ON THE PROPAGANDA INCREASING TENSION IN ARMENIAN-AZERBAIJANI RELATIONS
February 07, 2017
Armenian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Civil Society Forum (CSF) expresses its deep concern over the intensification of propaganda and lobbying activities by the Azerbaijani authorities aimed at paralyzing the negotiation process over the settlement of Karabakh conflict and ruling out any opportunity of peaceful dialogue. In this connection we should mention the glorification at the official level of Ramil Safarov, sentenced by the Hungarian court to life imprisonment for murder and extradited to his homeland, violent persecution of journalists and representatives of civil society, engaged in peace-building activities together with Armenian partners, constant provocations in the media, bribery of foreign public officials and MPs with the aim to involve them in propaganda campaign, obstruction to the operation of the OSCE Yerevan Office, which is the only one in the South Caucasus, the initiatives by the parliamentarians from the ruling “Yeni Azerbaijan” party to recognize Yerevan as part of the Republic of Azerbaijan, etc.
Under the threat of suffering the same fate as their fellow human rights advocates, non-governmental organizations of that country get more actively involved in the destructive activities of their authorities. In particular, it is a matter of concern that EaP CSF Azerbaijan National Platform not for the first time becomes an instrument of the official propaganda of Baku. On January 25, 2017 EaP CSF Azerbaijan National Platform came up with accusations against the establishment of joint Russian-Armenian Air Defence System, which allegedly bears a negative impact on peaceful settlement of Karabakh conflict, as well as on the statement by the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov regarding the speculations about military solution to the problem.
We, the representatives of Armenian civil society, are no less concerned about further militarization of the region during the last years and the hampering of its civilized development. However, if we are to protest against it, the point of departure should be the multibillion supply of heavy offensive weaponry to Azerbaijan by Russia, rather than hypothetical threats from the joint air defence system. That arms deal has already had its concrete consequences – numerous casualties on both sides in the April 2016 four-day war, provoked by Baku, throwback of the negotiation process to the 1992-1993 state… It became a significant factor having determined Yerevan’s U-turn from signing the Association Agreement with the European Union towards the country’s bleak membership to the Eurasian Economic Union, and having damaged not only the European perspectives of Armenia, but also the entire EU’s “Eastern Partnership” initiative.
As for Sergey Lavrov’s recent statements on Nagorno Karabakh, not being big admirers of the methods of Russian diplomacy and regardless of the dissatisfaction these statements caused in Baku or Yerevan, it should be acknowledged that they were in no way contrary to the principles of conflict settlement, underlying the activities of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs.
We consider it pointless to dwell on the incompetent interpretation of the documents of international organizations and ideas regarding the conflict settlement, which have nothing to do with reality, and are, inter alia, found in the statement by Azerbaijan National Platform. They just repeat word for word the official propaganda of Baku. Instead, we suggest returning to constructive initiatives – aimed at establishing dialogue and restoring trust between the peoples of our countries and the whole region – which have been supported by all our colleagues from the Forum, except the representatives from Azerbaijan. We would like to hope that Azerbaijan National Platform will demonstrate enough independence, civic courage and common sense for that.
The endless exchange of confrontational statements, draining us of time and energy, diverting attention from the pressing challenges of the European integration and the progress of our countries, can never meet the joint interests of the Forum participants. Nevertheless, the position of the EaP CSF Armenian National Platform is that any provocation that may mislead, distort the true state of affairs cannot be left without response.
Christian Danielsson, EU Director-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, accompanied by Luc Devigne, Director for Russia, Eastern Partnership, Central Asia, Regional Cooperation, and OSCE (EEAS) concluded a two-day visit to Armenia
On 3 February the Director General Danielsson and Director Devigne met with President Serzh Sargsyan, Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian and other ministers, representatives of civil society to discuss common priorities for further EU-Armenia cooperation.
They discussed the progress of the ongoing negotiations in the new EU-Armenia agreement, which will further deepen these relations. Both sides agreed to focus efforts to support a broad range of reforms in Armenia including public administration and justice sector, fight against corruption, and access to finance, education in order to enhance the country’s economic growth and resilience. This will bring tangible results to citizens and will be important in view of the Brussels Summit in November 2017 and beyond.
As a part of the visit, on 02 February, the Director General Christian Danielsson participated in the official plaque unveiling ceremony of the newly-constructed building of the Court of First Instance in the city of Ijevan, Tavush region financed by the European Union, together with the Minister of Justice of Armenia Arpine Hovhannisyan. In the evening of the same day the Director General met the Armenian youth and held a public lecture and discussion with them in Matenadaran on the future of EU-Armenia relations.
At the end of the visit Christian Danielsson said: “Armenia has many talented young people and a strong capacity for research and innovation. The EU will continue to invest in Armenia’s future and support the country’s drive for growth and ambitious reform plans to strengthen governance, fight corruption and ensure an independent, impartial and effective judiciary for the benefit of all Armenian citizens”.
Source: EU Delegation in Armenia
EU Launched a Campaign against Corruption in Armenia
The Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Armenia launched a communication campaign today to raise awareness of the negative effects of corruption and highlight EU’s efforts in support of the fight against corruption in Armenia.
The campaign “Stop the Flow of Corruption”, developed in cooperation with the Government of Armenia, anti-corruption experts, representatives of the civil society and the private sector, portrays typical examples of corruption (i.e. bribery, conflict of interests, oligopoly) and their harmful effects to the economic growth. It also shows what the EU and Armenia are doing together for reducing corruption within the society.
“Fight against corruption is a priority for the European Union in Armenia. It is the central element in ensuring sustainable growth and building a just Armenian society and a democratic political system”, said the EU Ambassador to Armenia Piotr Świtalski. “I hope that with the help of depicting corruption as monsters, this campaign will raise awareness among young people as well as grown-ups that corruption has a direct negative effect on their future.”
The campaign will continue throughout 2017 bringing attention to different aspects of corruption and show how it is being fought in Armenia.
Campaign images, the animated campaign video, short films on e-governance, the campaign poster and materials can be accessed and downloaded from the website http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/armenia_en
OPEN Neighbourhood (Regional Communication Programme phase II)
OPEN Neighbourhood builds on the achievements of the first phase of the Regional Communication Programme and aims at reinforcing people-to-people contacts between the EU and its Eastern and Southern partner countries
OPEN Neighbourhood builds on the achievements of the first phase of the Regional Communication Programme and aims at reinforcing people-to-people contacts between the EU and its Eastern and Southern partner countries. Through communication activities and relations with local journalists, the programme seeks to make EU action in the Neighbourhood region more known to people in the partner countries.
OPEN Neighbourhood is structured around three complementary components:
- Two mirror projects communicating the results of EU support in the South and the East of the Neighbourhood:
- OPEN South– EU Neighbourhood Info Centre South (EUR 5.7 million)
- OPEN East– EU Neighbourhood Info Centre East (EUR 4.5 million)
Both projects aim at increasing the understanding of EU policy and actions in their respective regions, through the development of information and communication materials, awareness raising campaigns, opinion polling surveys and media monitoring.
- OPEN Media Hub(EUR 7.8 million)
This project aims at creating a virtual media hub spanning the two regions, in order to contribute to the development of independent media and to a more accurate presentation of EU policies in the Neighbourhood regions, through the creation of a network of journalists. The OPEN Media Hub will provide skills to journalists and media managers through the fostering of professional networks, the provision of hands -on workshops, of journalist exchanges and support to audio-visual and online production.
BUDGET: €18.2 million