. Professor Guroian is a professor of theology and
ethics at Loyola College, in Baltimore, Maryland. He is the author of many
books and articles, many of which have appeared in Outreach, the publication
of the Prelacy.
The year 2004 has been proclaimed the Year of the Family by His Holiness
Catholicos Aram I, and the Lenten lectures have all focused on an aspect of
the family. Professor Guroian will speak about The Christian Family under
Fire.
The lectures take place at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 E. 27th
Street, New York City. Lenten service begins at 7:30 p.m., in the Sanctuary,
followed by the lecture and fellowship in Pashalian Hall. All are welcome.

HIS HOLINESS ARAM I WILL TAKE PART IN COMMEMORATION OF
10TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE GENOCIDE IN RWANDA
His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, has been
invited to participate in the 10th anniversary commemoration of the genocide
in Rwanda, in April.
Dr. Charles Murigande, Foreign Minister of Rwanda, invited His Holiness
noting: You stood by the people of Rwanda as they struggled to deal with the
terrible consequences of genocide. It therefore gives me pleasure, on behalf
of the people and government of Rwanda, to invite you to the ceremonies
marking the 10th anniversary of the 1994 genocide. Join us to reflect on how
to prevent and banish genocide forever through active universal solidarity.
A high-ranking delegation will accompany His Holiness including Dr. Sam
Kobia, the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches; Dr. Andre
Karamagali, the director of the Department on Africa Affairs; Bishop
Dandala, General Secretary of All Africa Council of Churches, Ms. Teny
Pirri-Simonian, Director of Church Relations Department of the WCC; and Rev.
Krikor Chiftjian, Director of Information and Communications for the
Cilician Catholicate.

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON GENOCIDE
WILL CONVENE IN ANTELIAS, LEBANON
An International Conference-Genocide, Impunity and Justice-will take
place in Antelias, Lebanon, April 22-23, 2004. Initiated by His Holiness
Aram I, the conference will focus on the question of impunity, which will be
analyzed from juridical, religious and political perspectives. The Armenian
Genocide, the first genocide of the 20th Century (1915) and the Rwandan
Genocide, the last genocide of the 20th Century (1994) will be presented as
two different cases of impunity. An international body of scholars,
politicians, and academicians will take part in the conference.
The question of impunity has become a critical issue on the agenda of
the world community. The conference will provide a framework for people
coming from different religions and backgrounds to discuss this question in
a spirit of creative dialogue.

PRELACY BIBLE STUDIES GROUP WILL DISCUSS
“THE PASSION OF CHRIST” THIS MONDAY
The Prelacy’s Bible Study group will discuss the Mel Gibson movie, “The
Passion of the Christ”, this Monday evening, March 22, 7:15 p.m. to 8:45
p.m. The discussion will be led by Deacon Shant Kazanjian, Director of the
Armenian Religious Education Council, at the Prelacy offices, 138 E. 39th
Street, New York City.
In preparation to see the movie and the subsequent discussion, Deacon
Shant suggested reading at least two accounts of the passion of Christ, the
Gospel of John and one of the other Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke),
or better yet all four Gospels.
If you have seen the movie and would like to join the group for this
discussion, contact Deacon Shant at 212-689-7810.

FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT:
SUNDAY OF THE JUDGE
We have now come to the fifth Sunday of Lent, which is the Sunday of the
Judge (Datavori Kiraki). The reading on this day is from the Gospel of St.
Luke, chapter 18, verses 1-8, which tells the parable of the judge. The
judge in this parable is seen as hard-hearted without principles, fear of
God. or regard for people. A widow of the same town has been ill-treated and
she has come to the judge for justice. Although her cause is just, he does
not pay attention to her case. However she persists in coming with the same
appeal until at last the judge decides to see that she gets justice. He does
this not because he cares for justice, but in order to get rid of the widow.
The moral teaching of this parable is that in life one must persevere
and pursue righteousness relentlessly with confidence that perseverance will
be rewarded. In particular the parable teaches perseverance in prayer.

Visit our website at

http://www.armenianprelacy.org
http://www.armenianprelacy.org

Moscow rejects accusations of non-fulfillment of Istanbul agreements

RIA Novosti, Russia
March 18 2004

MOSCOW REJECTS ACCUSATIONS OF NON-FULFILLMENT OF ISTANBUL AGREEMENTS

MOSCOW, March 18, 2004. (RIA Novosti) – Accusations of Russia’s
non-fulfillment of the agreements reached at the Istanbul OSCE summit
in 1999 is the pretext for delaying the ratification of the adapted
Conventional Forces in Europe treaty, Russian First Deputy Foreign
Minister Vyacheslav Trubnikov said in an interview with journalists.

“We pursue the policy of constructive relations with the United
States and NATO. Sometimes our partners aberrate from it and float
the idea that without the liquidation of the Russian military bases
in Georgia ratification of CFE treaty is impossible (two Russian
military bases remain in Georgia: one in Batumi, capital of the
Adzharian autonomy, and the other in Akhalkalaki on the border with
Armenia)”, he said.

“We see the attempts to put the blame on us for ‘the non-fulfilment
of the Istanbul agreements’ as an invented pretext for
procrastinating the ratification of the agreement on the adaptation
of the CFE treaty,” Vyacheslav Trubnikov stressed.

Russia has early and in full performed all its obligations for the
pullout of arms and military equipment, limited by the treaty, from
Georgia and Moldova, the interview says. “We have substantially
become close to the solution of problems unrelated to the CFE treaty
– the closure of the Russian military bases in Georgia and the
withdrawal of military equipment from Transdniestria (the land on the
left bank of the Dniester river populated by multiethnic
Russian-speaking people. In the early 90s it proclaimed itself the
“independent” Transdniestrian Moldovan republic with the capital in
Tiraspol),” Trubnikov said.

“There are no legal obstacles for the start of ratification of the
agreement on the CFE treaty adaptation. We invite our partners to
begin it without artificial procrastination,” he said.