Armenia and Azerbaijan FMs and Minsk Group co-chairs meet in Ukraine
The foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, and the personal representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office met Wednesday in Ukrainian capital city Kyiv.
Following the private talk between Armenian and Azerbaijani FMs Edward Nalbandian and Elmar Mammadyarov, Minsk Group Co-Chairs Igor Popov (Russia), Jacques Faure (France) and James Warlick (USA), and Andrzej Kasprzyk, Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, joined them, informs the Armenian MFA press service. More
Iran to install new radar system on warships
Iran will install its newly unveiled Asr radar system on the Jamaran destroyer, head of the Iranian Navy's Industrial Research and Self-Sufficiency Organisation Rear Admiral Ali Gholamzadeh said, Fars news agency reported on Dec. 4.
The Asr naval phased array long range radar system being manufactured by the Navy Industrial Research and Self-Sufficiency Organisation was unveiled on Nov.27. Gholamzadeh went on to note that the radar is also planned to be installed on the Sahand destroyer which is being built. More
Armenia among least-corrupted CIS states
Perceived levels of corruption in Armenia are among the lowest in CIS states, according to the 2013 Corruption Perception Index (CPI).
Published by the global organization Transparency International (TI), it ranks Armenia 94th out of 177 countries, while Moldavia is ranked 102nd. According to RIA Novosti, Russia ranked 127th, showing little change since last year.
Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index, which compiles surveys and other public assessments of graft to rank how corrupt a country is perceived to be, allowed users to compare year-on-year results for the first time this year. 03.12.13 More
Russian president’s visit to Armenia kicks off
Russian President Vladimir Putin is arriving in Armenia for a state visit on December 2, at the invitation of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan.
The Armenian and Russian leaders will hold a private meeting and participate in a number of events in Yerevan and Gyumri, with special emphasis placed on the 3rd Armenian-Russian interregional conference ‘Russia, Armenia, Customs Union.’
The Russian president is scheduled to participate in the conference and visit Russian Military Base 102 in Gyumri. Nine round-table discussions on specific topics will end Vladimir Putin’s state visit to Armenia on December 3. 02.12.13 More
Georgia, Moldova endorse EU Association Agreements
Georgia and Moldova have initialed their respective Association Agreements with the European Union ahead of the start of an EU Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius.
The process leaves one page to be ceremonially initialed during the second day of summit proceedings in the Lithuanian capital before more work that allows actual signings months or years down the road.
None of the other four so-called Eastern Partnership countries -- Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, and Ukraine -- is expected to initial deals in Vilnius. More
Georgia will not renounce plans for NATO membership
Georgia will not veer off the road towards Euro-Atlantic integration, Defense Minister Irakly Alasaniya said Wednesday night.
He said in a live interview with the pro-Western Rustavi-2 channel that Georgian society said definitively some 25 years ago it was opting for a European pathway of development, meaning the thousands-strong rallies in favor of Georgia’s breakaway from the Soviet Union.
"Public quarters in Georgia continue speaking in favor of a course at European integration and there’s no alternative to it," Alasaniya said, adding that the initialing of an association agreement between Georgia and the European Union, due at the November 28 summit of the so-called "Eastern Partnership" format, was a truly historic event. More
Moscow air defenses get new short-range Pantsir-S systems
Russian air defense forces have taken delivery of six Pantsir-S short-range air defense systems to be used by a new missile regiment formed to protect the skies over Moscow, military officials said Wednesday.
The Pantsir-S battalion is set to form part of a third S-400 air defense missile regiment deployed near the Russian capital. The new regiment is expected to be put on combat duty in December, Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Dmitry Zenin said. More
Azerbaijan jails 29 for plotting terror attacks
A court in Azerbaijan has sentenced three members of a group allegedly linked to al-Qaeda to life in prison, after convicting them of plotting attacks on President Ilham Aliyev and other targets in the Caspian Sea country.
On Monday, the court in capital Baku also sentenced 26 others to shorter prisoner terms, Reuters reported.
