Putin Promises $1,5 Billion Investments in Armenia - 2007

It has been very obvious for many years that the Russian Federation has had serious plans for the Caucasus. Naturally, the plan is not meant to turn Russia into a benevolent entity in the region, it is meant to serve Russia's national interests. Fortunately, within the geostrategic formulations of policymakers in Moscow, the existence of the Armenian Republic serves against the spread of Turkish/NATO influence in the region. Thus, Armenia fits well into Moscow's regional plans. As long as there remains a Western threat, as long as there remains a Turkish presence in the region, Armenia will continue to be an important player for Moscow. 

As I have stated in the past, Russia's southern borders essentially begins in the south Caucasus and Armenia is the only nation within the region today that fully serves Russian's short-term and long-term interests. Thus, keeping Armenian within the Russian orbit is a fundamental aspect in Moscow's Caucasus policy. In my opinion, keeping the Armenian Republic within Russia's orbit is so crucial for Moscow that it will do everything in its power, including armed intervention, to secure Armenian dependence upon it.

At the same time, however, it is well known that the Russian Federation engages in a very lucrative economic trade with Turkey and Azerbaijan. Moreover, Turkic presence in the Russian Federation, demographically, diplomatically and economically far outweighs that of Armenia's. As a result, there is an inherent long-term danger in totally relying upon a crucial ally that also has very lucrative relations with your enemies. What's more, every time official Yerevan has flirted with the idea of doing something that did not involve Russia, Moscow has reacted somewhat harshly. This treatment, although understandable from Russia's geopolitical perspective, may be hurting Armenia economically.

Until recently, Russia essentially treated Armenia like an overly jealous and controlling husband. For many years, Russia kept Armenia much like how a tyrannical husband keeps a wife - hungry, isolated, barefoot and afraid to look at another man. However, as with most jealous husbands, the wife was well protected from outside intrusion. This protection, however, did not help Armenia's economic and domestic well being.

After the departure of Boris Yeltsin from the political scene in Russia and the subsequent commencement of the housecleaning there, that which continues to this day, the overall geopolitical and socioeconomic situations of both nations, especially Russia, began to improve greatly. 

As the national economy of the Russian Federation grew enormously, today raking ninth globally, its trickle down effect, as expected, had a positive impacted upon Armenia's economy as well. Today, Armenian-Russian economic trade is said to be well above five hundred million USD annually, making the Russian Federation Armenia's number one trading partner. This figure, already a substantial amount for a small landlocked fledgling nation like Armenia, will most probably continue to grow as Russia's economy grows.

I would like to add that the relationship between Russia and Armenia was given an additional boost after the events of September 11, 2001, when special interest groups in the US began implementing their geostrategic designs within various sensitive regions across Eurasia, thereby placing certain Western nations on a direct collision course with the Russian Federation. As a result of the global chaos we have been observing for the past several years, the Russian Federation and the Armenian Republic have moved closer geopolitically.

Arevordi

***

PUTIN PROMISES $1,5 BILLION INVESTMENTS


2007

On August 23, Russian and Armenian presidents Vladimir Putin and Robert Kocharian met in Sochi (Russia). Vladimir Putin expressed his content with development of Armenian-Russian bilateral relations: increase in commodity turnover and allied cooperation in political sphere, "Novosti Armenia" agency informed. Russian President V. Putin assured of $1,5 billion Russian investments in the Armenian economy in 2007. In his turn, Robert Kocharian mentioned that Armenian-Russian relations develop in all directions: there is evident increase in investments, commodity turnover, military-technical and political cooperation. There is an evident development process of mutual relations, according to the Armenian president, and the Armenian side expresses its perfect willingness to contribute to that process. It’s worth to mention that this kind of meetings between the Russian and Armenian presidents at the Russian president’s residence "Bocharov Ruchey" in Sochi have become a tradition for the two presidents. As many politicians mention, those meetings aim to regulate bilateral relations of the two states: to give a new impetus and quality to them.

It’s the forth meeting of the presidents Putin and Kocharian this year; the second in Sochi. It’s worth to mention, that if before we could say that the political issues were preliminary in the Armenian-Russian relations, today the situation has changed. The economic factor is a dominant issue in Armenia-Russia bilateral relations: over the first six months of 2007 the trade turnover between the two countries increased by 70% and at the end of the year it will probably exceed $500 mln. Russia has become the Number One country with its investments in the Armenian economy ("Gasprom", "Vimpelcom", "Rusal" and other giant organizations). On the other hand, there are serious problems in political relations of these two states: the mass media of the two countries write about it from time to time.

