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Georgian government to change law on occupied territories
07.02.2013 17:06
Georgia, Tbilisi, Feb. 7 /Trend, N. Kirtskhalia/

The Georgian government is going to change its law on occupied territories, State Minister for Reintegration Paata Zakareishvili told journalists after a governmental meeting on Thursday.

He said according to the current law, foreign nationals who enter Georgia through Abkhazia and South Ossetia are immediately detained.

"Criminal cases are initiated against them and they serve sentences in Georgian prisons. We consider this is unfair, as many citizens of Azerbaijan and Armenia returning home through Georgia were imprisoned," Zakareishvili said.

He stressed that the new law requires punishment for the first time violators of the law, which does not allow visits to Abkhazia and South Ossetia in a manner not agreed upon with the government.

"If the violation is repeated, criminal case will be initiated," he said.

Today, the Georgian Government approved this proposal.

Large scale military actions were launched in South Ossetia in Georgia on August 8, 2008. Later, Russian troops occupied Tskhinvali and expelled the Georgian military. Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia late in August. Tbilisi ended diplomatic relations with Moscow in response and has declared the two unrecognized republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia occupied territories.

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    Rufiz Hafizoglu is the head of Trend Agency's Arabic news service, follow him on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

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    Edited by CN

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    /By BBC/
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    /By AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

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    For instance it is more profitable to sell dollars at Unibank. This bank buys this currency at 1.0488 manats per $1, and it is the highest price for the U.S. currency in the national market.

    However, it is better to buy dollars in the Az?r-TГјrk Bank, where the dollar is cheaper than in any other bank of the country, selling it at 1.0507 manats per $1.

    With regards to Euro, Deka bank gives you the best deal, offering 1.16 manat per 1 euro.

    Unibank is also a good choice for the purchase of European currencies, as here 1 euro can be purchased at 1.1687 manats.

    The manat is very similar to the Euro or USD in value and therefore it does not pose difficulties for foreign nationals in assessing the value of goods and services.

    Non-cash payments

    Although many countries have long ago moved to the credit card system, in Azerbaijan people still prefer to use cash money, due to its convenience in payments for travel fares in public transport.

    Credit card machines have not yet been introduced in city buses, which is why people still enjoy the good-old method, using cash to pay for their bus fare. However, the government is planning to implement this system in the coming years.

    People generally use social, salary, and pension cards to pay utilities, or pay online bookings in Azerbaijan.

    Although bank cards are not as popular in the country, by the 2nd quarter of 2015, Azerbaijan with a population over 9.6 million issued the record number of payment cards. The number of bank cards in the country reached 6,038,000, some 1,281,000 of which are credit cards. Remaining 2,461,000 consist social cards, while salary cards amount of 1,442,000.

    The number of ATMs operating in Azerbaijan comprises 2,633 units'"some 1,481 have been installed in Baku, while 1,152 operate across the countryв's regions.

    By April 2015 the number of POS terminals installed in the country stood at 77,631 units. Some 50,229 of these terminals are operating in the capital and 27,402 in the regions.
  • Azerbaijani, Russian customs Services sign several documents
    03.07.2015 19:58
    Today, several documents have been signed between Azerbaijani and Russian customs Services in Moscow.

    State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan told APA-Economics that the signing ceremony was held within the visit of delegation led by SCC chairman Aydin Aliyev to Russia.

    Before signing the documents, the delegations spoke at the meeting with the Russian Federal Customs Service Director Andrei Belyaninov about political and economic relations and cultural relations of both countries. The sides also noted that bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Russia are developing successfully, the cooperation in all spheres, including customs sphere, is at high level.

    Thereafter, Azerbaijani and Russian Customs Services signed several documents - "Protocol between State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan and Russian Federal Customs Service on mutual identification of results of the customs control in relation to certain sort of goods" and "Schedule of Regularity of working meetings at the level of chairmen of customs departments and posts of the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan and Russian Federal Customs Service".

    The documents were signed by SCC Chairman Aydin Aliyev and Russian Federal Customs Service Director Andrei Belyaninov.
  • Kazakhstan attracts over $30 bln FDI in industrialization program
    03.07.2015 19:55
    /By AzerNews/

    By Aynur Karimova

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    This remark was made by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who was addressing a ceremony commemorating the Day of Industrialization, dedicated to the implementation of the ''Nur Jol'' state program and forced industrial-innovative development program on July 2.

    The president noted the second five-year plan of industrialization has a clear focus.

    "We have identified six priority sectors-oil refining and metallurgy complex, food, and chemical industries, industrial equipment and construction materials. It is based on the cluster approach. We tried to take into account the accumulated experience of the first five-year plan in the new program," he added.

    Nazarbayev also said Kazakhstan plans to implement 22 new projects in the processing industry with participation of foreign investors.

    "Works on a number of large systematic projects are underway. The construction of a full-cycle automobile plant and Technology Park engaged in the production of automotive components has been started together with the Renault-Nissan alliance," Nazarbayev said. "The Italian Tenaris Company has invested in a plant engaged in the production of pipes of premium class. The plant for the production of drilling rigs will be put into operation together with English Dando Drilling. Russian Eurochem plans to produce mineral fertilizers. Canadian Kudu Industries intends to establish the production of screw pumps for the oil and gas industry."

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  • Azerbaijan, Vietnam find new prospects for cooperation
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    /By AzerNews/

    By Laman Sadigova

    Azerbaijan`s Justice Minister Fikrat Mammadov held a meeting with Le Thi Thu Ba, the deputy head of Vietnamese Central Steering Committee for Judicial Reform to discuss prospects of developing the bilateral judicial cooperation.

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    He also highlighted reforms in Azerbaijan`s judicial system.

    Thu Ba, in turn, noted Vietnam`s interest in expanding its relationship with Azerbaijan in a variety of fields, including judicial one.

    She hailed Azerbaijan`s supporting Vietnam in its struggle for independence, and also stressed national leader Heydar Aliyev`s assistance in increasing professional skills of oil workers, lawyers and soldiers.

    Mammadov further informed the Vietnamese delegation about the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, saying it resulted in the occupation of 20 percent of Azerbaijan`s lands and emergence of more than a million refugees and IDPs.

    Azerbaijan`s Ambassador to Vietnam Anar Imanov was present at the meeting.

    Improved ties between Azerbaijan and Vietnam, countries with the fast growing economies in strategically important regions, represents a great opportunity for them and their otrade partners.

    According to the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan, the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Vietnam amounted to $79.76 million in late 2014, which is almost four times less than in 2013. Thus, in 2014 the export of Azerbaijani goods to Vietnam fell by $75.37 million.
  • Saipem prepares to start Turkish Stream pipeline construction
    03.07.2015 19:41
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 3

    By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

    Italian Saipem's pipe-laying vessel Castoro Sei has set sail to Russian waters to prepare for offshore construction of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline in the Black sea, a source close to the project told Trend.

    The Castoro Sei is a S-lay vessel suitable for both shallow and deep waters. It has already laid several trunklines, including the North Stream Pipeline.

    Saipem will work within the euro;2 billion contract awarded by subsidiary of the Russian Gazprom - South Stream Transport BV in March 2014. Saipem has been contracted for the construction of the first line of the South Stream Offshore Pipeline, but in December 2014 the project was abandoned and the contract was delayed. The project has changed its route and had been renamed to the South Stream so far, but Saipem will work on a project within the mentioned contract.

    According to the contract, Saipem would construct the first line, at depths of up to 2, 200 meters within the contract. In addition to Castoro Sei vessel, Saipem will employ Saipem 7000, the state of the art J-Lay vessel suitable for ultra-deep water for the construction of the first line of the Turkish Stream pipeline. Saipem 7000 has already constructed the Blue Stream pipeline in the Black Sea.

    In December 2014, Russia terminated its South Stream project, which was planned to pass in the Black Sea and through Bulgaria and deliver gas to the Balkan republics, as well as Hungary, Austria and Italy. This cancellation made way for a new project, dubbed the Turkish Stream pipeline. The new pipeline will pass through Turkey, with a gas hub on the Turkish-Greek border for further distribution to consumers in southern Europe.

    The offshore pipeline of the Turkish Stream will consist of four parallel pipelines running through the Black Sea. The pipelines will enter the water near Anapa, on the Russian coast, and come ashore on the Turkish coast some 100 kilometres west of Istanbul, near the village of Kiyikoy.

    From Kiyikoy, an underground pipeline will be developed connecting TurkStream to the existing network at Luleburgaz. The route will reach Turkish town of Ipsala as a final point.

    Edited by S.I.

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  • IAEA says Iran uranium stockpile reduced, but questions remain
    03.07.2015 19:40
    Iran's stockpile of low-enriched uranium gas dropped below the maximum level required under a 2013 interim nuclear agreement with world powers, a U.N. report showed, but a U.S. think-tank suggested Tehran had not entirely met its obligations, Reuters reported.

    The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in its monthly report on Iran, a confidential document seen by Reuters on Wednesday, that Iran's stockpile of uranium gas enriched up to a fissile purity of 5 percent was at 7,537 kg at end-June - below a roughly 7,650 kg ceiling stipulated in the November 2013 interim nuclear deal with six world powers.

    A U.S.-based think-tank, however, issued an analysis of the IAEA report that questioned whether Iran had indeed complied with the requirement to convert its low enriched uranium (LEU) to a form with less risk of proliferation, uranium dioxide.

    "The IAEA's recent report on the implementation of (the interim deal) shows that only 9 percent of Iran's stockpile of newly produced LEU hexafluoride has actually been converted into uranium dioxide form," the Institute for Science and International Security said in a press release.

