US issues warning to Russia over military drills near Ukrainian border
The US has warned Russia that military exercises planned near the border of Ukraine could “lead to miscalculation”, hours after pro-Moscow gunmen seized government offices in the region of Crimea and raised a Russian flag.
The secretary of state, John Kerry, said he had been reassured by his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that Moscow was not behind the storming of Crimean government buildings and would “respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine”.
In a brief appearance before reporters in Washington, Kerry said he had discussed the situation in Ukraine over the phone with Lavrov. “We believe that everybody now needs to step back and avoid any kind of provocations,” Kerry said. More
Association for International Broadcasting voices concern for journalists in Azerbaijan
In a statement prompted by recent allegations of spying against investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova, the Association for International Broadcasting (AIB) expressed concern over her welfare.
“Azerbaijan has consistently created obstacles for journalists reporting from and within the country,” said AIB chief executive, Simon Spanswick. “AIB and its Members are concerned that Khadija Ismayilova is the subject of new charges that are without foundation. We call on the Azerbaijani authorities to drop the charges and allow Ms Ismayilova and all other journalists in the country to carry on their work free from intimidation and threats to their lives and those of their families.” More
Georgian Parliament approves sending troops to Central African Republic
Parliament endorsed on February 21 Georgia’s participation in EU’s military mission in the Central African Republic (EUFOR RCA
Parliament approved presidential request to send one infantry company of the Georgian armed forces to the mission with 106 votes to 1.
Secretary of the Georgian National Security Council, Irina Imerlishvili, told lawmakers that the mission will start in May and last for six months.
The EU established the mission to provide “temporary support, for a period of up to six months, to help to achieve a secure environment in the Bangui area,” the capital of the country, in order to create the conditions for providing humanitarian aid. France’s Major General Philippe Pontiès is the mission commander. More
Armenian FM meets British parliamentarians
Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian received the delegation of the British Group Inter-Parliamentary Union headed by its leader John Whittingdale. Minister Nalbandian hailed the contribution of the British parliamentarians to the development of Armenia-UK friendly relations.
Members of the British Parliament assured, in turn, they will maintain efforts to deepen the cooperation between Armenia and the United Kingdom. More
Wahhabis cover all expenses of Azerbaijani fighters going to Syria
The Azerbaijanis that head to Syria to take part in military operations against government forces get financial support from Wahhabis and receive military training. As it is reported by Azerbaijani News Agency Faktxeber, the wife of one of the Azerbaijani terrorists liquidated in Syria said about this.
According to the article 34-year-old Azerbaijani, Soltan Mirzaev went to Syria in August and already on the 3rd of January was killed by the governmental forces of Syria. More
US to fund Georgia’s participation in NATO Rapid Reaction Force
The United States will finance Georgia’s participation in NATO Rapid Reaction Force, Defense Minister Irakli Alasania says.
The NATO Military Committee visited Georgia on February 11 and 12. The delegation was chaired by Committee head Knud Bartels.
During the visit, the delegation met with the president, the prime minister and the defense minister of Georgia. The Committee also held a session to discuss Georgia’s security and defense transformation, participation in NATO operations and future cooperation.
After the meeting, there was a joint press conference with Defense Minister Alasania, head of the Joint Staff of Georgia’s armed forces, Vakhtang Kapanadze, and NATO’s Knud Bartels. More
Armenia to keep troops in Afghanistan: Interview with First Deputy Defense Minister of Armenia
- Armenia stated its readiness to continue supporting the stabilization process in Afghanistan after the completion of NATO-led ISAF mission. What changes will the functions of Armenian peacekeepers undergo after the mission is completed?
- We have informed NATO and Germany - our our main partner in ISAF, that the political decision is made and Armenia is capable of continuing to support the efforts aimed at stabilizing the situation in Afghanistan, after ISAF is completed this December.
Under NATO’s auspices, Resolute Support mission will be launched in Afghanistan starting from 2015. ISAF mission is currently at the phase of active transformation related to the delegation of responsibility to Afghan Forces, which has an impact also on the tasks and location of Armenian peacekeepers.
Our military units are presently located in Camp Marmal and Camp Mike Spann military bases of Mazar-e-Sharif region; changes are expected in April and one of our military units might be moved to a more important military base in Kabul. The main task our peacekeepers have in Afghanistan is the same - to ensure security. More
New UAVs ‘Navodchik-2’ test starts at Russian military base in Armenia
Military personnel at a Russian base in Armenia have begun tests of the new UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) complex 'Navodchik-2', ITAR-TASS said with reference to the press service of the Southern Military District.
"Test flights at the educational-training complexes Kamkhud and Alagaz are being conducted day and night in different climatic conditions including mountainous locations," the Southern Military District said.
