South Caucasus Weekly Review Looks Into Major Developments I...| MENAFN.COM

Wednesday, 07 December 2022 02:31 GMT

South Caucasus Weekly Review Looks Into Major Developments In Armenia, Georgia & Azerbaijan


(MENAFN- AzerNews)

By Vugar Khalilov

South Caucasus Weekly Review: 22-28 Aug 22

This project of Azernews is designed to cover major weekly developments in the South Caucasus nations

HIGHLIGHTS

Armenian, Russian leaders discuss Karabakh issue

Armenia not to compensate to businesses suffered in Yerevan market blast

Armenian premier attends Eurasian Economic Union session in Kyrgyzstan

Armenian opposition to organize fresh wave of protests on Sep 2

Iran intends to raise exports to Armenia by up to $1 billion

Wildfires break out in Georgia's Borjomi municipality

Georgian President: war in Ukraine significantly undermines global security

Kazakh president arrives in Azerbaijan on official visit

Azerbaijani army in full control of Lachin city, adjacent settlements

Efforts to resurrect OSCE Minsk Group may exclude US from Azerbaijan-Armenia normalization process - spokesperson

ARMENIA

Armenian, Russian leaders discuss Karabakh issue

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the situation around Karabakh, Azernews reports, citing the Armenian media.

During a phone call made on the initiative of the Armenian leader on August 24, the parties emphasized the need for implementation of the trilateral declarations of November 10, 2020, January 11, and November 21, 2021, by Armenian, Russian, and Azerbaijani leaders. The importance of the Russian peacekeeping mission in maintaining regional stability was also stressed.

Certain relevant issues concerning the ongoing development of the Armenia-Russia strategic partnership and the allied ties were discussed.

Armenia not compensate businesses that suffered in Yerevan market blast

Armenia's government will not compensate businesses that suffered from the recent explosion at Yerevan's Surmalu market, Economy Minister Vahan Kerobyan told reporters following a cabinet meeting.

He said that the Surmalu merchants had not insured their property.

“The government cannot take on itself a function and compensate that cost which the insurance company should have compensated. If the businessman did not consider that risk high, the government has nothing to do there,” he said.

The Surmalu blast, which occurred on August 14, killed 16 and injured 60 more others.

Armenian premier attends Eurasian Economic Union session in Kyrgyzstan

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan arrived in Kyrgyzstan on a working visit to attend a session of the Eurasian Inter-governmental Council of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) in the town of Cholpon-Ata, on August 25.

The prime ministers of the EAEU met in a narrow-format session of the Eurasian Inter-governmental Council to discuss issues such as domestic market strengthening, transportation infrastructure development, customs tariff regulation, and digital agenda cooperation among other topics.

The extended-format session of the Inter-governmental Council took place on August 26.

“Despite the global economic transformations and remarkable shocks in financial systems, a certain positive tendency is observed in trade and economic relations due to the advantages of the Eurasian integration.

In this context, I should mention that in the first half of 2022, Armenia's economy has ensured a significant increase in the volume of mutual trade with EAEU countries. During that period, mutual trade with EAEU countries increased by 52.5% compared to the same period of 2021 and amounted to 1.7 billion USD, while Armenia's exports with EAEU countries increased by 48.9% and imports by 54.2%,” Pashinyan said during the meeting.

Armenia attaches great importance to forming a single gas market in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and is ready for a constructive dialogue, Pashinyan added.

“I want to note that the Republic of Armenia is attaching great importance to the formation of a single gas market in the Eurasian Economic Union and is ready for a constructive dialogue in order to achieve consensus over unresolved issues. From the perspective of forming a complete single market of goods and services, we highlight the integration of transportation and infrastructure sectors”, he said.

The EAEU member states signed 10 documents on the development of cooperation based on the results of the session.

Armenian opposition to organize a fresh wave of protests on Sep 2

The Resistance Movement will take to the streets on September 2 in Yerevan's French Square, according to the movement's coordinator, opposition Hayastan fraction MP Ishkhan Saghatelyan.

The rally will begin at 1930, he added.

Iran intends to raise exports to Armenia by up to $1 billion

Iran's Ambassador to Armenia Abbas Badakhshan Zohouri stated that his country is willing to boost exports to Armenia by up to $1 billion, Azernews reports, per the Armenian media.

“As of now, the export volume from Iran to Armenia has reached $560 million, and we plan to increase it up to $1 billion”, the ambassador said.

Zohouri stressed that several important projects are on the inter-state agenda of Iran and Armenia. Iran's exports to Armenia have climbed by 37 percent compared to the same period of 2021, he added.

During a meeting with the trade delegation of Zanjan province, the ambassador referred to Armenia as a secure and reliable communication bridge for building economic links with Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and European Union countries (EU).

He stated that Armenia's preferential tariff for exporting 6,000-7,000 commodities to EAEU nations will allow Iranian firms to participate in these markets.

GEORGIA

Wildfires break out in Georgia's Borjomi municipality

Wildfires broke out in Georgia's Borjomi municipality on August 20, Azernews reports, citing the Georgian media.

Local and national emergency services have been dispatched to combat the wildfires, with 300 firemen, 300 Special Tasks Department staff, four border police helicopters, and surveillance drones attempting to limit its spread, and an emergency headquarters created near the settlement of Dgvari.

