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Viktor Krivopuskov: The matter of choice is always tempting
 Saturday, August 31 2013 13:48

Mr.Krivopuskov, you are a diplomat, public figure, scientist, political expert and historian spending much time on studying and developing the Armenian-Russian relations. You are the author of well-known books, such as “Rebellious Karabakh” and “Armenia, Armenia...: 200 questions-200 answers about the country and the people since biblical times to modern days”. Today Armenia faces an “interim choice” – to initial and sign the Association Agreement with the EU or to start a re-integration process within the post-Soviet space around the idea of the Eurasian Union. Actually, history has repeatedly thrown Armenia into a dilemma. Today, also, the formula “either…or” is perceived in Armenia more seriously than the formula “both…and”.    

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Andrey Epifantsev: Moscow will not become a style setter fin the relations with Europeanized Armenia
 Saturday, August 31 2013 13:46

One of the pro-Kremlin Russian political exports has recently said that Armenia has stopped being Russia’s  reliable ally. Do you share such a point of view? What grounds and possible consequences does it have?

To be honest, I should say that the point was not about that. The point is that  Armenia's European integration process is certainly leading to a certain conflict of interests with Russia. Russia and the EU are competing policy-makers and have different interests. It is impossible to be involved in both of them simultaneously the way it was impossible to simultaneously be a member of NATO and Department of Internal Affairs during the Soviet time. Armenia's initialing the Association Agreement with the EU means that Yerevan will delegate the major part of its powers to the West, switch to Western standards, get flooded with duty-free Western products, etc. If Russia maintains the current level of relations with Armenia, as well as the current level of its participation in Armenia's affairs and its current support to Armenia, it will find itself in a foolish situation running counter to its interests. In this case, for an unknown reason, Russia will have to be under serious obligations and help its competitor: defend it, ensure its political interests in the disputed territory, provide it with cheap energy resources, free arms, finance its economy, host its labor migrants, etc. The world knows no examples of such absurd relations and I am sure that Moscow will not become a "trendsetter" here. No one denies Armenia's right to participate in any integration processes. But no one deprives Russia of the right to react to the changes in the situation. Naturally, under the new conditions, Armenia will be unable to remain the strategic ally of Russia and Moscow will have to considerably decline our countries' relations to the level of ordinary good-neighborly relations. In practice, this may result in denunciation of the treaty on military cooperation, abandonment of obligations to defend Armenia, withdrawal of the Russian military base, transmission from "friendly" to market terms of trade, fixing of world prices of energy resources, introduction of a visa regime and return of the Armenian labor migrants to Armenia.  I think that to maintain its political influence on the South Caucasus, Russia might consider making its relations with Azerbaijan closer and changing its stance on Nagorno-Karabakh.  "However, it is for Armenia to choose the integration process.

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Newspaper: Armenian authorities are ready to make concessions in matter of Vano Siradeghyan's return to Armenia
 Saturday, August 31 2013 13:37

The rumors about ex-Interior Minister of Armenia Vano Siradeghyan's return have recently become more active in Armenia, Hraparak newspaper says.       

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US diplomats: Polarized politics in Armenia, and the likely retention in Azerbaijan of an autocrat whose legitimacy is declining, will impede compromises to reach a peace settlement of the Karabakh conflict
 Saturday, August 31 2013 13:36

 Russia is pressuring its neighbors to join the Eurasian Economic Community. the article by the American diplomats "Choices for the South Caucasus", published in New York Times, says. 

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Speaker of Armenian parliament: There was no discussion about transition from the presidential to the parliamentary system of government
 Saturday, August 31 2013 13:35

Over yesterday's briefing with journalists held in the Administration of the Armavir region of Armenia, Speaker of the Armenian National Assembly, Hovik Abrahamyan, touched on the problem of the constitutional reforms. 

"There was no discussion about transition from the presidential to the parliamentary system of government. David Harutyunyan said about that for quite another purpose, I talked to him. Simply, the press interpreted his words in such a way. Anyway, nothing may be ruled out. But the issue of transition from the presidential to the parliamentary system of government was not discussed", - Abrahamyan said. "As for the constitutional reforms, if you remember, we offered Mr Raffi Hovannisian to head the commission for constitutional reforms", he added.
Asked by one of journalists which system of government is more effective in Armenia - presidential or parliamentary, Abrahamyan replied: "It should be discussed, but I think that the present system has been acting quite normal". 
Asked which option of integration is stemming from the interests of Armenia - the European or Eurasian one, the speaker replied: "First of all the interests of our country and people are very much important to us. This will become the initial stage", Radio Liberty reported.

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Raffi Hovannisian refuses president's position
 Saturday, August 31 2013 13:33

 "I don't need the president's position, I only need priority of the law in Armenia, the legal community and the president, whoever he is, elected by the people", - the leader of the opposition "Heritage" party, Raffi Hovannisian, said during the meeting with Vanadzor residents, Radio Liberty reported. 

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Young people from conflict zones to meet in Batumi
 Saturday, August 31 2013 13:32

 Turan -Arminfo. European Movement Azerbaijan (EM Azerbaijan) announces call for participants to the training session "Seeds of Confidence" to be conducted on September 13-14, 2013, in Batumi, Georgia. 

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Karabakh war veterans announce about setting up of militia
 Saturday, August 31 2013 13:31

 Karabakh war veterans, which have been holding rallies for more than 30 days at the Liberty Square every Thursday, announce about setting up of militia, which will unite Yerevan residents and the residents of the regions around itself  and in case of necessity will prevent failure of Armenia through the regime change, Karabakh war veteran, Khachik Avetisyan, told Radio Liberty.  