Drones are used for aerial reconnaissance and jamming. They can carry out combat missions at any time due to their photo equipment, infrared and video modules that can be used to detect even a well-disguised enemy. The maximum speed of the aircraft is about 120 kilometres per hour, with the maximum altitude is up to 3000 metres. More
Georgian Parliament adopts self-governance bill
Turkish Parliament adopts controversial Internet bill
Turkey's Parliament adopted late Feb. 5 a new Internet bill that has been harshly criticized for implementing measures that could potentially further restrict access to the web.
The measures were adopted by the General Assembly after a tense session during which opposition MPs blasted the bill as "censorship."
The bill includes controversial arrangements such as granting the president of the Directorate of Telecommunication (TİB) the authority to block access to sites and pages on his own initiative, in the event of appeals concerning violation of the right to private life. Such a decision would not require approval from a court. More
Armenian companies to participate in US exhibition on laser technology and optics
Several Armenian companies likewise will take part in the Photonics West 2014 Exhibition on laser technology and optics. The event will be held from Tuesday to Thursday in San Francisco, USA.
The exhibition is one of the world’s largest and most influential biomedical optics and biophotonics fairs. More
Russia named world’s third-largest military spender
Russia is now the world’s third-largest military spender after the United States and China, pushing the United Kingdom into fourth place, a study by a defense consultancy shows.
Russia is due to increase its defense spending by more than 44 percent in the next three years, from $68 billion in 2013 to $98 billion in 2016, an annual defense budget review by IHS Jane’s showed.
Spending increases are the highest in Russia, whose estimated military budget for 2014 of $78 billion reportedly rose by 13.5 percent on 2013, as it modernizes its forces despite a slowdown in economic growth, while spending on health and social care was reduced. 04.02.14 More
Armenian peacekeepers participate in multinational exercise in Germany
From January 13 to February 2 a 75-member peacekeeping subdivisions of the Armenian Armed Forces participated in the recurrent multinational military exercises at the training center of US Armed Forces in Germany organized within the framework of the “Kosovo Forces” program. 03.02.14 More
Three killed in explosion inside combat vehicle at military range in Khabarovsk
An explosion of ammunition inside a tank occurred on Friday at a combined-arms range at Knyaze-Volkonskoye, Khabarovsk Territory, an official at the Russian Defense Ministry press-service and information department reported.
At present, a commission is at work at the scene under the direction of the Commander of troops of the Eastern Military District to find out the causes and circumstances of the incident. More
Armenia, Georgia sign military cooperation program for 2014
A Georgian delegation led by Deputy Minister of Defense Mikheil Darchiashvili was on a visit to Armenia on January 28-29.
As reported by the Armenian Defense Ministry’s official website, the Georgian delegation attended the celebrations of the 22nd anniversary of Armenia’s army. More
Los Angeles City Council recognizes Nagorno-Karabakh (Full Text)
U.S. Los Angeles City Council unanimously adopted a resolution recognizing the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic as an independent and sovereign state.
“The text of the resolution follows:
REPUBLIC OF ARTSAKH
WHEREAS, we take great honor in recognizing the continuing vibrancy of the independent and sovereign REPUBLIC OF ARTSAKH; and
WHEREAS, the REPUBLIC OF ARTSAKH has a long and storied history dating back thousands of years, and holds a cherished place in the Armenian people's history and culture... More
Russia begins nuclear-powered missile cruiser overhaul
The refit of one of Russia’s four heavy nuclear-powered missile cruisers has begun after years of delays, the country’s largest shipbuilder said Friday. The work on the Admiral Nakhimov will revamp its firepower and set the stage for the revitalization of the Russian Navy’s capital ships, which have not been modernized in the post-Soviet era.
The vessel, formerly named the Kalinin, is one of four Kirov-class missile cruisers, the largest surface combat ships in operation with any navy. Only one of the ships, the Pyotr Veliky, is operational, but Russia plans to return the other three to service starting with the Admiral Nakhimov in 2018. More
PKK militants attack military vehicle in Turkey
Militants of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Turkish province of Diyarbakir have attacked a military vehicle, which was delivering goods to one of the units, Turkish newspaper Sabah reported on Jan. 23.
The military vehicle was burned by the PKK militants, according to the newspaper. Turkey's conflict with the PKK, which demands the creation of an independent Kurdish state, has continued for over 25 years and has claimed more than 40,000 lives. More
Russia's Putin faces tough choices over Ukraine
President Vladimir Putin faces a decision over Ukraine that is likely to shape his political legacy as well as the future of Russia's western neighbor, trapped in an East-West battle that has echoes of the Cold War.
