UN office in Azerbaijan discusses cooperation expansion

Azerbaijani sources report that today Azerbaijani Interior Minister, Colonel-General Ramil Usubov received UN Resident Coordinator in Azerbaijan Antonius Broek.

The minister spoek about the close cooperation between the Interior Ministry and the UN representative office in Azerbaijan. Over 1,000 employees attended various activities in different countries organized at the initiative of the organization.

Then they touched upon crime in the country, reforms in interior bodies and arrangements, and stressed the work conducted in studying international experience, improving activity and increasing operational efficiency within UN related projects.

Antonius Broek highly estimated the work implemented in Azerbaijan and noted that foreigners are freely living and working in the country. He expressed his gratitude to the Interior Ministry’s management.

Azerbaijani MPs to protest against Strasser’s report at PACE winter session

On Wednesday deputy chairman of the Foreign Relations and Inter-parliamentary Relations of the Milli Majlis, a member of the Azerbaijani delegation to PACE Sevinj Fataliyeva said that Azerbaijani MPs will protest the report of Christopher Strasser on political prisoners in Azerbaijan at the winter session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

According to her, the report of Strasser, who has never been to Azerbaijan, is an indication of his personal and biased attitude to Azerbaijan and his position on Azerbaijan in the Council of Europe is unacceptable.

“Most of the members of the Council of Europe well know and understand that such reports are backed by definite forces pursuing their goals. If any MP or politician visits Azerbaijan and gets acquainted with the situation, he will understand that Strasser’s report does not reflect the reality,” said Fataliyeva.

Note that Christopher Strasser’s report will be discussed on January 23 at the PACE winter session.
On January 21-25, the winter session of PACE will also discuss the report on Azerbaijan’s fulfillment of its obligations to the Council of Europe, the election of President and Vice-President, the situation in Kosovo, the work of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the state of press freedom in Europe, gender equality, trafficking of migrant workers.

Georgian Energy Ministry to monitor quality of electricity supply to population

Official sources report that the Georgian Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources has begun to monitor the quality of electricity supplied to the population.

“Systematic cutoffs in the power grid are common right now because there are currently system repairs underway. Additionally, power failures are often seen during winter and bad weather. Despite this, technical staff has been working around the clock in order to ensure proper operation of the system and power supply to the population in a timely manner”, says the report of the Ministry.

It was also noted that in 2012, compared to previous years, systematic cutoffs in the network significantly decreased. In particular, 1,761 electricity cutoffs were recorded in Tbilisi in 2012. As for the regions, in 2012 there were 1,157 such cases on average per month, in 2011 there were 1,357. So such cases significantly reduced in both Tbilisi and the regions.

Syrian Armenians enter Armenian territory through Turkey:FM

Azerbaijani sources, citing the Turkish Foreign Ministry, reported that a part of Syrian-Armenians entered the territory of Armenia through Turkish territory. The Turkish Foreign Ministry reported this today in response to the signature collection campaign started at the White House’s website, for Turkey’s unconditional opening of the border with Armenia for the Syrian refugees.

According to the report, while providing assistance to the victims in Syria, Turkey does not make a distinction in terms of religion, ethnicity and national origin.
Moreover, Turkey will resolve the issue with volume, form and conditions of rendering the humanitarian assistance to some victims.

Recall that the Turkish Disasters and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD) told there is no need for Syrian refugees to move from Turkey to Armenia. Today it is impossible to open the Turkish-Armenian border for this purpose.

Turkey and France to resume nuclear plant talks: Minister

French Foreign Trade Minister Nicole Bricq said on Wednesday that Turkey and France have agreed to resume talks on civilian nuclear energy at a time Ankara plans to build three plants within the next five years.

“We met the Energy minister to discuss Turkey’s important projects in nuclear facilities. France claims excellence in this field. We want Turkey to be equipped with the best and most secure technology and we can do it.” said Bricq after a meeting with Energy Minister Taner Yıldız.

She noted that Turkey was aware of French nuclear technology and a series of talks would be held to develop cooperation.
“Some important issues such as nuclear cannot be developed independently of international issues,” Yıldız said.

Recall that for the last 10 years, diplomatic relations between Paris and Ankara have experienced several crises, fuelled in particular by a French bill criminalising denial of genocide in Armenian, denied by Ankara. The tensions hit the interests of the French businesses in Turkey, particularly in obtaining big state contracts.
It is planning to build three nuclear power plants in the next five years to reduce its dependence on foreign energy sources.

