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Russia’s Foreign Minister Visits Armenia for Talks on Strategic Ties, Georgia

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited Yerevan on Thursday for official meetings with Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian and President Serzh Sarkisian. The ongoing crisis in Georgia and strategic relations between Armenia and Russia were high on the agenda of his talks with Nalbandian and Sarkisian. Russia is not alarmed by Armenia’s growing cooperation

Armenian Parliament Elects New Speaker

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–The National Assembly elected Hovik Abrahamian, a key member of Armenia’s leadership, as its new speaker on Monday, in a move engineered by President Serzh Sarkisian and his Republican Party months ago. Abrahamian’s election became a foregone conclusion early this month when the Republican Party governing body headed by Sarkisian officially confirmed its decision

Sarkisian Vows ‘Drastic Steps’ Against Corruption

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–President Serzh Sarkisian pledged to take “drastic steps” to eradicate government corruption in Armenia as he presented his administration’s priorities to the National Assembly on Thursday. In a 40-minute speech, Sarkisian said he will strive to turn Armenia into a rule-of-law country with a competitive economy, independent courts and equal opportunities for all citizens.

US Experts to Help Launch Fresh Probe of Armenian Unrest

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Three American experts who participated in an independent inquiry into the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States will arrive in Yerevan this week to help launch a similar probe of the post-election violence in Armenia, it was announced on Thursday. The U.S. embassy in Yerevan said the former senior staff members

Sarkisian Names New Chief of Staff

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–President Serzh Sarkisian appointed on Tuesday a leading member of his Republican Party of Armenia, Karen Karapetian, as his new chief of staff. A member of the Armenian parliament since 1995, Karapetian was until now the leader of the largest National Assembly faction representing the Republican Party. The previous head of the presidential administration,

Council of Europe Official Again Slams Yerevan

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–The Council of Europe’s commissioner for human rights has again expressed serious concern at the continuing imprisonment of dozens of Armenian opposition members and supporters on what he considers dubious charges. “The situation with respect to the persons deprived of their liberty in connection with the 1-2 March events continues to be a source

NATO Kicks off Armenia Drills

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Armenia hosted on Monday the first NATO-led military exercises in the South Caucasus since the recent Russian-Georgian war, underlining its intention to continue exercising its longstanding policy of balance relations between East and West, despite the recent chill in relations between Russia and the US over Georgia. About one thousand troops from 17 nations,

Rice Praises ‘Healing Reforms’ in Armenia

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice praised President Serzh Sarkisian for his efforts to end Armenia’s post-election political crisis and improve its relations with Turkey as they met in New York late Wednesday. In her opening remarks at the meeting released by the U.S. State Department, Rice spoke of “healing reforms” which she believes

Armenia Slides in Global Corruption Rankings

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–The situation with government corruption in Armenia has continued to slowly but steadily deteriorate in the past year, according to the latest global survey released by a respected anti-graft watchdog on Tuesday. Every year the Berlin-based Transparency International (TI) rates countries of the world on a 10-point scale, with zero indicating an extremely high

Rustamian: PACE Accepts Exclusively Azeri Formula

YEREVAN–(Noyan Tapan-RFE/RL). The PACE fall session began reviewing the fulfillment of obligations by Armenia and Azerbaijan before the Council of Europe. Before this session–however–the monitoring commission had accepted the reports of monitoring groups in Armenia and Azerbaijan. The document–submitted to the council’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE)–reviews the fulfillment of Yerevan’s membership obligations that also relate to