Today.Az Covering Azerbaijan inside and outside Today.Az Turkish Petkim increases production capacity World news Mon, 31 Aug 2015 19:02:00 +0500 The Turkish Petkim petrochemical complex increased its production capacity from 3.2 million metric tons to 3.6 million metric tons of output per year, the head of SOCAR Turkey Enerji Kenan Yavuz told reporters.He also said that the Petlim container port in Turkey will begin accepting containers in January 2016.“Petlim container port will become the third largest port in Turkey and the largest one in the Aegean Sea,” said Yavuz. “It will be able to accept the largest container ships carrying capacity up to 11,000 containers. Some $400 million was invested in the construction of the port, $300 million of which was invested by Petkim.”Petkim Petrokimya Holding manufactures plastic packages, fabrics, PVC and detergents. It is the sole Turkish producer manufacturing such products. The company exports a quarter of its goods.SOCAR Turkey Enerji A.?. and SOCAR International DMCC OGG acquired a 10.32 percent stake in Petkim, increasing SOCAR's stake in the complex to 61.32 percent. Some 38.67 percent of the shares are in free circulation in the Istanbul Stock Exchange.In July 2014, Turkey’s Akbank allocated a loan of $212 million to Petlim Limanc?l?k A. ?., where the Turkish petrochemical holding, Petkim, holds a 70 percent share. APM Terminals will have the right to manage the port for 28 years. SOCAR Turkey Enerji and Goldman Sachs signed an agreement to sell a 30 percent stake in the Petlim Limancilik A.S. company, 100-percent owned by the Petkim Turkish petrochemical holding. The cost of the transaction amounted to $250 million.In March 2013, Petkim and the Dutch company APM Terminals inked an agreement for the construction of a container port with a capacity of 1.5 million TEU. The new port’s capacity will exceed that of the Alsancak port by about 50 percent./By Trend/ Iran would require lots of investment in energy sphere World news Mon, 31 Aug 2015 18:56:00 +0500 By Aygun Badalova Iran would require lots of investment in order to become a major player ?n the world energy market, Vesa Ahoniemi, an independent energy analyst believes.“Iran would require a lot of new investment, including in the country's own pipeline network,” Ahoniemi told Trend.Iran and the P5+1 have reached a nuclear deal after more than a decade of on-off negotiation, granting Tehran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program. The agreement aims to limit Iran's nuclear work for more than a decade in exchange for the gradual suspension of sanctions that have slashed Iran's oil exports and crippled its economy.Sanctions on Iran are expected to be eliminated by the end of the current fiscal year.“Until the sanctions are lifted financing will be impossible and even thereafter I suspect oil will receive a lion's share of inward foreign investment,” Ahoniemi said.Iranian oil production has fallen by over 1m bpd since the imposition of the latest round of sanctions at the start of 2012.Earlier Iranian authorities said that the country’s oil supply could double from the current 1.2 million barrels per day to 2.3 million barrels if the sanctions are lifted.Iran repeatedly stated that OPEC member states should make room for Iran to allow it to increase the export and called for returning to the individual quotas for oil production for the cartel’s members.Currently, OPEC’s quota for oil production is 30 million barrels per day.According to the report British economic research and consulting company Capital Economics, a macro-economic research company estimates that Iran should be able to regain its pre-sanctions level of around 4m bpd relatively quickly.The report said that resuming oil output for Iran is possible in six to 12 months, but it will take a considerably longer period of time to reinvigorate Iran’s ageing infrastructure."Admittedly, Iran’s terms for Western oil companies are reportedly significantly less generous than other countries," the report, obtained by Trend had said."But it is reviewing them and companies are unlikely to pass up on the chance to develop one of the last remaining reserves of easily accessible oil, especially as Iran should be a relatively stable environment to invest in Iran". /By Trend/ MTV VMAs 2015: What in the world happened? Weird / Interesting Mon, 31 Aug 2015 18:23:00 +0500 Leave it to the MTV Video Music Awards to give folks plenty to talk about the next day.There were triumph and tears, politics and bare boobs. Seriously. We are not even joking.Here's what you may have missed if you didn't catch this year's VMAs:Kanye, bro ...It all started so hopefully.Taylor Swift gave a nod to the now-infamous VMAs incident from 2009, when Kanye West rushed the stage after Swift beat out Beyonce, proclaiming that "Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time." On Sunday night, Swift was there to present West with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.Typical Taylor, in that Swift had nice things to say, including that West's "College Dropout" album was the first she purchased on iTunes when she was 12. And she called the rapper her friend.Then West took to the stage and thanked Swift, and things quickly went left.He spoke of the aftermath of interrupting Swift lo those many years ago. He bit the hand that was feeding him by saying, "You know how many times MTV ran that footage again, 'cause it got them more ratings?" He said "bro" a lot.But mostly West rambled while Swift -- and the rest of us -- stood there looking perplexed.He ended his speech by announcing, "And yes, as you probably could have guessed by this moment, I have decided, in 2020, to run for president."Then he literally dropped the mic.Oh, hey, Miley Cyrus' boobBy now, we all know that Miley Cyrus is going to do what she wants to do.Her twerking skills at the VMAs in 2013 and all the attention she's garnered since led to her being selected to host this year's show, and it was so many things.There were skits about how she acts out on Instagram thanks to her "Instagram Think Tank" and one about her with her grandma, rapper Snoop Dogg and some marijuana brownies.Cyrus made liberal use of the tape delay, as she cursed all she wanted, and her fashion throughout the evening defied description.And if you thought she was scantily clad before the show in her barely there, sparkly Versace ensemble, you missed during the show when she was backstage changing, had the curtain dropped too low and showed all types of nipple.And speaking of dropping, she also pulled a Beyonce and announced (after closing out the show with a performance) that her new album, "Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz," was now streaming online for free. In case anyone cared.Justin Bieber was all in his feelingsIf you are looking for some snark about Bieber's new hairstyle, you can move along. Nothing to see here, folks.Instead, let's discuss his performance. The Biebs sang "Where Are U Now" and his new single "What Do You Mean," and all seemed to be going well.Then, at the end, the kid broke down. Like he appeared to be sobbing on stage. Was he grateful for the audience response in light of criticism of his past bad boy ways? Was he overwhelmed with seeing how amazing his ex, Selena Gomez, was looking in the front row? Did he miss his nap earlier?We aren't sure, but if the whole thing looked a bit familiar, it may be because you are remembering Chris Brown doing something similar during his performance at the BET Awards in 2010 following all the bad press he got after assaulting Rihanna.Nicki Minaj flips the scriptThe show opened with Nicki Minaj giving us her all (and tons of her now-famous backside) during her performance of "The Night Is Still Young." Swift joined her, proving that indeed the pair had put their earlier misunderstanding behind them after Minaj complained about not receiving a certain nomination for the VMAs and Swift thought the rapper was aiming criticism at her.It was all love as the pair segued from Minaj's song into Swift's hit "Bad Blood."But while Minaj and Swift are all good, it didn't seem like the same could be said about Minaj and Cyrus.While accepting the best hip-hop video award for her song "Anaconda," Minaj thanked her pastor and proceeded to take a jab at Cyrus over a New York Times story in which Cyrus appeared to side with Swift in her past beef with the rapper."And now, back to this b***h that had a lot to say about me the other day in the press," Minaj said, gesturing at Cyrus. "Miley, what's good?"Cyrus seemed to take it in stride, responding, "Hey, we're all in this industry, we all do interviews, and we all know how they manipulate s**t. Nicki, congratulations."/By BBC/ Iran says Fordo nuclear facility symbolize it political independence World news Mon, 31 Aug 2015 17:48:00 +0500 The Fordo nuclear facility is the symbol of Iran ’s political independence, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi said.Salehi added Fordo is the main source for creating nuclear fuel for reactors and asserted that Fordo has a great role in nuclear research, adding that it must turn into Iran ’s symbol in world science.He said Iran is drafting a 15-year nuclear plan, IRNA news agency reported August 31.“Two new power plants will be launched in Bushehr (city in southern Iran) for which preliminary agreements have been signed with Russia which will be funding the projects as well,” Salehi said.According to the AEOI chief, each of the power plants will produce one thousand megawatts as well as 250 to 350 thousand cubic meters of fresh water.Talks have also been held with China on building small, 100-megawatt power plants, he noted.Salehi added aerial inspection of the Iranian land is 60 percent through which is aimed at locating uranium resources.He added the Islamic Republic has a long-term plan to privatize the nuclear industry.Iran agreed to have its nuclear activities under close inspection by the IAEA through a deal signed on July 14.World powers accused Iran of planning to build a nuclear bomb, but Tehran rejected the accusation.Tehran says its nuclear program follows peaceful, civil aims and will pose no threat to any country./By Trend/ SOCAR Turkey Enerj to become largest industrial company in Turkey by 2023 Business Mon, 31 Aug 2015 17:39:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Aynur KarimovaThe consolidated turnover of SOCAR Turkey Enerji will reach $15 billion in 2018, Kenan Yavuz, the head of the SOCAR Turkey Enerji, told journalists.He said the company will become the second largest industrial company in Turkey by 2018 with 5,000 employees and $3 billion worth of export potential, and it aims to become the largest industrial company of Turkey by 2023."To date, investments of SOCAR [Azerbaijan's state energy company] in Turkey's economy have exceeded $10 billion as part of the Value-Site project in the Petkim Peninsula. In the period from 2008 to 2018 investments of SOCAR in Turkey, including investments in the TANAP [Trans-Anatolian pipeline] project will exceed $20 billion. Thus, SOCAR is the largest investor in Turkey's economy. The total investment portfolio of SOCAR in Turkey amounts to $20 billion," Yavuz noted.He also noted Turkish Petkim Petrochemical Complex has increased its production capacity from 3.2 to 3.6 million tons per year.Petkim Petrochemical Complex, which includes 15 major factories and seven auxiliary units, manufactures plastic packages, fabrics, PVC, and detergents, and is the only Turkish producer of such products.A quarter of Petkim's products are exported to foreign markets.SOCAR Turkey Enerji A.S and SOCAR International DMCC OGG acquired a 10.32 percent stake in Petkim on March 30, 2012, increasing SOCAR's stake in the company to 61.32 percent; some 38.67 percent is in free circulation on the Istanbul Stock Exchange.Petlim port will receive containers in Jan. 2016Yavuz went on to add that Petlim container port in Turkey's Izmir city will start receiving containers in January 2016."Petlim container port will become the third largest port in Turkey and the largest one in the Aegean Sea. It will be able to receive the largest container ships carrying up to 11,000 containers. Some $400 million was invested in the construction of the port, some $300 million of which was invested by Petkim," Yavuz added.The initial capacity of the port will be 1.5 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit), which will be increased to four million TEU in the future. Its capacity will exceed the capacity of Aslandzhak port by about 50 percent.The Dutch company APM Terminals, one of the world's leading port operators, will enjoy the right to manage the port for 28 years while the port will belong to Turkey.Star refinery will commence production in March 2018Yavuz went on to add that SOCAR Turkey Enerji plans to start production at the Star refinery in March 2018.The cost for building Star refinery is estimated at about $5.6 billion and will be completed in 2018."Some $3.2 billion was invested by 23 international and local banks, and 2.4 billion by SOCAR. In addition, it is expected that Petkim will acquire a stake of about eight percent in Star refinery""As of today, some 29 percent of construction work has been completed. The volume of investment amounts to $2 billion. About $300 million of this amount was paid by the banks at the expense of project financing. The refinery will employ around 10,000 people at the investment phase until the end of 2017. The start of production at the plant is planned in March 2018. After commissioning 1,000 people will be provided with jobs on a permanent basis," Yavuz said.Once completed, the Star refinery will be the first refinery to start operations in Turkey since 1972. This project will process an estimated 10 million tons of crude oil per year and is expected to dramatically reduce Turkey’s dependence on foreign energy imports.Star refinery will be capable of refining Azeri Light, Kirkuk, and Urals oil grades. The refinery is mostly intended to create a resource base for Petkim Holding.The annual naphtha production volume used by Petkim as the main raw material, will hit 1.66 million metric tons at the Star refinery. Azerbaijan's first sterilization plant set to open Business Mon, 31 Aug 2015 17:25:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaAzerbaijan expects to commission its first sterilization installation by the end of the first quarter of 2016, a source close to the project told Trend.The project is being developed by the Hungarian Institute of Isotopes, which won the tender announced earlier by the International Atomic Energy Agency.The sterilization plant will be located in the village of Gobu, 20 km from Baku, in an area owned by the Center for Nuclear Research. Currently, work is underway on the construction of infrastructure in the area where the sterilization installation will be located.Cobalt isotopes (cobalt-60), which are currently widely used in many industries, will be used for gamma