Armenian president meets with Czech Deputy Chamber speaker

 

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, who is on a state visit to the Czech Republic, held a meeting on Friday Jan Hamáček, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic. 

Armenia’s president congratulated Jan Hamáček on his appointment.

The sides highlighted the role of parliamentary diplomacy in the development of Armenian-Czech cooperation.

President Serzh Sargsyan stressed that the Armenian and Czech parliaments have in recent years intensified bilateral contacts, which creates favorable preconditions for bilateral cooperation within international parliamentary organizations.

Armenia’s leader recalled the Armenian parliament speaker’s visit to the Czech Republic in 2012 and noted that he would be glad to host the Czech parliament leadership in Armenia.

Mr Jan Hamáček noted that a Czech- Armenian parliamentary friendship group was formed soon after the parliamentary elections in the Czech Republic, which is a good basis for effective cooperation.

The sides also discussed regional problems, the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process, Armenia-Turkey relations and other issues of mutual interest.

Armenia’s leader also visited the Witkowo monument and laid a wreath.

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Armenia has heavy agenda with EU – Zohrab Mnatsakanyan

Armenia’s Deputy FM Zohrab Mnatsakanyan advises against such wordings as “either…or” and “both…and.”

“It is clear that Armenia will continue most serious cooperation with the European Union. We have heavy agenda,” Mnatsakanyan said.
He noted that he personally refrains from the wordings.

“We have a political agenda, a policy of our relations with Russia and a policy of our relations with the European Union. They have always been fundamental foreign political courses, and such wordings as ‘either…or’ and ‘both…and’ are misleading,” he said.

Armenia’s policy opposite to European integration

Head of the Press Club Boris Navasardyan believes that Armenia is implementing a policy opposite to that of European integration, the reason being Armenia’s planned accession to the Customs Union.

Commenting on the developments in Ukraine and the possibility of Armenia “following suit,” Navasardyan said the following during a Facebook conference by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty:

“There are actually numerous differences between Armenia and Ukraine. This is the reason why developments similar to those in Kiev cannot take place in Yerevan.

“First, active Ukrainian citizens are well aware of the country’s benefits from integration into the European Union. The second important factor is the country’s oligarchs. Armenia’s oligarchs have no business contacts or interests in the EU. So they do not need this integration. On the other hand, Ukrainian oligarchs are interested in cooperating with the EU.”

Ukraine’s political parties are aware of the fact that their success depends on citizens. 

“In our case, the parties believe it is themselves the success depends on,” Navasardyan said.

No switchover to Russian currency on agenda

No switchover to a single currency is on the agenda in the context of Armenia’s accession to the Customs Union, Armenia’s Minister of Finance David Sargsyan told reporters on Wednesday.

“I cannot say anything of the Russian ruble now because none of the Customs Union member-states has yet made a statement. All the developments in Russia’s economy are of importance for us,” he said.

Minister Sargsyan also said that the customs duties will be conformed to the rates in effect in the Customs Union after Armenia joins the structure.

One killed, others injured in car accident in Armenia

A car accident occurred on the Tashir-Metsavan highway at 07:15pm, on Thursday.

A rescue team arrived at the scene to find out that an Opel and a BMW had collided on the 7th kilometer of the highway.

Before the rescue team arrived, paramedics had taken the two drivers, as well as the passengers, out of the cars and took them to the Tashir medical center, where the Opel car driver (born in 1986) died.

Armenia’s ruling party willing to support EPP in European Parliament elections – Armen Ashotyan

The meeting of the European People’s Party (EPP) Political Assembly in Brussels, January 27-28, had a rather heavy agenda. 

One of the two key issues on the agenda dealt with the elections to the European Parliament scheduled for May 25, Vice-Chairman of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) Armen Ashotyan, who is a member of the Armenian delegation, told Tert.am.

“The elections will determine the European Union’s economic, political and social development. The EPP with its member-parties will participate in the elections. As the largest group in the European Parliament, our partners aim at maintaining this status by getting a plurality in the European Parliament. In this context, the EPP Political Assembly discussed the issue of holding an EPP congress in Dublin, Ireland, on March 6 and 7. During the congress, the EPP is expected to nominate its candidate, who, if wins, may make a bid for heading the European Commission,” Ashotyan said.

During the 2012 parliamentary elections and 2013 presidential election in Armenia, the EPP pledged its support to Armenia’s ruling party, RPA.

As to what the RPA is going to do to support the EPP, Ashotyan said: “We are interested in the EPP getting as many votes as possible – in the European Parliament and in the European Commission. The RPA, within the limits of the possible, as well as within the Armenian and European laws, will support the EPP member-parties that will deal with the communities with Armenians constituting a significant part of the population.”

The EPP Political Assembly approved the EPP platform for 2014-2019, which will serve as a basis for the EPP election program.

“I had a number of meetings with EPP leaders and with some European Parliament members. As regards the agenda of development of the Armenia-EU relations, it must be drawn up at a rapid pace. Although elections are coming in Europe, we should not remain observers for the coming few months.”

Ashotyan noted that Armenia should cooperate with its partners at all levels in drawing up a new agenda of the Armenia-EU relations during the coming months.

“According to our European partners, this agenda must be anchored to Armenia’s needs and expectations about the European Union. The European Union and Armenia are mutually interested in developing cooperation. All the means must be used for developing relations with the European Union, including the accession of Armenian political parties to large European institutions,” he said.

As to whether European Parliament members have since September 3 shown better understanding of Armenia’s choice, against the background of Ukraine developments, Ashotyan pointed out a minor difference between the situations and assessments immediately after September 3 and now. At present, both the sides are showing a much more balance approach to real politics.

According to the RPA vice-chairman, due to the European Union Armenia has implemented reforms in practically all the areas in recent years.

“Never before has Europe been so tangibly represented in Armenia,” Ashotyan concluded.

Armenian president to visit Czech Republic

 

Serzh Sargsyan is starting on Wednesday a state visit to the Czech Republic, the presidential press office reported.
In capital Prague, the Armenian leader will meet with his Czech counterpart, Miloš Zeman. The talks between the two presidents will be followed by extended meeting that will end in the signing of cooperation agreements.
The Armenian and Czech leaders are later scheduled to give a joint news conference and take part in a bilateral business forum.
The official visit agenda also includes meetings with President of the Czech Senate Milan Štěch, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Chair of the parliament’s Chamber of Deputies Jan Hamáček, Mayor of Prague Tomáš Hudeček and Archbishop of Prague, Cardinal Dominik Duka.