Bilateral Cooperation & International Relations

 

Armenia-EU Relations

UK ratifies Armenia-EU Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement
YEREVAN, JNAUARY 21, ARMENPRESS. The United Kingdom has ratified the Armenia-EU Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) on January 18, UK Ambassador to Armenia Judith Farnworth said on Twitter.

/Jan 21/ArmenPress.am/

 “Delighted to confirm UK ratification of EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement”, the Ambassador said.

Armenia and the European Union signed the CEPA in Brussels on November 24, 2017. The Agreement has been ratified by 10 countries – Armenia, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, UK, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta and Poland.


EU and Armenia to launch visa liberalization talks after May 2019
/Jan 29/ARKA/

YEREVAN, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy Johannes Hahn said at a press conference in Yerevan today that there was  no specific date yet for the start of talks on visa liberalization between Armenia and the EU.
“We have to discuss this issue with the EU member states, but I assume that there will be no initiatives in this direction before the elections to the European Parliament, slated for May 2019. The European Commission is positive on this issue,” said Hahn.
The Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement between Armenia and the EU partially came into force on June 1, 2018.  Armenia is the first member of the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union that has signed a similar document with the European Union. 
The Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with Armenia was signed on November 24, 2017 and stipulates the need to enhance developments on human rights, civil society, the rule of law and democracy. The agreement also contains provisions for cooperation on inter alia transport, health, energy, climate change, culture, taxation, employment, and social affairs.
The agreement also covers the scope of legal cooperation including on corruption, terrorist financing and money laundering while outlining the need to improve bilateral cooperation to enhance EU-Armenia trade through a better regulated environment.
The agreement will fully enter into force upon ratification by all 28 EU member states and Armenia. Currently, the document has been ratified by Armenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Poland, Denmark, Romania, Malta and Luxembourg.


EU pledges further financial support to Armenia
/Jan 29/Public Radio of Armenia/

EU’s financial support to Armenia will further enhance, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy Johannes Hahn told a press conference in Yerevan today.

He said they are now working with the Armenian government to identify the spheres of further support, he said.

“Specifically, we have just signed a package concerning education innovation worth 23 million, including the Tumo Innovation center, which I have visited and am deeply impressed,” the Commissioner said.

“We have already invested a lot in innovation, and we will continue to do so in the future,” he said.

“We are in the midst of negotiations concerning the next multi-financial financial framework within the European Union. We have been talking about 7-year budget from 20121 to 2027,” the EU Commissioner said.

Mr. Hahn reassured that financial support to EU Neighbors will be bigger than the current allocation, which, he said, should have a very positive effect on Armenia.


EU to increase financial assistance to Armenia as an “encouragement” for 2018 developments
/Jan 29/Aysor/

The EU will more probably increase the financial assistance provided to Armenia, Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said today at a joint press conference with Armenia’s Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan.

“Today programs amounting to 300 million Euros are being carried out, and programs costing 100 million Euros are on “their way”. Investments amounting to over 800 million Euros have been made in energy sector on the account of loans and grants,” Hahn said.

Asked whether the developments in 2018 had any impact on the decision to increase the financial assistance, the commissioner said, “We have a special line which says “for special achievements in the sphere of rule of law and democracy.” Indeed, it will be an additional fiscal assistance source for Armenia. We have already done it last year but will do more in 2019. I dare to state now that there will be an additional assistance as an encouragement for the last year’s developments,” Hahn said.


EU announces additional financial assistance to Armenia for achievements in democracy, rule of law
/Jan 29/ArmenPress.ama /

YEREVAN – The European Union will provide Armenia additional financial aid for special achievements in democracy and the rule of law in 2018, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy Johannes Hahn said during a joint news conference with Armenian foreign minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan in Yerevan.

“We have a special budgetary line that is dedicated to special achievements in the rule of law and democracy. I am announcing that this year there will be additional assistance as en encouragement for last year’s development. The positive mood that has developed in the country is very important. Today, people are more than interested to come to Armenia and make investments. We discussed the opportunity of organizing an investment forum that will familiarize European investors with the existing situation in Armenia,” the EU commissioner said.

FM Mnatsakanyan said they discussed various issues as part of the Armenia-EU cooperation during a tet-a-tet conversation with Hahn.

“We’ve had pretty interesting and comprehensive discussions with the commissioner. The commissioner already had the chance to meet the prime minister, the president, we had a very practical discussion at the presence of deputy PM Mher Grigoryan. During our discussion we once again emphasized the importance that we attach to bilateral relations. The Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement remains the main legal basis of our relations. We discussed a number of projects during the implementation of which we can use the tools given by the deal,” the minister said.