radiation. It is designed for the sterilization of medical instruments and food and for stimulating the growth of crop and vegetable yields.Irradiation carried out in a sterilization plant is the most advanced method of killing germs, experts believe.Gamma radiation sterilization, one of the most penetrative types of energy, cause significant cell damage at even low dosage, thus killing germs, without damaging the material.There is an international list of products that can be subjected to radiation at harmless doses. The list includes wheat, dried fruit, spices, meat and meat products, wine, potatoes, and other agricultural goods.Sterilization by way of gamma radiation destroys microbes, which in turn will increase the shelf life of agricultural products including grains, meat, dried fruit, potatoes, as well as medicines, etc.Dosimetric and microbiological laboratories that will control quality are also expected to be installed at the plant. After sterilization, the presence or absence of microorganisms in the products will be checked in the laboratories.The Turkish company Tetra Technological Systems will supply equipment to study the properties of materials at high temperatures. Political parties start nominating candidates to parliamentary election in Azerbaijan Politics Mon, 31 Aug 2015 17:13:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Aynur KarimovaAzerbaijan's political parties have begun nominating candidates for the November 1 parliamentary election in accordance with a recent presidential decree concerning the date of the elections.President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree officially setting the date of the elections to November 1, and the Central Election Commission adopted the schedule at a meeting on August 29.The ruling New Azerbaijan Party has already determined 1,250 of its members for candidacy, while the Democratic Party of Azerbaijan disclosed a preliminary list of 15 candidates who will participate in the upcoming elections.Also, authorized representatives of the New Azerbaijan Party, Civil Solidarity Party and the United National Front Party of Azerbaijan were registered by the CEC on August 31.The president’s Aide for Public and Political Affairs and head of the Presidential Administration’s Public and Political Affairs department, Ali Hasanov, considers the pre-election situation stable."The civil initiatives of the society are active enough," he told local media, praising a dialogue existing among the socio-political institutions. "We will complete the election with such a condition. The Azerbaijani government's policy towards the political parties, non-governmental organizations, media outlets, as well as local and international organizations is constructive enough.”Azerbaijan, a politically stable country in the South Caucasus, has already created all of the necessary conditions for holding transparent elections.Meanwhile, CEC Chairman Mazahir Panahov did not rule out the possibility of unpleasant circumstances during the elections.“Millions of people vote in the election and such a situation is a normal phenomenon,” he said. “However, the work of the members of the election commissions is to promptly and adequately respond to such an incident.”The Azerbaijani government reaffirms its loyalty to democratic principles and adheres to the conditions required by international institutions interested in observing elections. The government takes necessary measures to ensure the transparency of elections both for international institutions and to the public.The CEC is sending official invitations to international organizations to monitor the electoral processes."While inviting international organizations, we tell them that we will create all necessary conditions for them,” Panahov said. “We are creating all conditions for the official representatives for their participation in all electoral processes. The media representatives are also involved in the processes related to the verification of documents and signatures. The representatives of international organizations must notify about errors and violations. This is the constructive cooperation."All election documents necessary for the registration of candidates should be submitted to the district election commissions from September 12 to October 2 until 18:00 (UTC/GMT +4 hours).The pre-election campaign will start on October 9 and will end on October 31 at 8:00 (UTC/GMT +4 hours).Registration for election monitoring should be submitted to the CEC on October 22. Local observers should submit their documents to the district election commission five days prior to voting.The pre-election campaign begins 23 days before voting. This year, it will begin on October 9 and end on October 30. The pre-election agitation leaflets will be placed at polling stations until October 2.The commission plans to install web cameras in more than 1,000 polling stations in the regions of Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. Some 296 webcams will be installed in the electoral districts in Baku.Police will ensure safety during parliamentary elections and prevent all violations of the voting process in the framework of the law.Earlier the EU reported that it welcomes Azerbaijan’s actions taken to conduct transparent elections, and expressed readiness to render support for the election process in Azerbaijan at a higher level. President Ilham Aliyev received the credentials of the newly-appointed Ambassador of Israel Politics Mon, 31 Aug 2015 16:54:00 +0500 President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received the credentials of the newly-appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Israel Dan Stav.Ambassador Dan Stav reviewed the guard of honor.Dan Stav handed his credentials to President Ilham Aliyev.President Ilham Aliyev then had a conversation with the Ambassador.Ambassador Dan Stav hailed Azerbaijan as a land of stability, and stressed the importance of peoples' peaceful coexistence here. The diplomat expressed his satisfaction with the fact that he has witnessed it during his short stay in Azerbaijan. The Ambassador said his country praised tolerance in Azerbaijan.Noting that religious toleration and multiculturalism reign in Azerbaijan, President Ilham Aliyev said that different peoples residing in the country benefit from the values of tolerance and multiculturalism, including the Jews. The head of state noted that the Jewish community actively participates in economic and cultural life of Azerbaijan.During the meeting, the sides expressed satisfaction with the current state of relations between the two countries, and exchanged views over prospects for cooperation in economic, energy, high-tech, agricultural and cultural areas./By AzerTac/ Azerbaijan to experience rainy September Society Mon, 31 Aug 2015 16:42:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Amina NazarliMany across Azerbaijan will welcome rainy September tomorrow.The National Hydrometeorology Department of the Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry announced that the temperature on Absheron peninsula will stand at 24-28 degrees C during the day and 19-22 C at night on September 1.In the country’s capital of Baku, the temperature will be between 26 and 28 during the day and 20-22 at night. Forecasts ask not to forget to take umbrella leaving home tomorrow.The country’s regions will also see rains and thunderstorms. However, closer to night precipitation is predicted to cease.In the regions, the temperature is expected to be 24-29 C during the day, while at night the weather will be cooler between 16 and 21 degrees C.In general, forecasts predict that the weather in September will be close to norm.The average monthly temperature will stand 21-23 degrees C. Nights will see the temperature of 15-20 C, and during days 23-28 C.In September the temperature in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic will be within 20-23 degrees C with cold nights standing between 12 and 17 C.Khankandi, Shusha, Khojali, Lachin, and Zangilan of the Upper Karabakh, Dashkasan and Gadabay regions will see the average temperature of 14-18 C degrees.The average monthly temperature of 20-22 degrees C will stand in Ganja, Gazakh, Terter, Agdam, Fuzuli and Jabrail regions of Azerbaijan.The temperature in Balakan, Zagatala, Gakh, Sheki, Oguz, Gabala, Ismailli, Shamakhi, Shabran, Guba, Gusar and Khachmaz regions is predicted to be 18-21 degrees C. During days the temperature will be 19-24 C, while at nights it will be 10-15 C.The forecast for Central Aran - Mingachevir, Yevlakh, Geychay, Agdash, Kurdamir, Imishli, Beylagan, Sabirabad, Shirvan, Bilasuvar, Saatli, Neftchala and Salyan will be close to the normal. During the days, the temperature will be 24-29 degrees C, whereas at nights 16-21 degrees C.In the South regions; Masalli, Yardimli, Lerik and Astara, the monthly average temperature will be 20-23 degrees C. The estimated temperature during the day will stand between 23-28 degrees C, nights, naturally will be cooler, 16-21 degrees C. Baku, Ankara, Ashgabat focus on transportation, energy projects Business Mon, 31 Aug 2015 16:24:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Sara RajabovaAzerbaijani, Turkish, and Turkmen officials convened in the Turkish city of Antalya on August 28 to further boost joint regional projects.Foreign Ministers Elmar Mammadyarov, Mevlut Cavusoglu, and Rashid Meredov discussed projects carried out by the three countries in various areas including energy, transport, tourism and sports, regional cooperation, bilateral relations, and other issues of mutual interest.One of the main issues of discussion between the three countries was the cooperation in the fields of transport and energy, which currently stands at the center of economic projects carried out in the region.Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan are eyeing a bid to diversify exports and supply their gas to an energy-starved Europe in search of new sources to ensure its energy security.Turkey, with its favorable geographical position, acts as a reliable transportation corridor between the energy-rich Caspian littoral states and Europe.Azerbaijan and Turkey are already taking part in the Southern Gas Corridor, a project designed for the delivery of natural gas from the Caspian region.Turkmenistan, fourth in the world for its proven reserves of natural gas, is seeking to deliver its energy resources to Europe as part of country’s plans to diversify its energy exports. In this regard, Ashgabat is in search of new routes for its natural gas.One of these routes is the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline, which would be connected to the Southern Gas Corridor. The pipeline will allow Turkmenistan to freely transport its gas via Azerbaijan and Turkey to Europe.Discussing cooperation in the energy sector, which would also contribute to peace and stability at the regional and global levels, the Azerbaijani, Turkish, and Turkmen foreign ministers stressed the importance of Turkmen and Azerbaijani gas in that it will be transported through Turkey to Europe and international markets.Azerbaijan, which is located along the regional energy and transport corridors of global importance, will act as a supplier and transit corridor.“This is what opens wide opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation. Azerbaijan successfully implements regional projects whose foundation was laid by the commissioning of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. Azerbaijan, as the initiator of a number of vital projects in the region, connects the most important regions of Eurasia via implementation of the projects of the Southern Gas Corridor, the main lines of which are the TANAP and TAP, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project and new Baku International Trade Port,” Mammadyarov said at a trilateral meeting of the Azerbaijani, Turkish and Turkmen foreign ministers, as reported by AzerTac state news agency.Hailing trilateral relations, Turkey’s Cavushoglu, for his part, said rapid growth of the trilateral format contributes to regional development.Meredov, in turn, drew attention to the tasks set by Baku and Ashgabat declarations adopted by Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Turkmenistan in May 2014 and in January 2015, saying they accelerated the development of trilateral relations between the countries.The ministers further stated that in taking responsibility for ensuring peace and stability in the region, efforts toward deepening cooperation would continue.Condemning the terrorist attacks in Turkey in recent months, Mammadyarov highlighted Azerbaijan's assistance to Turkey in combating terrorism.He also touched on the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which emerged in 1988 after Armenia made unfounded territorial claims against Azerbaijan.Mammadyarov described the unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as the greatest threat to peace in the region and a serious barrier to the development of regional cooperation.Twenty percent of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territories have been under Armenian occupation for many years. More than one million Azerbaijanis have become refugees and internally displaced persons.The foreign ministers, with the aim of developing cooperation and utilizing transit potential, also spoke about the creation of an Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey transport corridor. This project will also be open to countries that do not have direct access to the sea or access to major international markets.In addition, the ministers discussed preparations for the summit of the presidents of Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Turkmenistan, which will be held in October 2015 in Ashgabat.Following the meeting, the Antalya Declaration was signed, which stated that the next trilateral meeting of Azerbaijani, Turkish, and Turkmen foreign ministers will be held in Baku.The first meeting in trilateral format was held in Baku in 2014. The Baku Declaration was adopted following this meeting. The Azerbaijani, Turkish and Turkmen foreign ministers also convened in the Turkmen capital last January to further boost joint projects in transportation and communication.The cooperation of the countries covers a wide range of issues, including energy, tourism, humanitarian assistance, and politics.The three countries decided to establish the Turkey-Azerbaijan-Turkmenistan tripartite format in late 2013. Azerbaijan is also member of other two other tripartite formats: Azerbaijan-Turkey-Georgia and Azerbaijan-Turkey-Iran. Turkmenistan developing draft investment program for 2016 World news Mon, 31 Aug 2015 16:09:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Aynur KarimovaTurkmenistan is developing a draft investment program of the country for 2016. This was noted at a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers of the country chaired by President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, the