Bilateral Cooperation & International Relations

 

World Bank working out new program for cooperation with Armenia’s government for next four years
/Nov 1/ARKA/

YEREVAN – Sylvie Bossoutrot, Country Manager of the World Bank for Armenia, speaking Wednesday at a press conference in Yerevan, said the World Bank is now working out a new program for cooperation with Armenia’s government for the next four years.  
In her words, the World Bank hopes that in the process of the elaboration of the document the country will take a significant twist toward an export-oriented policy. 
She said a special emphasis will be put in the program on promoting competition and export, and the World Bank will choose areas with high prospects for development – agriculture, information technology and tourism.  
Bossoutrot said that the World Bank is already implementing 15 programs, one of which in the tourism sector. In her opinion, this is a quote promising project. 
She also said that steps are already being taken to increase investments in Armenia. She said that the predictability of the policy is being enhanced and the legal protection is being strengthened. 
In this context, the WB representative expressed hope that the law on direct foreign investments will be adopted very soon in Armenia. 
She pointed out the necessity of scanning all the areas for a more detailed presentation, to give information to investors for deciding where they want to invest their money. 
Armenia, which became the World Bank’s member in 1992 and the World Bank's International Development Association (IDA) in 1993, has received $2.3 billion from them since then.
 

Pashinyan says Armenia needs to have concrete program with EAEU partners
/Nov 1/ArmenPress.am/

YEREVAN – In order to avoid possible risks in the market of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), Armenia must have a concrete program with the Union’s member states, acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said during the debate of the election of PM in the Parliament, reports Armenpress.

MP Tigran Urikhanyan said a major blow from economic terms is expected. He stated that a drastic strengthening of dollar against the raw material currency occurred in recent days, in particular, decline of oil prices occurred. There has been a decline in price of one type of oil. “This means that there will be a great impact on the EAEU economy, the Russian ruble. And Armenia depends on this zone in different meanings… So, what we are going to do?” the lawmaker asked.

Pashinyan said in response: “The EAEU is quite a big space in order to resist the external shocks. In the recent period certain shocks were recorded in the Union, but in the past month Armenia recorded an increase of transfers by nearly 12 million USD. This means that the EAEU space, nevertheless, can find tools to resist the external shocks. This issue is in the constant discussion agenda of the heads of government and the supreme council of heads of state. Here Armenia needs to have a concrete program not alone, but with the EAEU partners in order to avoid possible risks”, the acting PM said.

He added that Armenia should always move on the path of detecting and solving its own problems.
 

Pashinian Says He Made 'Clear' to U.S. that Armenia Will Maintain Ties with Iran
/Nov 2/The Financial, Georgia/

The FINANCIAL — Acting Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian says he made clear to U.S. national-security adviser John Bolton last week that Armenia will pursue its national interests and maintain "special relations" with its neighbor Iran.

Addressing the Armenian parliament on November 1, Pashinian said he told Bolton when he visited Yerevan last week that Armenia is a landlocked nation that does not have diplomatic relations with either neighboring Turkey or Azerbaijan, so it must retain "special relations" with its other two neighbors — Iran and Georgia — which he said are Armenia's only "gateways" to the outside world.

Bolton visited the Caucasus nations of Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan last week in part to push for compliance with the sanctions that the United States is reimposing on Iran's oil and financial sectors on November 5 after withdrawing from Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers in April.

In an interview with RFE/RL’s Armenian Service on October 25, Bolton said he told Pashinian that the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump will enforce sanctions against Iran “very vigorously.” For that reason, he said, the Armenian-Iranian border is “going to be a significant issue.”

Pashinian told the parliament that his response to Bolton was: “We respect any country’s statement and respect the national interests of any country, but the Republic of Armenia has its own national and state interests, which do not always coincide with the interests and ideas of other countries, any other country.

Pashinian made his remarks in response to a lawmaker's question about what effect the U.S. sanctions on Iran would have on Armenia.

Days after his talks with Pashinian and other foreign leaders, Bolton conceded that the White House is unlikely to achieve its stated goal of reducing Iran's oil exports to "zero" under the sanctions.

A hard-liner who has pushed for the toughest possible sanctions on Iran, Bolton's remarks suggested for the first time that the White House may be preparing to grant waivers from the sanctions to some countries like India, Turkey, and South Korea that have requested them.

Still, Bolton insisted that the sanctions already are having a powerful effect on Iran's economy, in particular helping to cause a collapse in Iran's currency, the rial, this year.


Armenia-EU relations have entered an intense phase – acting deputy FM
/Nov 6/Panorama/

Relations between Armenia and the European Union have embarked on a rather intense phase, Acting Deputy Foreign Minister Karen Nazarian said at the joint session of the parliament’s standing committees on European integration and budgetary affairs on Tuesday.

He stressed that the Armenian parliament’s ratification of the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in April marked a breakthrough in the bilateral relations.

“Almost 80 percent of the document has entered into provisional application on 1 June. But for the document to fully take effect it is necessary to complete the relevant interstate procedures,” he said.

The official said that eight EU member states, including Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria, Poland, Luxemburg, Denmark and Romania have ratified the deal, while a number of other countries are expected to complete the ratification in the near future.

Nazarian expressed conviction that the agreement will enable Armenia to launch a more effective cooperation with the EU member states, including in the trade and economic sphere.