    "When it became clear that Iran could not meet its commitment to convert the LEU into uranium dioxide, the United States revised its criteria for Iran meeting its obligations," the institute said, adding that the LEU had apparently been converted into a form different from uranium dioxide.

    "Iran had two requirements under the (interim deal): to end the time period with the same amount of UF6 they began it with, and to convert any excess UF6 produced into an oxide form. They've done both," a senior U.S. official told Reuters.

    The IAEA did not have an immediate response to a query about its report.

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  • Trial date set for Leyla and Arif Yunus case
    03.07.2015 19:34
    A jury trial for the cases of Leyla Yunus, the imprisoned director of the Institute for Peace and Democracy, and his husband Arif Yunus has been scheduled for July 13.

    The trial will be presided over by judge Afgan Hajiyev. Investigation into the cases of Leyla and Arif Yunus has alreayd been sent to the Baku Court of Grave Crimes, APA reports.

    On 30 July 2014, Nasimi district court in Baku sentenced Leyla Yunus to three months in prison. A criminal case was launched against her under articles #274 (treason), 178.3.2 (fraud with causing damage in the large size), 192.2.2 (illegal business with extraction of income in the large size), 213.2.2 (tax evasion with causing damage in large amount), 320.1 (Fake of certificate or other official document giving the rights or releasing from duties, with a view of its use or selling of such document, as well as manufacturing in same purposes or selling of counterfeit state awards of the Azerbaijan Republic, stamps, seals, forms) and 320.2 (use of obviously counterfeit documents provided in article 320.1) of the Criminal Code.

    Arif Yunus was arrested on 5 August 2014 over charges under articles #178.3.2 (fraud with causing damage in the large size) and 274 (treason) of the Criminal Code.

    The criminal case on Leyla and Arif Yunus under article #274 (treason) has been sent to a separate trial. The Baku Court of Grave Crimes is currently considering the cases on fraud and other crimes.
  • President congratulates Lithuanian medalists of European Games
    03.07.2015 19:17
    /By AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite has sent letters of gratitude to the country`s seven medal winning athletes as well as their coaches and doctors, who participated in the inaugural European Games held between June 12 and 28 in Azerbaijanв's capital, Baku, ELTA, Lithuanian National News Agency says.

    With a tally of two gold, one silver and four bronze medals, Lithuania ranked 24th in the overall medal table of the Games.

    The gold medals came from Henrikas Zustautas (canoe sprint) and Andrius Sidlauskas (swimming) won Lithuania`s only silver. Kestutis Navickas (badminton), Radvilas Matukas and Ruta Aksionova (sambo), Monika Povilaityte and Ieva Dumbauskaite (beach volleyball) grabbed bronze medals.

    The European Games were surely a mega event hosting 6,000 athletes from 50 nations. These Games are the equivalent of the Olympic Games for the European nations.

    Athletes competed in 20 sporting events, 16 of which were Olympic disciplines and 12 used the Games as an Olympic qualifier for Rio 2016.

    Baku was awarded the Games by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in December 2012.
  • Tehran calls on IAEA to not to be influenced by world powers
    03.07.2015 19:16
    /By AzerNews/

    By Sara Rajabova

    The Iranian president has urged the International Atomic Energy Agency to play its proper role in the nuclear talks between Iran and the P 1 group without being influenced by world powers.

    During a meeting with IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano in Tehran on July 2, Hassan Rouhani underlined that Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog can resolve the remaining issues in a short period of time, Iranian media reported.

    Amano traveled to Tehran for talks with senior Iranian officials over ongoing cooperation between the Islamic Republic and the IAEA.

    ''Iran is still ready to achieve a fair framework for settling the remaining issues in the specified time under the safeguards and existing regulations,'' Rouhani said.

    Negotiators from Iran and the P5 1 group of countries - the U.S., Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany - are working to reach a comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear program in Vienna, Austria. The two sides have agreed to continue talks to strike a final deal by July 7.

    The Iranian president noted that the expansion of peaceful nuclear activities and the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons are two important duties of the IAEA, which should be fulfilled in a balanced way and without discrimination against its member-states.

    ''Iran's transparent cooperation with the IAEA is a golden example of a large number of examples and it has been proven for the IAEA that the accusations on Iran's diversion from nuclear activities have been baseless,'' Rouhani added.

    He also reiterated that Iranв's non-diversion from its nuclear obligations over the past 12 years of close cooperation with the IAEA should be the best evidence for international public opinion as to whether or not Iran will keep its commitments.

    Iran joined the nuclear NPT and signed the Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA in 1973. The accord came into force in 1974.

    Amano, for his part, appreciated the Islamic Republicв's cooperation with the IAEA, saying that the country has always abided by its commitments.

    He also expressed hope that a report, which the agency will release after his trip to Tehran, would aid the successful trend of the nuclear talks.

    While the nuclear negotiations are underway in Vienna, some of the parties to the talks expressed hope for the successful competition of negotiations.

    Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on July 2 that there was a strong likelihood Iran and the six world powers would succeed in reaching a nuclear accord in the coming days, though he cautioned that there were still difficult issues to be resolved, Reuters reported.

    Wang said there's a high possibility for an agreement by July 7.

    However, he added that Iran and the six were "faced with some important and sensitive issues which no one can shy away from."

    Russia also expressed confidence that Iran and the P5 1 group can strike a final deal over Tehranв's nuclear program in the coming days.

    Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said all delegations present in the ongoing talks in the Austrian capital of Vienna are ''determined'' to strike a deal by the extended July 7 deadline.

    Ryabkov also claimed that the text of a possible final deal over Tehranв's nuclear activities is "91 percent finished."

    The removal of sanctions against Iran and access to the countryв's military sites were cited to be among the major issues of disagreement between the sides.
  • Azerbaijani President allocates AZN 1.5 mln for road construction in Fuzuli
    03.07.2015 19:13
    President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has issued an order on extra measures regarding construction of inter-settlement motor roads among the Birinji and On birinji Gayidish settlements in Fuzuli region, APA reports.

    According to order, AZN 1.5 mln has been allocated to the Fuzuli Executive Power from the Azerbaijani president's reserve fund for construction of inter-settlement motor roads among the Birinji and On birinji Gayidish settlements, which connect 11 settlements.

    The Finance Ministry is to provide funding.
  • Kazakhstanв's banks exchange their subsidiaries
    03.07.2015 19:11
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 3

    By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

    Hereby "BTA Bank" JSC (hereinafter - Bank) informs about alienation of shares of the Bank subsidiary companies to the "Kazkommertsbank" JSC on the basis of the signed Contract on Simultaneous Transfer of Assets and Obligations dd. June 15th 2015, BTA Bank said July 3.

    Kazkommertsbank was transferred to Limited Liability Partnership Titan-Inkassatsiya, dealing with cash delivery vehicle and conveyance of bank notes, coins, values and Limited Liability Partnership "Subsidiary of "BTA Bank" JSC "AlemCard", dealing with collection and centralized processing of transactions applying of payment card. BTA Bank had 100 percent shares in both companies.

    Also Bank notifies about acquisition of participation interest of Limited Liability Partnership "KAZKOM Realty", dealing with purchase and sale of other real estate, within mentioned Contract on Simultaneous Transfer of Assets and Obligations signed on June 15, 2015.

    Kazkommertsbank and BTA Bank signed an agreement on the simultaneous transfer of assets and obligations on June 15. BTA Bank's some assets and liabilities were transferred to Kazkommertsbank. Kazkommertsbank's other distressed assets were transferred to the BTA.

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  • WB to allocate $200M to Uzbekistan for reconstruction of roads
    03.07.2015 18:21
    Tashkent, Uzbekistan, July 3

    By Demir Azizov- Trend:

    The Board of Directors of the World Bank (WB) approved the allocation of a loan to Uzbekistan in the amount of $ 200 million to implement the project of reconstructing local roads last week, the WB representative office in Tashkent told Trend.

    The project worth $ 240 million envisages the overhaul of 10 sections of local roads with a total length of 90 kilometers in Tashkent region at the first stage, a representative of the office said. The second stage envisages the similar work in three areas of the Fergana Valley - Andijan, Namangan and Ferghana.

    The project implementation period is four years.

    The funds will be allocated from the International Development Association's funds (IDA, the WB structural unit) in the form of an interest-free loan for 35 years, including a 10-year grace period with payment of fees.

    At present, the total length of roads is about 150,000 kilometers in Uzbekistan. Some 45,000 kilometers of them account for main highways, including 3,200 kilometers - highways of international importance and 18,800 kilometers - highways of national importance.

    As many as 20 international transport routes run through Uzbekistan.

    Annually, 220 kilometers of roads are laid and reconstructed and 400-450 kilometers are overhauled in Uzbekistan.

    Uzbekistan became a member of the World Bank in 1992. In total, the WB allocated around $2 billion worth loans to Uzbekistan for implementing projects in the field of privatization, financial sector development, modernization of agriculture, electricity sphere, improving social infrastructure, health and education.

    WB intends to allocate a total of $1.3 billion to Uzbekistan to implement 15 investment projects in the sphere of energy, transport, melioration, petrochemistry, textile industry, processing of agricultural products and increasing the quality of medical services in 2012-2015 in accordance with the WB partnership strategy with Uzbekistan.

    Currently, the total volume of the bank's current liabilities in Uzbekistan exceeds $1 billion.

    Edited by CN

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  • Turkmenistan, Georgia sign package of intergovernmental documents
    03.07.2015 18:19
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, July 3

    By Huseyn Hasanov- Trend:

    A package of intergovernmental documents was signed during the visit of Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammadov to Georgia on July 2-3, said the message from Turkmen government.

