Danielian to Ask for Investment On Europe Trip

STEPANAKERT (RFE/RL)–The prime minister of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic–Anushavan Danielian–will seek foreign investmen’s in the disputed territory’s economy on a ten-day trip to several European nations–officials in Stepanakert said on Saturday.

Danielian left the same day for Italy where he is scheduled to meet with representatives of a number of European companies–including entrepreneurs of Armenian descent.

Danielian will proceed to Geneva to outline investment opportunities in Karabakh during an international business forum there.

"The prime minister will unveil a new program of Nagorno-Karabakh’s economic development," David Mikaelian–a government spokesman in Stepanakert–told RFE/RL.

Azerbaijan has recently protested investment projects planned by some Swiss firms in what it sees as its breakaway territory occupied by Armenia. The Karabakh authorities have replied that region’s economic reconstruction is an "integral part" of a peace settlement.

Danielian’s visit will end on February 21 in Budapest where ethnic Armenian business people from around Europe will meet to discuss possible economic projects on Karabakh. According to Mikaelian–the premier will also discuss with them details of the "Karabakh Day" to be marked by Armenian communities across Europe on May 9.

The struggling Karabakh economy is now fully oriented toward Armenia–which contributes a large part of the unrecognized republic’s budget.

The Armenian government’s draft budget for this year earmarks 9.5 billion drams ($18 million) for Stepanakert.

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