No conflict in post-Soviet area has international legal basis identical to that of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict – opinions

No conflict in the post-Soviet area has an international legal basis identical to that of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which seceded from Azerbaijan in conformity with the laws in effect at that time, political scientist Sergey Minasyan told as he commented on Co-Chairman of the Russian-Armenian Commission on Inter-parliamentary Cooperation Nikolay Ryzhkov’s statement that the Crimea and Nagorno-Karabakh should not be compared.

Some political scientists find similarities between the Crimea and Nagorno-Karabakh, while others are of the opposite opinion. The reason is the individuals’ political views and has nothing in common with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

“If we compare the referendums in the Crimea and in Nagorno-Karabakh, they are similar. However, in the case of Nagorno-Karabakh Azerbaijan has not had any control over the Nagorno-Karabakh territory since the end of the Soviet era, whereas the Crimea was part of Ukraine. We have both similarities and differences,” Mr Minasyan said.

As regards Russia’s bias, he said that bias is a synonym for policy, and Russia will certainly see similarities if they meet its interests.

“Any foreign policy is biased,” he said.

Armenia would not be able to join the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) in a different way because, since March 1992, when Armenia became a UN member, as well as of different international organizations and politico-military alliances, it did so within its boundaries. Nagorno-Karabakh is not part of Armenia.

“Armenia’s accession to the EEU is not an ultimate aim. Rather, it is a means of achieving a larger-scale process,” the expert said.

As regards the possibility of a customs station between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, Mr Minasyan said that it will not operate even if it is formally announced.

“It was the most secure way to membership,” he said.

Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) parliamentary group member Manvel Badeyan noted that Nikita Khrushchev arbitrarily gave historically Russian lands to Ukraine. In a similar manner, the Political Bureau arbitrarily decided to give Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan.

“No difference in this respect. So neither that territory was legally part of Ukraine nor was Nagorno-Karabakh legally made part of Azerbaijan,” he said.

As regards the possibility of Nagorno-Karabakh becoming part of Armenia, Mr Badeyan said:

“We not only want Nagorno-Karabakh be jointly with Armenia – which is actually the case – but if the historic day comes when the Nagorno-Karabakh problem is resolved, it will certainly be with Armenia.”

Political scientist Alexander Margarov believes the Crimea and Nagorno-Karabakh have essentially different statuses. Russian officials state the Crimea has been considered part of Russia since the referendum, which has not yet been internationally recognized. On the other hand, Nagorno-Karabakh is not part of Armenia.

“Nagorno-Karabakh is an unrecognized state, which is not part of Armenia. In this respect, Armenia and Russia are definitely different. Armenia has never stated its position on the Crimea as part or not part of Russia. We just recognize each other within the internationally recognized boundaries,” he said.

The expert believes there are reasons for Mr Ryzhkov’s statement, which he does not want to comment on now in the context of the Crimea’s status.

“Nagorno-Karabakh is an independent and unrecognized state, which has a common political, economic, humanitarian and cultural environment with Armenia. Features common to Nagorno-Karabakh and the Crimea could be found, but in this particular case the common feature is that the local population in both the regions voiced its opinion by exercising the right to a referendum. But in the Crimea’s case, the population voted in favor of joining Russia, whereas the Nagorno-Karabakh population voted in favor of independent statehood. This is essential difference,” Mr Margarov said.

With respect to Armenia’s accession to the EEU, he said that the country will join the EEU as the Republic of Armenia.


Weather in Armenia: Meteorologists predict occasional rainfalls

Occasional rainfalls and storms are expected in most regions of Armenia until Tuesday.
According to the Emergency Ministry’s Meteorological Service, the precipitations will be predominant especially in eastern regions.
The north-eastern wind speed will be 5-10 mps.
The air temperature will rise by 30C-40C in the east. In all other regions, the temperature increase will be 80C -100C.

Karabakh people admit they need new political forces – Armenian politician

Andrias Ghukasyan, a former presidential candidate who was recently in Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) to participate in the newly-established Peace and Development party’s founding session, says he was under the impression that people in the country really feel the need of new political forces.

“I can say for sure both the initiative and the political party have absolutely nothing to do with either [President] Bako Sahakyan or [ex-President] Andrias Ghukasyan. They are not political or economic sponsors,” he said in an interview with, denying earlier press reports describing the move as Sahakyan’s attempt to challenge his predessecor’s possible return.

