In an interview with the Mediamax news agency published by “168 Zham,” NATO’s special representative to the South Caucasus and Central Asia, Robert Simmons, says Armenia can continue to develop simultaneously warm ties with Russia and the West after the war in Georgia. For its part, NATO has no intention to reconsider its cooperation with Armenia just because it is now not at loggerheads with Russia, says Simmons. “I also believe that Armenia should be free to decide how to develop its relations with the alliance without the interference of third parties,” he adds.
“Golos Armenii” reports that Nagorno-Karabakh President Bako Sahakian has said that his administration has succeeded in boosting the region’s birth rate and will create incentives for local residents to have even more children. Sahakian is quoted as pointing to a sharp increase in marriages registered in Karabakh in the first half of this year. “I am very happy with that,” he said.
“Many believe that Robert Kocharian himself circulates talk of Robert Kocharian’s comeback by means of his entourage,” writes Lragir.am. “The apparent calculation is that if people talk about that a lot, that will automatically become reality because the public and the ruling system will willy-nilly start to believe in its inevitability.” The online publications says that with his assurances that he has not plans to return to active politics Kocharian “wanted to show that he exists and has or could have ambitions.”
Vahe Vartanian, a senior official at the Central Bank of Armenia (CBA), tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that the Armenian banking sector’s lack of integration into international financial markets rocked by turmoil has proved to be a blessing. “But in general, the more integrated you are into financial markets, the faster your economy develops,” he adds. “That is, your banks are able to attract more funds from abroad, lower interest rates and so on. Our bank assets are quire modest, making up only 25 percent of GDP.”