If the Russian politicians and experts do not hide their dissatisfaction at the Armenia-NATO developing relations, then we are not satisfied with the military relations of our military ally with Azerbaijan and Turkey. Anyway, according to the Russian media one of the main issues of the Kocharian-Putin meeting is the military-political relations between the two states. According to the analysts, being a member of Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Armenia wants to deepen the mutual military relations with Russia. It means that these meeting will take place with the motto "Deepening of bilateral military relations". In the background of the new developments in the region, the Armenian-Russian bilateral military relations have gained a new meaning and come from the interests of our country’s national security. In this context, we can perceive the logic of the Armenia-NATO deepening relations. The meeting of the two presidents has also a symbolic meaning, as it takes place close to the date of the 10th anniversary of the Armenian-Russian friendship and cooperation strategic agreement (on August 29, 1997). This agreement became the basis of the Armenian-Russian wide-ranging military cooperation.

Source: http://www.azgdaily.com/?lang=EN&num=2007082501


In related news:


ARMENIA SIGNS A COOPERATION AGREEMENT WITH RUSSIA ALROSA


ALROSA Je-wellery and the Armenian Ministry of Trade and Economic Development signed an Agreement on Cooperation in Je-wellery, Press Secretary Anahit Khechoyan told Panorama.am. Minister of Trade and Economic Development Nerses Yeritsyan and ALROSA President Sergey Vibornov signed the document. Present were ALROSA Deputy President Sergey Ulin, President of the Armenian International Association of Goldsmiths, DCA Head Gagik Abrahamyan, Je-wellery Department Head Gagik Mkrtchyan other Armenian and Russian representatives. The press secretary said “work will be done on details of the agreement” since the Russian party has “serious plans” to enlarge cooperation. The Russian delegation, spearheaded by Sergey Vibornov, arrived in Yerevan today. ALROSA President will meet with the Armenian president and the prime minister today. He will also hold meeting with local entrepreneurs. As a follow-up, an Armenian-Russian joint venture on Russian diamond processing is expected in Armenia. Sources say soon ALROSA and DCA will sign an agreement to process Russian diamond in Armenia, which will be sold in the Russian market. ALROSA processes 97 percent of Russian diamond and owns 25 percent of total share of world diamond processing. The company revenues approximate $3 billion per annum. ALROSA shareholders are Rosimushestvo (37 percent of shares), Yakutia State Ownership Management Ministry (32 percent of shares), eight regions of Yakutia (8 percent of shares) and 23 percent of shares are owned by different physical and legal entities.

Source: http://www.panorama.am/en/economy/2007/08/06/alrosa/

Russians Buy Another Major Armenian Firm

Armenia’s largest mobile phone operator, K-Telecom, announced on Friday its widely anticipated takeover by a Russian telecommunication giant, which will give a further boost to Russia’s already strong economic presence in the South Caucasus state. Top executives of the two companies said Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), Russia’s number one wireless operator, will pay over $430 million for a commanding 80 percent stake in K-Telecom and have the option of buying the remaining 20 percent of its stock in the next five years. The deal came after weeks of negotiations reportedly involving the governments of the two countries. According to reports in the Armenian press, the authorities in Yerevan have played a large role in convincing K-Telecom’s official owner, Lebanese tycoon Pierre Fattouch, to sell his rapidly expanding VivaCell network to MTS. The Armenian government was similarly said to have been a driving force behind last year’s sale of the ArmenTel national telecom company, which operates the country’s second cellular network, to another Russian wireless firm, Vimpelcom. The $500 million acquisition came shortly after President Robert Kocharian’s visit to Moscow. Fattouch denied any political motives behind the latest deal, again comparing his Armenian subsidiary to a young woman courted by suitors. “The bride has come of age,” he said. “It was natural for her to want to marry.” “There were many suitors, but this girl fell in love with this one,” said Ralph Yirikian, the VivaCell chief executive. “This deal has no political motives,” he added.

Speaking at a joint news conference, the MTS chairman, Leonid Melamed, likewise insisted that political factors were not at play, but chose to thank the Armenian government. Asked for the reason for the gratitude, he said, “We had the honor of being received by the country’s minister of communications and plan to maintain our contacts with the government.” The government picked K-Telecom as Armenia’s second mobile operator without a tender in late 2004 after forcing the then Greek-owned ArmenTel to abandon its legal monopoly on mobile telephony. The launch of K-Telecom’s network in July 2005 led to an explosion in mobile phone use in the country as fierce competition between ArmenTel and VivaCell dramatically reduced the hitherto high cost of the service. VivaCell currently boasts nearly one million subscribers, compared to ArmenTel’s 500,000. As recently as in July, Fattouch declared that he has invested about $340 million in VivaCell, intends to expand it and has no plans to leave Armenia. He said on Friday that he will invest proceeds from the network’s sale in the Armenian mining sector. He gave no details. With a market capitalization of $25 billion, MTS is one of the world’s biggest mobile phone companies and has subsidiaries in other former Soviet republics like Ukraine, Belarus and Uzbekistan. Its purchase of VivaCell coincided with a meeting in Yerevan of the Russian-Armenian inter-governmental commission on economic cooperation.

