ANTI-CORRUPTION PLAN: Armenia's Prime
Minister presented January 17 the outlines of
a program that aims to curb corruption in Armenia,
the Associated Press reported.
The program, essentially a set of guidelines,
was drafted over the past two years with a $300,000
grant from the World Bank and was approved last
month by Armenian President Robert Kocharyan.
The international corruption watchdog group placed
Armenia 78th on a list last year gauging levels
of corruption in 133 countries.
ECONOMIC CRIMES: Armenian prosecutor-general
Aram Tamazyan said that the amount of damages
sustained by the state in 2003 because of economic
crimes and abuse of power by government officials
amounted to more than 2 billion Armenian Drams
As reported by Armenpress agency January 16,
the Prosecutor said that the adoption of the anti-corruption
strategic plan of actions is important, but added
that the crackdown on corruption must be moved
from theory to practice.
AMBASSADOR CALLS FOR INVESTMENTS: The diaspora
has to make investments in the economy of Armenia,
US ambassador to Armenia John Ordway said at a
meeting in the residence of the Eastern Diocese
of the US Armenian Apostolic Church in New York,
PanARMENIAN.Net reported January 17.
During the meeting the ambassador reported improvement
of the investment climate and growth of gross
domestic product in Armenia. In Ordway's opinion,
active inclusion of diaspora Armenians in building
the Armenian economy will allow to put right to
a certain degree the shortcomings still present.
NEW MUSEUM: Cafesjian Museum Foundation is
set to launch this year the construction of Contemporary
Art Museum in Yerevan, Armenpress agency reported
A location in central Yerevan, known as Cascade,
was chosen as the site for the museum and granted
to the Foundation in return for investing about
$20-25 million, $3-5 million of which to be spent
to fully renovate the Cascade and the remaining
will be allocated to the Gerald L. Cafesjian Museum
of Contemporary Art and its related facilities.
EXPENSIVE WATER: The Armenian State Commission
on Water Management has applied to the State Natural
Monopolies' Commission with a request to raise
the prices of water, Azg daily reported January
The water company intends to increase the price
from 56 (about 10 cents) drams to 120, beginning
April 1. The current 56 dram tariff forms only
one fifth of the prime cost according to the official,
and the saving programs that are being implemented
in the water market require charging at least
half of the prime cost.
KARABAKH SETTLEMENT: Armenia rejected Azerbaijani
President Ilham Aliev's calls for a new internationally
sponsored plan to resolve the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh
that would return the disputed territory under
Baku's control, RFE/RL reported January 21.
Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian said the French,
Russian and U.S. mediators should stick to agreements
that were reportedly reached by the two parties
in 2001 and, according to the Armenian side, would
uphold Karabakh's de facto independence.
WASHINGTON DISSAPOINTED: The U.S. embassy
in Yerevan released a statement issued by the
U.S. Department of State regarding the Armenian
delegation's inability to participate in the NATO
conference held in Baku, Yerkir reported January
Expressing its "disappointment" that
a delegation from the Armenian ministry of defense
was unable to join the Baku conference, the statement
does not mention those responsible, citing that
"we do not yet have all the facts on just
why the Armenian delegation was denied the opportunity
to travel to Baku."
ARMENTEL AGAINST INTERNET: The ArmenTel telecom
company is doing its best to prevent Internet
development in Armenia said the director of the
biggest Armenian internet provider Arminco.
As reported by Arminfo agency, ArmenTel's "expensive
Internet" policy impedes the development
of the web in Armenia. However ArmenTel cannot
stop the flow of Internet users whose number grew
by 2,000 (five percent) last year, the director
GENOCIDE REMEMBERED: Programs dedicated to
90 years of the Armenian Genocide will be held
in Armenia in the period of May 2004 - May 2005,
Arka agency reported January 21. The scientific
conference on the Genocide issues will be held
in April 2005 in Yerevan, as well international
conferences in Europe, the U.S., Russia and Mid