government reported last week.The document is being developed jointly with the relevant ministries and departments, scientific institutions and local administrations of the country.According to the preliminary calculations, the volume of domestic investments in Turkmenistan's economy will amount to 51.5 billion manats ($14.72 billion) for 2015.The government plans to allocate 56.2 billion manats ($16.06 billion) to the development of the sectors of the national economy at the expense of all sources of financing in 2016. Some 65.5 percent of these investments will be allocated to the construction of production facilities, and 34.5 percent in social and cultural facilities.Speaking at the meeting Berdymukhamedov that it is necessary to include a package of measures to the investment program to ensure the smooth construction of major facilities for the processing of hydrocarbon resources, the development of processing industry on the basis of enterprises of different types of property.The president believes that the document should include measures for the development of import-substituting and export-oriented production, improving food abundance by reforming agricultural sector, creating new jobs in all regions of the country, ensuring the social protection of the population.Turkmenistan’s openness and its readiness to develop full-scale partnerships and a favorable investment climate, its reliable legislative and legal base and solid governmental guarantees are important factors in attracting foreign investors to the promising Turkmenistan market.The economy of Turkmenistan, a relatively large Central Asian country sparsely inhabited by about 5.6 million people, depends heavily on the production of natural gas, oil, petrochemicals and, to a lesser degree, cotton and textiles.With its abundant hydrocarbon resources, particularly natural gas, hydrocarbons and petrochemicals are increasingly attracting more foreign investors. The second largest economy in the world - China - has been investing in the gas sector, co-financing pipelines and refineries.The volume of foreign investments in the development of Turkmenistan’s oil and gas projects within the production sharing agreements are expected to exceed $3.5 billion. This figure exceeded $3 billion in 2014.Such companies as Petronas, Dragon Oil, RWE, Dea AG, Itera and others were involved in the development of the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea under the production sharing agreements. ENI Company also shows interest in these activities, according to the latest data. Azerbaijan says “fashion show” in Shusha – provocation by Russian entrepreneur Sterligov Politics Mon, 31 Aug 2015 15:59:00 +0500 Organization of a “fashion show” in the Azerbaijani city of Shusha occupied by Armenia, by a spouse of Russian entrepreneur German Sterligov is another step, which serves to incite hatred on ethnic and religious grounds, the head of the press service of the Azerbaijani foreign ministry Hikmat Hajiyev told Trend Aug.31.In accordance with the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan, a criminal case was earlier initiated against Sterligov and a preventive measure in the form of arrest was chosen.Hajiyev went on to add that if someone tries to encourage the regime established by Armenia on the occupied Azerbaijani territories by such provocative steps, it is a wrong move. Despite the fact that religion should be out of politics, Armenia and the criminal regime created by it on the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, as well as Sterligov and his family, which are a tool in their hands, continue to politicize religion and advocate extremist statements full of religiously motivated hatred, he said.Alyona Sterligova, the wife of Russian entrepreneur German Sterligov, organized a “fashion show” in Shusha, the Armenian media reported earlier.The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions./By Trend/ Azerbaijan’s IBA to decrease interest on loans Business Mon, 31 Aug 2015 15:48:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Gulgiz DadashovaThe International Bank of Azerbaijan, the country’s largest lender, seeks to strengthen its financial stability in the coming years through a decrease in the volumes of borrowed capital and lower interests on loans.IBA Board Chairman Elmar Mammadov discussed the decision in an interview with local media.He further noted that it is too early to speak about the privatization of the bank, because in the next few years, its main purpose will be institutional development.The preparation period for the privatization may take 3-5 years, according to the authorities, thus the bank is likely to remain state-owned for at least the medium term."Currently, the population is worried about the safety of their deposits in the IBA, which is caused by rumors on the imminent privatization of the state stake in the bank,” he said, stressing that there is no reason to worry at all.“At this stage, it’s too early to talk about the privatization of the bank. The current measures cover pre-privatization rehabilitation of the bank. The main objectives of the new Board of the bank in the next four years are institutional development, strengthening of its financial stability, and greater control over the management of financial resources,” he said.The IBA holds about a third of the assets and loans in the Azerbaijani banking system. Its financial situation has remained fragile for an extended period of time, despite receiving state support.Restructuring the largely state-owned IBA so as to reduce its dominance in the sector was set as a priority for achieving a stronger banking system.Azerbaijan's biggest bank will be privatized after undergoing a cleanup effort to get rid of distressed assets resulting from poor management, President Ilham Aliyev said in a decree on July 15.Mammadov asserts that the transfer of IBA’s distressed assets to Aqrarkredit will help to restore the bank's financial position."The transfer of the Bank’s problem assets to the specialized body will help the IBA to restore its financial position and ensure its sustainability. This is because at the moment the bank needs healthy capital to raise additional funds. The withdrawal of problem assets of the Bank, with the support of the state and use of an effective mechanism for this will enable the IBA to attract real financial resources instead of distressed assets,” he noted.The presidential order requires that the bank transfer its distressed assets to the state-owned non-banking credit organization Aqrarkredit CJSC.Aqrarkredit has had prior experience in managing the troubled assets of banks. In the early 2000s, Aqrarkredit oversaw the troubled loans and liabilities of Azerbaijan’s three largest banks – Sberbank, Industrial-Investment Bank, and Agro-Industrial Bank – during a consolidation process to form the United Universal Joint Stock Bank [now Kapital Bank].Mammadov further added that the IBA would analyze the activities of all its foreign subsidiaries and representative offices, and test the effectiveness of their work.Following this analysis, it will be possible to make a decision on the efficiency of all IBA structures and further steps will be taken accordingly, according to him.Currently, the IBA has two subsidiary banks in Russia and Georgia. IBA-Moscow began its activities in Russia in 2002. Today, it is already a financial institution with 14 offices and branches in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Yekaterinburg. In November 2006, the IBA has established its second subsidiary bank outside Azerbaijan – IBA-Georgia. The bank was also preparing to open a subsidiary bank in Qatar’s international financial zone.The IBA also has representative offices in London (operating since 2002), Frankfurt (2005), Luxembourg (2008), New York (2008) and Dubai (2008).Mammadov also noted that the IBA is planning to optimize branch network, explaining that specific steps will be taken for the effective placement of branch locations."Creating the optimum service network is a very important factor for each bank. Our bank has a large branch network in Azerbaijan. The aim is to effectively place branches both from a geographical point of view and taking into account the real capacity of the client,” he said.To date, there are a total of 36 IBA branches, 15 of which are located in Baku.The bank, 50.2 percent owned by the Azerbaijani Ministry of Finance, was founded in January 1992. The IBA’s reported a consolidated total asset base of 8.8 billion manat, aggregate capital of 1.008 billion manat, and a net profit of 64.5 million under audited IFRS as at year-end 2014.The bank’s loan portfolio rose by 16.6 percent, and in early 2015, it stood at 5.868 billion manat.Fitch Ratings has recently placed IBA’s Long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) and Viability Rating (VR) on Rating Watch Positive (RWP).The bad assets transfer will result, at least initially, in a significant reduction in risk-weighted assets, which will boost IBA's capital ratios, Fitch announced in its August report.“Additionally, in accordance with its recapitalization program the bank should receive a 200m manats equity injection by end-2015. Fitch estimates that as a result of these measures, and assuming only limited new lending in 2H15, IBA's Fitch Core Capital (FCC) ratio could increase to a reasonable 10%-12% (end-2014: 7.4%).” Iran fully indigenizes Talash missile system World news Mon, 31 Aug 2015 15:30:00 +0500 Iran has fully indigenized the missile system Talash by removing the Russian S-200 missiles from it and replacing them with homemade Sayyad-3 missiles.The system is now capable of destroying long-range, high-altitude targets Tasnim news agency reported August 31.The system was unveiled August 29 by Commander of the Khatam ul-Anbiya Air Defense Base Farzad Esmaili.Sayyad-3 is an updated version of Sayyad-2, a missile for air defense capable of destroying mid-range, long-altitude targets such as helicopters and drones. No detail has been given of the specifications of Sayyad-3.Esmaeili has unveiled more details about the new strategic radar systems, which will become operational by September 1.The homemade radar systems dubbed Bina and Nazir are installed in two mountainous and plain areas, Esmaeili said.The radars are capable of detecting small flying targets as well as cruise and semi-ballistic missiles, the commander said.Since 1992, Iran has manufactured its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles, radars, boats, submarines and fighter planes./By Trend/ Iran's grand ayatollah starts visit to Azerbaijan Politics Mon, 31 Aug 2015 15:11:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Sara RajabovaIran’s grand ayatollah Hossein Nouri Hamedani visits Azerbaijan to meet with country’s Shia clerics and visit historic Azerbaijani cities.Nouri Hamedani arrived in Baku on August 31 for a 6-day visit at an invitation of the Caucasian Muslims Office.He was welcomed by Sheikh-ul-Islam Allahshukur Pashazade, the chairman of the Caucasian Muslims Office, the Iranian embassy in Baku told Trend.Nouri Hamedani is scheduled to meet Shia clerics at Teze Pir mosque in Baku and visit the historic cities of Ganja and Shamakhi. He will meet with local religious leaders in these cities.The Ayatullah will also visit Juma mosque in Shamakhi, Nizami Ganjavi and Shah Abbas Imamzade mausoleums in Ganja.He will also pay respect to Azerbaijani shahids at the Alley of Martyrs, visit Bibi-Heybat Mosque and perform a prayer at Tezepir mosque in Baku.Previously, the grand ayatollah had traveled to Russia, Kenya, and Tanzania.Azerbaijan and Iran have had diplomatic relations since 1918. Iran recognized Azerbaijan's independence in 1991 and diplomatic relations between the two countries were reestablished in 1992.Currently, the two countries are focused on expanding ties in various fields, including economy, culture, tourism, education and etc. China offers help to Iran to build big nuclear plant World news Mon, 31 Aug 2015 14:54:00 +0500 China is ready to help Iran build a big nuclear power plant and Chinese officials have even said they are ready to take care of the funding, spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi said.Commenting on a recent visit by the Chinese nuclear chief to Iran, Kamalvandi said views were exchanged during the talks on various nuclear issues, including the Arak heavy-water facilities - of which kind there are many in China, Mehr news agency reported August 31.He said arrangements were made for China to help Iran with rebuilding the Arak reactor as well.According to Iran ’s recent nuclear deal with the group P5+1 (the US, UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany), which restricts Iran’s nuclear program, the Arak facility has to be redesigned and rebuilt according to requirements by the six powers.The world powers claim their requirements follow efforts to make sure Iran does not pursue a nuclear weapon program.Kamalvandi further said that Iran and China have also discussed building smaller-size reactors.“The joint production of small reactors was put on the agenda,” he noted.Iran plans to build at least 12 nuclear power plants in 15 years.The country has so far been using Russian help in building its first nuclear power plant, in Bushehr, and has more contracts with the northern superpower to build a couple more power plants.The AEOI has indicated that as Iran’s relations with the world improve following the nuclear deal, cooperation with Western countries may also be considered./By Trend/ Gabala hosts delicious Jam Festival Arts & Entertainment Mon, 31 Aug 2015 14:41:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Amina NazarliThe appetizing 3rd annual Jam Festival came to an end in one of Azerbaijan’s most picturesque regions, Gabala, on August 29.Organized by the Gabala City Executive Power, Culture and Tourism Ministry, National Cuisine Center and National Culinary Association, the event brought together thousands of local and foreign visitors.The sweets festival welcomed many pastry chefs from the country’s 35 cities and regions, as well as about 500 chefs from five foreign countries.Carmen D. Padilla, the President of the UNESCO International Organization of Folk Art said, the festival is a sample of richness of Azerbaijani cuisine, as well as wide range and high quality of sweets.