Hahn added that several directions where the EU can assist Armenia are under discussion.

“There is a solid system at the foundation of our entire cooperation. Today, we are at the stage of implementation of 300-million-euro worth of projects, with another 100 million worth of projects underway. We are working with the government in order to outline the sectors of future cooperation. We recently signed a package that concerns the development of the educational area. It is a 23-million-euro project. We have already had big contribution in education, and we will do it in the future also,” Commissioner Hahn said.

The EU commissioner also congratulated FM Mnatsakanyan and PM Pashinyan on the December 9, 2018 early election of parliament, noting that it was unique in Armenian history. 
 

Armenia-Russia-EAEU Relations
 

Pashinyan to attend ceremony of transferring EAEU chairmanship to Armenia in Moscow
/Jan 23/ArmenPress.am/

depart for Moscow on January 24. He is scheduled to deliver remarks at the ShareYEREVAN, JANUARY 22, ARMENPRESS. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan will headquarters of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), the EEC press service told Armenpress.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan will depart for Moscow on January 24. He is scheduled to deliver remarks at the headquarters of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), the EEC press service told Armenpress.

 “Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan is scheduled to deliver speech in Moscow on January 25 on the occasion of transferring the 2019 chairmanship in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) from Russia to Armenia”, the statement said.


Russia, Armenia agree on joint production of AK-12 assault rifles
/Jan 29/ARKA/

YEREVAN – Armenia’s Defense Minister David Tonoyan received today  a delegation of the Russian Kalashnikov Concern, led by its CEO Andrei Baryshnikov, who are in Armenia on a working visit.
According to the Ministry of Defense, Tonoyan emphasized cooperation of the military-industrial complex of Armenia with the Kalashnikov Concern and expressed readiness to support all those projects, which are aimed at organizing joint production of military goods in Armenia.
Baryshnikov spoke about the projects carried out with Armenian partners as part of  cooperation in CSTO. In particular, he said that during his visit the last details rifles have been approved for the joint production of the latest models of Russia’s world-famous AK-12 assault.
 

Armenia and Russia discuss the details of the joint production of modern assault rifles
/Jan 29/Arminfo/Alexandr Avanesov/

As part of further development of military-economic cooperation of the CSTO member countries, and, in particular, cooperation and integration of enterprises and organizations of the defense complex, on January 29, RA Defense Minister David Tonoyan received delegation of the Kalashnikov Concern, headed by the concern's general director Andrei Baryshinikov.

Greeting the guests, David Tonoyan stressed the importance of the cooperation of the Kalashnikov Concern with the Armenian military-industrial enterprises, reports the press service of the Armenian Defense Ministry. He stated his readiness to assist all those projects that are aimed at the organization of joint production of military products in Armenia.

In turn, Andrey Baryshnikov congratulated the Minister on the Army Day, and thanked for the invitation to take part in an official reception on the occasion of the 27th anniversary of the country's Armed Forces. The head of the Concern presented the process of implementing joint projects with Armenian partners within the framework of the CSTO to the RA Minister of Defense. In particular, within the framework of the military-technical cooperation program envisaged by the Treaty of May 15, 1992 and the agreement of May 24, 2016, summarized details of the project for the joint production of the latest machines are presented.

Earlier, ArmInfo reported that Armenia was experimentally purchasing a small batch of the latest AK-12 out of 50 copies. As Kommersant newspaper wrote, the Armenian armed forces will try the new AK-12 in action, after which, if approved, the purchases will continue.  According to the newspaper, Armenia will become the first foreign country to purchase the "Kalashnikovs" of the new sample. According  to armoury- online.ru, the Russian automatic carbine under the symbol  AK-12, which means "Kalashnikov assault rifle of 2012", is a  promising development of the Kalashnikov concern.  One of the main features of the AK-12 was the increased ergonomics of the weapon in comparison with the AK-74M caliber 5.45×39 and the AKM caliber 7.62×39. The work carried out increased the accuracy of fire, the reliability of the mechanisms of weapons and increase the service life.
 

Armenia, Russia sign contract on purchase of Russian SU-30SM fighter aircraft
/Jan 31/Aysor/

Armenia and Russia have signed a contract on purchase of Russian SU-30SM fighter aircraft, a military-diplomatic source told Russian Interfax.

“Armenia will receive shipment of SU-30SM,” the agency’s interlocutor said, without specifying the exact date of shipment and the number of aircraft.

 

Armenia-US Relations
 

Pashinyan, Bolton discuss bilateral relations and regional situation
/Jan 23/ArmenPress.am/

YEREVAN – Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan held a telephone conversation with John Bolton, National Security Advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump, ARMENPRESS reports Pashinyan wrote on his Facebook page.  