“GSP+ envisages zero tariffs for 6500 products. First of all, we need to inform the private sector about this opportunity and encourage access to this system, which can further boost Armenia-EU relations,” he added.

The EU and Armenia signed the CEPA on the sidelines of the EU Eastern Partnership Summit in November 2017.

Iran-Armenia Relations

ԱԳՆ-ն ուսումնասիրում է Իրանի դեմ ամերիկյան պատժամիջոցների ազդեցությունը․ Նաղդալյան
/Nov 6/Verelq.am/

Ուշադրությամբ հետևում ենք այս ուղղությամբ տեղի ունեցող զարգացումներին և մշտական կապի մեջ ենք այս գործընթացում ներգրավված բոլոր կողմերի հետ: Այս մասին ասված է Իրանի դեմ սահմանված պատժամիջոցների առնչությամբ ԱԳՆ մամուլի խոսնակ Աննա Նաղդալյանի մեկնաբանության մեջ։

"Մենք հստակորեն ներկայացնում ենք մեզ հուզող հարցերը և մտահոգությունները: ՀՀ-ի համար ԻԻՀ-ի հետ ավանդական բարիդրացիական հարաբերությունները կենսական նշանակություն ունեն: Այժմ իրականացվում է Հայաստանի վրա Իրանի դեմ կիրառված պատժամիջոցների հետևանքների համապարփակ փորձագիտական ուսումնասիրություն", – ասված է նրա հայտարարության մեջ:

Նոյեմբերի 5-ից ուժի մեջ են մտել Իրանի դեմ ԱՄՆ կոշտ պատժամիջոցները, որոնք չեղարկվել էին 2015 թ-ին Իրանի ու Մեծ վեցնյակի միջև միջուկային գործարքի կնքումից հետո։ Դրանք վերաբերվելու են Էներգետիկայի և բանկային ոլորտներին, որոնք սերտորեն առնչվում են հայ-իրանական համագործակցության օրակարգին։

Արգելափակվելու են Իրանի կառավարության, իրանական էներգետիկ ընկերությունների՝ Iranian Oil Company-ի և Naftiran Intertrade Company-ի, ինչպես նաև՝ Իրանի Կենտրոնական բանկի հետ կապված բոլոր անձանց և ընկերությունների ակտիվները: Իրանի դեմ պատժամիջոցները կներառեն ավելի քան 600 ընկերությունների և ֆիզիկական անձանց, կտրուկ կսահմանափակվի նավթի արտահանումը:

Իրանի հետ միջուկային գործարքի մյուս մասնակիցները՝ Ռուսաստանը, Ֆրանսիան, Մեծ Բրիտանիան, Գերմանիան և Չինաստանը, դեմ են արտահայտվում ԱՄՆ այս քաղաքականությանը: ԱՄՆ նախագահն, իր հերթին, հայտարարել է, որ պատժամիջոցները մտցվելու են այնպես, որ Իրանին սահմանակից բարեկամ երկրները չտուժեն:

Դեռևս պարզ չէ, թե ինչպես կանդրադառնան Իրանի դեմ նոր պատժամիջոցները հայ-իրանական հարաբերությունների, հատկապես՝ առևտրա-տնտեսական կապերի վրա։ Հայտնի է, որ 2017 թ-ին Հայաստան-Իրան առևտրի ծավալը կազմել է 263,5 մլն դոլար։

Իրանի դեմ նոր պատժամիջոցները կարող են նաև բացասաբար ազդել Իրան-ԵԱՏՄ վերջերս կնքված Ազատ առևտրի գոտու համաձայնագրի վրա։ Այս հարցերը մասնավորապես ՀՀ իշխանությունների հետ քննարկվել են վերջերս Երևան այցելած ԱՄՆ նախագահի՝ ազգային անվտանգության հարցերով խորհրդական Ջոն Բոլթոնի հանդիպումների ժամանակ։
 

Armenia doesn’t cooperate with Iran at the expense of its partnership with a third country – deputy FM
/Nov 6/ArmenPress.am/
YEREVAN – The issue of international sanctions against Iran is quite a sensitive topic for Armenia. The relations with Iran never develop at the expanse of third countries, deputy foreign minister of Armenia Karen Nazaryan told reporters in the Parliament, reports Armenpress.

“The issue of international sanctions against Iran is quite a sensitive topic for Armenia. We have always provided full support to the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action which was signed between Iran and the respective partner states. Continuation of traditional, mutually beneficial and friendly relations with our neighbor country is very important for us. In the relations with its partner states Armenia has always been guided with the principle to develop these ties based on the bilateral political-economic interests. The relations never develop at the expense of third countries. We are not conducting our cooperation with Iran at the expense of our partnership with the US”, the deputy minister said.

He stated that Armenia, the foreign ministry continues its key mission, holds transparent discussions with partner states, by attaching importance to the Armenia-Iran mutual relations on the one hand, and the relations with the remaining partners on the other hand.

The deputy FM said Armenia follows the ongoing developments in Iran as it’s a vital issue for the country. He informed that they are in constant contact with Iranian partners, as well as with other partner-states engaged in the process. Karen Nazaryan assured that Armenia is concerned over the current situation, tries with an open dialogue to talk about the sensitive issues which can emerge as a result of the current situation.

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