European Union

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Ukraine and Georgia reach agreement on air communication

The heads of Ukrainian and Georgian Foreign Ministries, Konstantin Gryschenko and Grigol Vashadze have signed an intergovernmental agreement on air communication. During the negotiations "the sides discussed questions surrounding the political situation in the region, bilateral economic relations, cultural and humanitarian cooperation and shared their experience of cooperation with the European Union", Konstantin Gryschenko said, ITAR-TASS reports.

Armenia and Austria plan to expand cooperation

The new Austrian ambassador to Armenia, Michael Postl, noted the importance of intensifying bilateral cooperation between the two countries at a meeting of the Council of National Security of Armenia, Arthur Bagdasaryan, News Armenia reports.The countries will cooperate in security, emergency situations, police, education and the economy. The sides exchanged views on the relations between Armenia and the EU and on regional development in the South Caucasus.

Sukhumi and Tskhinvali accuse participants of Geneva negotiations of ‘misunderstanding’

All Abkhaz and South Ossetian attempts to be understood in theirposition on the most topical issues concerning the vital interests oftheir peoples faced obstacles from Georgia and the US participants inthe Geneva discussions, as well as from the moderators (the UN, theOSCE and the EU), a joint declaration by Sukhumi and Tskhinvali says,News Georgia reports.

Georgia owes over $3 billion to creditors

The total Georgian external debt for state credit guarantees as of May 31st this year reached $3.448 billion, Rosbalt reports, citing the Georgian Ministry of Finance.

Armenian Central Bank maintains refinancing rate at 7.25%

The Central Bank of Armenia has decided to preserve the refinancingrate at 7.25%, News Armenia reports, citing the bank’s press-service.The source said that inflation in May was 1%, 0.5 points less than inApril, with annual inflation at 6.3%.The bank said that the level of inflation is inked with the extendedcash-credit and tax-budget policy. The inflation rate will slow downdue to the falling prices for raw materials and food products.

Georgian signs tax agreement with Spain

Georgia and Spain have signed an agreement preventing double taxation. The Georgian Foreign Minister, Grigol Vashadze, is currently on a visit to Madrid. According to his counterpart, Angel Moratinos, they discussed issues of bilateral relations improvement, Georgian cooperation with the EU, the basic trends of Euroatlantic integration of Georgia, the situation in Abkhazia and South Ossetia and the situation in the South Caucasus, Rosbalt reports.

Geneva talks on Caucasus security begin

The 11th round of discussions on security and stability in theTranscaucasus region has begun in Geneva. The talks, which are beingheld under the auspices of the UN, the EU and the Organization forSecurity and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), feature delegations fromAbkhazia, Georgia, Russia, the USA and South Ossetia, Interfaxreports.The discussions are held in the format of two working groups - one onissues of security and another on humanitarian issues. According to

Georgia switches to biometric passports

Passports of the previous sort are no longer being issued, from now on Georgian citizens can only get biometric passports, Georgia Online reports. They are obligatory for simplifying visa arrangements with the EU, the Civil Registery Agency says. A biometric passport will be valid for 10 years and issued in 10 days.

European Commission to grant Georgia 37 million euros

The European Commission has approved the Georgian plan of actions for2010, and Tbilisi will receive 37 million euros, Georgia Onlinereports.According to the commission, the sum will be used for regionaldevelopment, the economic integration of Georgia into the EU, therealization of social protection programs and public financemanagement reforms.

EU aids victims of Azerbaijani flood

The European Commission issued 65,000 euros to aid the victims offloods in Azerbaijan, Trend reports, citing an EU statement.The aid will be used to purchase food and household equipment, likegas stoves, beds, hygiene items. Approximately 2,200 people wereevacuated from the Sabirabad region.

No results after consultations to prevent tension between South Ossetia security services and Georgia

Another meeting on a mechanism for incident prevention, which took place in the area of the South Ossetian conflict in the village of Ergneti, has failed and was in fact sabotaged, the head of the information and analysis department of the Interior Ministry of Georgia, Shota Utiashvili, told journalists, reports NewsGeorgia. The director of the EU observers mission, ambassador Hansjorg Haber, believes that the meetings on incident prevention should be resumed.

Transcaspian projects to be discussed in Brussels

EU Energy Commissioner Gunter Ottinger will meet with delegations from Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan in Brussels on June 28th - 29th, reports ANS. The head of the EU mission in Azerbaijan, Roland Kobia, announced that the delegations will include representatives of the Industry and Energy Ministry and the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijani Republic. The meeting will see exchanges of views on the legal, technical and commercial issues of the Transcaspian projects.

Council of friendship groups with Azerbaijan established by EU parliaments

The establishment of a consulting council of friendship groups withAzerbaijan by the parliaments of EU countries has been approved. Thedecision was taken at a conference in Tallinn, Trend reports, citingthe press service of the State Committee for diaspora affairs.

Turkish government approves declaration concerning Israel

The Grand National Assembly of Turkey accepted a declarationconcerning the attack on a Turkish humanitarian cargo ship heading toGaza by Israeli naval forces. The declaration involves the creation ofa commission to investigate human rights violation during the attack.The commission members will visit Israel, Vesti.az reports.

EU to start negotiations with South Caucasian countries

Negotiations between the European Union and the countries of the South Caucasus on an association agreement between the EU, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia will start in July, Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister Karine Kazinyan said, Armenia Today reports.She recalled that the mandate for negotiations was approved on May 12th by the council of foreign ministers from 27 countries. The negotiations will involve a wide range of issues, mainly political, economic reforms, justice, and human rights.

