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Armenia / US news

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    RosBusinessConsulting Database
    November 30, 2005 Wednesday

    The Armenian representative of the Northern Atlantic Alliance will
    supervise the work of a new NATO office in Yerevan. The office is to
    be opened following an agreement to introduce a liaison officer for
    NATO cooperation in Armenia, Armenia's Deputy Foreign Minister Gegam
    Garibdzhanyan told journalists.

    Armenia is obliged to provide the officer with a place of business
    and information regarding NATO programs implemented in Armenia.

    The dynamic contact between NATO and Armenia will positively affect
    the cooperation between Yerevan and the Alliance. Romualdas Razuks
    will be appointed as the liaison officer responsible for cooperation
    between NATO and South Caucasus countries.
    [url][/url] - [COLOR="Red"]Armenian[/COLOR] [COLOR="Blue"]Genealogy[/COLOR] [COLOR="Orange"]Forum[/COLOR]

  • #2
    Caucasus Should Be In Focus Of Osce, Us Supposes


    Pan Armenian
    08.12.2005 19:57 GMT+04:00

    /PanARMENIAN.Net/ The US considers that the OSCE should pay special
    attention to the Caucasus, Balkans and Central Asia, stated US
    Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns. "The
    Organization should pay special attention to those regions. Why we
    say this? I believe there is political consensus available that our
    final goal is creation of a sustainable and united Europe. This is
    already a success in Central Europe, but it was not managed to achieve
    in the Caucasus, Balkans and Central Asia.

    The historic mission of the OSCE lies in promoting creation of
    sustainable and united Europe during the next decade," N. Burns stated,
    reported Mediamax.
    [url][/url] - [COLOR="Red"]Armenian[/COLOR] [COLOR="Blue"]Genealogy[/COLOR] [COLOR="Orange"]Forum[/COLOR]


    • #3
      U.S. Approves Grant to Armenia, but Urges Greater Political Rights

      U.S. Approves Grant to Armenia, but Urges Greater Political Rights
      President Bush's foreign aid program aimed at reducing poverty in well-governed developing countries announced its second-largest grant yesterday. It will give $236 million to Armenia over five years, but warned the country's rulers that the assistance would be suspended or canceled if its record on political rights continued to deteriorate.

      The Millennium Challenge Corporation, the agency administering the program, delayed its approval of the plan to invest in rural roads and irrigation projects in Armenia after allegations of fraud and electoral mismanagement arose in a constitutional referendum on Nov. 27.

      Even as the agency announced yesterday that it was moving forward, it released a stern letter to Armenia's president, Robert Kocharian, calling for corrective steps to improve the fairness of the political process. Stephen P. Groff, a managing director at the agency, said it was awaiting a reply.

      A spokesman for the Armenian Embassy in Washington did not return repeated phone calls yesterday requesting comment.

      Mr. Groff acknowledged that it would not be simple to halt the aid once the United States had spent tens of millions of dollars in Armenia, a former Soviet republic with a population of three million. "We'd be fooling ourselves to say it wouldn't be difficult to get out," he said, "but we are willing to cut countries off if their performance doesn't continue on a trend."

      The Millennium corporation relies on Freedom House, a nonprofit group that promotes democracy, to rate countries' respect for civil liberties and political rights. Christopher Walker, the group's expert on the former Soviet Union, said political rights were severely restricted in Armenia, deteriorated in 2004 and had not improved this year. He also said corruption was pervasive.

      "It's still not really clear that Armenia has the institutional capacity and independence to move forward with reforms," Mr. Walker said. He noted, for example, that a council the government set up last year to control corruption was not politically independent of the president.

      President Bush advocated the creation of the corporation, now almost two years old, to aid poor countries that rule justly, invest in their people and have sensible economic policies. His theory, shared by many development experts, was that well-governed countries would not waste aid, but would use it to spark economic growth and reduce poverty.

      Armenia has done well according to many of the agency's indicators, though it has slipped on measures of government, officials said. It is open to trade, has inflation under control and is a relatively easy and inexpensive place to start a business and has made progress on corruption. It has increased its spending on health and education, sustained high levels of immunization and improved the rate at which girls finish primary school.

      The Millennium corporation's plan for Armenia includes $67 million to rehabilitate almost 600 miles of rural roads and improve the productivity of 250,000 farm households through gravity-fed irrigation and higher-yield crops, among other things.