Azerbaijani Social Democratic Party to put forward candidate for presidential elections

The chairman of the Azerbaijani Social Democratic Party Araz Alizade announced that the party will participate in the upcoming presidential elections with its own candidate.

“We have decided to participate in the presidential election. If our candidate is not registered, the party members are free to choose.” he said.

He emphasized that the candidate from the Azerbaijani Social Democratic Party will be nominated at the Plenum of the Central Committee of the party.

“There is no chance of winning this election regardless of whether there is a single candidate or not. They know this and therefore organise a show and take different measures. They gather every day to exchange views in a ‘morgue’, called the Public Chamber. They all know that they still remain in the past.” he said

Recall that the presidential elections in Azerbaijan will be held in autumn 2013.

Grandpa Hassan is killed

Interfax reports, Russian Interior Ministry confirms that from fatal gunshot wounds in a hospital Russian criminal Aslan Usoyan (Grandpa Hassan) died.

As it was reported earlier, there was an attempted assassination against Grandpa Hassan. This famous criminal authority has been a victim or attempted murder twice in the last few years. Law enforcement agencies report, that several bullets were released against Usoyan. The incident happened in the center of Moscow near a restaurant in the street Povarskaya.

Aslan Usoyan aka Grandpa Hassan is an ethnic Kurdish Yezidi mobster and thief in law began his career operating in Georgia, continued in Moscow, Ural, Siberia, Uzbekistan, Krasnodar, Sochi, and other parts of ex-USSR.

Starting in 2007, Usoyan was embroiled in a gang war with Georgian mobster Tariel Oniani, who was seeking to reestablish himself in Moscow. Several of Usoyan’s top lieutenants were killed including the Armenian national Alek Minalyan, a man allegedly in charge of extorting construction firms working on the 2014 Winter Olympics. In July 2008 police raided Oniani’s yacht as a meeting took place amongst the criminal leaders in an attempt to settle the conflict. Usoyan was not however amongst those detained. He later gave an interview to a newspaper, denying the stories of escalating violence and stated that “We are a peaceful people and don’t bother anybody, we are for peace in order to prevent lawlessness”.

Vyacheslav Ivankov was brought in to mediate the conflict, in which he sided with Usoyan’s faction. He was however shot by a sniper while leaving a Moscow restaurant in July 2009, and died of his wounds in October that year. Although he did not attend, Usoyan sent an elaborate wreath to Ivankov’s funeral saying “To our brother from Grandpa Hassan”.
In April 2010 Usoyan was arrested by Ukrainian security forces after entering the country illegally using false documents. His business in Ukraine was allegedly connected to a rift with an Armenian organized crime group. On September 16, Usoyan was shot by a 9mm calibre bullet fired by an unidentified assailant in central Moscow, but survived the attack along with his bodyguard who was also wounded. It was at first announced to the press that Usoyan had died to ensure his safety.
In the early 2010’s the Obama administration placed sanctions on members of the alleged criminal organisation the Brothers’ Circle. It has been speculated by security expert Mark Galeotti that the so-called Circle is a stand-in for Usoyan’s network.

Slovenian PM to hold talks with Azerbaijani government representatives

Today Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa has paid an official visit to Azerbaijan.

Official sources report that Azerbaijani first Deputy Prime Minister Yagub Eyyubov and other officials met Jansa at the Heydar Aliyev International Airport.

Jansa is accompanied by a representative business delegation, which arrived in Azerbaijan to take part in the business forum.

Slovenian Prime Minister will hold talks with representatives of the Azerbaijani government during his visit to deal with the development of cooperation between the two countries.

Turkey blocks membership of Israel and Cyprus in International Agency for Renewable Energy

Turkey’s Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz said that Turkey blocked Cyprus and Israel’s affiliation with the International Agency for Renewable Energies (IRENA).

The Minister said that voting on admission of new members to the IRENA was held in the UAE’s capital Abu Dhabi. Given that Turkey is a member of the agency, the country was able to oppose the adoption of Cyprus and Israel to membership in IRENA.

Recall that the IRENA was established in January 2009 at its founding conference in Bonn. It is the first organization on the intergovernmental level with the power to stimulate the development of renewable energy sources.