Thursday 1 April 2004
April 01, 2004
Armenia: Government Threatens Opposition With Criminal Prosecution
Stepan Demirchan A long-standing dispute between Armenia's ruling coalition and rivals of President Robert Kocharian reached new heights yesterday as judicial authorities said they had launched criminal proceedings against the country's main antigovernment alliance. Earlier this week, opposition leaders said they would carry on with plans to stage nationwide street protests in hopes of forcing Kocharian's departure.
March 12, 2004
Georgian, Armenian Presidents Meet In Armenia
Yerevan, 12 March 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili arrived in Yerevan today on his first official visit to Armenia, meeting with Armenian President Robert Kocharian and calling for closer relations between regional neighbors.
March 09, 2004
South Caucasus: Region Growing As Hub For International Drug Trafficking
Central Asia is known as the preferred route for Afghan-produced narcotics destined for West European markets. But drug-enforcement officials say the South Caucasus -- strategically located between Asia and Europe -- is also a major transit point for narcotics. Corruption, instability, and separatist conflicts are all cited as being behind the region's rise in smuggling.
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.