Armenia facing serious challenges after Astana meeting – MP

 

Head of the Heritage parliamentary group Ruben Hakobyan told reporters on Friday that Armenia is facing serious challenges following the Thursday meeting in Astana.

Specifically, Armenia was told it could join the Eurasian Economic Union without Nagorno-Karabakh.

“Indeed, [Armenia] has found itself in a serious situation and must make right steps, up to setting terms. But time will show the results,” he said.

Kazakhstan wants to be convinced that Nagorno-Karabakh will not form part of any structure, which has been documented. But Armenia says, “where Armenia is, there Nagorno-Karabakh is.”

“However, at the international level, it is unclear that a state could form part of a structure following this logic,” the MP said.

Armenia must state its position if Nagorno-Karabakh is ignored.

As regards the possibility of this preventing Armenia from joining the Eurasian Economic Union and Customs Union, Hakobyan declined forecasts.

“Each state is guided by its national interests. If Armenia’s interests are not met, it should revise its approaches. We should admit we have committed major diplomatic blunders and should not accuse anyone.”

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Logo of centennial of Armenian Genocide entirely different from others – Ruben Jaghinyan

 

Ruben Jaghinyan, Chairman of the Council of Public TV and Radio Company of Armenia, told journalists on Friday that he has been involved in creating logos of the centennial of the Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey.

“We have seen the Russian company’s logo in different places. And I took part in selecting a logo. I think that the logo dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide is entirely different from what exist,” he said.

The symbol selected by the Sharm company is “a different one, with its symbolism.”

As regards the expenses, Jaghinyan said:

“I am not informed of the details, but I do not think it is a large sum. I like the logo and the underlying idea. I think it is an appropriate logo.”

EaU integration impossible without Karabakh – Armenian MP

 

An Armenian opposition MP said Friday that he doesn’t expect any government to agree to the country’s integration into the Eurasian Economic Union (EaU) without Nagorno-Karabakh.
Armen Rustamyan of the ARF-D (Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaksutyun) parliamentary faction made the remark as he addressed Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s letter (which Kazakhstan’s president read out at the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council’s meeting on Thursday) that ruled out the possibility of Karabakh’s membership in the common economic area.
Rustamyan said he is under the impression that Norsultan Nazarbaev made his speech on behalf of someone else, without expressing his personal position. “When the membership issue is solved, there will be an occasion not to avoid or ignore the questions raised by Nazarbaev. If you have opened [the topic], be kind enough to delve deep into it; it is a good opportunity for us to be able to protect interests,” he told reporters.
The opposition MP said he doesn’t find Nazarbaev’s speech a surprise move, adding that the Kazakh leader has always backed the Turkish and Azerbaijani interests. “It was originally clear that Kazakhstan was carrying out their lobbying. The more Armenia’s full membership is discussed, the tenser the agenda, because Azerbaijan, which is withdrawing from the process, will do everything possible to prevent the Eurasian Union from strengthening its positions. Azerbaijan will do all its best to seek favorable formulations on the Karabakh [conflict] settlement through the membership,” he noted.
Asked whether he expects Armenia to abandon the Eurasian Union membership plans, Rustamyan said he thinks that a demand for the Karabakh recognition could be the only decisive factor in such efforts. “If it is stated that we are ready not to join the Eurasian Union at such a price – I mean not joining with Karabakh – I don’t think any authorities will agree to that,” he said.

Armenia’s premier takes part in meeting of CIS Heads of Government Council in Minsk

 

Prime Minister of Belarus Mikhail Myasnikovich chaired a regular meeting of the CIS Heads of Government Council in Minsk, on Friday.

|At a narrow-format meeting of the CIS Heads of Government, the Belarusian premier congratulated his Armenian counterpart Hovik Abrahamyan and wished him effective work.

An enlarged meeting that followed discussed about 20 issues related to the development of cooperation within the CIS. The participants in the meeting signed agreements on cooperation in scientific and technical information, transport safety, navigational support for the armed forces, as well as protocols on amendments to a number of agreements.

The CIS Heads of Government Council decided to hold its next meeting in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, on November 21, 2014.

Armenia’s premier sums up visit to Belarus

 

Following the meeting of the CIS Heads of Government Council in Minsk, Armenia’s Premier Hovik Abrahamyan summed up his visit at a meeting with reporters.

He stressed the importance of such meetings, which enable the heads of government to discuss numerous issues.

“The Belarusian premier and I discussed intensification of our cooperation in different fields, including tractor production in Armenia. I invited Mr Myasnikovich to Armenia. We arranged about his visit to our country this September-October,” Premier Abrahamyan said.