      The agency, which did not get off the ground for almost two years after Mr. Bush announced his intention to establish it, has recently come under pressure from Congress to speed up its approval of projects. Noting the slow pace of spending, Congress almost halved Mr. Bush's budget request for the agency for next year. Mr. Groff said such pressures did not affect the decision to go forward with the Armenia project.
      [url][/url] - [COLOR="Red"]Armenian[/COLOR] [COLOR="Blue"]Genealogy[/COLOR] [COLOR="Orange"]Forum[/COLOR]


      • #4
        Armenian Peace-keepers To Leave For Iraq


        | 12:10:45 | 20-01-2006 | Official |

        The third shift of the Armenian peace-keeping mission will leave
        for Iraq on January 21. The shift which consists of 46 soldiers
        including doctors, sappers, drivers and commanders, will realize the
        peace-keeping mission in the town of Alkut 100 kilometers away from

        Let us remind you that at the end of the NA autumn session the
        Parliament approved the offer of President Robert Kocharyan to prolong
        the international treaty of peace-keeping mission in Iraq for a year.
        [url][/url] - [COLOR="Red"]Armenian[/COLOR] [COLOR="Blue"]Genealogy[/COLOR] [COLOR="Orange"]Forum[/COLOR]


        • #5
          U.S. Set To Release Promised Extra Aid To Armenia

          By Emil Danielyan

          The United States has signaled the impending release of $235.5 million in additional economic assistance to Armenia, saying that it has received credible reassurances that the administration of President Robert Kocharian is committed to democracy and good governance.

          The sum was approved last month by a U.S. government agency managing President George W. Bush’s Millennium Challenge Account (MCA), a program designed to promote political and economic reforms in developing nations. But the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) made its disbursement conditional on “corrective steps” that would end chronic vote rigging and civil rights violations in Armenia.

          The Armenian authorities have since scrambled to reassure the Bush administration about their democratic credentials that were most recently called into question by their handling of the November constitutional referendum. Those efforts seem to have been successful, with the MCC chief executive, John Danilovich, saying that he is satisfied with Kocharian’s and Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian’s written responses sent to Washington in recent weeks.

          In a statement issued late Monday, MCC said Danilovich has asked the corporation’s governing board to press ahead with the allocation of the multimillion-dollar aid to Yerevan. MCC also posted on its website a copy of his second letter to Kocharian dated January 18. “On reading your letter, I was pleased to note your Government’s commitment to sustaining the democratic reforms that are essential to good governance,” Danilovich wrote.

          This contrasts with the U.S. official’s first letter to Kocharian which deplored his regime’s “lack of transparency and commitment to open and fair elections.” The letter sent on December 16 pointed to serious fraud reported during the referendum.

          In his January 12 message to Danilovich, also disclosed by MCC, Oskanian said the authorities in Yerevan “acknowledge the deficiencies that you cite in reference to the Constitutional Referendum.” “We truly regret that an opportunity such as the referendum, the outcome of which were to be constitutional changes that will obviously benefit our people, has instead cast shadows on the election process,” he wrote.

          Oskanian went on to blame the Armenian opposition for the reported vote rigging. “By boycotting the referendum, they forced the collapse of an electoral monitoring system that is, by law, based on checks and balances by the political parties,” he claimed.

          However, the presence of opposition activists in polling stations did not prevent ballot box stuffing and other serious irregularities during the previous elections held in Armenia. The U.S. State Department criticized them as undemocratic. Citing the conduct of the referendum, Armenian opposition leaders say the next national elections due in 2007 and 2008 will be just as fraudulent.

          Oskanian insisted, however, that the Kocharian administration will do its best to ensure the freedom and fairness of the polls. “We are ready to work with the US government, the EU and the OSCE and are ready to develop an accurate voter registry with independent verification, to conduct voter education campaigns, to increase public interest and involvement in the period leading up to and during the elections themselves and to provide for effective electoral adjudication training and mechanisms,” he said. Yerevan will provide Washington with “up-to-date information on steps taken towards irrevocable and verifiable progress in democratic development,” he added.

          Danilovich found these assurances convincing. “I am heartened by your Government’s commitment to pursue existing cases of fraudulent voting activity and violence against journalists, as well as your receptivity to outside assistance for training in election preparation, administration and monitoring,” he told Kocharian.

          The U.S. official apparently referred to criminal proceedings launched recently against three little-known Armenian citizens each of whom allegedly cast an extra ballot in place of their relatives and friends on referendum day. One of them was reportedly tried and fined 100,000 drams ($220) by a court in Gyumri earlier this month.