“A while ago I had a telephone conversation with John Bolton, National Security Advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump. We discussed issues referring to regional situation and bilateral relations. We both emphasized the importance of Armenian-U.S. relations for our governments. We agreed to continue the discussions on the future development of our relations”, he wrote, adding that Artsakh issue was not discussed.


Pentagon praises U.S.-Armenia military cooperation
/Jan 31/Panorama.am/

A senior U.S. Department of Defense official this week praised the “selfless contributions of the Armenian armed forces to international operations and peacekeeping missions,” highlighting Armenia’s commitment to the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan and recognizing Armenia as a top-five non-NATO contributor to NATO’s Kosovo force, reports the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

Speaking at the Armenian Embassy’s January 29th celebration of Armenian Army Day, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura K. Cooper also shared the Pentagon’s pride in Armenia’s 15-year “enduring” partnership with the Kansas National Guard, a joint undertaking that has materially increased Armenia’s NATO inter-operability. She closed her remarks by expressing her interest in visiting Armenia and exploring ways to deepen U.S.-Armenia defense ties, support a free and prosperous Armenia, and work cooperatively to advance regional and global security.

Speaking on behalf of the Armenian government, Ambassador Varuzhan Nersesyan underscored the value that Armenia attaches to the continued evolution of bilateral U.S.-Armenia defense cooperation. In his remarks, Colonel Arman Mkrtchyan, Armenia’s Defense Attache in Washington, DC, reviewed the full array of international peacekeeping and other regional and international security operations undertaken by the Armenian military. A large delegation from the Kansas National Guard traveled from Kansas to take part in the celebration, as did defense attaches and other military officials from dozens of Washington, DC-based embassies.

“We welcome Deputy Assistant Secretary Cooper’s warm words conveying the Defense Department’s appreciation for a growing U.S.-Armenia military partnership that stretches from NATO’s Partnership for Peace and peace-keeping deployments across the globe to training and cooperation here at home, with the Kansas National Guard,” said Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Executive Director Aram Hamparian.

“We share the Pentagon’s commitment to the deepening of defense and security ties between the U.S. and Armenia and look forward to steady progress in upgrading the status, scope, and scale of bilateral defense consultations. We will continue to engage with Administration and Congressional stakeholders regarding the mutual benefits of increased U.S. support for Armenia’s military modernization plans, including through expanded Foreign Military Financing (FMF), International Military Educational Training (IMET), and programs aimed at strengthening Armenia’s peace-keeping training and operational capabilities,” concluded Hamparian.

The Congressional Armenian Caucus, in a December 18, 2018, letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, called for “policies and programs to broaden and deepen U.S.-Armenia military cooperation.”

 

Armenia-Germany Relations

Նիկոլ Փաշինյանը հանդիպել է գերմանական KfW բանկի տարածաշրջանային տնօրենին
ՀՀ վարչապետ Նիկոլ Փաշինյանը պաշտոնական այցով ժամանել է Գերմանիայի Դաշնային Հանրապետություն :
/Jan 31/Verelq.am/

Վարչապետի այցը մեկնարկել է Գերմանիայի Քյոլն քաղաքից. Հունվարի 31-ի առավոտյան Նիկոլ Փաշինյանը հանդիպել է Գերմանական զարգացման բանկի (KfW) Արևելյան Եվրոպայի տարածաշրջանային տնօրեն Օլաֆ Զիմելկային :

ՀՀ վարչապետը նշել է` KfW-ն արդյունավետ գործընկեր է Հայաստանի Հանրապետության համար, որի հետ համագործակցության շրջանակում ՀՀ տնտեսության տարբեր ճյուղերում իրականացվում են մի շարք ծրագրեր : Այս համատեքստում Նիկոլ Փաշինյանը կարևորել է 2018թ. Նոյեմբերին KfW բանկի հետ ստորագրված « Հայաստանում կենսաբազմազանության և կայուն տեղական զարգացման » ծրագրի վերաբերյալ դրամաշնորհային համաձայնագիրը` 23,208,483.13 եվրո ընդհանուր արժեքով, որը մեր տարածաշրջանում այս ոլորտի ամենանշանակալի ծրագրերից մեկն է:

Վարչապետն ընդգծել է, որ Հայաստանում այդ ոլորտը բնապահպանական բարձր չափանիշներին համապատասխանեցնելը կառավարության կարևոր առաջնահերթություններից է և ուրախալի է այդ գործում, ի դեմս Գերմանական զարգացման բանկի, ունենալ նման վստահելի դաշնակից :

