Don’t Kill Yerevan!

It is very painful to observe how the old part of Yerevan has destroyed by the people who have nothing to do with my city. Some thoughts on this issue in my comment at

Playing with Fire: After the Presidential Elections in Armenia

February 25, 2013

On February 18, 2013, Armenia elected its new president. According to official information, the incumbent Serzh Sargsyan received 58.64 % of the vote and his closest opponent – Raffi Hovhannisian – 36.75 %. The defeated candidate now demands revision of the election results, and is organizing rallies.

In a stable democracy, the defeated candidate is expected to congratulate the winner. Both then attempt either to work together or to begin preparations for the next election cycle. Both scenarios are not working in Armenia. Continue reading


The major priorities of the West in the South Caucasus are a preservation of the relative stability in each state in the region, a prevention of the escalation of conflicts, an uninterrupted supply of energy resources, attempts to control migration and to improve the level of human rights and the rule of law implementation.

However, the visit this month of Nicolas Sarkozy in the South Caucasus has caused great excitement in all three capitals. The first visit of the President of France to the region was in August, 2008; it aimed to find an appropriate framework for a resolution of the overt confrontation between Russia and Georgia. It resulted in the “Medvedev – Sarkozy Plan.” Continue reading

I am not an ecologist

I am not an ecologist; I am not a member of the Green party. I am an ordinary citizen of Armenia and a resident of Yerevan. I never wrote about environmental problems. But all my life I live on Abovian Street, in one of the greenest parts of the city.

In the winter of 1994, walking my dog in the early morning in University Park, I saw a man (one of my neighbors) who began to saw down a large silver poplar tree. I asked him to stop, but he waved the saw at me. My dog – a big German shepherd – jumped. The man threw his saw down and run away.

I am proud and happy that the beautiful tree is still alive, and I that I can touch its trunk when walking by.

Now, in 2011, when there is no lack of electricity or gas (which could be considered as an excuse for tree-cutting in the mid-90s) I ask my fellow citizens: what you are doing?! Why are you becoming so barbarian and why do you allow the cutting of small trees, all of which try to keep fresh air in my city? Who allows you to behave like this without any fear of being punished, neither by man nor by God?

Give my green city back!

P.S. 16 small trees were cut in the area adjacent to the Dramatic Theatre, on Isahakian Street.

Reflections upon the OSCE Astana Summit

The Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan and the Heads of the delegations of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries, released a joint statement on December 2, 2010, during the OSCE summit in Astana. They “agreed that the time has come for more decisive efforts to resolve the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.” The only relatively new element in this statement was a reference to the UN Charter as one of the cornerstones for the conflict’s resolution. Taking into account the ineffective role of the UN in conflict resolution generally, it is possible to state that the deadlocked situation in this conflict will continue. However, there are some visible changes in the behavior of the parties to the conflict and the so-called external actors. Continue reading

Dear Colleagues and Friends, we are back on the Net!

Due to some unexpected technical reasons the website of our Center was disabled during more than four months. However, we have used this ‘misfortune’ to restructure it and to create an opportunity to be in direct contact with you.

I hope that our discussions of urgent events and dynamics of main trends and developments in the South Caucasus and beyond will be professional and of interest to the participants.


Gayane Novikova