    The following documents were signed between Turkmenistan and Georgia: memorandum on cooperation between the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan and Georgia's National Academy of Sciences; memorandum of understanding between Turkmen Finance Ministry and Financial Monitoring Service of Georgia on cooperation in exchange of financial information related to the money laundering and financing terrorism.

    Moreover, the sides inked such documents as a memorandum of understanding in the sphere of sports between Turkmenistan's State Sports Committee and Georgia's Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs; memorandum on cooperation in the sphere of education between Turkmenistan's Ministry of Education and Georgia's Ministry of Education and Science; agreement between the governments of Turkmenistan and Georgia on cooperation in the sphere of culture and art and on Turkmen-Georgian intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation.

    Edited by SI

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  • Iskander-M: expensive sedative panacea for Armenia
    03.07.2015 18:15
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 3

    By Elmira Tariverdiyeva - Trend:

    The media rumors had been around long ago (and, most likely, the rumors will prove to be true) that Russia decided to supply the Iskander-M modern tactical missile systems to Armenia. In this case and in case of supplying other modern weapons, several questions arise.

    At first glance, Russia's decision on Iskander-M supplies is sudden. However, may be this is not so sudden as it seems?

    An extraordinary session of the Armenian National Assembly was convened July 2 to discuss an agreement on Russia's delivering a soft loan to Armenia.

    Using these funds Russia will supply the advanced weapons worth $200 million to the Armenian armed forces.

    It is clear that another soft loan promises Yerevan a lot of problems. A calming loan agreement for the Armenian authorities will increase the country's huge external debt. Supplying of more weapons in debt (and it must be paid anyway) must disturb people in Armenia, who have nothing to eat. It is clear that finally, the debt for the authorities' serenity will be a heavy burden for the future generations of Armenians, who will unlikely to need the outdated by that time and greatly corroded complexes which Moscow will not allow Armenia to use.

    But the questions remains, why does Moscow need it? To tell the truth, the Russian authorities are not inclined to deliver their strategic weapons to third countries, and some misunderstandings between the Russian defense ministry and the Kremlin have taken place more than once because of that.

    However, Moscow has suddenly decided to help starving Armenia by giving it weapons. Given the fact that nowadays one can hardly call the economy of Russia itself thriving because of the sanctions and falling oil prices (while a lot of money are needed for rearmament of Russia's own army), such a gesture clearly looks forced.

    The only question is what prompted Moscow to take such a controversial decision.

    The agreement on granting a loan by Russia was reached in late June, at a time when, by a strange coincidence, protests against the increase in electricity tariffs, insisted upon by the Russian company Electric Networks of Armenia, began in Yerevan and other cities of the country.

    Naturally, the Armenian people are tired. They can no longer make permanent concessions to the government and therefore, protest it. Nevertheless, such protests are a very convenient excuse for explaining to Russia's everyman the reason for providing the neighboring country with assistance, which is supposed to prevent any western influence to Armenians and prevent them getting out of Kremlin's "sphere of influence" as Ukraine did. From this point of view, the protests in Armenia became a very convenient justification of Russia's activities on the loan issue. Isn't it too convenient to be just a coincidence?

    Moreover, possession of modern Russian weapons by Armenia is a convenient reason for Russia to sell its weapons to Azerbaijan for several billions dollars. Azerbaijan doesn't need loans and can buy what it needs, thereby assisting Russia's defense sphere with vital financial injections.

    However, it won't be difficult for Moscow from the technical or moral point of view to control the Russian weapons delivered to Armenia.

    Edited by CN


    Elmira Tariverdiyeva is Trend Agency's staff writer, follow her on Twitter @EmmaTariver

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  • SOCAR suspends shipment of oil from Novorossiysk port
    03.07.2015 18:14
    The company has disseminated information.

    In June 2015, the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) exported 339 020 tons of crude oil from the port of Supsa and 1 699 925 tons from the port of Ceyhan.

    Oxu.Az reports wth reference to SOCAR that in June 2015, oil was not shipped from Novorossiysk port, despite the fact that in the first half of 2015, 678 046 tons of oil were shipped from this port through the Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline, which is 33.4% more than in the same period last year.

    SOCAR notes that in general in January-June 678 460 tons were exported from Novorossiysk port, 1 524 900 tons - from the port of Supsa, 9 203 947 tons of crude oil - from the port of Ceyhan.

    Figures of volume of crude oil exported by SOCAR, include crude oil belonging to the Azerbaijan state, as well as to the company itself.

    In addition, in June 2015, 2 597 725 tons of Azerbaijani oil were exported on via main export pipeline Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC).

    And 14 544 284 tons of oil were transported in January-June this year. In total, since the commissioning of the pipeline and up to 1 July 2015, the amount of pumping was 278 369 216 tons.

    In addition, BTC pipeline transported 343 394 tons of Kazakh and Turkmen oil in June this year and the figure was 482 622 tons in May.
  • Why Iran's liquid fuel consumption plunges?
    03.07.2015 18:04
    By Dalga Khatinoglu

    Iran's liquid fuel consumption decreased dramatically during spring and reached 16.6 billion liters.

    The figure in last year's spring was 18.765 billion liters.

    The mentioned figures include gasoline, diesel, kerosene, and fuel oil, while Iran's liquid petroleum gas (LPG) consumption also reached 497,271 metric tons in the first three months of Iran's fiscal year, started on March 21, compared to 505,641 tons in the same period last year.

    Some 6.640 billion liters of gasoline, 7.263 billion liters of diesel, 2.371 billion liters of fuel oil, and 353.4 million liters of kerosene were consumed in spring this year.

    The figures indicate that gasoline consumption increased, while other liquid fuels decreased.

    The biggest factor in decreasing other types of liquid fuels is less use of gas-oil, fuel oil and kerosene in the power sector.

    According to the latest weekly report, published by Iran's Energy Ministry covering a period from March 21 to June 20, Iranian power plants consumed 15.585 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas ( 18.7 percent), 441 million liters of gas-oil (-71.9 percent) as well as 940 million liters of fuel oil (- 49.7 percent).

    According to statistics, Iran's total oil-gas consumption decreased by 1.405 billion liters during spring, while fuel oil usage decreased by 0.71 billion liter.

    Over 50 billion cubic meters of gas were supplied to the country's power plants last fiscal year (ended on March 20), 15 billion cubic meters more compared to its preceding year. The supply of liquid fuel to power plants was decreased by 1.8 billion liters in the past Iranian fiscal year.

    Iran consumed about 9.231 billion liter of gas-oil (-24.2 percent) and 10.281 billion liter (- 32.6 percent) of fuel oil in the power sector last year.

    Iran also planned to increase gas supplement to the power sector by 7 billion in current fiscal year to push fuel oil consumption down.

    During spring, Iran's kerosene consumption decreased by 83.1 million liters, while gasoline consumption increased by 186 million liters.

    Edited by CN

    Dalga Khatinoglu is an expert on Iran's energy sector, head of Trend Agency's Iran news service

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  • Turkeyв's new defense minister named
    03.07.2015 18:03
    Turkeyв's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has appointed Vecdi Gonul the countryв's new defense minister, TRT Haber news channel reported July 3.

    Gonul, whose candidacy wasnв't mentioned before, served as the countryв's defense minister till 2011. Currently, he is an MP from the ruling Justice and Development Party.

    It was earlier reported that two MPs from the Justice and Development Party - Alpaslan Kavaklioglu and Mahir Unal - were nominated as candidates for the post of the defense minister.

    Turkey held parliamentary election June 7, which involved 20 political parties. Over 53 million people cast ballots in this election. The coalition government should be formed in Turkey within 45 days after announcing the results of the parliamentary election.

    As a result of the parliamentary election, the ruling Justice and Development Party garnered 40.9 percent of the votes, the Republican Peopleв's Party (CHP) '" 25 percent, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) '" 16.3 percent, the Peoplesв' Democratic Party (HDP) '" 13.1 percent.

    The other political parties gathered a total of 4.7 percent of the votes.

  • Anti-Azerbaijani provocation in Georgia
    03.07.2015 17:55
    An unpleasant incident occurred during the football match between 'Gabala' FC (Azerbaijan) and 'Dinamo' (Georgia).

    According to Oxu.Az, a photo of a placard hang out by Georgian fans was spread in social networks with the words 'We remember Zagatala and Gakh in 1921'.

    The placard was removed only after UEFA officials interfered.

    It is not the first case.

    On 31 July of 2014 during the match in Baku between Neftchi and Chikhura, the Georgian fans had the same placard.

    At that placard Azerbaijani regions Zagatala and Gakh were indicated as a territory of Georgia.

    At that time Georgian FM Maya Panjikidze made a statement on this issue noting that this incident was organized by provocateurs who try to spoil the friendly relations between the two countries.
  • Jirtdan Puppet Theatre Festival due in Baku
    03.07.2015 16:45
    /By AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    The 3rd International "Jirtdan" Puppet Theatre Festival will be held in Baku on November 15-20.

    The festival will be co-organized by the Azerbaijan Culture and Tourism Ministry, International Association of Puppetry UNIMA, and the Azerbaijan State Puppet Theatre named after Abdulla Shaig.

    Within six days the countryв's capital will host the multi-genre festival, to be filled with colorful performances of puppeteers from around the world.

    It will be held under the state program entitled "Azerbaijani theater in 2009-2019," which aims to ensure the preservation and development of the rich heritage and artistic traditions of Azerbaijani theater.

    Last year, the festival attracted puppeteers from many popular international puppet theaters, including the British Puppet Theatre Dorset and an Italian Puppet Theatre called ''Teatro Verde Burattini.''