          None of the men was a member of the Kocharian-controlled electoral commissions that conducted the November 27 vote. Nor are they known to hold any positions in government. Some opposition leaders have dismisses the cases brought against them as a “joke.”

          The Armenian law-enforcement authorities have also prosecuted a female opposition supporter who is said to have unintentionally hit a state television reporter during a pre-referendum rally in Yerevan. By contrast, they refused to prosecute anyone in connection with the severe beatings of several other journalists who were attacked by security forces while photographing the brutal break-up of another opposition protest in April 2004.

          The forthcoming U.S. assistance is based on the Armenian government’s proposals submitted to MCC last spring. Most of the money, $146 million, would be spent on rebuilding and expanding the country’s battered irrigation networks. Another $67 million would go to pay for capital repairs of about 1,000 kilometers of rural roads that have fallen into disrepair since the Soviet collapse.

          Danilovich warned that the implementation of the aid program could be suspended or even terminated in case of a “significant slippage in the indicators or actions inconsistent with the principles that support Armenia’s eligibility” for MCA.

          "All truth passes through three stages:
          First, it is ridiculed;
          Second, it is violently opposed; and
          Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

          Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)


          • #6
            U.S. Firm To Mine Uranium In Armenia

            By Emil Danielyan

            A U.S. gold mining company has announced plans to expand its operations in Armenia by developing and exporting the country’s hitherto untapped uranium reserves.

            The Connecticut-based Global Gold Corporation (GGC) said late Wednesday it has acquired a vast plot of land in the northeastern Gegharkunik region which geologists believe is rich in uranium and gold ores. The company is understood to be primarily interested in local deposits of the radioactive metal used as nuclear fuel.

            The deal took the form of GGC buying 80 percent of Athelea Investments, a Yerevan-registered company owned by U.S. and Australian citizens. The little-known firm, which will be renamed after the small river Getik flowing in the mountainous area, holds the exclusive rights to the 27-square-kilometer property.

            The area was extensively explored by Soviet mining experts in the 1970s. “These studies concluded that the region is prospective for radioactive elements, including uranium,” GGC said in a statement. “A suite of radioactive minerals were reported in the samples, including uraninite (uranium oxide),” it added.

            GGC sources in Yerevan told RFE/RL Thursday that the U.S. company will conduct further exploration to ascertain the local uranium and gold reserves before starting to mine -- a process that will take up to three years. They said the uranium ore will likely be processed in Armenia and smelted in Europe or the United States.

            Armenia was a major center of non-ferrous metallurgy in the former Soviet Union and still exports copper and gold in large quantities. But its uranium reserves have not been developed so far.

            “Consistent with its company Code of Business Conduct and Ethics for all operations, the Getik property will be developed according to best practices for safety and environmental matters,” said the GGC statement.

            The U.S. company already operates several small gold mines in Armenia. One of them was bought for $3.5 million as recently as last August.

            Incidentally, GGC’s number two top executive is Van Krikorian, the former chairman of the Armenian Assembly of America, a Washington-based lobbying group. Krikorian was also one of the members of the former Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission.
            "All truth passes through three stages:
            First, it is ridiculed;
            Second, it is violently opposed; and
            Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

            Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)


            • #7
              Oskanian Warns of 'Economic Cost' of Vote Rigging

              YEREVAN (RFE/RL)--Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian made a case for Armenia's democratization in a televised interview broadcast late Wednesday, warning that the country risks paying not only a political but also an economic price for its culture of electoral fraud.

              He specifically warned that Armenian authorities will miss out on multimillion-dollar assistance from the United States if they fail to ensure the freedom and fairness of the next elections.

              "Democracy is the main guarantee of Armenia's continued economic development," Oskanian told the private Kentron television.

              "We are now in a situation where any step away from democratization and a repeat of electoral fraud would have an economic cost. And I can name that cost: 235 million dollars," he added, referring to the amount of extra US aid to Armenia that was approved this month as part of Washington's Millennium Challenge Account program.

              A US government agency administering the scheme made its allocation conditional on "corrective steps" that would improve Yerevan's human rights record and rule out voting irregularities in the future. The Millennium Challenge Corporation expressed concern about reports of serious fraud that marred the recent constitutional referendum in Armenia.

              According to Oskanian, a proper conduct of the next parliamentary and presidential elections, due in 2007 and 2008 respectively, is also vital for Armenia's relations with the European Union (EU), another major donor.

