IN UNFRIENDLY LAND: Armenian military personnel will take part in NATO's Cooperative
Best Effort-2004 exercises "Partnership for Peace" which will take place
in Azerbaijan, ARKA news agency reported.
According to head of the external
and international connections Mayor General Mikael Melkonyan, the first reaction
of Azerbaijan to the possible participation of Armenian subdivisions in the exercises
was negative. "I think that Azerbaijan should change its position, otherwise
the exercises will take not in that country," Melkonyan said.
ONLY: President Robert Kocharyan signed a decree on August 29 stipulating
which government representatives may use airport VIP-halls in Armenia as part
of their diplomatic privilege, the presidential press service reports.
to the decree, VIP-halls can be used by government officials having diplomatic
passports, as well as heads of foreign diplomatic missions in Armenia. The VIP-halls
can be used by the Catholicos of All Armenians and his entourage, by spiritual
leaders invited by the Catholicos, by statesmen and government delegations invited
by Armenia's President, Prime Minister, Constitutional Court, as well as by the
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defense.
The opening of Yerevan's Opera house, the repair of which was planned to wrap
up by September 1, will be delayed, ARMENPRESS reported.
of the Opera house requested to redo the parquet floor of the big mirror hall
and place a new carpet shipped from Belgium. The installation of a, 300-million-dram,
($521,000) sound and light system will be wrapped up mid September. The internal
dressing of the building is finished.
GOOD NEWS FROM BAD MEDICINE:
According to the Union of Pharmacists some 30 percent of medication on the market
come into Armenia without being inspected, Azg daily reported August 30. The Union
is among other interested groups involved in the development of related legislation
and fighting against the shadow sector. The Union plans to establish tougher control
on the sale of expired medications, the biggest portion of which arrives in Armenia
as humanitarian aid. According to the Union around $13 million worth medications
are used in Armenia annually.
NEW UNEMPLOYED: Around 4,000 teachers
will be discharged as a result of the educational systems "optimization policy",
said Minister of Science and Education Sergo Yeritsyan a press conference August
As ARMENPRESS reports the minister said that educational improvements
should be a continuous process demanding proper handling in terms of content and
organization, simultaneously developing a teacher re-training system to make the
change less traumatic.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Armenian President Robert
Kocharyan marked his 49-birthday August 31.
Armenian "Novoye Vremya"
(New Time) newspaper wrote that, contrary to the presidents of other CIS countries,
the Armenian president does not like festivity on his birthday, nor does he like
to get expensive gifts from ministries and other high ranking officials. The birthday
man prefers, instead, to celebrate with family.
EXPO 2003: The
first Pan-Armenian Expo-2003 exhibition will be launched in Yerevan as part of
the Armenia-Diaspora Economic Forum slated for September 22-24, ARMENPRESS reported
The overall goal of the exhibition is to bridge Armenia-Diaspora
economic relations and present the success of the local and Diaspora businessmen
in light and heavy industry, IT and other areas, provide them with an opportunity
to create contacts and promote signing of partnership contracts between them.
So far some 100 Armenian manufacturing and servicing companies, including Diaspora
and Karabagh, have applied for participation.
On September 2 the people of Nagorno-Karabagh marked the 12th anniversary of their
In his congratulation address to the Nagorno-Karabagh people
Armenian President Kocharyan said: "Twelve years ago, the people of Nagorno
Karabagh chose the way of freedom, independence and democracy. Peaceful, full
and fair settlement of the Nagorno Karabagh conflict is a priority of the Armenian
STRONG DEFENSE IS BEST DEFENSE Armenia
will raise the expenditure for national defense next year, Minister of Defense
Serge announced September 3.
As ITAR-TASS News Agency reported, the minister
noted that the Armenian authorities plan to raise the volume of goods of domestic
manufacture for the needs of the national army. The expenditure for defense in
the state budget for this year amounted to $75.6 million, representing just over
13 percent of the total national budget.
DEEP IN DEBT: Georgia
is going to raise the question about restructuring its $20 million debt to Armenia
at the sitting of the CIS States Economic Council that opened September 4 in Moscow.
PanARMENIAN.Net reports Armenian officials pointed out not only economic but political
implications. Georgia is also in debt to Russia ($159 million) and Azerbaijan
($17 million). Experts note that if the creditors do not agree to restructure
the debt Georgia will be driven to the verge of bankruptcy.
THE COMMUNICATION GRIP The Armenian Government is demanding the breaking of
ArmenTel's monopoly of the telecommunication market in Armenia, ARMINFO reported
Georgious Vasilaskis, the Director of ArmenTel expressed his
indignation at the text of the Government's statement, stating that at the European
conference on telecommunication, where he is going tomorrow, he will "inform
the whole of Europe of the specific methods of work in the telecommunication sphere
practiced in Armenia, and that the foreign companies working in Armenia 'have
no rights, but only duties'."