    Every nation has its own verbal folklore for children, many created by adults, and some even spontaneously created by children themselves in response to a situation.

    "Jirtdan" is one of the most popular and beloved fairy tales in Azerbaijan. Jirtdan, meaning "tiny" in Azerbaijani, is about a child, much too small for his age, who finds strength in being intelligent.

    This fairy tale closely resembles the German story of Hansel and Gretel, in which a brother and sister lose their way in the forest and finally outsmart and escape an evil witch who intends to eat them.
  • Iran optimistic about PMD concerns resolution
    03.07.2015 16:45
    Tehran, Iran, July 3

    By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:

    Iran is optimistic that the concerns over possible military dimensions (PMD) to its nuclear program will be resolved.

    IAEA Secretary General Yukiya Amano's trip to Tehran was successful and constructive and Iran is willing to cooperate with the IAEA to raise misunderstandings about the PMD, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said.

    A good opportunity has come about to address claims that were made in the past in a new, calm atmosphere, he said, IRNA news agency reported July 3.

    He added Tehran is ready to cooperate with the IAEA to abolish accusations and prove that Iran has a blank record.

    Araqchi's remarks followed IAEA Secretary General Yukiya Amano's trip to Tehran on July 2.

    President Rouhani and Amano discussed topics such as Iran-IAEA relations within the cooperation framework document and how to expedite resolving all issues, including the past nuclear activities of Iran.

    Amano had met US Secretary of State John Kerry in Vienna before travelling to Tehran.

    Iran and the P5 1 are in intensive talks to hammer a comprehensive nuclear agreement until July 7. The sides reached a framework deal in the Swiss city of Lausanne on April 2.

    Edited by CN

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  • EU must support Karabakh conflict settlement within Azerbaijanв's internationally recognized borders - deputy FM
    03.07.2015 16:30
    Mahmud Mammad-Guliyev attended the informal dialogue meeting of Eastern Partnership countries' foreign ministers in Minsk

    Baku - APA. Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmud Mammad-Guliyev attended the informal dialogue meeting of Eastern Partnership countries' foreign ministers in Minsk, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry told APA on July 1.

    The meeting focused on the future prospects of relations between the EU member states after the Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga.

    Mammad-Guliyev in his speech spoke about the possibilities of movement of persons between Azerbaijan and the European Union, the establishment and development of energy, transport and trade links.

    Informing about the good governance, ongoing reforms and anti-corruption efforts in Azerbaijan, the deputy FM stressed the effective operation of ASAN service in this regard.

    The international community, including the EU need to support the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the internationally recognized borders of Azerbaijan, noted Mammad-Guliyev on the basis of the UN Security Council resolutions and documents adopted by other international organizations.

    The informal dialogue meeting of Eastern Partnership countries' foreign ministers is held in the member states' capitals. The purpose of these meetings is to exchange views on the state and prospects of development of relations between the EU and partner countries. The last informal dialogue meeting took place in Baku on September 9, 2014.
  • Turkey: Inflation drops sharply in June
    03.07.2015 16:26
    Inflation in Turkey dropped sharply in June, the Turkish Statistical Institute reported on Friday.

    The Consumer Price Index lost 0.51 percent in June from May, bringing the annual inflation rate to 7.20 percent in June from 8.09 percent in May.

    The decrease was greater than analysts had forecast: 21 economists surveyed by Anadolu Agency had predicted inflation would fall to 7.55 percent in June.

    The highest monthly decrease was 2.79 percent in food and non-alcoholic beverages -- these have been key drivers in inflation pressure this year, according to the Turkish Central Bank.

    On a monthly basis, the cost of recreation and culture saw the highest price increases, with hotels, cafes and restaurants up 1.09 percent.

    Despite the decline, analysts doubted that a further decline is in store.

    "Despite the decline in headline inflation, the core inflation rate, which does not include food and energy, should continue to remain elevated through the end of the year," economist Attila Yesilada of Global Source Partners said in an interview.

    "Friday's consumer price index data will be decisive for Turkish assets. The reason is hidden in the seasonal pattern of inflation," commented Bora Tamer Yilmaz, an economist with Ziraat Securities in Istanbul, in a note published on Friday.

    "So far in the first five months inflation has overshot its historic pattern due to food prices. Finally, after almost one-and-a-half years, food inflation has started to behave on the back of favorable weather conditions," Yilmaz said.

    "Historically for year-end food inflation June matters the most. Because, on average, in December prices are 6.4 percent higher compared to June. Therefore, if in June food prices revert to their historic level of 0.77 percent year-to-date inflation, year-end food inflation may edge up to 11.2 percent."

    "That's 2.2 percent higher than the central bank has foreseen in their latest inflation report," Yilmaz added.
  • Heydar Aliyev Center now enjoys Mobile App
    03.07.2015 15:51
    /By AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    The Heydar Aliyev Center has released a new Mobile App.

    The application, available for IOS and Android, can be purchased in the App Store and Google play.

    The app gives detailed information about the life and activity of national leader Heydar Aliyev and the Heydar Aliyev Center itself.

    The application also features the news and detailed information about events and exhibitions held in the center.

    Users can also purchase online tickets for exhibitions and concerts hosted at the center, using the ''buy tickets'' feature under the E-ticket tab

    Purchased tickets are stored in the "My Tickets" section. Once the consumer purchases a ticket, he/she will receive a confirmation e-mail.

    Ticketholders can then present the ticket stored in the app on their mobile devices upon entry or provide a printout of the ticket via e-mail.

    The futuristic Heydar Aliyev Center is a brilliant piece of post-modern architecture.The buildingв's shape is an eternal cycle, connecting the past with the present.

    A bright white pearl of modern Baku, the center, designed by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, was opened in the capital in 2012.

    Recognized as a world masterpiece of architecture, the Heydar Aliyev Center has immediately grown into a signature architectural landmark of modern Baku. The building won the London Design Museum award in 2014.

    The harmonious lines connecting to its interior design also attracts guests, who get the sense of being onboard a UFO.

    The center is divided into three sections. One of the most popular is the Heydar Aliyev Museum, which describes the history of Azerbaijan through different stages of Heydar Aliyevв's life and work.

    The second section is the Exhibition Halls, which consists of nine floors with exhibition halls, an administrative office, and a cafeteria.

    The Auditorium is the last section. It contains four levels and contains two multifunctional conference halls, meeting rooms, and the media center.
  • National, Int'l Athlete Ambassadors reach high results
    03.07.2015 15:46
    /By AzerNews/

    By Nigar Orujova

    The inaugural European Games Baku have been a great success for Baku 2015 International and National Athlete Ambassadors.

    Competing with Europeв's leading elite athletes, the Ambassadors were able to reach the highest results and prove once again their important Ambassador roles.

    Azerbaijani Athlete Ambassadors were: Amil Hamzayev (Basketball 3x3), Elgun Alizada (Cycling), Elmar Gasimov (Judo), Jeyran Aliyeva (Volleyball), Marina Durunda (Gymnastics), Murad Sultanov (Cycling), Nazim Babayev (Athletics), Rovshan Bayramov (Wrestling), Sabina Mikina (Fencing), Sugrakhanim Mugabilzada (Archery), Mariya Stadnik (Wrestling).

    National Athlete Ambassadors successes:

    Athleteв's name



    Marina Durunda

    Rhythmic Gymnastics


    Nazim Babayev

    Athletics (Menв's Triple Jump)


    Mariya Stadnik



    International Athlete Ambassadors team included: Taha Akgul (Turkey, Wrestling), Niccolo Campriani (Italy, Shooting), Maja Wloszczzowska (Poland, Mountain bike cycling), Vasiliki Vougiouka (Greece, Fencing), Dimitrij Ovtcharov (Germany, Table Tennis), Katie Taylor (Ireland, Boxing), Jade Jones (Great Britain, Taekwondo), Kseniya Moustafaeva (France, Gymnastics), Rene Holten Poulsen (Denmark, Canoe Sprint), Serbia 3x3 Basketball team, Russian Beach Soccer Team.

    International Athlete Ambassadors successes:

    Athleteв's name



    Maja Wloszczowska



    Niccolo Campriani



    Rene Holten Poulsen

    Canoe Sprint


    Dimitrij Ovtcharov

    Table Tennis


    Jade Jones



    Katie Taylor



    Taha Akgul



    Serbia Basketball 3x3 (Dusan Domovic Bulut, Marko Savic, Marko Zdero and Dejan Majstorovic)

    Basketball 3x3


    Russian Beach Soccer (Andrey Bukhlitskiy, Ilya Leonov and Anton Shkarin)

    Beach Soccer


    Azad Rahimov, Youth and Sport Minister, Chief Executive of Baku 2015, said: "We had no doubt that our talented Athlete Ambassadors would do a great job promoting Baku 2015 around Europe as well as in Azerbaijan."

    He went on to stress that "They backed this up showing great results in the competitions. I am delighted to see how many medals our Ambassadors won and I want specifically congratulate Azerbaijani athletes Maria Durunda, Nazim Babayev and Maria Stadnik for the outstanding results. We thank them all for their outstanding support and contribution to the success of the inaugural European Games."

    There were 253 medal events in the inaugural European Games, that gathered over 6,000 athletes to compete in 20 sports.
  • Azeryolservis OJSC makes proposal for traffic regulation in Baku
    03.07.2015 15:42
    Transport Ministryв's Azeryolservis OJSC made proposal on Actions Plan which is being considered by the Traffic Security Commission under the Cabinet of Ministers.

    According to head of press service of Azeryolservis OJSC Anar Najafli, the OJSC make a proposal to the Traffic Security Commission to permit the trucks to enter Baku only from 00:00 to 07:00, APA reports.