The 29 defendants were arrested in April and May 2012. They were accused of plotting to kill President Aliyev and carry out bombing attacks at the site of the Eurovision contest in May 2012 and several hotels in Baku. More
Full text of the Iranian nuclear deal
After the White House released a modified version of the deal struck by Iran and the six world powers in Geneva early Sunday morning, the Iranian Foreign Ministry released the text of the agreement.
The full text of the deal is as follows
United States-Armenia Task Force scheduled for Friday
The United States Embassy inYerevan announces that the 2013 U.S.-Armenia Task Force (USATF) will take place Friday in Washington, DC.
The United States Government will be represented by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Eric Rubin, U.S. Agency for International Development Assistant Administrator Paige Alexander, and Coordinator for Assistance for Europe Daniel Rosenblum. The United States’ Ambassador to the Republic of Armenia, John A. Heffern, and USAID Armenia Mission Director Karen Hilliard will also attend. 22.11.13 More
Turkish FM comments on Armenia invitation
Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoglu has said Armenia’s invitation to Turkey to attend the Yerevan meeting of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) member states is an ordinary process.
“This invitation should not be viewed as something special. All members have been invited to the meeting,” Davutoglu said at a joint press conference with his British counterpart William Hague, Milliyet reports.
“We want the relations between Turkey and Armenia to normalize, the problem between Azerbaijan and Armenia to be solved and sustainable peace to be established in the South Caucasus as soon as possible,” he stressed. 21.11.13 More
Russia plans air defense boost with Armenia
Russia is planning to strengthen its integrated regional air defense network with Belarus and set up similar joint networks with Armenia and Kazakhstan, President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.
“Such cooperation greatly enhances the defense potential of Russia and its partners, and contributes to strengthening peace and stability in Eurasia,” Putin said at a meeting with senior commanding officers in Moscow.
Moscow and Minsk signed an agreement on the joint protection of the Russia-Belarus Union State’s airspace and the creation of an integrated regional air defense network in February 2009. The network reportedly comprises five Air Force units, 10 air defense units, five technical service and support units, and one electronic warfare unit. It is part of the integrated air defense network of the Commonwealth of Independent States. 20.11.13 More
Blasts at Iranian embassy in Beirut kill at least 23
Two explosions rocked the Iranian Embassy compound in Beirut on Tuesday killing at least 23 people and injuring scores, according to the Lebanese Health Ministry. The Iranian ambassador, Ghazanfar Roknabadi, confirmed on Al Manar television that the cultural attaché, identified as Sheikh Ibrahim Ansari, was killed in the attack. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which seemed to fit a pattern of deepening sectarian division across the region inspired by the civil war in Syria.
The area where the attack took place, Bir Hassan, is populated by Shiite Muslims. Apart from the Iranian diplomatic mission, it also houses an office of the Shiite Amal Party, an ally of Hezbollah, a Lebanese militant group that is sponsored by Tehran and which has sent its militia forces to fight rebels in neighboring Syria. 19.11.13 More
Investigators find flight recorders from Kazan plane crash
Russian officials said Monday that they located flight recorders from a Boeing 737 that crashed in the city of Kazan over the weekend, killing all 50 people on board.
The Interstate Aviation Committee said in a statement that the container carrying the recorders was seriously damaged. The precise cause of the accident is not yet known, but terrorism has been ruled out.
Transportation Minister Maxim Sokolov said the aircraft appears to have exploded, but that it was unclear if that happened while the plan was still in flight. 18.11.13More
GEORGIA: LOOKING AT POST-ELECTION TWISTS
by Giorgi Lomsadze
After electing a new president in an October 27 vote seen as both clean and exceptionally uneventful, the South Caucasus country of Georgia is now entering a period of uncertainty.
With nearly 100 percent of ballots counted, it appears Giorgi Margvelashvili, the personal pick of Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, has secured a convincing victory with 62.12 percent of the vote. Among the nearly two dozen candidates in the election, his closest rival, Davit Bakradze of outgoing President Mikheil Saakashvili’s United National Movement, trailed far behind at 21.72 percent. Turnout, at 46.6 percent, was the lowest for a national election in the past decade.