“I tasted tomato and aubergine jams for the first time at the festival. Gabala is a perfect place for holding this festival,” she said.A jury of 12 professionals evaluated the jams according to cooking technique, taste, color and appearance.The festival included the variety of jams including cherry, blackberry, quince, walnut, apricot, flower, and plum.Jams from the Republic of Sakha Yakutia and Guba region of Azerbaijan were recognized as the tastiest.Yakutia’s delicious jams made from north cloudberries, wild strawberries, cranberries, rosehip, fir cones, honeysuckle, forest blueberries, and black currants left all who tried it in awe.In recent years, Gabala Jam Festival has been gaining momentum, attracting ambassadors, artists, and more than 4,000 foreign and local tourists.Every year, the delicious festival draws in thousands of guests who are eager to taste delicious varieties of Azerbaijani jams, or “murabba.”Murabba is the main dessert on the Azerbaijani table and is served at every tea party.It goes very well with both bread and tea at breakfast. It is also used as a filling for pies and added to cakes and pastries.In addition, murabba is used for treating colds. Various types of murabba like dogwood, blackberries, and currants – rich with vitamin C – usually serve as treatment for the flu in Azerbaijani households. Armenian population rapidly declining, UN reports World news Mon, 31 Aug 2015 14:30:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Laman SadigovaThe population of Armenia will drop to 1.7-1.8 million by 2100, the executive representative of the Armenian office of the UN Population Fund, Garik Hayrapetyan, reported."Currently, de-jure the population of Armenia is about three million people, but de facto, it is 2.6-2.8 million. The forecast is based on the UN census, which was conducted in 2010," Hayrapetyan said last week."The main reasons that will lead to the reduction of the population are migration, population’s aging and others. Alarming is the ratio of the working population to pensioners that will reach 2.4 in 2100 ", he said. The ratio is 5.4 workers to every pensioner today.Demographer Ruben Yeganyan said that 30,000 people leave Armenia annually. "The population tries to improve the welfare and increase educational qualification so they leave the country and, in most cases, do not come back," he said.Armenians, mostly the young generation, leave the country in search of finding a better life abroad. Problems such as unemployment, poor social conditions, and a lack of hope for a better future are the major drivers for the increasing outflow of people from the Post Soviet country. As many as 103,994 Armenian citizens left the country in just the first half of this year.The conflict between Armenia and the neighboring Azerbaijan is also forcing young Armenians to flee from the country as it lacks the resources to equip soldiers and ensure discipline in the army.The violations of human rights, infringement on universal principles of democracy, the military situation, and the deplorable conditions in the army are forcing people to desperately leave their motherland, while the current regime is unwilling to change or put an end to its lawlessness. SOFAZ has no plans to increase gold reserves Business Mon, 31 Aug 2015 14:19:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Aynur KarimovaAzerbaijan's state oil fund SOFAZ, an entity that accumulates and manages Azerbaijan's oil and gas revenues, has no plans to increase its gold reserves.A source at SOFAZ told Trend on August 29 that as of today, the fund’s reserves portfolio includes 30,175 kilograms of gold, which is about 3.5 percent of its total assets."At the moment, increasing gold reserves is not in the plans,” the source said.SOFAZ was established in 1999 with assets worth $271 million.The main purposes of the fund are the management of earnings from the energy sector and the investment of this capital abroad to minimize negative impacts on economy, the prevention of the 'Dutch disease', ensuring savings for future generations.SOFAZ assets are placed partly in securities and partly in money market instruments (deposits, bank accounts).According to SOFAZ's investment strategy, up to five percent of its investment portfolio may be invested in stock, up to five percent in real estate, and up to five percent in gold.The first batch of gold consisting of 32,150 troy ounces was delivered to the country on January 11, 2013, while the second batch was brought on February 1, and the third batch on March 1.SOFAZ assets decreased by 3.56 percent from earlier in the year, from $37.104 billion to an estimated at $35.783 billion as of July 1.It is believed that SOFAZ's decision to not increase its gold reserves is due to the devaluation processes taking place in the world. The decision of the world’s second-largest economy – China – to devalue its national currency, the yuan, by 4.6 percent has unsettled global financial markets, and has forced many countries to depreciate their national currencies as well.Gold is often used as an alternative store of value and tends to rise when currencies weaken.Bloomberg reported that following the biggest monthly drop in two years, gold has risen almost every day in August. Gold for immediate delivery climbed for a fifth day, the longest run since May, and increased as much as 1 percent to $1,120.02 an ounce. Azerbaijani village opens in heart of Paris Society Mon, 31 Aug 2015 14:06:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaThe Heydar Aliyev Foundation has sponsored the opening of an “Azerbaijani Village in the Heart of Paris,” on Palais Royal Square on August 29.The Azerbaijani Village is displaying the country’s history, culture, folk art, traditions, and national cuisine in France for the second time, the Foundation reports.Each part of the village sits conveniently of the Louvre, a museum that already gathers millions of visitors, and will create vast possibilities to present Azerbaijan at many levels and bring the two nations closer.An exhibition complete with information on carpet-making, pottery, and other types of art, along with national dresses and musical instruments will be arranged in the village.Moreover, visitors will have the chance to become acquainted with the process of creating these pieces of art in the “Workshop” section. Artisans form the country will make copper dishes, lattice, carpets, and other pieces of art that showcase Azerbaijan’s rich traditions.The village will also display a photo exhibition consisting of the works of famous Azerbaijanis living in France and Frenchmen living in Azerbaijan. Entitled “Azerbaijanis and Frenchmen: the history of acquaintance,” the exhibition praises the histories of the two countries and nations.Another village pavilion will display Azerbaijan’s national cuisine. At the same time, various sweets and drinks will be served at the stands of various local companies operating in Azerbaijan.Visitors to the event will be able to enjoy the taste of the delicious dishes of Azerbaijani cuisine prepared in the village.Publications by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation covering various areas of Azerbaijani culture will be distributed at the exhibition.The concert program is sure to cheer up visitors with an eclectic display of Azerbaijani music and dance.The Azerbaijani Village was first arranged by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation on Paris’s Saint Sulpice Square last September. The event was welcomed by visitors and created great opportunities for the deepening of relations with Azerbaijan.The village will be open for all interested in the Land of Fire until September 9. Medical tourism to be widely reprsented in BIHE-2015 exhibition Business Mon, 31 Aug 2015 13:47:00 +0500 Azerbaijan will host a series of international exhibitions and conferences till the end of 2015, the Iteca Caspian said. There will be held 11 international exhibitions till the end of the year.All exhibitions of season in its themes will reflect the non-oil sectors of Azerbaijan's economy.The exhibition autumn calendar included Azerbaijan International Healthcare Exhibition BIHE, Stomatology - Stomatology Azerbaijan, beauty and aesthetic medicine - Beauty Azerbaijan, Education, Career, construction BakuBuild, "Heating, ventilation and air conditioning" AquaTherm Baku, security CIPS Caspian, ecology CTE and telecommunications BakuTel.New themes for the country will open the 1st Azerbaijan Conference on sustainable development and corporate social responsibility Baku CSR Conference 2015 which will take place on October 15 in hotel Fairmont Baku. Baku CSR Conference - is a unique space that allows to explore local and international practices in the field of sustainable development and corporate social responsibility.The purpose of the debut of the conference is to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the current situation in the country, as well as in the expansion of dialogue and cooperation between public, private and non-governmental organizations for the development of this sector.The conference, which is held on the initiative and organization of the company Caspian Event Organisers (CEO), has aroused great interest among the business community, it will bring together over 300 delegates and 30 speakers. General sponsor of the Baku CSR Conference 2015 is SOCAR, the bronze sponsor - Access Bank. Consulting partner of the conference is the company EY.Exhibitions by company Iteca Caspian - 21th Azerbaijan International Exhibition "Healthcare" (BIHE 2015) the 10th Anniversary Azerbaijan International Exhibition "Stomatology" (Stomatology Azerbaijan 2015) and the 9th Azerbaijan International Exhibition "Beauty and Aesthetic Medicine "(Beauty Azerbaijan 2015) will open doors first in the autumn season.BIHE exhibition for over 20 years is a traditional meeting place for industry professionals, showcasing the achievements of the market for medical goods and services. There are more than 120 companies from 15 countries in the list of participants.Pharmaceutical companies of Russia for the first time will attend a joint stand with the support of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation. Thus, this year, about 60% of the participants in BIHE will be foreign companies. Along with foreign manufacturers, exhibition will be attended by major local distributors of medical equipment, which are partners in the world's largest producers. ARASH Medical, Besan, Vitta, Labservis and others are among local distributors. The exhibition continues to develop "medical tourism" sector. This year, more than 30 clinics and companies involved in the organization of medical treatment abroad will attend as part of this sector. Health centers and clinics in Georgia, Israel, Latvia and Turkey are among them. Turkish companies specializing in medical tourism will perform for the first time in a separate joint national stands. Tourism companies engaged in sending abroad for treatment will also participate in exhibition. This year, the sector of medical tourism is supported by the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TURSAB)./By AzerTac/ Meet Loki, the Internet’s Favorite Vampire Cat Weird / Interesting Mon, 31 Aug 2015 13:28:00 +0500 Loki is the internet’s newest feline sensation – her pictures have gone viral and people can’t stop gushing over her evil vampire face. With over 50,000 followers on Instagram already, her distinctive appearance is only making her more popular by the minute.Loki’s owner Kaetlyn Koch, from Portland, Maine, says that in real life, Loki is just as adorable as any other cat. She loves to to hide under bath towels and lay on her back for a rub. Her murderous stare only seems to emerge when she’s confronted with a camera lens. She looks downright scary with her fangs jutting out, even when she’s peeking out from under towels or lazing in Kaet’s lap. Loki’s eyes never seem to close, which is a bit of a mystery.Kaetlyn didn’t know about the vampire look when she adopted the Siamese-mix cat from a shelter two years ago. “They didn’t give me many details about her looks,” she said. “They said it was healthy but she wasn’t able to close it (her eyelids). She’s been to the vet three times in the last year, and no one has made mention of her teeth or why she looks the way she does. Still a mystery.”But as frightening as she seems, Kaetlyn says that Loki is positively harmless and docile. She was never interested in adopting a cat in the first place, but decided to take Loki in after hearing that the other shelter cats were attacking her. “I was brought to the office and they pulled open a desk drawer to reveal a very perturbed looking feline,” Kaetlyn said.“She was huddled all the way to the back and glared at me with those big blue eyes, and the girls explained to me that she was very shy, but occasionally showed affection to specific employees. They fed her a few treats and then allowed her to retreat back into the darkness of the desk.”“She wasn’t happy to see me, and according to the staff she really didn’t like anyone but a select few employees,” Kaetlyn added. “For whatever reason I felt drawn to her sweet face despite our bad first impressions, and I adopted her soon after. For the next few months she avoided me as much as possible and hid under my bed.”Eventually, Loki began to trust Kaetlyn and has now become what she calls ‘the most affectionate cat.’ “She’s the most loving and snuggly cat I’ve ever had,” she added./By Oddity Central/ Turkmenistan, World Bank discussing new partnership strategy World news Mon, 31 Aug 2015 13:11:00 +0500 The issues of interaction and preparation of a new strategy of partnership between Turkmenistan and the World Bank (WB) have been discussed in the ministry of foreign affairs of Turkmenistan during the meeting with the World Bank Regional Director for Central Asia Saroj Kumar Jha, who arrived with a working visit to Ashgabat, said the message of the government of Turkmenistan.A constructive dialogue on the global agenda and the rational use of water resources in the region was held during the meeting.It was noted that the ecology, protection of environment, rational use of natural resources are priority areas of cooperation.Saroj Kumar Jha mentioned the importance of capacity building for regional cooperation and said that the World Bank Group (WB Group) is ready to provide full support to the initiatives of Turkmenistan in this direction.Turkmenistan joined the WB Group in September 1992. The government of Turkmenistan and the World Bank Group signed an agreement in November 2014 to open this influential financial organization’s permanent mission in this country.Turkmenistan is the first Central Asian country to sign such an agreement with the WB Group, which includes the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), The International Development Association (IDA), International Finance Corporation (IFC), Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).Previously, the WB said it supports the reforms in Turkmenistan through an interim strategy for the period until 2015, which does not envisage borrowing. WB employees assist Turkmenistan in implementing long-term national program for the socio-economic development by rendering advisory and analytical services.The WB’s interim strategy for cooperation consists of two components. The first component focuses on the activities in the spheres proposed by the government of Turkmenistan, such as the macroeconomic statistics, development of financial and private sectors.The second component includes a set of strategic analytical researches conducted by the WB in the spheres of diversification of economy, investment climate, privatization, as well as the issues related to Turkmenistan’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO)./By Trend/ Students to pass dental examination Society Mon, 31 Aug 2015 12:54:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Amina NazarliParliamentarians stressed the importance of timely detection and removal of oral cavity infections for secondary school students in Azerbaijan.This issue will be discussed in upcoming meetings of Parliament and some additions are expected to be done to law on the "Protection of public health."