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From the article:
As the international price of gold touches record highs, the rush is on to find and exploit deposits around the world. Old mines are being revived: new ones are opening up.

In the town of Ararat – about an hour’s drive south of Yerevan, Armenia’s capital – investors from Russia have moved in to take control of what is believed to be one of the biggest gold-mining operations in the country.

The move has prompted concerns within Armenia over increasing Russian control of vital national economic interests.

In the South Caucasus, one of the world’s most volatile areas, it is also raising the spectre of renewed regional conflict.

In a series of deft investment moves in recent years, Russia has used financial resources generated from sales of its vast oil and gas reserves to regain control of a number of enterprises in what were, before the early 1990s, territories of the Soviet Union.

Nowhere is this investment drive more evident than in Armenia. As a result of often secretive deals linked to the Armenian government’s privatisation programme, Russian companies now control about 80% of the country’s power generating facilities.

These even include a nuclear power plant at Metsamor, near Yerevan.

Gazprom, the Russian energy giant, has a majority stake in Armenia’s gas network. It is also believed to have taken a controlling interest recently in a gas pipeline, now under construction, that will link Armenia with Iran.

Russian companies own most of Armenia’s telecommunications network, while the country’s railway system is about to be sold to Russia.

“The Russians own what is the economic backbone of Armenia,” says an opposition newspaper.

“Moscow is in control of virtually all our strategic resources.”

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Diplomacide Mothballed

Diplomacide has been mothballed.
December 2017
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