The commission co-chairs, Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian and Russian Transport Minister Igor Levitin welcomed the deal, saying that it will further boost Russian-Armenian commercial ties. Levitin said Russian investments in the Armenian economy will total a record-high level of $500 million this year. The figure will likely grow next year because of “a number of other very interesting and big investment projects,” he added without elaborating. “It is very important that business believes in the governments of Russia and Armenia and that investments in our countries are protected,” the Russian minister told reporters. Sarkisian also welcomed “huge progress” in Russian-Armenian ties and described as “extremely important” his upcoming visit to Moscow. “There are problems that must be solved with the governments’ intervention,” he said. In Levitin’s words, the most serious of those problems is a lack of stable and reliable transport communication between the two countries. The sale of VivaCell is certain to prompt serious concern from opponents of the Armenian government who believe that Russia’s rising economic presence is putting their country’s security and independence at risk. They strongly condemned a series of Russian-Armenian agreements that left Armenia’s energy sector under near total Russian control. Opposition leaders and commentators have alleged that Sarkisian and Kocharian have facilitated the Russian economic expansion into Armenia with the aim of ensuring Moscow’s continued support for their joint rule. The two leaders and their political allies have always dismissed such claims. Still, some of them admitted on Friday that they are worried that Armenia is becoming too dependent on its former Soviet master.

“We must make calculations. If [Russian-Armenian deals] affect our independence, we must be careful on such issues,” Karen Karapetian, the parliamentary leader of Sarkisian’s Republican Party (HHK), told reporters. Asked whether Yerevan has been careful enough, he said: “Not quite.” “We must think about attracting not only Russian but American, European and Asian capital into our economy,” said Artsvi Minasian of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, the HHK’s junior coalition partner.

Source: http://www.armenialiberty.org/armeni...EB0AC00770.ASP

RUSSIAN INVESTMENT TO REACH 190 MILLION IN GAS AND ENERGY

Russia will invest about $190 million in gas and energy project of Armenia this year. Last year the same figure totaled $111.8 million, government information and public relations department informs. Just to mention, these investments were made by the government of Armenia and “Gasprom” in accordance with an agreement signed on March 31, 2006. The agreement transferred all shares of “Hrazdan” thermo electric power station (JEK) to “Gasprom” in order to build a common production complex of “Hrazdan” JEK and “Hrazdan 5.” According to the same source, a contract was signed with “Armavia” Air Company on supply of 100 regional airplanes of SUKHOI and SUPERJET type. The airplanes will be delivered to the air company already late 2008. Armenia is the first among NIS states where these Russian modern high quality and comfortable airplanes will be operated.

Source: http://www.panorama.am/en/economy/2007/09/14/armavia/

Levitin: Russian Investments in RA to total $0,5 Billion This Year

This year Russian investments in Armenia will amount to $0,5 billion, Co-chair of the Russian-Armenian intergovernmental committee on economic cooperation Igor Levitin said. “Armenia and Russia enjoy partner relations. We can partly ascribe the effect to the friendly relations between the leadership of our states. Businessmen believed the authorities and the amount of investments mentioned above is not the limit. With implementation of several major projects, the figure will increase,” Mr Levitin said. For his part, Armenian Prime Minister Serge Sargsyan said the recent boost in economic cooperation is also explained by regular dialogue between the Presidents. “Russian investments will increase. Today we will sign an agreement on introducing a Russian company into the Armenian market,” he said, IA Regnum reports. Upon completion of the sitting Serge Sargsyan and Igor Levitin ratified the plans for long-term measures for strengthening the Armenian-Russian cooperation and signed the protocol of the 9th sitting of the committee. The 10th sitting is scheduled for September 2008 in Russia

Source: http://www.panarmenian.net/news/eng/?nid=23355

Russia to Boost Investment in Armenia

Russian investment in Armenia's economy is expected to reach $500m by the end of 2007, Russian Transport Minister Igor Levitin, who is also the co-chairman of the Russian-Armenian intergovernmental economic cooperation commission, told a press conference in Yerevan today. Levitin noted that Russia and Armenia had established a good partnership and friendly relations, but there was still room to increase investment. He also noted that transportation problems still hampered developing economic ties between the two countries. In turn, Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sargsian added that this year had seen improvement in the economic relations between the two countries thanks to governmental efforts and expressed hope for even greater success for years to come. According to Armenia's National Statistics Service, Russia's total investment in the country stood at $74m in H1 2007, $38m of which were direct investment.

Source: http://www.rbcnews.com/free/20070914175204.shtml

No comments:

Post a Comment

Dear reader,

Arevordi will be taking a sabbatical to tend to personal matters. New blog commentaries will therefore be posted on an irregular basis. The comments board however will continue to be moderated on a regular basis. To limit clutter in the comments section, I kindly ask all participants of this blog to please keep comments coherent and strictly relevant to the featured topic of discussion. Moreover, please realize that when there are several anonymous visitors posting comments simultaneously, it becomes very confusing (not to mention extremely annoying) trying to figure out who is who and who said what. If you are here to engage in conversation, make an observation, express an idea or just attack me, I ask you to at least use a moniker to identify yourself... or else, I will not post your comments, especially if they are, in my opinion, nonsense. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.