Ghukasyan said he has the general perception that people in Karabakh are positively disposed to the initiative. “To the best of my knowledge, the society has positively reacted to the new party’s emergence. People in Artsakh repeatedly voice the need of a new political party, so the initiative meets the society’s expectations,” the politician noted.

Armenian ombudsman asks education minister to consider special curricula for future sportsmen with disabilities

Armenia’s human rights defender has asked the Ministry of Education and Science to revise the admission procedures and curricula of the State Institute of Physical Culture to adapt them to the needs of students (entrants) with disabilities.
In a letter sent to Minister Armen Ashotyan, Ombudsman Karen Andreasyan notes that ithe existing requirements for medical conclusions and admission exams often restrict those individuals chances to apply to the Insititute.
Considering the compatibility of the right to higher education with an individuals disability status, the minister has called for elaborating special curricula and evaluation methods to enable entrants and students with disabilities to be admitted and pursue their studies at the institute.

Lower economic growth rates in Armenia – IMF official

The economic growth rates are slowing down in Armenia, Teresa Daban Sanchez, IMF Resident Representative in Armenia, told reporters on Friday.

The IMF forecasts 2.6% economic growth. Two factors account for the slowdown. The first is an external factor, particularly Russia. Besides, the global economic situation is unfavorable.

Russia’s economy is not showing any growth. On the other hand, the EU economic growth rates are not increasing.

Russia and the EU are Armenia’s major trade partners. A decrease in transfers from Russia to Armenia have been recorded this year, rouble depreciation may be the reason.

This is a grave problem caused by external and internal factors, Ms Teresa Daban Sanchez said.

Elaborating on subjective reasons, the IMF official said that they concern budget performance. That is, all the budgeted important projects were not implemented on schedule. As a result, the shortfall equal to 2.5% of the GDP was recorded last year.

On the other hand, Ms Teresa Daban Sanchez pointed out a low price rise, exchange rate is stable and Armenia’s economy is extremely dollarized. Besides, the macroeconomic situation is stable, which enables Armenia’s government to implement a growth-promoting policy.

The IMF proposes that Armenia’s state budget have two major components. First, a larger deficit should be budgeted, which will enable larger investments in economy. So the IMF forecasts 2.3 budget deficit for next year. The second important component is increasing capital expenditure.

Armenia should adopt full property liability system – minister

Armenia’s legislation should switch over to a new system to allow for notarial accountability mechanisms in property transactions, according to the minister of justice.
Speaking to reporters after a meeting held to celebrate the opening of the new Notarial Chamber, Hovhannes Manukyan said the reform would necessitate changes in several laws to resolve the problems in the sector.
“The authorities and role of a public notary are really of significance, as this is a public function which requires that a notary be vested with corresponding responsibilities and obligations not to allow for wrong transactions and show the citizens the right way to reduce risks to a minimum,” he said.
Asked about steps the Ministry of Justice takes to reduce the corruption risks, Manukyan said he doesn’t think that corruption is as serious a problem now as it was about a decade ago. “The situation has considerably changed in the notarial system, so you will no more eye-witness the things which we observed five to ten years ago. Also, a notarial chamber has opened to exercise oversight over the lawfulness of notaries’ activities and their behavioral ethics, so I think we have completely changed the situation,” Manukyan added.
The minister said he doesn’t think that the existing problems are not possible to solve within the law. “It is necessary to elaborate mechanisms to increase notaries’ responsibility, as well as [enhance] the services for the population to make them quick and effective,” he added.


Deputy FM: EU remains a key partner for Armenia

YEREVAN. – The European Union remains an important partner for Armenia, Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan said during the debates on 2015 draft budget.

Armenia continues active participation in the projects within Eastern Partnership program, and relations are developing in different directions.

“The sides have agreed to form legal basis for new relations. Working consultations to discuss economic component of Armenia-EU relations will be held in the near future to be followed by political consultations to form new circle of cooperation,” Kocharyan said.

He noted Armenia’s interest in further deepening of relations with EU, adding that Armenia does everything to exclude differences with EU amid accession to the Eurasian Economic Union.

“We must determine the areas where we can act freely in terms of trade,” the official said.