Armenia Named Top South Caucasus Country in Scientific Output

(PanARMENIAN) – On February 22, The Caucasus Research Resource Centers unveiled a report detailing the scientific output trends in the South Caucasus between 1996 and 2012, naming Armenia as the top country in the South Caucasus in terms of scientific output.

According to the report, Armenia’s science sector has been steadily developing throughout those 15 years.

Increases in the quantity of peer reviewed publications and citations are believed to measure scientific progress. In the 1960s, efforts to document, explore, and explain trends in scientific progress gave rise to the quantitative study of science and science policy, called Scientometrics.

The platform presents several important indicators of scientific output in the South Caucasus countries.

The number of publications in peer reviewed journals by academics affiliated with the country’s scientific institutions from all three South Caucasus countries, especially Armenia, increased between 1996 and 2012.

The number of both cited and uncited publications has been increasing in each scientific discipline. However, the ratio of cited peer reviewed publications to uncited ones are slightly declining.

International collaboration, measured by the ratio of peer reviewed publications co-authored by individuals from different countries, seems to have increased between 1996 and 2012. Azerbaijan falls behind, while international collaboration is slowly but steadily increasing in Armenia and Georgia.

To sum up, the number of peer reviewed publications is the most rapidly growing indicator, suggesting positive developments in the scientific community of the South Caucasus countries. On the other hand, it seems that there is still work to do when it comes to the impact of the publications by scholars in the South Caucasus. 

Russia To Upgrade Joint Air Defense With Armenia

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(RFE/RL) – Russia moved closer on Wednesday to setting up a new joint air defense system with Armenia, with President Vladimir Putin formally authorizing his government to negotiate a corresponding Russian-Armenian agreement.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s cabinet confirmed late last month plans for the creation of the Russian-Armenian “united regional system of air defense in the Caucasus region of collective security.” In a statement cited by Russian news agencies, the Kremlin said that Putin approved those plans and instructed the Russian defense and foreign ministries to hold negotiations with the Armenian side.

The deputy commander of the Russian Air Force, Lieutenant-General Pavel Kurachenko, said in September that the Armenian and Russian governments are preparing to sign the agreement. “We have already gone far,” he said, expressing hope that the two sides will work out all remaining details by the end of this year.

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The Russian and Armenian militaries have been jointly protecting Armenia’s airspace ever since the mid-1990s. Their integrated air defense system was given a “regional” status by the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in 2007.

Top Russian military officials said at the time that Moscow has upgraded Armenia’s anti-aircraft capacity and trained Armenian specialists to operate sophisticated S-300 systems. Some Armenian defense analysts suggested that Moscow is keen to extend the geographic span of the joint air defenses to the entire South Caucasus. Those consist of not only Armenian and Russian anti-aircraft weapons but also 18 or so MiG-29 fighter jets that are part of the Russian military base in Armenia.

It is not yet clear how the new “regional system” will differ from the existing one and whether it will operate within the framework of the CSTO.

Russia has already created such systems with Belarus and Kazakhstan and is reportedly planning to sign similar deals with the two other CSTO member states: Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Photo Caption 1: 

President Serzh Sarkisian ® with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin visit the 102nd Russian Military Base in Gyumri (Photo Taken on December 2, 2013).

Photo Caption 2:  A Russian-made S-300 air-defense system of the Armenian armed forces put on display during a military exercise (Photo Taken on October 8, 2013).