But low voter participation did not trouble a jubilant Ivanishvili. At a joint news conference with Margvelashvili on October 28, the prime minister expressed surprise at Bakradze’s returns, but described the presidential election as “very cultured” and thanked voters for showing appreciation for his pick for president, whom he described as a “genius.”
International observers praised the conduct of the vote. Describing the election as “positive and transparent,” João Soares, the special coordinator for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s short-term observer mission, declared that “[t]his clean election following a political cohabitation tells me that Georgia’s democracy is maturing.” 31.10.13 More
Turkish foreign minister to visit Iran in late November
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is scheduled to pay an official visit to Iran later this month to discuss further expansion of bilateral relations between the two countries.
Davutoglu will travel to Tehran on November 26 at the invitation of his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif. During his two-day visit, the Turkish foreign minister will exchange views on regional and international issues with Iranian officials. 15.11.13 More
US cancels Russian helicopter buy
The United States has scrapped plans to purchase additional helicopters from state-run Russian arms exporter Rosoboronexport amid pressure from federal lawmakers over Russian arms deliveries to Syria, a top US senator said Wednesday.
“I applaud the [US] Defense Department’s decision to cancel its plan to buy 15 additional Mi-17 helicopters from Rosoboronexport,” US Sen. John Cornyn said in statement, The Associated Press (AP) reported.
Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, has been leading a push in Congress to oppose the Pentagon’s purchase of Russian helicopters for deployment in Afghanistan due to Moscow’s weapons shipments to the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad as his forces battle rebel groups in a fierce civil war. 14.11.13 More
Presidents of Armenia, NKR attend military drills in Artsakh
President Serzh Sargsyan, who is in Artsakh in the framework of the program of cooperation between the two Armenian Republics, accompanied by the President of NKR Bako Sahakyan, RA Minister of Defense Seyran Ohanyan, Commander of the NKR Army of Defense, Lieutenant General Movses Hakobyan and the officers of the Army visited a number of military regiments dislocated in the northern part of the NKR and the defense lines under the control of the military units, President’s Press Office reported. 13.11.13 More
NATO expert group arrives in Baku
NATO's expert group on military education arrived in Baku on November 11.
According to Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry, the purpose of the visit is to provide assistance in some areas of military education to the Azerbaijani Armed Forces. At the meetings, the expert group discussed military education and personnel training with the Azerbaijani side. The visit will end on November 14. A NATO Days summit is held annually as part of the NATO-Azerbaijan cooperation, with the participation of the Headquarters of the Supreme Allied Command Transformation's (SACT) expert group and will be held by the Azerbaijan's Armed Forces on November 25-29. 12.12.13 More
Iran launches new missile production line
Iran inaugurated production line of a new missile as it completed research on defense system project in a ceremony attended by Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehghan on Saturday.
"Sayyad (Hunter 2) missile was designed and built to provide defense equipment and confront air strikes," Dehghan said. "The missile works with solid fuel and with combined (hybrid) directing system. It enjoys high operational capabilities," he added.Sayyad 2 is a mid-range aerial defense system designed based on new technologies. It is able to annihilate drones and targets which have high speed and maneuver capability. The system with high anti-electronic war power is able to intercept targets automatically and independently. 11.11.13 More
Azerbaijan skips its term for BSEC Chairmanship-in-Office
“Next BSEC Chairmanship-in-Office will be taken by the Republic of Bulgaria in January 2014, as the Republic of Azerbaijan informed that it will skip its term,” BSEC Secretariat told APA
.Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmud Mammadguliyev explained to APA the reason of this decision: “Azerbaijan will preside over several structures next year, including the Council of Europe. We are currently presiding over the Economic Cooperation Organization and Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States. 08.11.13 More
Iranian channels targeted 66 times in 3 years
The head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) says Iranian channels have been taken off air from 27 satellites 66 times over the past three years by those claiming to be the advocates of freedom of speech.