              "We can not afford to find ourselves in a similar situation after the next elections," said Oskanian. The West now has "higher expectations" from Armenia and the latter would fail to meet them with mere claims that irregularities did not affect election results, he said.

              The stark warning was addressed to "those individuals who resort to violations" of the electoral law. Oskanian did not name them, saying only that the country must not suffer "for the sake of some people's political careers." The Syrian-born former US citizen went on to urge the authorities and the Armenian opposition to embark
              "All truth passes through three stages:
              First, it is ridiculed;
              Second, it is violently opposed; and
              Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

              Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)


              • #8
                Vartan Oskanian to meet with Condoleezza Rice

                Vartan Oskanian to meet with Condoleezza Rice

                /PanARMENIAN.Net/ Yesterday Armenian Foreign Minister left New York for Washington. During the visit the RA FM is scheduled to hold several meetings in the Congress. On March 5 Vartan Oskanian will meet with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the RA MFA press office told a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter.
                [url][/url] - [COLOR="Red"]Armenian[/COLOR] [COLOR="Blue"]Genealogy[/COLOR] [COLOR="Orange"]Forum[/COLOR]


                • #9
                  Investments In Uraniun Mining In Armenia


                  YEREVAN, April 23. /ARKA/. Investments in the mining of uranium in Armenia may total dozens or hundreds of millions of dollars, Head of the RF Federal Atomic Energy Agency Sergey Kiriyenko told reporters.
                  "Investments in the mining of uranium in the Syunik region alone may total dozens up to hundreds of millions of dollars," Kiriyenko said.
                  According to him, uranium does not normally prove to be the only mineral, and essential economic improvement can be expected if an Armenian-Russian JV extracts not only uranium, but also associated minerals.
                  "We have verified the geological information of the Soviet times and understand that the reserves of natural uranium in Armenia amount to 30ths tons. This is rather interesting," Kiriyenko said.
                  According to him, although the reserves are not so large, the deposits are not thoroughly prospected, and thorough prospecting shows larger reserves in each deposit.
                  "So we hope that detailed geological prospecting will show reserves half as much again, or twice as much as forecast. Correspondingly, in our protocol we have determined the companies and approved the plan of priority actions. The meaning of the plan is that by the end of 2007 we must complete the work," Kiriyenko said.
                  According to him, geological groups are to arrive in Armenia during the next few weeks to start supplementary exploration of the deposit in cooperation with specialists of the "Geoeconomy" CJSC.
                  He added that it will underlie the feasibility report, and the forma of cooperation will be chosen.
                  "The tentative hypothesis is the establishment of an equally shared JV. We believe that such a JV must be established by the end of the year, licensed and launch its activities," Kiriyenko said.
                  Speaking of the uranium reserves, he stressed that Armenia can satisfy its needs for natural uranium with the forecast reserves, and can even export it. Kiriyenko also said that Armenia expressed its interest in joining the international center for uranium enrichment being founded in Angarsk.
                  "The organizational work has been completed, and we hope that a final intergovernmental agreement will be signed in May, and the draft documents on Armenia's accession to it are ready. In this case, Armenia will get access to the technological chain, including extraction, enrichment and use of nuclear fuel at the NPP," he said.
                  "Thus, Armenia becomes another country having access to the technological chain of peaceful development of atomic energy. This will raise Armenia's level in the world and of our cooperation," he said. Kiriyenko added that Armenian-Russian cooperation has recently been actively developed. He also pointed out that Russia guarantees the supply of fuel to the Armenian HPP as long as it operates.
                  "Armenia and Russia are starting comprehensive cooperation in nuclear energy development," he said.
                  In his turn, RA Minister of Ecology Vardan Aivazyan stressed that joint extraction of uranium will certainly contribute to the construction of a new NPP in Armenia.
                  According to him, the presence of uranium deposits will allow Armenia to be a self-sufficient country in the energy aspect, especially now that gas and oil reserves have become a political factor.
                  "Uranium as raw material of the 21st century can also become a serious factor, and we will not have any problems with constantly exploding gas mains, rise in oil and gas price," he said.
                  He also added that no uranium will be extracted in the territory adjacent to Lake Sevan.
                  During the visit of the Russian delegation headed by Sergey Kirityenko, a protocol on geological prospecting, extraction and processing of uranium ore was signed between the Rosatom and the RA Ministry of Ecology.
                  Also, the sides signed a contact for preparation and substantiation of the expert opinion on the uranium reserves in Armenia between the Russian Research Institute Chemical Technologies and the Geoeconomics CJSC (Armenia). P.T. -0--