“An infection in the oral cavity may later lead to more serious consequences. It is necessary to fix the problem in time, so it does not become the cause of other diseases,” the statement issued by MPs following the August 27 meeting reads.The health sector in Azerbaijan is well developed to carry out complex surgeries, including organ transplants. “However, there are some issues which do not receive attention. Parents should be more careful of such kinds of issues,” the MPs noted.Despite the fact that teeth grow twice during a person’s lifetime, taking care of a child’s teeth is an important prevention measure, the lack of which could lead to the abnormal development of the jaw and infectious diseases like colitis, gastritis, many types of allergies, and diseases of the liver and kidneys.Doctors say that the habit of brushing teeth should be formed from childhood – from the very moment the first baby teeth start to push through the gums. The health of baby teeth is a foundation for later healthy permanent teeth.Experts claim that teeth should be brushed twice a day, with a duration of 2-2.5 minutes.For interdental spaces, doctors recommend to use soft dental floss or special brushes that do not injure the gums and help penetrate the most otherwise inaccessible places. Azerbaijan to supply Russia with meat, milk Business Mon, 31 Aug 2015 12:51:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaAzerbaijani meat and dairy products will be exported to Russia, reports the Economy and Industry Ministry.The Ministry said that at the moment, the meat and dairy products of seven Azerbaijani companies have entered the registry of the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance of Russia.“This allows the export of products of these companies to Russia,” the ministry said.Work is currently being done to register other products from the Azerbaijani enterprises to the list.Seven Azerbaijani producers of meat and dairy products were included in the Rosselkhoznadzor registry, said Tofig Atazade, head of inspection for the Azerbaijan State Veterinary Service earlier.This decision was taken after Rosselkhoznadzor conducted monitoring of Azerbaijani companies.Results show that the companies “AZFP CO LTD,” “Atena,” “Milk Pro,” and “Gence sud” will be able to export milk and milk products, while the “Ucar Aqro” and “Devechi Broyler” were given permission to export meat products, and the “Caspian Fish” Company was granted rights to fish, fish products and other seafood.“Currently, the monitoring continues. According to the results, the list of companies that will be allowed to deliver their products to Russia can be expanded," said Atazade.Azerbaijan produced 256,900 tons of meat, 1.14 million tons of milk, 898 million eggs, and 15,600 tons of wool from January to Jul y 2015. Compared with the same period of 2014, meat production in the country increased by 1.8 percent, milk by 3.7 percent, and eggs by one percent.Russia experienced the need to increase food imports from a number of countries, including the CIS, after the introduction of restrictions on imports from the U.S., EU states, Canada, Australia, and Norway.Moreover, similar measures have been taken by Russia in response to Western sanctions caused by the deterioration of relations in connection with the situation in Ukraine.Based on the agreements reached since last summer, Azerbaijan has significantly increased the supply of agricultural products including fruits and vegetables to Russia.Azerbaijan defines requirements for Russian exportersThe State Veterinary Service under the Azerbaijan Agriculture Ministry will present Rosselkhoznadzor with the results of the monitoring of Russian enterprises producing meat products, said the head of the organization’s press service, Yolchu Khanveli.“We will make and provide Rosselkhoznadzor with the monitoring report. The report will include identified shortcomings and recommendations for their elimination. In addition, we will present the Russian side with the phytosanitary requirements for animal products imported to Azerbaijan,” he said.Khanveli said members of the Service have monitored seven companies in five regions of Russia and have been acquainted with the work of inter-regional veterinary laboratories.“Our experts have monitored seven production enterprises in Voronezh, Bryansk and Orenburg regions, Stavropol Territory and Tatarstan, and have been acquainted with the work of veterinary laboratories. Azerbaijani specialists praised the training of Russian colleagues and the technical equipment of laboratories,” said Khanveli.The Azerbaijani inspectors informed Rosselkhoznadzor that from 2016, products imported to Azerbaijan controlled by the Federal Service should be made at the enterprises entered in the registry of importers. This requirement does not apply to business entities, which raise livestock and produce products that are not intended for human consumption.“In this regard, Rosselkhoznadzor will promptly provide us with a list of Russian companies interested in supplying products to Azerbaijan. At the same time, our side reserves the right to carry out their inspection,” said Khanveli.He went on to add that Rosselkhoznadzor has confirmed its readiness to support the establishment of supply of animal products to Russia from companies certified by the Russian inspectors on the condition that they retract made during the inspections.“As part of this activity it is necessary to adhere to approaches that exclude false certification and attempts to prevent unsafe products smuggled through Azerbaijan to Russia,” the head of the press service added.The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Russia amounted to $ 1.1 billion during the first seven months of this year, which is 1.85 percent more than the same period last year, according to the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan. At the same time, imports from Russia to Azerbaijan grew by 24.5 percent and amounted to 868.79 million manat. Turkmenistan prepares investment program for 2016 World news Mon, 31 Aug 2015 12:26:00 +0500 Turkmenistan is preparing a draft of the investment program of the country for 2016, the message of the government of Turkmenistan said.Work on the document is held in conjunction with the relevant ministries and departments, scientific institutions and local administrations.The volume of spent investments for 2015 will amount to 51.5 billion Turkmen manats in total in the country, according to preliminary calculations. For 2016, it is planned to allocate 56.2 billion Turkmen manats for the development of the sectors of the national economy at the expense of all sources of financing, according to the message.In 2016 it is planned to invest 65.5 percent of investment funds in the construction of production facilities, and 34.5 percent in buildings and social and cultural facilities.President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhammadov said at the Cabinet meeting that in the investment program it is necessary to provide a package of measures to ensure the smooth construction of major facilities for the processing of hydrocarbon resources, the development of processing industry on the basis of enterprises of different types of property.At the same time, the document should include measures for the development of import-substituting and export-oriented production, improving food abundance by reforming agricultural sector, creating new jobs in all regions of the country, ensuring the social protection of the population./By Trend/ Iran’s FM starts third regional trip after nuclear deal World news Mon, 31 Aug 2015 12:16:00 +0500 Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has kicked off his third round of regional trips after the nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and the world powers.Zarif traveled to Tunisia on August 31, Iran’s IRNA news agency reported. His next destination after Tunisia is Algeria.Prior to that, the Iranian minister had visited Lebanon, Syria, India, Pakistan, Qatar, Kuwait, and Iraq.On July 14, Iran and the group 5+1 (the US, UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany) reached an agreement to end a long dispute over Iran’s nuclear program.The six powers accused Iran of running a nuclear bomb program, but Tehran denied the claims.Through the deal, Iran has agreed to limit its nuclear activities in return for the removal of economic sanctions./By Trend/ Migrant crisis: EU calls emergency talks World news Mon, 31 Aug 2015 11:37:00 +0500 The European Union has called emergency talks on tackling the bloc's escalating migration crisis.The EU presidency said interior ministers from all 28 member states would hold an extraordinary meeting on 14 September, and the crisis had reached "unprecedented proportions".It follows a week that saw hundreds more people drown in the Mediterranean and 71 die in a lorry in Austria.A record number of 107,500 migrants reached the EU's borders last month.The UN says the continuing conflict in Syria is a major factor behind the rise in numbers.Greece, Italy and Hungary have particularly struggled with the surge of migrants from not only Syria but the rest of the Middle East and Africa.Next month's extraordinary meeting was announced by late on Sunday by Luxembourg, which holds the EU's rotating presidency."The situation of migration phenomena outside and inside the European Union has recently taken unprecedented proportions," it said in a statement.In July, the number of migrants that reached the EU's borders topped 100,000 for the first time - triple the number of people in July last year, according to European agency Frontex.Discussion points will include internal co-operation, fighting the trafficking of migrants, and return policy.Germany, France and the UK have said the EU should establish a list of "safe countries of origin" that would allow immediate repatriation of some migrants.On Saturday Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said much more was required to prevent the deaths of people fleeing to Europe and called for a "collective political response".He said he was "horrified and heartbroken" by the discovery of 71 dead people - believed to have fled the Syrian conflict - in a lorry in Austria on Thursday.At least 2,500 migrants have died since January, most of them drowning in the Mediterranean.Why is EU struggling with migrants and asylum?Germany expects the number of asylum seekers it receives to quadruple to about 800,000 in 2015.Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters in Berlin on Sunday: "If Europe has solidarity and we have also shown solidarity towards others, then we need to show solidarity now."Some governments have refused to take in refugees and resisted EU proposals to agree on a common plan.Others are tightening their policies on asylum and border security, sometimes because of rising anti-immigration sentiment.France has condemned Hungary, for example, for putting a razor wire fence along its border with Serbia to deter migrants.On Sunday French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, accused Hungary of flouting "the common values of Europe". His Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto said such the criticism was "shocking and groundless".On Sunday, UK Home Secretary Theresa May blamed the European borderless Schengen system of which Britain is not part for "exacerbating tragedies". She has demanded tighter EU rules on free movement.Some European governments are considering amending the Schengen code, but the European Commission, the EU executive, argues that this not needed to improve security or control migration.Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, whose country has come under great pressure as an entry point to Europe, said the EU would forge "a single European policy on asylum, not as many policies as there are countries"./By BBC/ Real Madrid destroy Betis, Barcelona edge Malaga Sports Mon, 31 Aug 2015 11:21:00 +0500 Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez scored two goals each to fuel Real Madrid' 5-0 rout of Real Betis in its home opener Saturday, while Barcelona edged Malaga 1-0 in the Spanish League, according to the Associated Press.Rodriguez picked out Bale to set the tone from the second minute and increased the lead with a vicious free kick from a tight angle in the 39th.After Karim Benzema made it 3-0 early in the second half, Rodriguez produced another brilliant strike with a bicycle kick to whip in his second goal in the 50th.Bale was not to be outdone and struck a blistering long ball while on the run that hit the upright before landing in the net with two minutes left.While Madrid eased to the convincing win, Barcelona needed Thomas Vermaelen to score his first goal for the defending champion to secure a second straight win at Camp Nou.Barcelona leads Madrid by two points after two rounds, but it was Celta Vigo that took the overnight lead on goal difference after crushing 10-man Rayo Vallecano 3-0./By AzerTac/ Azerbaijani freestyle wrestlers grab one silver, two bronzes at world cadet championship Sports Mon, 31 Aug 2015 11:11:00 +0500 Azerbaijani freestylers have claimed one silver and two bronzes at the FILA Cadet World Championship in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.In the 42kg weight category, Shahin Mukhtarov won bronze after beating a Bulgarian rival.Fazil Hasanov earned his team second bronze after defeating a Russian wrestler in the 58kg class.In the 69kg division, Ismayil Abdullayev took a silver medal after losing to a Russian opponent in the final bout./By AzerTac/ Kazakh tenge float to create strong conditions for mining, metallurgy development World news Mon, 31 Aug 2015 10:39:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Aynur KarimovaThe transition to a floating exchange rate for the tenge and inflation targeting has created favorable conditions for the development of Kazakhstan's mining and metallurgical complex.This statement was made by Nikolai Radostovets, an executive director of the Republican Association of Mining and Metallurgical Enterprises at a press conference.“The consistent implementation of the new policy of inflation targeting will allow for providing the mining and metallurgical complex with lasting and cheap funds in tenge. Not only the exporting companies, but also processing enterprises will benefit from the free rate [of the tenge],” he noted.Radostovets believes that the national bank's new policy allows for an increase in the tenge’s liquidity and thus the economy’s gradual de-dollarization.