Ezzatollah Zarghami made the remarks in an interview with Iran’s Young Journalists' Club (YJC) on Thursday. Zarghami noted that in addition to this, the channels have been repeatedly blocked or distorted through jamming of their transponders. “This is while the Islamic Republic of Iran has been falsely accused of jamming [foreign radio and TV broadcasts] and sometimes it is claimed that the source [of the jamming] is outside Iran,” he stated. 07.11.13 More
Armenian President participated in the session of the Nuclear Energy Safety Council
Today, at the Government’s House of Receptions, President Serzh Sargsyan met with the Chairman of the RA Presidential Nuclear Energy Safety Council Adolf Birkhofer, who has arrived in Armenia to participate in the regular session of the Nuclear Energy Safety Council (NESC).
The President of Armenia and Chairman of NESC spoke about planned works aimed at the enhancement of the security level of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant (ANPP) and the current state of the Plant. With this regard, the parties stated that the ANPP has the necessary projected level of aseismic stability. Serzh Sargsyan and Adolf Birkhofer spoke also about the issues related to the future operations of the ANPP and construction of a new energy unit, cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), including the results of the OSART mission. 06.11.13 More
Armenia marks Day of Intelligence Troops
The first intelligence unit was created in Armenia on November 5, 1992. Later, November 5 was declared the Day of Intelligence Troops. Armenia’s intelligence troops marked their 20th anniversary in November 2012.
The tasks of intelligence troops include obtaining information about the adversary and revealing enemy groups, destruction or crippling the significant facilities of the enemy, etc. 05.11.13 More
Turkey and Iran share high level of cooperation in intelligence
The intelligence cooperation between Turkey and Iran is in a “very, very good state,” according to the Iranian Ambassador Alireza Bigdeli.
Speaking to the daily Hürriyet, Bigdeli said the intelligence cooperation between the two countries were at a level that should be between strong neighbors and brothers, which bothered Western powers, as well as Israeli authorities.
“Why do they not like it when Turkish and Iranian intelligence agencies cooperate? They expect Turkey to have good cooperation with MOSSAD or CIA. There is that side to it. Turkish and Iranian agencies always have cooperation, and they should have so, and they will have so. It is normal between neighbors to have that, but they treat it with doubt,” Bigdeli said. 04.11.13 More
Russian Navy’s newest missile subs not operational
The Russian Navy’s newest ballistic missile submarines are not ready to begin operations in their primary role of carrying out nuclear deterrent patrols due to a failed test firing of the Bulava missile last year, a high command source told RIA Novosti on Friday.
The two Borey-class boats in question, the Alexander Nevsky and Vladimir Monomakh, may instead be restricted to experimental testing in the attack role and armed with conventional weapons, the high command source said.
“The Borey-class strategic missile submarines can carry out the tasks of multi-role attack submarines by carrying other weapons on board – torpedoes and rocket-torpedoes. Just like a doctor of science can also teach math in a high school,” the source said. 01.11.13More
If Karabakh conflict resumes,102nd Russian base may intervene - Commander
In case Azerbaijani leadership decides to restore jurisdiction over Nagorno-Karabakh by force, the Russian #102 base in Armenia may enter confrontation in accordance with treaty obligations of Russia within CSTO, Russian commander said.
In an exclusive interview with Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper, commander of the military base, Colonel Andrey Ruzinsky confirmed presence of Smerch multiple rocket launcher in the territory of Armenia. 31.10.13 More
“ArmNet 2013” launched in Yerevan
“ArmNet 2013” series of IT events will be held in Yerevan, in parallel with the Pan-Armenian web-contest “ArmNet Awards 2013.” “ArmNet 2013” will be jointly organized by Maeutica Branding Agency, Orange Armenia and The Internet Society (ISOC).
“ArmNet 2013” is designed to evaluate the achievements of the Armenian Internet sector and contribute to its further development.
“ArmNet 2013” presents a series of three events aimed at the development of information technologies and especially mobile technologies in Armenia. 30.10.13 More