EU-Russia summit: results

EU-Russia summit: results

Russia and the European Union will soon start implementing the "Partnership for Modernization" program, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said at the opening ceremony of the 25th Russia-EU session, ITAR-TASS reports.

Russia, EU to implement joint modernization program

Russia and the European Union will soon start implementing the"Partnership for Modernization" program, Russian President DmitryMedvedev said at the opening ceremony of the 25th Russia-EU session,ITAR-TASS reports. The chairman of the Council of Europe, Herman VanRompay, and the chairman of the European Commission will also takepart in the session."During the Stockholm meeting we discussed the idea of partnership formodernization and decided that this will become a motto of our

Baku and Ashkhabad to bridge Caspian gap

Baku and Ashkhabad to bridge Caspian gap

The basis for dialogue between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan may become cooperation in the energy sphere.

International community criticizes Israeli raid on aid ships.

The European Union has condemned Israel's attacks on ships carryingtons of humanitarian aid from Turkey to the Gaza Strip and demanded anexplanation from the Israeli government, Trend reports.EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security PolicyCatherine Ashton appealed to the Israeli leadership to letinternational ships enter the Gaza Strip to carry humanitarian cargoto the Palestinian enclave.Moreover, the Arab League announced it will hold an emergency meeting

EU observers praise organization of Tbilisi mayoral polls

A European Union representative who monitored the Tbilisi mayoral andmunicipal elections in Georgia has praised their organization, reportsITAR-TASS, citing the head of the EU mission in Georgia, Per Eklund.

Armenia will continue to rely on foreign support in 2010 - UN

The world GDP after reducing by 2% in 2009 will rise by 3% this yearand by 3.1% in 2011. According to the new UN report on the worldeconomic state and prospects for 2010, the revival of the worldeconomy will be unstable and rapid and will not lead to the recoveryof the employment market.The head of UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Robert Vos,noted that current forecasts on the world economic development arebetter than six months ago. However, the unemployment level is stillrising around the world.

EU membership for Ukraine, Georgia 'science fiction' - EU mission in Russia

The chances of Georgia and Ukraine joining the European Union are so remote as to be akin to "science fiction," the head of the EU mission in Russia said in an interview with Russia's Nezavisimaya paper published today.

Lithuania does not recognize ‘parliamentary elections’ in Nagorno-Karabakh

The Lithuanian Premier and Foreign Minister declared in Vilnius todaythat Lithuania does not recognize the so-called ‘parliamentaryelections’ held in Nagorno-Karabakh on Sunday, affirming the positionof the Supreme EU Representative, Trend reports, citing the Lithuanianembassy in Azerbaijan.The Supreme Representative of the European Union on Foreign AffairsCatherine Ashton said earlier that the EU does not recognize theconstitutional and legal framework of the ‘parliamentary elections’ inNagorno-Karabakh.

Georgia, EU discuss easing of visa regime

The easing of the visa regime between Georgia and the EU has beendiscussed at a meeting of the foreign ministers of the EuropeanUnion's Eastern Partnership member-states in Sopot, Poland, GeorgianState Minister for European integration and Vice Prime Minister GiorgiBaramidze, said the agreement will be signed in June, reports Trend.Representatives of 27 EU countries and the Eastern Partnershipmember-countries meet in Sopot. The meeting also discussed thestrengthening of the EU monitoring mission in Georgia.

The president of Armenia visits Belgium

Serzh Sargsyan will go to belgium on May, 25th-27th, News Armenia reports linking the press service of the president. Meetings with president of EU Herman van Rompo, president of European Comission Jose Manuel Barroso, head representative of the EU in the exterior politics and security Catherine Ashton, We will also meet Anders von Rasmussen, the general secretary of NATO, Stefan Fuehle, the commissioner of the extension and European policy, the trade commissioner Karl de Goecht and Olli Rehn, the financial

Iran informs IAEA on swap deal

Iran outlined to the U.N. nuclear watchdog on Monday a deal to give up some of its enriched uranium, calling it major progress toward resolving a standoff with world powers now pursuing tougher sanctions against Tehran, reports Yahoo.news.A letter signed by Iranian nuclear program chief Ali Akbar Salehi was handed over to International Atomic Energy Agency director-general Yukiya Amano at a 45-minute meeting in Vienna, an Iranian diplomat told reporters.

Karabakh: Elections without alternative

Karabakh: Elections without alternative

Parliamentary elections in the unrecognized republic of Nagorno-Karabakh have once again attracted the attention of the international observers in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict area.

Swedish embassy to be opened in Georgia

A Swedish embassy will be opened in the near future in the Georgiancapital of Tbilisi, reports Rosbalt.Georgian President MikheilSaakashvili met with Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt on Sundayevening. According to the press service of the Georgian president, themeeting was held in Batumi."The sides discussed the issues of European integration and Georgiaand Sweden's assistance in this direction," the press service said.The statement also said that Saakashvili and Bildt discussed the

Russia confirms territorial integrity of Azerbaijan

Moscow considers that the status of Nagorno-Karabakh can not be determined by means of elections in the region, reports Interfax, citing an official representative of the Foreign Ministry .

European integration issues discussed in Batumi

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili met with Swedish ForeignMinister Carl Bildt on Sunday evening in Batumi, reports Trend."The sides discussed issues of European integration and the assistanceof Georgia and Sweden in this sphere," the press service said.The press service also said that Saakashvili and Bildt discussed thesituation in Abkhazia and South Ossetia and the role of EU observersin securing stability in the region.Bildt and the Georgian Deputy Prime Minister and State Minister for