    At the same time, the trucks entered Baku from 00:00 to 07:00 are not permitted to move inside the city in the daytime: "They can move in the city only from 00:00 to 07:00".

    Najafli also noted that though there were imposed many restrictions on the entry of trucks the city, they moved in the city in the daytime: "Azeryolservis OJSC wants to achieve regulation by this proposal. The final decision regarding this proposal will be made by the Traffic Security Commission under the Cabinet of Ministers".

    On July 1, the duration of traffic restrictions on the Games lanes was extended for 10 days as BEGOC appealed that the athletes taking part in Baku 2015 first European Games and foreign guests are still in the city.

    Upon the request of the residents who were satisfied with the arrangement of traffic movement in the capital during the Games, as well as the comfortable and smooth movement of vehicles as a result of the elimination of traffic congestion and its positive impact on the environment, the Road Safety Commission under the Cabinet Ministers of Azerbaijan hold meetings and discussions with the participation of the Commission members to develop action plan for solving traffic problems, and probably in next few days, the public will be given detailed information about the decisions to be adopted.
  • Saudi prince extends $300,000 in aid to Tbilisi
    03.07.2015 15:42
    Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has allocated 300 thousand dollars to help victims of the devastating flood in Tbilisi.

    Oxu.Az reports citing Georgian mass media that the statement came from the press service of the Georgian Foreign Ministry.

    "We are closely watching the developments that have occurred as a result of floods in the river Vere gorge. We wish to express deep regret and condolences to the Georgian people.

    In hard times, friends are always around. The Alwaleed Philanthropies fund is one of the first among those who help flood victims", says a letter addressed to the Prince of Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili.

    By official data, 19 people died and three were considered missing as a result of the devastating flood that his Tbilisi on the night of June 14.
  • Vladimir Putin hails organization of Baku 2015
    03.07.2015 14:57
    /By AzerNews/

    By Nigar Orujova

    Russian President Vladimir Putin praised the organization of the first European Games in Baku, said Igor Levitin, Aide to the Russian President.

    ''The European Games were held at the level of Olympic Games. The opening and closing ceremonies were excellently organized. President Vladimir Putin is very much pleased with how the Games were delivered,'' Vice-President of the countryв's Olympic Committee Levitin said at a press conference at TASS headquarters.

    He said that prior to the beginning of the Games he visited Baku to view the preparations. ''The Russian side was always in contact with the Organizing Committee, which approached its work with high professionalism.''

    President of the Russian Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov also said the inaugural European Games in Baku fully complied with Olympic standards.

    The inaugural European Games in Baku has attracted the head of states and high officials from all over the world. The magnificent opening ceremony of the Games was attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Belorussian President Alexander Lukashenko, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, Turkmenistanв's President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Tajikistanв's President Emomali Rahmon, and Filip Vujanovic, the President of Montenegro.

    The innovative competitions gathered over 6,000 athletes to show their strength and skills in 20 sports, 16 of which was Olympic and 12 were licensed for the Summer Olympics in Rio.

    Russia, presented by the team of 351 athletes, won the overall ranking with unbeaten 164 medals, 79 of which was gold medals.

    The country was followed by Azerbaijan with 56 medals and the Great Britain with 47 medals.
  • IS militants preparing terrorist attacks detained in Turkey
    03.07.2015 14:53
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 3

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Seven people preparing terrorist attacks on a number of strategic facilities of the province were detained in the Turkish province of Izmir in the southwest of the country, the Turkish Anadolu news agency reported July 3.

    The detainees are citizens of Turkey.

    They actively participated in the activity of armed groups in Syria and fought on the side of the Islamic State (IS) militants.

    The IS announced the establishment of an "Islamic caliphate" in its controlled areas in Iraq and Syria in late June 2014.

    Iraqi authorities appealed to the international community for help to combat this terrorist organization.

    Edited by CN

    follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

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  • ICRC representatives visit Armenian saboteur
    03.07.2015 14:52
    ICRC representatives have visited the Armenian saboteur.

    Representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Baku Office on Tuesday paid a visit to Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) citizen Arsen Baghdasaryan, who is held captive in Azerbaijan.

    The communications officer of the ICRC Yerevan Office, Zara Amatuni, told Armenian that, during this visit, Baghdasaryan was permitted to exchange family information.
  • ICRC representatives visit Shahbaz Guliyev and Dilgam Asgarov
    03.07.2015 14:51
    The International Committee of the Red Cross visited the Azerbaijanis held captive by Armenians in Nagorno Karabakh, reports.

    The International Committee of the Red Cross in Nagorno-Karabakh visited Shahbaz Guliyev and Dilgam Asgarov and provided them with an opportunity to exchange family news.

    According to its mandate, the ICRC will continue its visits to the captives on a regular basis to monitor treatment and conditions of detention and help to ensure that the captives are able to maintain contact with their families.

    On December 29, 2014, the 'First Instance General Jurisdiction Court' of the so-called 'NKR' sentenced Asgarov and Guliyev to life and 22 years, respectively, in prison.
  • Number of Armenian protesters to rise
    03.07.2015 14:09
    /By AzerNews/

    By Laman Sadigova

    Protesters in Armenia expect increase in number by Friday evening.

    About 30 protesters remained on Baghramyan Avenue in Yerevan for yet another night; and they are now awake and cleaning the camp.

    "We are not planning to leave because our requirements about the tariff cuts have not yet been fulfilled," one of the protesters told RIA Novosti. He added that protesters have begun cleaning the area with the expectation that more activists would join them on Friday evening.

    The Commission on Regulation of Public Services in Armenia in its June 17 meeting approved a decision to increase electricity tariffs by 6.93 Armenian drams (about $0.015). As a result, starting on August 1 consumers would have been required to pay 48.78 drams instead of the current 41.85 per 1 kWh per day.

    The approval of price hike has spurred strong discontent among the population, as many in Armenia believe that the rise in electricity tariffs will consequently trigger a price increase for crucial basic goods and services in a country already plagued by miserable economic conditions.

    However, once the authorities had offered to implement an audit of tariffs, the ranks of the protesters saw a split'"some of them announced their readiness to terminate their actions. At the same time, most of the protesters remained on Baghramyan Avenue. They refuse to leave the street, "as long as the authorities do not fulfill their demands for lower tariffs", as the protesters claim.

    Meanwhile, a civil initiative called ''No robbery!'' will convene a public meeting on Theatre Square in Gyumri on June 4 at 18:00.
  • Sheki to host sweets festival
    03.07.2015 14:05
    /By AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    Azerbaijanв's ancient city of Sheki will host the second International Festival of National Sweets, scheduled for July 20.

    Sweets are an inseparable part of the national cuisine, thatв's why the festival will gather cooks from all over Azerbaijani regions.Tahir Amiraslanov, the president of the Azerbaijan National Culinary Association, said this year the sweets festival will host pastry chefs from 25 regions of Azerbaijan, along with international confectioners from Turkey, Greece, Romania, Moldova, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Serbia, Korea and etc.

    All around, the event will celebrate Azerbaijan's rich cuisine and traditions in a joyful national atmosphere. The event participants will display their dishes according to national and regional custom. The treats will be placed in special pavilions equipped alongside decorative household items and rugs, relating to the region in which they are produced.

    The aromatic festival will be co-sponsored by the Culture and Tourism Ministry, Sheki City Executive Authority, and the Azerbaijan National Culinary Association.

    Representatives of UNESCO, the World Association of Chefs Societies, and various international organizations are expected to attend the sweets festival.

    Last year, the event hosted chefs from 23 regions in Azerbaijan and 6 foreign countries. The confectioners from Sheki and Kyrgyzstan were awarded top prize at the festival. Second place was taken by chefs from the Shamakhi region of Azerbaijan, Naftalan city, Turkey, and Georgia. Third place went to confectioners from the Gabala, Shamkir, Balakan regions, Ganja city, and Korea.

    Sheki is one of the most fascinating ancient cities of Azerbaijan, famous for its own sweet pakhlava, which is made of rice flour, nuts, and sugar-honey syrup. Anyone visiting Sheki will not be able to resist the temptation of its famous Pakhlava.

    There are more than 30 varieties of Azerbaijani pastries using ingredients such as poppy seeds, walnuts, almonds, sesame seeds, ginger, and cardamom, which make treats spicy and especially tasty.

    Every region of Azerbaijan has its own special recipe for local sweets, which may even have different shapes depending on the traditions of the region.

    Pakhlava, shekerbura and badambura- adornments of the Novruz holiday- are among the most famous Azerbaijani sweets.
  • Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan over 75 times within 24 hours
    03.07.2015 14:01
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 3


    Armenian armed forces have broken the ceasefire with Azerbaijan 77 times in numerous positions in the last 24 hours, Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said July 3.

    Armenian armed forces located on the nameless heights of Armenia's Ijevan district, opened fire at the positions of Azerbaijani armed forces located on the nameless heights of Gazakh district.

    Azerbaijani positions located in the village of Alibeyli of Tovuz district took fire from the positions located in the village of Aygepar of Armenia's Berd district.

    Moreover, Azerbaijani positions located on the nameless heights of Gadabay district underwent fire from the positions located on the nameless heights of Armenia's Krasnoselskiy district.

    Another ceasefire violation came from the positions located near the villages of Gulustan, Talish, Tapgaragoyunlu of Goranboy district, Chileburt, Gizil Oba of Terter, Shikhlar, Shirvanli, Garagashli, Sarijali, Javahirli, Merzili of Aghdam, Kuropatkino of Khojavend, Garakhanbeyli, Horadiz, Ashagi Seyidahmadli, Gorgan of Fizuli and Mehdili of Jabrayil district.