At their meeting, the Armenian and Russian premiers not only discussed Armenia’s relations with the Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Union, but also reached a number of agreements.

“Russia is fostering our accession to the Eurasian Economic Union and we have no fundamental disagreements. We arranged a $300m credit and active cooperation in armament,” the premier said.

The Armenian delegation is to return to Yerevan this evening.

Astana meeting proved need for equal relations between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh – Andrias Ghukasyan

 

In an interview with Tert.am, political scientist Andrias Ghukasyan commented on the Astana meeting and said that it could not be a surprise for the Armenian delegation.

According to him, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan found himself in a deadlock. The Astana meeting debunked the myth that Serzh Sargsyan was forced to decide in favor of Armenia’s accession to the European Economic Union.

Mr Ghukasyan, what is the reason for Kazakh President Nursultan Nazabrayev reading out Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s letter, saying that Armenia can join the Eurasian Economic Council without Nagorno-Karabakh, similarly to its membership in the CIS. He thus put Armenia’s president in an awkward situation and conveyed the Azerbaijani president’s concern.

The fact is that Armenia cannot have international commitments or acquire any right to any territory outside its borders. And the fact is that no state or international organization has recognized Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Armenia. Rather, as a result of this negotiation format the world views Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan. This fact was expected to come to light at one of the stages of the process of Armenia’s accession to the Eurasian Economic Union. This issue was discussed months ago, when Armenia applied for accession to the Customs Union. It was noted that Armenia could join the Customs Union within its boundaries. In this respect, President Nazarbayev confirmed the reality. I do not think it was a surprise for the Armenian delegation.

But does Russia form part of the Eurasian Economic Union within its internationally recognized boundaries?

Yes, Kazakhstan and Belarus recognized the Crimea annexation as Russia’s legal action.

That is, of importance is the recognition by the Eurasian Economic Union founding states? 

Yes, because neither Russia nor Kazakhstan or Belarus did not recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Armenia. Moreover, they consider Nagorno-Karabakh part of Azerbaijan. This problem was expected to arise at the discussion of Armenia’s accession to the Eurasian Economic Union. And Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian could not fail to know what President Serzh Sargsyan would have to face.

What diplomatic solutions do you expect?

Serzh Sargsyan cannot recognize Nagorno-Karabakh because, as a political figure, he gave his consent to all the principles that imply Nagorno-Karabakh must be part of Azerbaijan and only after that get a right to self-determination. I do not see any solution for Serzh Sargsyan. He is in a deadlock.

Can Serzh Sargsyan decline the proposal to join the Eurasian Economic Union?

Not that he can. Rather, the Astana meeting debunked the myth that anyone had pressed Serzh Sargsyan. It showed that Armenia is of no political or economic interest to the Eurasian Union and that Serzh Sargsyan is not a political figure worthy of respect.

That is, Serzh Sargsyan’s counterparts did him a favor by showing why Armenia cannot join the Eurasian Union?

I do not think they did him a favor. The Armenian delegation’s aim was to conceal the problem. That is, the problem of Armenia’s borders. And the attempt obviously failed, which was not a pleasant experience for the Armenian delegation.

David Babayan, Spokesman for the President of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR), expressed concerns over the fact Armenia can join the Eurasian Economic Union without Nagorno-Karabakh. On the other hand, Spokesman for Armenia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tigran Balayan has stated once more that no customs border can be established between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. Do not you see any contradiction?

If we take a realistic view of the matter, Armenia has a $4bn foreign debt now, with Nagorno-Karabakh’s debt being at least $1.5bn. Under the circumstances, when Nagorno-Karabakh’s debt to Armenia is so huge that it can hardly be paid off, the statement that a checkpoint does not matter for Nagorno-Karabakh is untrue. This is of paramount importance for us and a serious challenge for our people. Armenia is the only state giving loans to Nagorno-Karabakh at interest rates. All the other states granted money to Nagorno-Karabakh except for Armenia, which is giving loans at interest rates to prevent Nagorno-Karabakh’s independent economic and military development. And this reality is boomeranging now. We see that the Robert Kocharyan-Serzh Sargsyan model, which has been in effect for years, has caused great damage to our national interests. This challenge suggests the need for serious changes. All the relations between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh must be specified for the two states to cooperate as equal entities. This is not so now.

The recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh’s equal rights by Armenia is a task of paramount importance. Russia followed this course by recognizing South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The Azerbaijani president will welcome the decision because it will absolve him of the responsibility to grant Nagorno-Karabakh the right to self-determination. But none of Azerbaijan’s political forces is ready for that. One thing is to recognize a fact, but quite another thing is to afford such an opportunity.