President Viktor Yanukovich's loss of power deprives Putin of an ally vital to his hopes of keeping Ukraine, the cradle of Russian civilization, in what he sees as Russia's orbit.
His hopes of building a huge trading bloc, grouping as many former Soviet republics as possible to challenge the economic might of China and the United States, could be in tatters. 24.02.14 More
Two more Azerbaijani fighters killed in Syria
Two more Azerbaijani citizens were killed in Syria, says the websites owned by the mujahideen, APA reports.
According to information, Gusar resident – Azerbaijani mujahid aka Seyfullah lezgi fighting in the terrorist group Jabhat al-Nusra (AL-Nusra Front) was killed by the Bashar al-Assad forces yesterday and 18-year old Nijat a few days ago.
Photo and name of Seyfullah lezgi haven’t been revealed. He has reportedly been injured several times in the battles. More
Azerbajani armed forces fire upon Armenian territories overnight
The Azerbaijani armed forces fired fiercely upon the Armenian border territories overnight. No one was killed or injured, Defense Ministry spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisyan told PanARMENIAN.Net
The Armenian side has already slammed the Azerbaijan’s provocative actions as attempt “to undermine the upcoming ministerial talks.” As it was reported earlier, Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian is scheduled to meet his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov in Paris this week.
Azerbaijani servicemen attempted to penetrate into the NKR territory on the night of Jan 20, killing defense army sergeant Armen Hovhannisyan. The attacks, in the northeast and southeast directions of the contact line, were rebuffed, with losses inflicted on the Azeri side. Investigation is underway. More
Iran suspends 20% enrichment, starts oxidization
Iran has suspended 20 percent uranium enrichment as part of a deal struck between Tehran and six major world powers in the Swiss city of Geneva last November.
Iran has suspended enrichment of uranium to the 20-percent purity level at Natanz and Fordow nuclear sites in the presence of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors and removed connections between cascades of centrifuges used to produce 20 percent enriched uranium, said Director General for Safeguards Affairs at the (AEOI) Mohammad Amiri.
"From now on, the centrifuges which were used for producing 20 percent enriched uranium will be used for enriching uranium to the five-percent [purity level]," the top Iranian nuclear official pointed out. More
Aviation equipment will be supplied to Erebuni in 2014
A squadron of army aviation command of the air command of Russia’s southern military district has been formed at Erebuni airport in Armenia.
In addition to MiG -29 fighter aircrafts, the military unit will be equipped with Mi-24, Mi-8 helicopters in order to solve a wide range of problems with the aviation support of the forces and transportation of the staff of Russian military base located in Armenia. More
Georgia denies claim Russian fighter jets flew over its territory
The government in Georgia rejects reports that Russian military jets recently violated Georgian airspace. A few days ago, local media reported that five Russian SU-27s and one IL-76 crossed Georgia on January 10 and landed near the Armenian capital Yerevan.
Georgia’s Defense Ministry issued a short statement saying that it can not confirm the overflight. Russian military jets have never flown over Georgia since the war in 2008, but there have been cases when Russian transport planes have violated Georgia’s airspace.
The reports carried in the media claim that the Russian planes were on their way to Bahrain through Yerevan in order to participate in an air show, and after the show will return to a military airfield close to Moscow, allegedly returning again through Georgian airspace on January 20. More
French firms seek to return to Iran amid bans ease
Executives from a number of biggest French companies, including energy giants GDF Suez SA and Alstom SA, are scheduled to visit Iran next month.
The visit which signals a fresh wave of corporate interest in Iran comes after the Islamic Republic and six world powers on Sunday finalized an agreement on ways to implement as of January 20 the Geneva nuclear deal already sealed between the two sides, the Wall Street Journal reported.
A spokeswoman for Alstom said the vice president of the power and transport company will accompany the delegation “to test the environment in the country."
GDF Suez also said it was sending Dominique Simonneau, a member of its executive committee and director of European and international relations. More
Georgia’s association agreement with EU to be signed no later than September 2014
Georgian State Minister for Integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structures Alexi Petriashvili congratulated the public for the progress made in the way towards the European Union (EU) and NATO and stressed that the Association Agreement with the EU will be signed no later than September 2014.
The initialling of the agreement in Vilnius is the beginning of the historical process which will bring Georgia to fulfilment of a cherished dream, accession to the EU, Petriashvili said at a press conference on Dec.20. More
Putin says no Iskanders deployed in Kaliningrad
President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Russia has not deployed Iskander tactical nuclear missiles in Kaliningrad, an exclave wedged between NATO members Lithuania and Poland.
“We have made no such decision,” Putin said at a marathon annual press conference.