    Azerbaijani positions also took fire from the positions located on the nameless heights of Goranboy, Khojavend, Fizuli and Jabrayil districts.

    The opposing side was silenced with return fire.

    The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

    The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.

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  • Baku prepares for Formula 1 Grand Prix
    03.07.2015 13:21
    /By AzerNews/

    By Nigar Orujova

    Preparations for the Formula 1 Grand Prix, to be held in Azerbaijan in 2016, are on schedule, according to the Baku Grand Prix company.

    The urban highway project in the center of Baku has been designed by Hermann Tilkeв's architectural firm.

    The repair work will consist of several stages, Baku Grand Prix said. The main road construction work is planned for 2016.

    The project has already been prepared and submitted to the International Automobile Federation. Once the project is approved, construction work will begin.

    The competitions in Baku will be distinguished by their uniqueness, as the Azerbaijani capital, along with Monaco and Singapore, will each host a street circuit.

    The Baku race will overlap Seaside Boulevard and make a circle around the Old City, a national historical and architectural preserve and the most ancient part of Baku.

    Thus, spectators and guests can observe the entire city during these competitions. Taking into account that Formula 1 is one of the worldв's most popular television, the broadcasts will display the streets of Baku to the world.

    The length of the route in Baku will be 6 km with 8 right and 12 left turns. The speed on the track will reach 340 km/h.

    There will be an extremely narrow uphill section at the old town wall that will reward pinpoint accuracy and courage, and an acceleration section that will extend nearly 2.2km along the promenade where cars will be seen going at high top speeds. This is expected to create an incredible spectacle for race fans on the track and the viewers at home.

    The track will start and finish near Government House and covers all the landmarks of the capital city, medieval Old City, modern iconic skyline, and spectacular views across the Caspian Sea.

    Earlier, the CEO of Tilke Engineering, Hermann Tilke said he is absolutely thrilled up by the Baku European Grand Prix project.

    "We have created a challenging street circuit, in terms of engineering and design, and one that thrives on Baku's very attractive urban atmosphere and its great combination of history and 21st century style. The historic city centre, the beautiful seaside promenade and the impressive government house all are combined in a way to provide the perfect backdrop for a spectacular new track," he said.

    Formula One, the world's fastest motorsport championship is already very popular in Azerbaijan as a spectator sport.

    A National F1 team?

    Youth and Sports Minister Azad Rahimov earlier said the active support of the young drivers should be expected.

    ''Of course, we would like to see stages [of the F1] held under our flag, to have our drivers participating, teams and sponsors. We see a great potential in this project,'' he said.

    The minister expressed assurance that Azerbaijan would be interested in participating in the most prestigious racing series.

    As for the stage in 2016, he expects more than 11,000 foreign fans arriving in Baku.

    Azerbaijan is expected to spend between $66 to $86 million on the organization of the first stage.

    Baku has deep experiences in hosting international motor racing and has been hosting racing series for the past two years. This year, the Baku World Challenge will take place on November 1-2.
  • Korean Film Festival to be held in Azerbaijan
    03.07.2015 13:15
    Korean Film Festival co-organized by Azerbaijan Culture Foundation, SEBA (Seoul-Baku), Azerbaijan-Korean Cultural Exchange Association, Korea Fund and supported by Korean Embassy in Azerbaijan will be held on July 6 '" August 15.

    Ten Korean films produced in 2008-2013 will be demonstrated. These films were dubbed into Azerbaijani with the support of SEBA, APA reports.

    Korean films will demonstrated in five districts of Azerbaijan - Ganja (July 6-12), Lankaran (July 13-19), Sumgayit (July 20-29), Agdash (31 July -6 August) and Gabala (August 7-15).

    The Korean Film Festival will open in Ganja on June 6, and "Forever The Moment", directed by Yim Soon-rye, will be displayed.

    The film festival will end in Gabala on August 15 with the demonstration of film "Mama", directed by Choi Ik-hwan.

    Entry will be free for Korean Film Festival in Azerbaijan.
  • Iran leads world in use of bi-fuel vehicles
    03.07.2015 12:29
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 3

    By Dalga Khatinoglu - Trend:

    Iran with above 3 million duel fuel vehicles ranks first in the world.

    "It appears that Iran is the world's largest over India, Pakistan, Brazil and Argentina with over 3 million duel fuel vehicles with over 2000 refueling stations," the Executive Director at Asian Clean Fuels Association Clarence Woo told Trend July 3.

    According to Iran's official statistics, the country consumes about 69 million liters of gasoline per day, while the daily compressed natural gas (CNG) consumption level is about 19 to 20 million cubic meters. Iran uses about 53 million liters per day of gas-oil in transportation sector as well.

    Woo says, technologically, there is little obstacles in using CNG, and in Iran, using CNG to replace gasoline is mainly a situation of political will, and of course the investment of a total infrastructure to have enough CNG stations for refueling vehicles.

    "CNG is easy to distribute and its pricing can be lower than gasoline, especially with the latest price increases in gasoline. The problem is how the refineries aim to sell its gasoline production if all its cars use CNG. It could look at the export market, but it is also dependent on the gasoline trading market. The Middle East is becoming long on gasoline, and also the pricing in the international market for different grades of gasoline will have an impact to the refineries. This has to be considered as a total solution", he said.


    Iran ranks seventh in global CO2 production.

    According to World Bank statistics, Iran produced above 0.6 gigatons of CO2 in 2012, about 15 percent more than 2008, while the global figure was 32.3 Gt in 2012.

    As statistics indicate, the pollution caused by vehicles is huge and even Iranian officials say vehicles create 40-70 percent of urban pollution.

    Woo says vehicle pollution can cause as much as 90 percent of the pollution in a city.

    "Although CNG can help reduce the pollution level, other ways can be used to improve the gasoline emissions. For example, for Iran to legislate lower benzene limits to 1percent, olefins and aromatics and to be reduced, and RVP (Reid Vapor Pressure) etc can also help. If the gasoline specs can be upgraded to Euro 4 or 5 standards, then the emissions from gasoline and CNG may be comparable. With gasoline having a good heat value, a higher octane grade can help reduce fuel consumption by another 2 to 4%," he said.

    Iran currently produces 18 million liters per day (ML/d) as well as imports 6 ML/d of Euro-4 gasoline and the rest is below Euro-4 standards.

    Edited by CN

    Dalga Khatinoglu is an expert on Iran's energy sector, head of Trend Agency's Iran news service

    Follow him on @dalgakhatinoglu

  • Iranian MP calls for freeing Iranians jailed in U.S.
    03.07.2015 12:27
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 3

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend: Head of National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of Iranian Parliament, Allaeddin Boroujerdi, has requested Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to take measures promptly to free Iranians who are jailed in the U.S.

    In a letter to Zarif, Boroujerdi said: "A remarkable number of Iranian educated people have been arrested by the Central Intelligence Agency of the U.S. under the pretext of making an attempt to procure items which have been banned as a result of the sanctions," the Iranian parliament's news agency, ICANA, reported on July 3.

    "Considering that the imposition of sanctions is not legal and is a clear oppression to the Iranian nation, and the U.S. has misused its power to impose the sanction, I strongly demand you to make use of all your capacities to free the people who are illegitimately jailed in the US," the letter reads.

    Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said on June 13 that thirteen Iranians, who had been imprisoned on charges related to the sanctions, have been freed.

    Referring to nine Iranians, who are jailed in US prisons, she said that the consulate department of the Iranian Foreign Ministry is following up the case.

    "Arresting the persons was illegal and was based on void convictions. It is hoped that they would be freed as soon as possible."

    Edited by CN

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  • Kazakhstan increases electricity consumption
    03.07.2015 12:27
    Baku, Azerbaijan, June 30

    By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

    In January-May of 2015, electricity consumption in Kazakhstan increased by 0.6 percent compared with the same period last year (from 38.83 billion kilowatt/hours to 39.06 billion kilowatt/hours), said the message released by analytical service

    "It became the result of an increase in electricity consumption in the main consuming regions - Pavlodar (1.7 percent increase - 23.1 million kilowatt/hours) and Karaganda (6.1 percent increase - 70.7 million kilowatt/hours) regions, as well as a sharp rise in consumption in the Aktobe region (25.5 percent increase - 78 million kilowatt/hours)," said the message.

    The growth in electricity consumption in the Karaganda region of Kazakhstan is predictable and is due to the good rates in the industry (according to the Statistics Committee of the Ministry of National Economy, production of copper concentrates, non-alloy steel, refined copper and copper blister increased in January-May), according to the message.

    At the same time, Kazakhmys corporation, which is engaged in the production of copper, operates at two producing and manufacturing sites of the Karaganda region - Jezkazgan and Balkhash.

    In May 2015, electricity consumption in Kazakhstan has exceeded its production, said the message.

    Analytical service forecasts that electricity consumption in Kazakhstan will decrease in June and will remain at the minimum level until the autumn.

    Edited by CN


    Follow the author on Twitter: @E_Kosolapova

  • Turkey fortifies Syria border
    03.07.2015 12:26
    Turkey has deployed additional troops and equipment along part of its border with Syria as fighting north of the city of Aleppo intensifies, security sources said, but Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said there were no immediate plans for any incursion.

    Security sources and officials in Ankara said the Turkish army had stepped up security, sending additional equipment and soldiers including special forces in recent days, due to heavy fighting in the countryside north of Aleppo, Al Arabiyya reports.

    Syrian insurgents led by Islamist groups began a major offensive to gain full control of the divided northern city, a monitor and rebels said on Thursday, a move which would be a major blow for President Bashar al-Assad.