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Vice-speaker of Armenian parliament highly appreciates the visit by Russian public figures to Karabakh
 Saturday, August 31 2013 13:29

 Vice speaker of the Armenian parliament Edward Sharmazanov yesterday received a group of Russian journalists and public figures who had visited Artsakh: Anna Chapman, Yekaterina Panina, Sergei Karnaukhov, Irina Polmacheva, Pavel Sigal, and Chairman of Russian-Armenian Cooperation NGO Yuri Navoyan. 

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NKR Foreign Ministry: Azerbaijan has stared using a new propaganda trick
 Saturday, August 31 2013 13:27

Azerbaijan, whose attempts to abort the negotiation process for the peaceful settlement of the conflict between Azerbaijan and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) are becoming more evident, has resorted to new propaganda tricks, NKR Foreign Ministry said in a statement. 
The July 19, 2013 letter of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan to the UN Secretary General (circulated in the UN as a document A/67/952-S/2013/478 on August 13, 2013) is a vivid manifestation of such a policy of Azerbaijan.  

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Civic movement "Let's save the monument from the oligarch" demands that Police should ensure activists' security in case of possible provocations
 Saturday, August 31 2013 13:14

The civic movement "Let's save the monument from the oligarch" demands that the Police of Armenia should ensure the security of the activists who are going to stop the illegal construction in the area of the Indoor Market in Yerevan on August 31. 

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Police detain several participants in protest action near Indoor Market in Yerevan
 Saturday, August 31 2013 13:10

The police have detained several participants in the protest action near the Indoor Market in Yerevan. ArmInfo's correspondent reports from the scene that the action is still going on, the police have managed to separate the activists and the crowd of the so-called "local residents". To note, those who introduce themselves as "local residents" support the construction of the supermarket in the area of the Indoor Market.

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Situation in front of Indoor Market of Yerevan is tense
 Saturday, August 31 2013 13:10

A few dozen protesters have started their action in front of the Indoor Market of Yerevan. The protesters are discontent with the fact that despite the Armenian Culture Ministry's numerous statements about the illegality of the construction, the Indoor Market will shortly open as an ordinary supermarket.     

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Armenia's deputy defence minister: Armenia transferred an Azerbaijani war prisoner to the third country
 Friday, August 30 2013 16:42

On the 30th August of 2013 the 1st Deputy Minister of Defence of the Republic of Armenia Davit Tonoyan met with the Head of ICRC Delegation to Armenia Lorenzo CaraffI. Mr. Tonoyan informed his interlocutor that faithful to international commitments of RA and exhibiting devotion to Human Rights and human values, as well as taking into account unambiguous position of a former Azerbaijani citizen was transferred by a relevant international organization to the 3rd country which has granted him with refugee status.  Armenian 1st Deputy Minister of Defence asked ICRC to inform the parents and kinsmen of current refugee that he has been successfully transferred to safe, secure, prosperous and democratic state, where nothing threatens his life.       

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Credit portfolio of Areximbank-Gasprombank Group up 5,5% for the first half of 2013
 Friday, August 30 2013 16:38

Credit portfolio of Areximbank-Gasprombank Group up 5,5% (or more than 5 billion drams) for the first half of 2013 - up to 97.4 billion drams. As press-service of the bank reported, the share of the credit portfolio was 76,6% in the structure of assets. 

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Action for the support of ARMENIA Today Coordinator Argishti Kiviryan held near building of Armenian Prosecutor General's Office
 Friday, August 30 2013 13:32

 An action for the support of ARMENIA Today Coordinator Argishti Kiviryan was held near the building of Armenian Prosecutor General's Office on Friday. Argishti Kiviryan was summoned to the Special Investigation Service for questioning on Aug 30. The demonstrators were holing posters saying "Argishti, we support you!", "Armenia needs no prisoners", "Keep your hands off Argishti Kiviryan", as well as the photos of Kiviryan severely beaten by the police.       

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Activists prepare to storm Indoor Market
 Friday, August 30 2013 13:30

The civil movement "Let's save the monument from the oligarch" is going to intensify the fight for maintenance of the Indoor Market. 

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Argishti Kiviryan refuses to give testimony and challenges the investigator
 Friday, August 30 2013 13:29

During the Aug 30 questioning at the Special Investigation Service of Armenia, ARMENIA Today Coordinator, civil activist Argishti Kiviryan refused to give any testimony and challenged the investigator. He pointed out that the Investigation Service did not let his lawyers be present at the question.  

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New academic year to start with parade against hiking of tuition fee
 Friday, August 30 2013 13:28

 The new academic year will start with a parade against hiking of tuition fee, initiated by the Student's Union of ARFD "Nikol Agbalyan". 
As chairman of the union Gerasim Vardanyan told journalists today, the parade will start from Yerevan State University of Architecture and Construction. Agrarian University, Medical University, Economic University and Yerevan State University will join the parade the final point of which is the government building, where students are going to pass a letter with a demand to annul the decision to hike tuition fee. 
To recall, starting the new academic year the tuition fee in Armenia's universities grew by 80-200 thsd drams. 

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Civil movements in Armenia gradually oust parties from real politics
 Friday, August 30 2013 13:27

The civil movements in Armenia are gradually ousting the political parties from the real political processes, Tigran Khzmalyan, film director, member of the Preparliament initiative, said at today's press conference.  

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