It was claimed in media reports over the weekend that Iskander nuclear-capable missiles had been identified by satellite photos in Kaliningrad. More
Three Islamic Revolution Guards Corps personnel killed in Southeastern Iran
Three Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) members were killed near the Saravan city in Southeastern Iran after their car ran over an improvised explosive device (IED), a provincial official announced on Wednesday.
“At around 6:30 this morning, the vehicle of IRGC’s engineering unit working on the development projects in the province ran into a booby trap,” Deputy Governor-General of Sistan and Balouchestan province for Political and Security Affairs Rajabali Sheikhzadeh told FNA on Wednesday. More
Russia has stationed Iskander missiles in western region
Russia has deployed Iskander missiles with a range of hundreds of kilometers in its Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad, which borders NATO members Poland and Lithuania, the pro-Kremlin newspaper Izvestia reported on Monday.
The missiles have been in place "for some time," according to Izvestia's source, a high-level Defence Ministry official it did not name. Another unnamed military source said they were deployed about 18 months ago.
The Izvestia report followed a story in German newspaper Bild on Saturday that said secret satellite imagery showed Iskander-M missiles stationed near the Polish border. More
Iran, Armenia diplomats stress expansion of ties
Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the Islamic Republic attaches great significance to its bilateral relations with neighboring countries, particularly Armenia. In a Sunday meeting with visiting Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan in Tehran, Zarif hailed “longstanding” and “friendly” relations between Iran and neighboring Armenia.
“Iran’s new administration attaches special significance to the expansion of ties with neighbors and we are willing to bolster these relations more than before,” said the Iranian top diplomat.
He further stated that Iran and Armenia enjoy great economic and commercial grounds for cooperation, stressing that frequent visits by officials of the two countries can “play an effective role in the expansion of bilateral ties.” More
Georgia, Armenia agree on high-level exchange visit
Yerevan hosted the 29th meeting of foreign ministers of the Organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC). Deputy Foreign Minister David Jalagania headed a Georgian delegation at the ministerial meeting, the Georgian Foreign Ministry told Trend on Friday.
The delegation included the Georgian ambassador to Armenia, Tengiz Sharmanashvili, head of the multilateral and regional economic cooperation office of the International Economic Relations Department Giorgi Meskheli and adviser to the office, Akaki Lomidze.
The sides discussed issues of regional economic cooperation, future plans and prospects for joint project implementation, according to the information. Armenia's six-month presidency in the BSEC ended at this event. Bulgaria will now preside over the organisation until June 2014. More
29th meeting of the Council of BSEC Foreign Ministers held in Yerevan
The 29th meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation took was held in Yerevan on December 12. Armenian Foreign Minister, BSEC Chairman-in-Office Edward Nalbandian chaired the sitting.
In the working session of the meeting, the Ministers made statements on issues regarding the region and the Organization.
They underlined the importance attached to the implementation of the BSEC Economic Agenda Towards and Enhanced BSEC Partnership as the roadmap of the Organization to face the new challenges of the globalize world. During the Armenian Chairmanship the process of the Action Plan of the Working Groups with the short-listed medium-term priorities identified in the Economic Agenda continued. The participants emphasized the need to maintain the sustained joint efforts of the BSEC member states, related bodies and the Permanent International Secretariat to effectively implement the priorities of the Economic Agenda. More
Iran insists on taking delivery of S-300 systems
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the Islamic Republic insists on taking delivery of the Russian-made S-300 missile defense systems under a deal cut between the two countries.
Speaking at a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Tehran on Wednesday, Zarif said Tehran is adamant that the Russian side fulfill its obligations to supply S-300 missile systems.
On the replacement of S-300 systems with S-300VM Antey-2500 anti-ballistic missile systems, he said Iranian and Russian defense officials have held several round of negotiations, and talks about the issue are still going on. More
Azerbaijani delegate to arrive in Armenia for BSEC ministerial
Azerbaijani delegate will participate in the meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) that will be held in Yerevan on December 12.
Head of the foreign minister on economic cooperation Shovgi Mekhtizade will represent the country in Yerevan, spokesperson for Azerbaijani foreign ministry Elman Abdullayev told APA. As reported earlier, Armenian foreign ministry has invited representatives of all member states, including Turkey and Azerbaijan. More
Davutoğlu to visit Armenia next week
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu announced on Dec. 5 that he would be visiting Armenia next week, marking a first diplomatic push since the protocols between the two countries signed in 2009 which foresaw the development of relations, including a decision on opening the borders, was shelved.
Davutoğlu said he accepted Armenia’s invitation to attend a meeting of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation in Yerevan on Dec. 12.
“Turkey is one of the founding members of the organization. Its headquarters are located in Istanbul, where Armenia, which is a member of the organization, also has a representative. I received the invitation and decided to accept it after consulting the president,” Davutoğlu told reporters during a press conference in Ankara. More