“However, the success of inflation targeting will depend on the transparency, consistency, and coordination of actions of the national bank and the government,” he added.Experts believe that the tenge’s exchange rate will stabilize in the near future. As a result, investors will increasingly gain interest in the mining and metallurgical complex of Kazakhstan. This, in turn, will give new impetus to the development of priority sectors of the country.The weighted average rate of tenge fell to 255.26 to the dollar from 188.38 tenge for the first trades on the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange on August 19. Then on the following day, Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov announced that Kazakhstan had launched a new monetary policy based on a free-floating tenge and cancelled the currency corridor.The development of mining and metallurgical industries is among the top priorities of the Kazakh government. In 2015, Kazakhstan transitioned to the second five-year “Program of Industrial and Innovative Development.” In 2014, the industry provided 18 percent of the gross added value in the economy and accounted for 2.9 percent of employment in the country.The government is implementing the "Plan of development of rare-metal industries of mining and metallurgical complex of Kazakhstan for 2015-2019," overseeing the legal and regulatory support of the industry, improving the state system of industry regulation, providing mineral resources, expanding scientific and technological support for the creation and development of Kazakhstan's industries, and creating and expanding rare metal production facilities.The country has taken appropriate measures to maintain competitiveness in domestic steel products. Kazakhstan put 60 new factories worth $2.5 billion into operation and created over 16,000 permanent jobs. All this was done under the first five-year plan of industrialization in the mining and metallurgical industry.The volume of metallurgy production in Kazakhstan in the first five months of 2015 has exceeded last year's indices by 15.6 percent. US dollar rises in price, euro drops in Azerbaijan Business Mon, 31 Aug 2015 10:25:00 +0500 The official rate of the US dollar and the euro to Azerbaijani manat as of August 31 is set at 1.0480 manat and 1.1789 manat, respectively.Below are the manat rates against world currencies and precious metals, according to the data from Azerbaijan’s Central Bank on Tuesday, August 31.Currencies and precious metalsAug. 28, 2015Aug. 31, 20151 US dollar1 USD1,04791,0481 euro1 EUR1,18051,17891 Australian dollar1 AUD0,75220,74851 Argentine peso1 ARS0,11280,1127100 Belarusian rubles100 BYR0,00590,0061 Brazilian real1 BRL0,2950,29251 UAE dirham1 AED0,28530,28531 South African rand1 ZAR0,07980,0787100 South Korean won100 KRW0,0890,08861 Czech crown1 CZK0,04360,04361 Chilean peso1 CLP0,1510,15161 Chinese yuan1 CNY0,16390,16431 Danish krone1 DKK0,15820,15791 Georgian lari1 GEL0,44640,44641 Hong Kong dollar1 HKD0,13520,13521 Indian rupee1 INR0,01590,01581 British pound1 GBP1,61761,6167100 Indonesian rupiah100 IDR0,00750,0075100 Iranian rials100 IRR0,00350,00351 Swedish krona1 SEK0,12390,12451 Swiss franc1 CHF1,08581,09271 Israeli shekel1 ILS0,26780,26611 Canadian dollar1 CAD0,7950,79171 Kuwaiti dinar1 KWD3,47373,47111 Kazakh tenge1 KZT0,00440,00441 Kyrgyz som1 KGS0,01670,0167100 Lebanese pounds100 LBP0,06960,06961 Malaysian ringgit1 MYR0,24850,24981 Mexican peso1 MXP0,06210,06241 Moldavian leu1 MDL0,0550,0551 Egyptian pound1 EGP0,13380,13381 Norwegian krone1 NOK0,12650,1268100 Uzbek soums100 UZS0,04040,04041 Polish zloty1 PLN0,27850,27921 Russian ruble1 RUB0,01590,01611 Singapore dollar1 SGD0,74730,74161 Saudi riyal1 SAR0,27940,27941 SDR (IMF Special Drawing Rights)1 SDR1,47711,47571 Turkish lira1 TRY0,36010,35811 Taiwan dollar1 TWD0,03240,03221 Tajik somoni1 TJS0,16740,16741 New Turkmen manat1 TMM0,29940,29951 Ukrainian hryvnia1 UAH0,04870,0494100 Japanese yen100 JPY0,86620,86581 New Zealand dollar1 NZD0,67940,6731Gold (1 ounce)1 XAU1172,60011189,48Silver (1 ounce)1 XAG15,121215,217Platinum (1 ounce)1 XPT1037,4211051,144Palladium (1 ounce)1 XPD574,2492600,504/By Trend/ Twenty two years pass since Azerbaijani Gubadli district's occupation by Armenia Society Mon, 31 Aug 2015 10:21:00 +0500 Today is the 22nd anniversary of occupation of Azerbaijan's Gubadli district by the Armenian armed forces.The district with an area of 802 square kilometers and with population of about 30,000 people living in 94 settlements were occupied by Armenian military forces on Aug.31, 1993.Gubadli district is distinguished by its favorable geographic location, unique picturesque landscape, rocky and steep mountains, turbulent rivers - Barkushad and Akara, attaching special coloring.Some 283 volunteers heroically died when defending the district and 7 of them were awarded high title of "Azerbaijani National Hero".In fact, each family suffered from Armenian armed forces' outrage. People who survived now are accommodated in 47 districts of the republic./By Trend/ Mugham: a unique pearl of Azerbaijani culture Arts & Entertainment Mon, 31 Aug 2015 10:16:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Amina NazarliThe International Day of Azerbaijani Mugham and Day of Music for countries situated along the ancient Silk Road were celebrated on August 26.Mugham, a unique musical and poetic phenomenon, was created based on historical and cultural traditions that have existed for centuries in Azerbaijan. It is one of the most valuable monuments of the material and spiritual culture of Azerbaijan and the greatest achievement of the musical and poetic art of the Azerbaijani people.This music developed and changed throughout the centuries, reflecting the stages of progress of Azerbaijan itself.Those who did not grow up listening to Mugham, first-time listeners often describe it evoking feelings of melancholy. Most of the Mugham compositions use minor scales, and all use unusual microtones, which lend themselves at first to impressions of Mugham as melancholic music.Varieties of compositions are performed by a group of musicians, consisting of a singer, or “khanende,” a gaval (percussion instrument) player, and a musician on either the stringed musical instruments “tar” or “kemancha.”Mugham entered into global cultural heritage at the beginning of the last century by attracting the attention of cultural experts and music critics around the globe.The lyrical music of Mugham attracts the young and old with its delightful sounds. At present, this pearl of Azerbaijani music art continues to take new forms, attracting attention worldwide.Famous French writer Alexander Dumas during his visit to Caucasus, attended a Mugham competition in Shamakhy (north Azerbaijan) and was greatly impressed by the music.The 20th century was a turning point for the traditional Azerbaijani art of Mugham. The noble Azerbaijani composer Uzeyir Hajibeyov created the Mugham opera 'Leyli and Majnun', based on a synthesis of Mugham and European classical music, hereby making the art of Mugham world-known.The next step in developing Mugham was made by the remarkable Azerbaijani composer, Gara Garayev, who created the Mugham symphony.The greatest role in promoting Mugham worldwide belongs to Azerbaijan's First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva.Over the years, Mugham has served as a source of inspiration for nearly all other types of music, including western music such as modern classical, jazz, blues, and rock. More and more, musicians composing in all types of styles and traditions are finding an inexhaustible source of inspiration in Mugham.The artistic value of Azerbaijani Mugham and its high importance both for national culture and to the world community has been universally recognized at an international level. In 2003, UNESCO recognized the Azerbaijani Mugham as a masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Magical power of precious stones Weird / Interesting Mon, 31 Aug 2015 10:10:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Laman SadigovaPrecious stones attract human for various reasons - extraordinary beauty, beautiful color, mystery and rarity. Thousands of years ago precious stones were hiding in the crevices of rocks and mountains, lying at the bottom of rivers. No one knows how the first man came to realize that gems can be worn over.Luckily, the idea spread out! Gems have exercised their powers over men for millenia - influencing their feelings and imagination throughout the centuries. People have always believed that these unusual creatures of nature are endowed with supernatural powers, which help to protect against diseases, misfortune and bad luck.Since ancient times, gemstones were considered cure for many diseases and ailments. Of course, modern doctors are skeptical of such treatments. But, nevertheless, sometimes there are facts that cannot be denied.Diamonds were always attributed with therapeutic properties. There is a theory that it absorbs and amplifies the thoughts of those who use it, as well as negative qualities of other gems and their owners. In ancient times, the diamond was also used for detoxification, as people believed that it protected them from poisons.Diamond has always been considered as the winners’ stone. It served as the mascot of Julius Caesar, Napoleon and Louis IV. Diamonds are able to ward off fears, to protect its wearer from various negative influences and bring him good luck. But if the diamond is a symbol of wealth, power, youth and beauty, and timelessness, the diamond can also become a symbol of constancy and love.Honesty, kindness, compassion and commitment - these are the main characteristics of people who prefer to wear this stone.Emerald.Written many centuries ago, the Vedas, the holy scriptures of the Hindus, say that emeralds promise good luck and well-being. No wonder the treasure chests of Indian maharajas and maharanis contained wonderful emeralds. Emerald is the official birthstone for May and the official anniversary gemstone for commemorating the 20th and 35th year of marriage.It is worth to buy jewelry with emeralds, if you want to strengthen the family and have children. Also, emeralds calm, give peace of mind and joy.Sapphire is a stone which is famous with its therapeutic qualities. There is a theory that the water in which the stone was located for some time can treat eye diseases. Since ancient times, the sapphire is associated with peace and happiness, helps to contribute a dialogue, insight, intuition, inspiration and help during a prayer. The ancients believed that sapphires can assist them in predicting the future.Pearls are often chosen by open-minded and kind people. Pearls are not gems, but the way in which they accomplish the transformation from a small grain of sand to a fairy bead make them special indeed.People who choose pearls are strong and have hard character.Amethystis preferred by wise and calm people. With its curative light, purple amethyst extinguishes anxiety and emotional pain, cleanses and soothes the mind, as well as helps control emotions.Amethyst is a love stone. This talisman brings newlyweds peace and happiness for many years. According to popular belief, amethysts give people insight and help to control evil thoughts.Topazcalms bad temper and gives strength to its owner. Topaz improves the purity of thought, increases concentration and confidence. It is also recommended for mood swings, insomnia, anxiety, fear and depression.Of course, these theories about gems’ magical qualities are not proven. However, let’s confess that their main magical power is beauty. Azerbaijan makes cultural treasures more available Society Fri, 28 Aug 2015 18:31:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaAzerbaijan made its cultural treasures more available for low-income segments of the population.The ancient Land of Fire – Azerbaijan – is a country that can astonish anyone, both local and foreign, with its cultural beauties. Moreover, when visiting the numerous cultural sites in the country, locals prefer to go to places with budget entrance fees. Over 140 museums are functioning in the country.The country approved new rules for visiting cultural sites for low-income segments of society, veterans, physically challenged people, and children with disabilities under the age of 18, the Cabinet of Ministers reported on August 28.The preferential visits to state and municipally-owned cultural properties, as well as privately owned museums and attractions under the protection of cultural institutions, includes free admission for non-commercial purposes.Moreover, there is no need for consent in preferential visits from the Culture and Tourism Ministry and the Office of the State Historical-Architectural Reserve “Icherisheher”.For preferential visits to such cultural sites, the said persons should apply to the overseeing cultural institution under the state and municipality itself or the head of the institution if the sites are privately owned. Iran may use transport corridor through Azerbaijan Business Fri, 28 Aug 2015 18:01:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Vusala AbbasovaThe current tense situation in Turkey, which is accompanied by an increase in terror attacks and shootings, has significantly complicated transit in and out of the country.The instability at Turkey’s southeastern border has created barriers for the neighboring countries that use Turkish territory for transportation.The situation has forced neighboring Iran to search for new routes to Europe, especially after recent tragic events, when a number of Iranian buses were stopped by terrorists on route way to Turkey.In one incident, the driver was killed by unknown men. There is also evidence that in July, mines were placed along railroads connecting Iran to Turkey inside the Turkish territory.The Iranian Road Maintenance and Transportation organization has been tasked to search alternative routes to Europe.Among the possible options of alternative routes to Europe, the organization announced the possibility of transit through Azerbaijan, IRNA quoted the head of the Transit Transport Coordination Council (TTCC) of the Islamic Republic, Abbas Akhoundi, on August 26.Meanwhile, Mohammad Javad Atrchian, an official with the Iranian Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization, said that the closure of two checkpoints along the Turkish border with Iran would create no problems for trucks and buses.Turkey has not set a time limit for the closure of the Razi and Sero border checkpoints, as the Bazargan border crossing is still open round the clock, he noted.Turkey as a very important neighbor for Iran as is Iran for Turkey. Turkey ranks fourth by the volume of products imported to Iran.Iran imported $3.822 billion worth of goods from Turkey last year (Iranian