    "It's correct that we have taken precautions to protect our border. If there's any circumstance across the border that threatens Turkish security, orders to act have been given," Davutoglu told broadcaster Kanal 7 late on Thursday.

    "(But) no one should have the expectation that Turkey will enter Syria tomorrow or in the near term," he said.

    Some media had speculated that an imminent cross-border operation was being planned.

    "If anything occurred that were to threaten Turkish security, we wouldn't wait for tomorrow, we would go right in. But it's wrong to expect that Turkey would undertake such a unilateral intervention in the immediate term if there is no such risk," Davutoglu said.

    The sound of intense fighting, including explosions, could be heard from the Turkish border town of Kilis late on Thursday, about 50 kilometers north of the Syrian city of Azaz, witnesses said.

    The security sources said the fighting in Azaz was between hardline Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants and a joint force of Al Qaeda's Syrian offshoot Nusra Front and Western-backed rebels who have been clashing in north Aleppo countryside in recent weeks.

    Davutoglu said Assad, whose forces and allied militias hold western districts of Aleppo, had been cooperating with ISIS militants in attacking the moderate opposition.

    He said Syrians in Aleppo would not receive basic necessities like food and medicine if fighting cut the city off, creating a massive new influx of people to Turkey, which is already sheltering more than 1.8 million Syrian refugees.
  • Children take runway in Baku
    03.07.2015 11:53
    /By AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    A colorful children's fashion design competition, devoted to the 1stВ European Games, was held in Baku on July 1.

    Around 20 designers participated in the competition. Their collections were worn by young models aged between 5 and 11 years old.

    The organizer of the event, Mina Vagif, who also serves as the chairman of the Azerbaijani Volunteers Association, said that the main task of the designers was to reflect the spirit of the European Games in their dresses.

    A significant event in the history of Azerbaijani sports, the European Games hosted more than 6,000 athletes competing in 20 sports.

    Little boys and girls donning colorful sport attire and clothing reflecting traditional national ornaments and drawings of the pomegranate and Gazelle -- the mascots of Baku 2015 European Games -- happily walked down runway sharing smiles and kisses with the audience.

    Famous Azerbaijani fashion designers Fakhriya Khalafova and Gulnara Khalilova, as well as Samira Zeynalova, the head of the Azerbaijan Culture and Arts Studio in Moscow, Konul Azizova, the Azerbaijani model and actress who lives in Turkey and well known dancer Oksana Rasulova were among the jury.

    Designers Ilaha Hasanova and Natig Musazade won first place by vote.

    The children's fashion show is great opportunity for many boys and girls to expand their creative potential and support their freedom of expression.

    Azerbaijani moms today try to follow fashion trends, as clothes for children are not just a fad, but also a means to reflect their personalites and tastes.

    Azerbaijan has an ancient dress tradition and the national costume was basically the same in all historical ethnographic zones of the country.

    The national women's dresses have elegant silhouettes and are cut to emphasizing flexible waist of Azerbaijani beauties. They are decorated with intricate embroidery and beautiful golden band.

    Azerbaijani Men's clothing is also very distinct. They emphasize the masculinity without restricting a manв's rapid movements.
  • Armenia sees significant drop in foreign trade
    03.07.2015 11:52
    /By AzerNews/

    By Sara Rajabova

    In the background of the economic recession in Russia, the Armenian economy is also experiencing great hardships.

    The deepening recession in Russia has exacerbated the already miserable situation of the Armenian economy. Armeniaв's foreign trade turnover decreased by 32.3 percent in five months.

    Armeniaв's National Statistical Service reported that the volume of Armeniaв's foreign trade turnover in January-May of this year amounted to about $ 1.56 billion which reflects a32.3 percent drop compared to the same period in 2014.

    The volume of exports in January-May 2015 amounted to about $ 488.6 million, falling 15.2 percent, while import volume stood at $ 1,070 billion, showing a 38 percent decrease, according to official data. As a result, the foreign trade deficit amounted to a staggering $ 581.5 million.

    Armenia's foreign trade turnover with the Commonwealth of Independent States countries in the same period amounted to approximately $305.7 million (19.6 percent share and a 51.8 percent decline), with trade with Russia amounting to $ 242.7 million (54.6 percent decline), $ 50 million (32.7 percent decline) with Ukraine, and about $ 1.4 million (89.8 percent decline) with Belarus.

    In meantime, Armeniaв's trade volume with European Union countries in January-May totaled approximately $ 462.2 million (29.7 percent share and 28.6 percent decline), and trade with other countries stood at $ 790.8 million (50.7 percent share and 22.4 percent decline).

    The country's economic indicators are deteriorating by the day. Recession in Russian economy has been accelerating Armenia's worsening economic situation, since the country relies heavily on money transfers from its ''big brother.'' The strongest impact carried by the Russian recessions has been seen in the sharp decline of money transfers sent by labor migrants.

    Forecasts for the Armenian economy are far from favorable for the next few years. Any positive developments in the Armenian economic depend on Russia coming out of recession.

    The global financial crisis in previous years and a hardship that began in late 2014 have once again proved that the fragile Armenian economy depends strongly on regional developments - as reflected by falling foreign investments, remittances, and domestic trade.
  • Baku, Vilnius mull expansion of bilateral ties
    03.07.2015 11:48
    /By AzerNews/

    By Sara Rajabova

    The expansion of bilateral ties between Azerbaijan and Lithuania has been discussed during Azerbaijani defense ministerв's visit to Vilnius.

    Zakir Hasanov met Lithuaniaв' Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius on July 2, AzerTac news agency reported.

    Hasanov provided an insight into the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which emerged in 1988 over Armeniaв's territorial claims against Azerbaijan.

    He further hailed Azerbaijani-Lithuanian cooperation, saying the expansion of bilateral relations is in the best interests of the two countries.

    "We are confident that the consultations between the two countries and expansion of cooperation will contribute to the strengthening of peace and security in the Eurasian region," added Hasanov.

    The sides condemned international terrorism, all kinds of extremism, aggressive separatism and other threats to international security and stability, noting the need to intensify international efforts in the fight against them.

    Prior to the meeting, Hasanov laid a wreath at the independence monument commemorating those who died in the Lithuanian independence struggle in 1991.

    Earlier, Hasanov met his Lithuanian counterpart Juozas Olekas. They discussed issues on regional security, development of Armed Forces, boosting prospects for military cooperation between the two countries.

    Lithuania recognized Azerbaijanв's independence on December 21, 1991. Diplomatic relations between two countries were established on November, 1992. Lithuanian embassy was opened in Azerbaijan in April 2007. The Embassy of Azerbaijan was opened in Lithuania in September 2007.
  • Putin, Russiaв's Security Council to talk on protecting economy amid sanctions
    03.07.2015 11:46
    The discussion will be held amid the new wave of sanctions pressure from the Western countries that have decided to extend the earlier adopted decisions against Moscow

    "The topic [of meeting] is devoted to measures on protecting Russia's economy amid the continuing sanctions influence," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has told reporters, TASS reports.

    The head of the Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, will make a major address at the meeting.

    The discussion will be held amid the new wave of sanctions pressure from the Western countries that have decided to extend the earlier adopted decisions against Moscow. In response, Russia's authorities were forced to prolong the counter-sanctions for one year.

    Speaking at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum last month, Putin said this standoff leads to mutual losses.

    "We would naturally prefer not to respond to the destructive actions that some our partners are trying to impose, and by the way which they are imposing at a loss to themselves," the Russian leader said.

    "There have been various calculations among our European partners: some have said that European manufacturers are losing around 40 to 50 billion. Now the most recent reports I saw and heard from Europe say that European manufacturers may suffer losses of up to 100 billion [euros]," he said.

    Putin noted that the trade turnover between Russia and Europe dropped by nearly a quarter, while trade with the United States has grown by 5.6%

    "I am sure and I know for certain that nobody wants any losses at all. We are experiencing a recession and many experts in the Eurozone are talking about stagnation. That's why if we want to ensure the growth in the global economy, then we certainly need to eliminate various sanctions, especially unlawful ones imposed outside the framework of the United Nations," he said.
  • Zakir Hasanov on visit in Latvia
    03.07.2015 11:44
    It is planned to hold a series of meetings.

    After completing its official visit to Lithuania, the delegation headed by the Minister of Defense of Azerbaijan, Colonel-General Zakir Hasanov went to the Republic of Latvia.

    Oxu.Az reports citing the Defense Ministry that Zakir Hasanov will be on an official visit to Latvia from 3 to 4 July at the invitation of the newly elected President of Latvia, the current Defense Minister Raimonds Vejonis who will take up his duties on July 8.

    During the visit it is planned to hold a series of meetings, discussion of perspective directions of bilateral military cooperation, security and defense issues, and others.
  • Tajik workers in Russia reduce remittances
    03.07.2015 11:08
    /By AzerNews/

    By Vusala Abbasova

    The volume of the remittances from Russia to Tajikistan dropped by 87 percent during the first quarter of this year.

    For the first three months of the year, $364 million has been remitted from Russia to Tajikistan on individual basis, according to the Russia Central Bank.

    The volume of transfers decreased by $284 million or as compared with the same period of previous year, when the remittances from Russia to Tajikistan amounted to $648 million.

    The economic slowdown in Russia, the fall in the oil prices, as well as the Western political and economic sanctions significantly affected the volume of the migrant workers remittances, who are the basics of the Russia labor market.

    Drop in remittances made up 8.3 percent (or up to $3.9 billion) as compared 2013 and 2014.

    There were slightly fewer than 1 million Tajik citizens in Russia in an early June, 200,000 fewer than half a year earlier, according to data from Russia's Federal Migration Service.