KfW-ի տարածաշրջանային տնօրենն իր հերթին նշել է` Հայաստանը կարևոր գործընկեր է Գերմանական զարգացման բանկի համար, որի հետ համատեղ արդյունավետ ծրագրեր են կյանքի կոչվում : Գոհունակություն հայտնելով մեր երկրի տարբեր գերատեսչությունների հետ համագործակցության ընթացքից` Օ. Զիմելկան ավելացրել է, որ Հայաստան-KfW գործընկերությունը նպաստում է հայ-գերմանական կապերի զարգացմանը, և բանկը հետաքրքրված է նոր նախաձեռնությունների քննարկմամբ ու իրականացմամբ :

ՀՀ վարչապետը և KfW-ի տարածաշրջանային տնօրենը քննարկել են բնապահպանության, էներգետիկայի, գյուղատնտեսության, ենթակառուցվածքների, ջրային տնտեսության և ջրամբարաշինության ոլորտներում ներկայիս ծրագրերի ընթացքը, ինչպես նաև մտքեր փոխանակել հեռանկարային այլ ուղղություններով համագործակցության ընդլայնման հարցերի շուրջ :
 

Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan continues meetings in Germany
/Feb 1/ArmenPress.am/

YEREVAN – Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who is in Germany on an official visit, will continue his meetings in Berlin on February 1, Armenpress correspondent reports from Berlin.

Pashinyan will meet with the German top leadership.

He will start his meetings by the visit to the Konrad Adenauer Foundation where he is expected to deliver remarks.

Thereafter, the Armenian PM will meet with President of the Bundestag Wolfgang Schäuble.

This will be followed by the meeting of Pashinyan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel after which they will hold a joint press conference.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan will meet with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Thereafter, the PM is scheduled to meet with Michael Harms, Managing Director of the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, and the representatives of the German leading companies.

Earlier on January 31 Pashinyan met with the Armenian community representatives in Cologne, as well as the city Mayor. He also visited the Cologne Technical University, met with the students and the teaching staff.

 

Other Relations

Armenia introduces visa waiver regime with Hong Kong
/Jan 24/ARKA/

YEREVAN – The Armenian government upheld Thursday an agreement with China’s Hong Kong introducing visa waiver system.
“The project derives from Armenia’s policy on spurring the attraction of investments and development of tourism,” Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said on Thursday.  
In his words, the agreement will come into force on March 3. 
Mnatsakanyan said that Armenia’s guests will be allowed to stay in the country without visas for 180 days, and Armenian citizens will have a right to travel to Hong Kong for 30 days. 
Asked by Armenian Vice Premier Tigran Avinyan at which stage a similar project of
visa waiver with China is, the minister said that at the moment the ministry is discussing room for setting the regime of mutual visits by using ordinary passports and without visas. 

” The Chinese side has given us a draft international agreement, and now the ministry is comprehensively considering it with taking into account migration flows and risks,” he said. 
Avinyan said that it is necessary to move ahead with gauging risks. He said that 6,000 to 7,000 tourists from China travel to Armenia every year, and introduction of visa free regime will increase their number.
 

Armenia, Singapore agree to boost cooperation in various directions
/Jan 24/ArmenPress.am/

YEREVAN, JANUARY 24, ARMENPRESS. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met with Tharman Shanmugaratnam in Davos within the framework of the World Economic Forum, Pashinyan’s office said.

During the meeting Pashinyan said that Armenia is interested in the continuous expansion of cooperation with Singapore in different spheres, and that Singapore’s development experience is exemplary for Armenia.

The Armenian PM attached importance to deepening economic ties, the coherent development of commercial ties and partnership between businessmen. Pashinyan addressed the steps for the improvement of the business climate in Armenia and found it necessary to notify Singaporean businesses about the opportunities of making investments in Armenia.

The sides namely discussed the opportunities for exporting various Armenian products to Singapore, such as brandy, wine, beer, juice and other processed goods.

Shanmugaratnam noted that Singapore’s government is also attaching importance to developing cooperation with Armenia, taking into account the recent positive changes in the country.

He conveyed the Prime Minister’s invitation to Pashinyan to visit Singapore, noting that the visit may boost bilateral partnership in different directions.

Shanmugaratnam added that Armenians are known in Singapore as exemplary citizens and have high reputation among Singaporeans.

Singapore’s Deputy PM said he will present the business circles of his country the opportunities of investing in Armenia. At the same time, he found the Armenian government’s anti-corruption, business climate improvement and modernization of administration system to be ambitious.

Pashinyan said that Armenia will soon host the World Congress on Information Technology in October and highlighted the participation of Singapore’s IT companies in the event.

Tourism, environmental protection and aviation issues were also discussed.

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