calendar year begins March 21). During this period, Iran's non-oil exports to Turkey reached $ 2.15 billion. At the same time, Iran exports about 100,000 barrels of crude oil and 27 million cubic meters of gas to Turkey daily.Moreover, Turkey imported 2.4 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity from Iran last year. In 2014, the trade turnover between Iran and Turkey reached $14 billion. In 2014, the trade turnover between Iran and Turkey reached $14 billion, increasing dramatically from the 2000 trade figure of only $1 billion. Officials of the two countries said that it would reach $30-35 billion in the coming years. Armenia on verge of drought World news Fri, 28 Aug 2015 17:47:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Laman SadigovaArmenia faces the threat of exhausting water resources as a result of ignorance to the protection of water reserves and mismanagement of the environment. The government not only closes its eyes to the deliberate destruction of the environment, but also acts as an implementer of ecological terror. This dangerous trend challenges neighboring countries, which have often voiced their concerns over Armenia’s environmental crimes.Armenia’s 0.9 percent surface is waterways. Ecologists are alarmed over the increasing interference of human elements into nature, which are sure to destroy ecosystems in this small South Caucasus nation and within its neighbors."Lake Sevan, for example, with unique quality of water, is in need of more careful treatment – its coast is scattered with garbage and the pipes of nearby houses that destroys the micro flora and the most ridiculous things is that nobody cares about it," said Inga Zarafyan, leader of Ecolur NGO.Armenia faces the threat of losing its water resources and the state has not thought over a scenario that could help save its ecology in danger.Environmental terror, a deliberate attempt to damage the flora and fauna of other countries by destroying its natural resources, is a concept that is more seen in the country nowadays.In some countries like Armenia, governments seem unable to handle the situation and lose control, watching helplessly as the local population leaves their homes in an effort to escape from damaged ecology."It turns out that people in Armenia have no idea how to properly treat water," she said.The Caucasus region already suffers the serious consequences of climate change and the deposition of ice and snow on biodiversity, Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature reports. What is expected is a reduction in river flow, precipitation in continental regions and of a higher frequency of drought at Lake Sevan.Zarafyan also said that the lack of water caused by drying of rivers and lakes leads to so-called ecomigration, a situation that arises when the terrain is unsuitable for human settlement, prompting people to migrate.Armenia pollutes not only its own water reserves, but also the transboundary Kura River. The volume of biogenic substances in the river and its tributaries exceeds the established norm by several times as a result of the discharge of untreated water and industrial waste into the river from Armenian territory.The planet is our common home and one should realize the scale of the problem posed by Armenia. The Armenian government should understand that water resources are not endless and the ill treatment can destroy the natural order. NATO urges Tbilisi to continue dialogue with Moscow World news Fri, 28 Aug 2015 17:12:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Aynur KarimovaNATO has urged Georgia to continue dialogue with Russia.Alliance’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg made the remark at the ceremony of opening a joint Georgian-NATO training center during his visit to Tbilisi on August 27."NATO and I continue urging Georgia to continue the dialogue with Russia,” he said. “The defense, gradual policy, firm position and dialogue do not contradict each other. Russia will continue to be a great neighbor of Georgia in the future this way or another. But the dialogue will be always required.”He also said that Russia’s recent destructive and provocative actions in the region do not improve the security.Large-scale military action was launched between Georgia and Russia in South Ossetia on August 8, 2008. Later, Russian troops occupied Tskhinvali and expelled the Georgian military.Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in late August. In response, Tbilisi ended diplomatic relations with Moscow and has called the two unrecognized republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia occupied territories.The five-day war between Georgia and Russia in 2008 pushed Georgia even closer to Europe, and while not a member of the alliance, it has been a significant part of NATO operations. Georgia is currently the second-biggest contributor to the mission in Afghanistan, which NATO now calls Resolute Support.As for a joint training center, the secretary general reiterated that the center is not directed against any country.The Georgia-NATO Joint Training Center opened at the Krtsanisi National Training Centre, on the outskirts of Tbilisi."On the contrary, the center is being established to further strengthen the regional and international security,” he said. “This is our common way. We help Georgia in preparing for NATO membership. Of course, there is much to be done but Georgia has already achieved success.”NATO designated the Eurasian country an “enhanced opportunity” partner at last year’s summit in Wales, and also established a “Georgia-NATO package” to strengthen the small country's military.Today, NATO and Georgia enjoy good relations, being intertwined with Tbilisi's irreversible aspiration for an alliance membership and NATO's positive feedback in this regard.Few countries in the Euro-Atlantic region expressed as much enthusiasm for NATO as Georgia, despite its non-NATO status. Building solid relations with NATO is of great significance for Georgia, the aspirant country that seeks a membership at the military bloc.Georgia has recently implemented major defense reforms to prove it can operate effectively alongside the military alliance's forces.Russia's position over the Georgia-NATO approximation is quite negative as it views the military bloc's active involvement in the regional issues as a serious threat to the stability of the region. Inflation decreases in Iran World news Fri, 28 Aug 2015 16:54:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Sara RajabovaThe Iranian economy has seen a decrease in the inflation rate compared with previous years, according to official figures.The Central Bank of Iran announced that the inflation rate in urban areas for a 12-month periodending August 22, which marks the end of the fifth month of the Iranian year Mordad, hit 15.4 percent.The inflation rate fell 0.2 percent compared with the previous month’s corresponding period, when the figure stood at 15.6 percent.However, the Statistical Center of Iran has put the inflation rate for the 12-month period at 13.8 percent, 0.3 percent less than the previous month, the Iranian media reported.The country's point-to-point inflation in that month was 12.6 percent, the CBI said on August 26.Point-to-point inflation rate statistics identify rates between distinct points in time, such as the inflation rate at the end of a month compared to the rate of inflation at the end of the same month in the previous year.The Iranian government has been long struggling to revitalize an economy battered by international sanctions and mismanagement.One of the government’s economic priorities is to decrease the high-rate of inflation that rose to about 40 percent in previous years.Earlier, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani highlighted his government’s achievements in bringing down inflation from those highs.He asserted that by the end of his administration’s term in office, the inflation rate in the country will be down to a single-digit figure.Iran's inflation rate decreased from above 35 percent in 2013 to below 15 percent currently.Experts consider that Iran should aim for an annual inflation rate between 2 and 3 percent.Kamran Dadkhah, a professor of economics at U.S. Northeastern University said in early August that this is a practical and attainable goal, noting that the policy instrument for achieving this is the control of money supply.The CBI also said the consumer price index in Iran’s urban areas stood at 224.4 units in the fifth month of the current fiscal year, which is 0.1 percent less than its preceding month.Meanwhile, the Statistical Center of Iran put the figure at 215, which comes with a growth of 0.5 percent compared to the preceding month.The index for food and drinks shows a fall of 2.7 percent compared to the preceding month and a growth of 12 percent when compared to the same period last year, according to the CBI.The inflation rate in Iran in 2005 was about 10.4 percent, but in mid-2013, when Iranian president Hassan Rouhani came to power, the inflation rate and point-to-point inflation rate were 37.5 percent and 44 percent, respectively.Rouhani has promised to decrease the inflation rate to five percent in Iranian fiscal year 1395 (to end on March 20, 2017). Armenia one of most vulnerable countries to crisis World news Fri, 28 Aug 2015 16:39:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Laman SadigovaThe fall in the Russian ruble has had a crucial impact on the national currency of Armenia as the country's economy is heavily dependent on its northern giant.The cost of dollar hit 71.28 rubles on the Moscow Stock Exchange on Monday, 2.18 rubles above Friday’s level.The Armenian dram depreciated 2 percent against dollar on August 21; and this is just the beginning. The global crisis has affected Armenia’s country-nurse, Russia, so seriously that the ruble is unlikely to rise to its former levels in the near future. And this means that Armenia – a country whose aggressive policies has led to disaster and isolation from major regional projects – has no hope.Armenian economists claim that the Armenian dram will not be able to avoid devaluation, Regnum reports. The collapse of the ruble is a severe blow both on the Armenian economy and to ordinary citizens.What has complicated the situation further that the Armenian government lacks any real plans or resources, whilst its unwise policy puts the country in a difficult and permanently unstable situation steeping it in domestic and regional problems.The entire population of Armenia assumes the consequences of the Russian crisis and the government is doing absolutely nothing to rectify the situation and to revive economic growth. This is not surprising since the economic competence of the Armenian regime is only a dream.Whatever happens in the Post-Soviet area, no matter how the situation changes, one thing remains unchangeable – Armenia, as a country can only exist as a parasite, hiding behind a powerful country.Russia’s economy is now shrinking because of the ruble's instability and the occurring crisis in the country. However, the ruble is not the only currency to face crisis. Almost all of the currencies of emerging markets are falling at this turn of world economic "development".Meanwhile, Armenia's dram, judging by 2008-2009 figures, is very vulnerable to the global processes. In 2009, it gained status as the second worst recession of currency in the world at 14 percent.Armenia faces the threat of getting stuck under the ruins of the Russian economy, and it has done nothing to actively avoid it.Moreover, Armenia continues to act as the political and economic appendage of Russia and justifies its actions against the West with "objective reasons," in an attempt to scrounge money to ease the current economic burden. The West, however, provides financial help to Armenia for a number of unclear reasons, a “game” that will hardly last any longer. What the country really needs is a political and economic reformation – a new government that will do something to rescue the country from a deeper economic crisis than it is suffering from now.In the last few days, the Armenian dram has been devaluing smoothly and the process gradually has begun to arouse mass panic. The situation is only worsening in the background of many other problems occurring in the country, such as unemployment, an electricity tariff price hike, corruption, migration, social degradation, and conflict with Azerbaijan over its illegal claims to its neighbor's territories, among others.The Armenian government has left its own country all alone in front of a very possible revolution on grounds of a deep economic crisis, an unstable political situation, and frequently alternating domestic political forces. Obviously, the government has tried to garner the people’s attention with red herrings, such as changing the country’s Constitution and by organizing a “hunt” for corruption, when everybody knows that corruption stems from the government itself. NATO urges Georgia to continue dialogue with Russia World news Fri, 28 Aug 2015 16:28:00 +0500 NATO continues urging Georgia to continue the dialogue with Russia, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said during his visit to Tbilisi, Sputnik reported.“Establishing a joint Georgian-NATO training center is not directed against any country,” he said.The Georgia-NATO Joint Training Center opened at the Krtsanisi National Training Centre, on the outskirts of Tbilisi Aug. 27. Stoltenberg attended the opening ceremony."NATO and I continue urging Georgia to continue the dialogue with Russia,” he said. “The defense, gradual policy, firm position and dialogue do not contradict each other. Russia will continue to be a great neighbor of Georgia in the future this way or another. But the dialogue will be always required.”He also said that Russia’s recent destructive and provocative actions in the region do not improve the security.As for a joint training center, the secretary general reiterated that the center is not directed against any country."On the contrary, the center is being established to further strengthen the regional and international security,” he said. “This is our common way. We help Georgia in preparing for NATO membership. Of course, there is much to be done but Georgia has already achieved success.”Large-scale military action was launched between Georgia and Russia in South Ossetia on August 8, 2008.Later, Russian troops occupied Tskhinvali and expelled the Georgian military.Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in late August. In response, Tbilisi ended diplomatic relations with Moscow and has called the two unrecognized republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia occupied territories./By Trend/ ‘Shah Deniz’ gas feeding Azerbaijan, Georgia; Turkey waiting for pipe repair Business Fri, 28 Aug 2015 16:16:00 +0500 The output and export of gas from Azerbaijani ‘Shah Deniz’ field in the Caspian Sea are being conducted in a planned manner, Tamam Bayatli, the head of the press service of BP Azerbaijan, told Trend August 28.BP Azerbaijan is the technical operator for the ‘Shah Deniz’ development and the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline’s sections running in Azerbaijan and Georgia.Bayatli said the gas from the field is currently being exported via the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline only to Azerbaijan and Georgia.