    Thousands of migrant workers have left Russia after the economy crisis, which slashes the value of their earnings and makes increasingly hard to come by jobs.

    Russia holds the second position in the ranking of the world's biggest migrant population after the U.S., according to a 2013 United Nations report.

    The 2014 data from the International Fund for Agricultural Development are stunning in two respects. First, Russia ranks highest, with $20.7 billion in remittances, even though its per capita gross domestic product is less than those of other nations. The U.K., which recorded $17.1 billion in remittances, has per capita GDP that is almost 50 percent higher.

    Russia needs human resources to do the mostly menial jobs and is interested in the large amount of immigrants, what causes to high remittances from Russia.
  • Four Asian countries to ink deal on power transmission
    03.07.2015 11:07
    /By AzerNews/

    By Vusala Abbasova

    Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan will sign an agreement on the electric power line project CASA-1000 at the end of July, 2015.

    Representatives from four countries discussed the project with the World Bank, IDB, USAID, IFC, DFID, EBRD and the Intergovernmental Council Secretariat at the meeting in Kazakhstan on June 13.

    The CASA-1000 electric power line project will supply electricity from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan

    The CASA-1000 project with total estimated cost of $997 million will enable to supply 1,300 megawatt of existing summertime hydropower surplus from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in Central Asia to Afghanistan and Pakistan in South Asia.

    Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan possess the world's largest environmentally friendly and inexpensive electric power, which is known as hydropower.

    Afghanistan and Pakistan have a demand for energy for electricity in the summer to operate their industrial production, and avoid the closure of small businesses and job cuts.

    Tajikistan has 527 billion kWh of electricity reserves per year, which exceed by thrice the current demand of the Central Asian region for electricity.

    Tajikistan plans to export 3 billion kWh under the CASA-1000 project can stimulate the interregional cooperation between the countries of Central and South Asia, as well as provide the rational use of natural resources.

    Implementing CASA-1000 project on the territory of Tajikistan will be worth over $300 million, according to the Tajikistan Energy and Water resources Ministry.

    The project is financed by the World Bank (WB), Islamic Development Bank (IDB), European Investment Bank (EIB), as well as the United States Aid (USAID).

    Earlier, Tajikistan and the EIB signed a financial agreement on Tajik section of the CASA-1000 project, under which the EIB was to allocate 70 million euros.

    Tajikistan plans to allot 13 million soms (almost $2 million) from the state budget to construct its section of the electricity line.

    However, Kyrgyzstan has a problem with financing its section of CASA-1000, as it may increase the national debt to the critical level of 60 percent of GDP, the country's Finance Ministry assures.

    The total cost of Kyrgyzstan's section of the electricity line is $233 million, of which $124.1 million has been confirmed for financing.

    The Kyrgyzstan state debt amounted to $3.6 billion (214.8 billion soms) on December 31, 2014, and 94 percent of them is related to the public external debt amounting $3.4 billion (202.4 billion soms).

    The CASA-1000, which envisages creating necessary infrastructure and systems for power transmission, is scheduled to launch in 2018.
  • Armenian authorities better to sink into a reverie
    03.07.2015 11:06
    /By AzerNews/

    By Laman Sadigova

    A break in ''Electric Maidan'' has emerged on Day 12 of protests following the Armenian government's June 17 decision to increase the electricity tariff by 6.93 drams per kWh starting from August 1.

    "We are currently carrying out explanatory work among the citizens, so that they can refrain from violating the law and leave the Avenue," Yerevan Deputy Chief of Police Valery Osipyan said.

    "I think our citizens respect the law and understand that violating the law is impermissible," he added.

    Does the Armenian government not understand the problems of people, with every third person living in poverty?

    At the first sight, the cost seems insignificant, but not for Armenia, where citizens have no sources to pay for electricity. Armenia's current authorities led the country into poverty under their separatist policies. The country spends 30 percent of its budget on the military.

    This decision appeared to be the final boiling point for Armenian people.

    Despite Armenian expertsв' attempts to convince everyone that the protests are only for economic, not political reasons, the protests seemingly have deeper roots judging by demonstrator demands to meet with the president, which he successfully evaded.

    Armenia keeps 20 percent of neighboring Azerbaijan under occupation, a factor that undermines regional security. This aggressive and ill-conceived government policy has put the country in an economic blockade by Turkey in the south and Azerbaijan in the west, resulting in the collapse of the national economy, a drop in the value of the Armenian currency (dram), and widespread unemployment.

    Armenia has almost no natural resources, its economy is underdeveloped, and according to the World Bank, 32 percent of the population lives in poverty. Indeed, Armenian people have nothing to lose, because they are driven into despair.

    The Armenian governmentв's promise that there is ''nothing to worry about'' does not inspire confidence. The expectations may prove to be misleading, and a civil movement can get a second wind.

    Osipyan's efforts to demonstrate police patience evoke a surprise when compared to its actions. In other words, the governmentв's current rhetoric of "The police are doing their best now so that they leave the Avenue voluntarily" drastically contradicts its original where they stated, "We will restore public order in Baghramyan Avenue."

    Meanwhile reports claim that the number of protesters are rising from day to day and the governmentв's currently appeared new policy of waiting out is not helping. Perhaps, the Armenian government needs to review its priorities and change both internal and domestic policy. It is completely clear that even if they will be able to ''clear out'' the Armenian ''Maidan,'' it will appear again and again as long as the government refuses to listen to its own citizens.

    Isnв't that what the people actually want?
  • Kazakhstan takes measures to attract foreign investors
    03.07.2015 11:05
    /By AzerNews/

    By Aynur Karimova

    Kazakhstan, the largest economy in the Central Asian region, is keen on attracting foreign direct investment in various sectors of its national economy.

    Recently, speaking at a Kazakh-Italian business forum in Milan, President Nursultan Nazarbayev said the country has decided to extend a unilateral visa-free regime for a year for citizens of Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, Hungary, Monaco, Singapore, Australia, Norway, Sweden and Finland, 10 countries actively investing in Kazakh economy.

    This is not the first such step. Kazakhstan had introduced a unilateral visa-free regime for citizens of the U.S., the Netherlands, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, Korea, and Japan starting July 15, 2014.

    The creation of a favorable investment climate has been and remains one of the main priorities of Kazakhstan. The country primarily focuses on the countries whose representatives will not only make sound investments and bring effective management when entering the Kazakh market, but also introduce completely new technologies into production, which will make the country's industrial enterprises much more competitive.

    Analyses show that Kazakhstan is on the list of top countries in terms of foreign direct investment, which amounted to $180 billion in 2013. According to estimates by experts and investors operating in the country, today Kazakhstan has created the best investment conditions in the Central Asian region.

    The World Bank has recognized Kazakhstan as a country favorable for investment. It maintains a low international debt while its currency reserves exceed $100 billion.

    Some 10 special economic zones operate in Kazakhstan. Entrepreneurs enjoy full support and tax preferences in these zones.

    Investors in priority sectors (metallurgy, petrochemical, oil refining, engineering, construction materials, and food production sectors) are exempt from corporate income tax and land tax for a period of 10 years, and the property tax for eight years.

    The stability of tax legislation is guaranteed for investors. The government provides investment subsidies up to 30 percent for construction and the procurement of equipment.

    According to the Kazakh law "On Investments," investors are exempt from customs duties on the import of equipment, its components and spare parts, raw materials and supplies, as well as kind grants of not more than 30 percent of the total investment in fixed assets.

    Kazakhstan is also focused on the creation of an open labor market. The country grants the right to employ a foreign labor force beyond the quota for a period of more than one year for construction contracts, reconstruction, or completion of a construction project.

    Kazakhstan also continues institutional reforms aimed at improving the business climate. An international financial center will begin operating next year in Astana.

    The country also offers legal regulation for investment issues based on English law, with the proceedings in English involving foreign judges.

    The government also considers the exemption of foreign investors from the payment of corporate and individual income taxes for 10 years.

    In Kazakhstan, foreign businessmen do not need to go to the state agencies for the relevant documents, since the Ministry of Investment and Development handles these claims.

    Kazakhstan has also created an investment climate monitoring system. The Council of Foreign Investors, envisioned by the Kazakh president, addresses strategic issues, while the Council for Improvement of Investment Climate, created under the prime minister, is engaged in improvements on tax legislation and customs duties. Kazakhstanв's investment ombudsman is focused on resolving investor problems.

    Kazakhstan plans to transfer to the e-government platform to eliminate all contact between civil servants and investors. It will be possible to obtain all permits online thanks to the electronic document management system.
  • SOFAZ starts investing in Chinese Yuan
    03.07.2015 11:02
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 3


    In order to further broaden and diversify the currency basket, State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) has started making investments in Chinese Yuan, the Fund reported on July 3.

    The required license has already been obtained from the People's Bank of China (PBC) for investments of up to RMB 3 billion and a contract has been signed with the PBC for the purchase and custody of yuan denominated sovereign and agency bonds. As of July 1 2015, first investments in Chinese Yuan have been made.

    Going forward, Sofaz is planning to gain exposure to Chinese equity markets. To this end, we have taken steps to obtain the "Qualified Foreign Institution Investors" license granted by the China Securities Regulatory Commission.

    In accordance with the "Rules on management of foreign currency assets of the State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan" approved by the Presidential Decree No. 511 dated June 19, 2001, funds in SOFAZ's investment portfolio can be invested in securities that are denominated in currencies of G7 countries (USA, Germany, Great Britain and Kingdom Northern Ireland, France, Italy, Canada and Japan), European Monetary Union member countries, Russia and Turkey, as well as the countries with a long-term credit rating not less than "A" (Standard amp; Poors, Fitch) or "A2" (Moody's).

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