The main sources of fire in Borjomi valley have been eliminated, the Interior Ministry reported on August 29, 2022.

The ministry added that at the moment, the majority of the fire has been extinguished and work is being carried out on the active centers.

“Fire localization and extinguishing works in Borjomi Municipality by the units of the Interior Ministry were active throughout the night. At the moment, most of the fire has been extinguished and work is being carried out on the still-active centers. Employees of various departments of the Interior Ministry, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure, as well as the relevant services of the Ministry of Environment and Agriculture continue to participate in the process of extinguishing the fire. In addition, border police helicopters and a specialized firefighting plane of the Republic of Turkey resumed their work in the morning,” the statement reads.

Georgian President: war in Ukraine significantly undermines global security

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili said that war in Ukraine significantly undermines global security, Azernews reports, citing Georgian media.

She made the remarks during the second summit of the Crimea Platform on August 24, which was created at the initiative of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In her online address, Zurabishvili described Russia's attack as a major threat to regional, as well as global security.

“It is evident that war in Ukraine and occupation of Crimea and attacks today on Odesa significantly undermine Black Sea security and hence global security as the world is facing an unprecedented threat of food shortages, caused by halted grain exports. We are once again reminded of an elementary principle – peace and security cannot be divided, we are all in the same boat,” she stressed.

Meanwhile, Georgia joined the joint statement at the United Nations by more than 50 nations commemorating the six-month anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

With this statement, the members of the United Nations once again condemned Russia's aggression against Ukraine and urged Moscow to respect UN norms and Ukraine's territorial integrity.

AZERBAIJAN

Kazakh president arrives in Azerbaijan on official visit

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev arrived in Baku on an official visit on August 24, Azernews reports.

Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan are marking the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties in 2022. For over a third of a century, both states, regarded as locomotives of their regions, are making great strides in political, economic, cultural, and humanitarian spheres.

During the visit Tokayev and his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev signed a number of documents. Each of them is worthy of detailed analysis and examination. The Declaration on Strengthening Strategic Relations and Deepening Allied Interaction between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Republic of Azerbaijan is the most important of all signed documents.

Here is what Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said to this end in his statement to the press.

“Many documents have been signed. Some of them were signed with our participation, and more than 20 documents were signed between relevant agencies today. This creates a broader legal framework for our relationship. Of course, of these documents, I would like to specifically mention the Declaration on the strengthening of strategic relations and the deepening of allied relations between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, which we have just signed. The name of this Declaration itself testifies to the importance of the document. We are not only strategic partners but also allies. Of course, this puts a special responsibility on us, and we are ready for this responsibility. The declaration covers many aspects of our cooperation and will certainly serve as a very solid basis for our future interaction.'

Azerbaijani army in full control of Lachin city, adjacent settlements

The Azerbaijani army has taken full control of Lachin city along with the adjacent Zabukh and Sus villages, Azernews reports, citing the Defense Ministry.

“Under the instruction of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Mr. Ilham Aliyev, the Azerbaijan Army has taken complete control of Lachin city, as well as Zabukh and Sus settlements,” the ministry stressed.

Currently, measures are being taken to deploy units of the Azerbaijan army to new points of deployment and to carry out the necessary technical work in the region, the ministry added.

Earlier, Lachin city was temporarily controlled by the Russian peacekeepers to provide communication between Armenia and Karabakh region. Under the November 10, 2020, trilateral statement, signed by the Azerbaijani, Armenian and Russian leaders, the city should be handed over to Azerbaijan after the completion of a new road, which would be an alternative to the Lachin corridor.

Following the completion of the new road bypassing Lachin, Azerbaijan demanded that Armenia clear the unlawfully occupied city and adjacent settlements by August 25.

Efforts to resurrect OSCE Minsk Group may exclude US from Azerbaijan-Armenia normalization process - spokesperson

The resurrection efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group may lead to the alienation of the US from the Azerbaijan-Armenia normalization process, Azernews reports, citing Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Leyla Abdullayeva.

Abdullayeva made the remarks in response to US State Secretary Antony Blinken's press statement on the appointment of Philip Reeker to the post of Senior Advisor for Caucasus Negotiations.

“Attempts to `resuscitate' the de-facto non-functioning Minsk Group may result the USA to be estranged from the process of normalization of the Azerbaijani-Armenian relations,” Abdullayeva stressed.

The spokeswoman described the press statement as“surprising” and“an approach far from the post-conflict reality in the region”.

According to the diplomat, Azerbaijan's position on the Minsk Group has been consistently and unequivocally stated at the highest level.

“The Karabakh conflict has been resolved and Karabakh is an integral part of Azerbaijan. The international community, including our partners, should understand that connecting negotiation on the normalization of the Azerbaijani-Armenian relations with the Karabakh issue does not serve normalization at all,” Abdullayeva emphasized.

“I have appointed Ambassador Philip Reeker as Senior Advisor for Caucasus Negotiations and Minsk Group Co-Chair. Ambassador Reeker's appointment reaffirms our commitment to peaceful resolution of conflicts in the South Caucasus,” Blinken wrote on his Twitter account.

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