Monday 1 March 2004
February 27, 2004
South Caucasus: Is Any Real Progress Being Made In Tackling Corruption?
In its latest global corruption survey, the Transparency International nongovernmental watchdog ranked the three South Caucasus states among countries perceived as being the most corrupt. Armenia ranked 78th among 133 countries, while Georgia and Azerbaijan -- countries where the group said corruption is "pervasive" -- trailed behind, tied at 124th place. All three regional governments have taken steps that suggest a willingness to address the issue. But how far are they ready to go?
February 26, 2004
EU: Parliament Adopts Report On South Caucasus
The European Parliament today adopted a report on the South Caucasus that urges the EU to strengthen its ties with the region. The report also urges the neighbors of the three South Caucasus countries -- specifically Russia and Turkey -- to play a more constructive role in facilitating reconciliation of the region's so-called "frozen conflicts." However, the report acknowledges formidable obstacles exist to a greater rapprochement with the EU. R
February 12, 2004
Caucasus: European Parliament Rapporteur Sees Hope For Nagorno-Karabakh
Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, more than a decade after gaining their independence, remain politically volatile and still struggle with realizing their economic promise. Separatist tendencies and frozen conflicts still plague the region. Georgia and Azerbaijan have recently undergone leadership changes, so what hope is there for a fresh start? The European Parliament's rapporteur for the South Caucasus, Per Gahrton of Sweden, has filed a report on the situation in the region, which the full Parliament is expected to adopt soon (25-26 February or 8-11 March). RFE/RL spoke with Gahrton about his views on the future of the South Caucasus.
February 04, 2004
Russia Denies Plans to Revise Debt Deal With Armenia
January 28, 2004
Armenia: PACE Hears Of Progress Domestically, But Also Of Voting Flaws, Lack Of Progress On Nagorno-Karabakh
The Council of Europe has presented a report on the progress made by Armenia in fulfilling its obligations to maintain democratic and human rights standards in the three years since it became a member. The report criticizes the Armenian government for widespread flaws in elections last year and for its failure to make progress in peace talks with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh.
January 27, 2004
EU: 'Wider Europe' Promise Opens New, But Distant, Prospects For South Caucasus
European Union foreign ministers yesterday decided the bloc should start looking into ways of incorporating Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan into the "Wider Europe" framework of cooperation with new neighbors. This is a landmark event for the three countries, which had been excluded from the program a mere six months earlier.
January 15, 2004
Caucasus: Robust Nature Conservancy Blossoms In South
The Southern Caucasus republics -- Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan -- are still struggling to adapt to the new era that emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Union more than a decade ago. Like other countries in transition, the priority in the Caucasus has been on how to achieve working political and economic systems amid poor infrastructure and fragile social and ethnic situations. Despite the region's practical difficulties, however, a robust nature conservation movement has emerged.
January 14, 2004
Western Press Review: Iran's 'Political Soul,' Voting In Iraq, And Georgia -- A Pawn In The 'Great Game'
Prague, 14 January 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Among the topics discussed in some of the world's news dailies today are Iran's ongoing parliamentary standoff, a battle for what one paper calls Iran's "political soul"; a growing debate in Iraq over whether to hold direct or to implement a caucus system; the Armenian diaspora's complex relationship with the authorities in Yerevan; and the latest rivalry between Russia and the United States, as both vie for influence with Georgia's new leadership.