“There are no problems in the gas output and export, and operations continue,” she added. “The gas is exported to Azerbaijan and Georgia in the volumes they can receive.”An explosion occurred on the night of Aug. 24 to Aug. 25 on the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline’s section in the city of Sarikamis of Turkey’s Kars province.A terrorist attack is named as the main reason for the explosion./By Trend/ Azerbaijani designer to present collection in China Arts & Entertainment Fri, 28 Aug 2015 16:05:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Amina NazarliNew collection of Azerbaijan’s famous designer Gulnara Khalilova will be presented at the 4th Eurasian international clothes festival "Silk Road."The stylish event will be held in Urumqi, China between August 29 and September 2.The main organizers of the festival are the People's Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China, Textile Industry Association of China and others.The annual Silk Road festival pays tribute to the enduring influence of this ancient way. The Clothes Festival presents thoroughly modern fashion shows and industry fairs.Last year Khalilova was awarded "Master Exhibition & Performance Award" at the third Eurasian Silk Road festival. She demonstrated her peculiar handmade knitted dresses and national and evening dresses.Khalilova's work of national collection can be found in Egypt, the library of Alexandria, the Cultural Center of Istanbul, and the cultural centers of various cities in the U.S.The designer took part in preparing the classic Azerbaijani operetta "Arshin mal alan" by famous composer Uzeyir Hajibeyov staged at the 100th anniversary of the State Theatre of Musical Comedy, where she created costumes.Her works are also very popular in collections of famous Turkish public figures, representatives of culture and art Ajda Pekkan, Emrah Erdogan, Beyazit Ozturk, Soner Sarikabadayi, and others. Valuable treasure found in Guba Society Fri, 28 Aug 2015 15:52:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Amina NazarliA small treasure was discovered in Azerbaijan’s northern region of Guba.It was found in the wall of an abandoned house by children who were playing inside.The findings include a lot of silver coins, necklaces, paper money dated to 1875, a rosary, an old Koran, a silver sword and old pistol.The findings were handed over to Guba Police and an investigation is underway.Experts say that since ancient times, Azerbaijan has been located at the crossroads of trade, land, and sea routes, as well as at crossroads of the most diverse cultures and traditions. Azerbaijan is a place where great Khanates and the Empires were established at various times.According to experts, Azerbaijan has about a few hundred big treasures dispersed throughout the country. They are located in basements, walls, under the foundation, and in open fields in both ancient and more recent cities.In 2013, a huge treasure trove dated to the 6th-7th centuries was found in Tovuz region’s Galaboynu area.For the past 15 days, the area was the under police control and excavations were being conducted.According to residents, the treasury belonged to a governor of the Garagoyunlu clan, Kara Yusif, who was killed and buried in this area.Earlier in 2012, archeologists found a treasury of some 37 gold coins of 986 fineness dated between 1781 and 1800 in the Agsu region. Turkish PM to introduce interim governmental staff to president World news Fri, 28 Aug 2015 15:40:00 +0500 Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will introduce the interim governmental staff to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Aug. 28, TRT Haber TV channel reported August 28.Afterwards, Turkey will start preparation for holding the rerun parliamentary election.Earlier, a source in the Turkish government exclusively told Trend that the interim government would be formed in the country this week.It was also reported that the rerun parliamentary election would be held in Turkey November 1.Moreover, the source said that the main opposition parties of the country such as the People's Republican Party and the Nationalist Movement Party are not expected to participate in the formation of the interim government.He said the interim government would be formed with the Peoples Democratic Party of Turkey.The opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) failed to agree on the formation of a coalition government.Then Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that the re-run parliamentary election would be held in Turkey.Turkey held parliamentary election June 7, which involved 20 political parties. Over 53 million people cast their votes in the election.During the parliamentary election, Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party garnered 40.9 percent of the vote, while the Republican People's Party (CHP) gained 25 percent; aside from that the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) got 16.3 percent, and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) gained 13.1 percent of the vote./By Trend/ Azerbaijan chooses company to build Azerspace-2 Business Fri, 28 Aug 2015 15:26:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaAzerbaijan has chosen the company that will build the second telecommunications satellite Azerspace-2, Communications and High Technologies Minister Ali Abbasov said on August 27.The name of that company will be announced soon, Abbasov said.“The launching of the satellite in orbit is expected in late 2017 or early 2018,” the minister added.The tender for the construction of the satellite and the supply of equipment for the ground control center was bid on by the two U.S. companies “Orbital” and “Space Systems Loral”, the Chinese “China Great Wall Industry Corporation,” and France’s “Airbus Defense and Space”.Work on the installation of ground station equipment must be completed no later than 2017, and the ready satellite shipped to the launch site before the end of 2017.Azerbaijan expects the satellite to be built in 30 months.Issues related to the insurance of the satellite will be resolved by the time of its launch.The satellite will be placed in an orbital position of 45 degrees east longitude and will be leased by Azerbaijan side from the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization, which will have rights to 45.9 percent of satellite resources.The service area of Azerspace-2 will cover the countries of Europe, Southeast Asia, Middle East, and Africa.The geostationary satellite Azerspace-2 will be equipped with Ku- and Ka-band transponders designed to provide digital broadcasting, Internet access, data transmission, creation of VSAT multi-service networks, and other services.Azerbaijan entered the space club in February 2013 with the launch of the first Azerbaijani telecommunications satellite Azerspace-1.The satellite is designed to provide digital television, data transmission, VSAT multi-service networks, and governmental communications.Azerspace-1 covers the countries of Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Middle East and Africa.Azerbaijan’s satellite operator Azercosmos also jointly uses the low-earth-orbit satellites SPOT 6 and SPOT 7 together with the French company “Airbus Defense and Space”. Belarus ready to share NPP construction experience with Kazakhstan World news Fri, 28 Aug 2015 15:15:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Aynur KarimovaBelarus is ready to share its experience in the construction of a nuclear power plant with Kazakhstan, Belarusian Deputy Energy Minister Mikhail Mikhadyuk said.He made the remark during a press conference on August 27 to discuss the safe development of nuclear power engineering and the non-proliferation regime as guarantees of the mankind’s future, Belta reported.Mikhadyuk also noted that when Kazakhstan makes a decision to construct a NPP, Belarus will share its experience.“I think thanks to this interaction we will enrich each other in terms of knowledge and the implementation of such large-scale projects,” he added.Belarus is at the stage of practical implementation of the project on construction of a NPP.“Today many countries are actively interested in our experience, because Rosatom, which is the general contractor [of the construction of the NPP], stressed the successful organization of works both at the stages of preparation and construction,” the deputy minister said.In his remarks Kazakh Ambassador to Belarus Yergali Bulegenov noted that Kazakhstan had been considering the idea of building a NPP for quite a long period of time.“In 2014, Kazakh specialists visited the construction site of the Belarusian NPP,” he said.Kazakhstan plans to start the construction of its first NPP in 2018, and the country is expected to generate nuclear power in 2023-2024.Kazakhstan plans to build NPPs in its energy-deficient regions. The special commission created under a presidential decree has already made a decision on the locations of the power plants.The town of Kurchatov in the East Kazakhstan province and the village of Ulken in the Almaty province were named the most suitable locations for building a NPP, according to the country’s Energy Ministry.Kazakhstan has decided to build NPPs and develop domestic production of nuclear fuel for them based on the fact that the country is a world leader in uranium production.The country produced 22,829 metric tons of uranium in 2014, maintaining its leading position as the largest uranium producer in the world. In 2013, the country produced 22,500 metric tons of uranium. Two Azerbaijani teams enter Europa League Sports Fri, 28 Aug 2015 15:02:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaTwo Azerbaijani football teams, Qarabag and Qabala, entered the UEFA Europa League group stage in return matches on August 27.Azerbaijan’s FC Qarabag reached the group stage after thrashing Switzerland’s Young Boys 3-0 in Baku.Richard Almeida scored on a penalty in the fifth minute, while a second strong goal came from Reynaldo dos Santos Silva in the 43rd minute of the match.Qarabag Midfielder Afran Ismayilov, who also plays on the Azerbaijani national team, kicked the final fatal blow in the 62nd minute.Qarabag had defeated Young Boys 1-0 once before in Bern.Qarabag team captain and Azerbaijani national team member Rashad Sadigov congratulated everyone with this victory, “which we all deserve.”“I'm proud of the guys. They played as they should. We played our own game, did not sit in the defense and won a landslide victory,” the captain stressed.Moreover, Azerbaijan’s Qabala has also secured a spot in the group stage of the UEFA Europa League after a 2-2 draw with Greece’s Panathinaikos in Athens.In Greece, Dodo’s two goals in the 6th and 60th minutes allowed the Azerbaijani side to press through.Qabala is one of two European clubs that have managed to get into the group stage of European cup this season, starting from the first qualification round. Besides Qabala, only Norwegian Rosenborg has managed to successfully complete all four rounds.Qabala head coach Roman Grigorchuk said, “We have prepared well for the game. Scoring the first goal, we have moved into position early. This created conditions for the Greek team to play more aggressively, rush into attack and score.”Grigorchuk went on to add that the team has a minimum of 6 matches in the European League. “But do not forget about the Championship and the Azerbaijan Cup. We need to tune in to all the games.”The teams will be paid for this result by UEFA. Thus, Qabala will receive 1,840 million euro. The total award of Qarabag will be 1,750 million euro. Turkish stream not to reach European market – expert Business Fri, 28 Aug 2015 14:57:00 +0500 Turkish Stream gas pipeline will not supply the European market in the foreseeable future, Vesa Ahoniemi, an independent energy analyst believes.“The future of Turkish Stream is very uncertain, in particular, the schedule and capacity Russia announced in December 2014 are unlikely to materialize,” Ahoniemi told Trend.He mentioned that originally the project was presented by Gazprom as a way to bypass Ukraine entirely and maintain or even increase Gazprom's market share in South-East Europe.“Remarkably, Russia's plan also envisaged Europeans themselves would pay and build pipelines to connect their gas network to that of Turkey, even as Europeans did not share Gazprom's objective of bypassing Ukraine,” Ahoniemi said.He believes that the Turkish Stream pipeline, if it ever materializes, will end up supplying merely the Turkish market.“I say "if" because the bilateral negotiations between Gazprom and Turkish Botas have been very difficult,” he said, also mentioning that Gazprom recently cancelled its contract with Italian Saipen, the contractor supposedly in charge of building the underwater portion of Turkish Stream (and South Stream before it was cancelled).“This suggests Gazprom still sees long negotiations ahead,” Ahoniemi said.He also said that he does not consider Turkish Stream as a competitor to the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) project, which envisages transportation of gas from the Caspian region through Georgia and Turkey to Europe.At the initial stage, the gas to be produced as part of the second phase of development of Azerbaijani gas condensate Shah Deniz field is considered as the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor project. At a later stage, other sources may join the project.“SGC is very much a commercial project while Turkish Stream is really not,” Ahoniemi said.“The upside to SGC is of course diversification of supply and indeed its commercial nature, which ensures that its regulatory treatment is much more favorable than Gazprom's projects,” he added.The Turkish Stream project involves the construction of a gas pipeline with a capacity of 63 billion cubic meters of gas a year from Russia to Turkey via the Black Sea. The gas pipeline is to consist of four stretches bringing up to 47 billion cubic meters of gas to Turkey’s border with Greece.Russian energy giant Gazprom estimates the cost of constructing the first branch of the Turkish Stream pipeline at €4.3 billion ($4.72 billion), while the overall price tag for all four legs of this project are estimated at €11.4 billion.In July, a source in the Russian Energy Ministry told journalists that Russia had sent a proposal for the construction of the first branch of the gas pipeline to Turkey.Russia and Turkey were to sign an intergovernmental agreement until mid-2015 for the construction of the ‘Turkish Stream’ gas pipeline, but this hasn’t still happened./By Trend/