Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Armenia, region: latest news/reports that grabbed my attention

1. Fuel crisis in Armenia - no petrol or its limited rationing in petrol stations throughout the country. (more info - here and here)

2. Armenian Foreign Ministry latest statement - there could be no military solution of the conflicts in the South Caucasus; they should be resolved based on the principles of free will and self-determination. (news)

3. Ministry of Defence of Armenia: no changes in its relationships with NATO; NATO military drill in September in Armenia will go ahead. (Radio Liberty, more info)

4. Armenia to take part in military monitoring in the zone of Georgia-South Ossetia conflict (

Member-countries of Collective Security Treaty Organization will take part in the OSCE military monitoring mission in the zone of Georgia- South Ossetia conflict. According to the Secretary General of the CSTO Nikolay Bordyuzha, several countries among them Armenia, Belarus, Kazakstan and Russia, have already agreed to join the mission. Moreover, the participation of other countries in OSCE military monitoring is also possible. The CSTO encourages the paticipation of its member-countries, because this will make the monitoring mission more objective and transparent, Bordyuzha says.

5. Amberin Zaman (writer for The Economist, wife of the acting US Ambassador to Armenia) - “The moment for Ankara” (link)

6. Armenian Public TV and Turkish TRT signed a memorandum for cooperation. (news)


parisan said...

Good selection. I would add this:

Observer said...

Here's one more you might like - Western Union will no longer operate in Armenia
Western Union international money transfer system is prohibited in Armenia

artmika said...

Another related-unrelated news which caught my eyes. For the first time, no Russian company, but all European ones were chosen as shortlist in an international tender to become third mobile operator in Armenia. Among them, France Telecome’s Orange, Europe’s second largest mobile phone company, including in the UK. I am pleasantly puzzled with Orange’s interest in Armenia. I wonder if French Diaspora has anything to do with this...

spm said...

there is an important power broker in European telecom industry of Armenian origin. His relations with RK were strained, but with Serj he is on friendly terms. I guess it may contributed to the decision.

arayik said...

or maybe because the Russians like taking over on already developed systems with the help of their Armenian partners?
That's the cheapest option.
e.g. ArmenTel, Vivacell, powerplants and etc.
They give the business the options sell it to Russians or buzz off. The business can get over that with hefty bribes but at the end they get so fed up that it is cheaper to sell or buzz off.

artmika said...

Orange the winner of third operator tender

YEREVAN, October 7. /ARKA/. At its sitting today, tender commission for the election of the third mobile operator in Armenia acknowledged the French company Orange the winner of the license on providing global mobile communications services and using radio frequencies, said Susanna Tonoyan, the press-secretary of the RA Ministry of Transport and Communications.

The French company Orange (the main brand of France Telecom) offered the highest price for the GSM-license, €51.5mln, followed by M$A Tele2 AB (Sweden), €45.6mln, and CEO Blackrock Communication (England and Ireland), €31.66mln.

“According to the established order, Orange has to register a local company in Armenia and after a number of procedures, until December 15, get the final license,” said Tonoyan.
Under Armenian law, Orange will receive a license to own and operate a telecommunications network throughout the republic, as well as provide any services in the telecommunications field, GSM communications, including 3G, voice and other services on data transmission.

The companies will also be provided with a range of radio frequencies and the possibility of providing cell phone numbers starting with +374 (0) 55 374 (0) 95. The license will be valid for 15 years. The company is obliged to invest €200mln in Armenia in a two-year term, and the quality of the equipment has to be approved by the RA Government.

Gurgen Sargsyan, the RA Minister of Transport and Communications stated yesterday the company will be able to offer its services in Armenia six months after being licensed. Jean-Michel Serre, the Orange Director of International Business Development in Europe and Asia, stated the company intends to become a leader in Armenia.

Armenia announced a tender for the third mobile operator this July. 17 companies applied for the tender, but three companies preliminarily qualified – Orange (France Telecom, France), CEO Blackrock Communication (England and Ireland) and M$A Tele2 AB (Sweden).

Two mobile operators are currently working in Armenia – ArmenTell (VympelCom, the Beeline brand) and VivaCell-MTS (MTS).