In 1998, Armenia was a small nation located in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. It had achieved independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 and had since become a democratic republic with a population of around 3.3 million people. The economy was largely based on agriculture, tourism, and the production of textiles and electronics, while also relying heavily on remittances from expatriates living abroad. Despite this economic success, Armenia was facing several significant challenges in 1998. Inflation had risen sharply due to a collapse in the value of its currency, leading to an ongoing financial crisis that had caused considerable hardship for many citizens. In addition, poverty and unemployment were high, with around one-third of the population living below the poverty line. The country was also facing political instability due to ongoing tensions with neighboring Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh. Despite these difficulties however, there were signs of hope; the government had recently implemented several reforms to improve access to education and healthcare while also taking steps to diversify the economy away from its reliance on agriculture and remittances. There were also efforts being made to tackle corruption and reduce poverty levels throughout the country. See dentistrymyth for Armenia in the year of 2015.
Armenia. The conflict surrounding the Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan in February forced Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrosian to resign. He wanted to end an economic boycott against Armenia from the oil-rich Azerbaijan and its allied Turkey. Therefore, he sought a negotiation solution around Nagorno-Karabakh and was prepared for territorial concessions to reach his goal.
However, such a compromise was inconceivable for the government, the National Assembly and large sections of the population. Demonstrations were conducted against Ter-Petrosian and the criticism was led by Prime Minister Robert Kotjarjan. This was elected in March as new president. However, observers from the European Security Organization OSCE reported on the irregularities in the election.
According to Countryaah, the capital of Armenia is Yerevan. Kotjarjan was formerly Nagorno-Karabakh’s president and led the enclave’s outbreak of war against Azerbaijan. Despite its hard line in the conflict, Kotjarjan, as newly appointed president, promised to continue the peace talks led by the OSCE. This happened at a meeting in Moscow with Azerbaijan President Gejdar Alijev. In April, Kotjarjan appointed former finance minister Armen Darbinjan as new prime minister. He advocates rapid privatization and extensive economic reform.
Darbinjan visited Azerbaijan in September, the first visit of its kind since the war. However, no progress was made in the peace talks.
- Abbreviationfinder: What does ARM stand for in geography? Here, this 3 letter acronym refers to the country of Armenia.
Azerbaijani soldiers are suspected of war crimes
13th of December
The ceasefire from 9 November is broken. Azerbaijan reports that four Azeri soldiers have lost their lives, while Armenia reports some injured. The next day, it emerges that two soldiers from Azerbaijan have legal recourse to wait in their home country for mutilating the bodies of Armenian soldiers during the autumn war over Nagorno-Karabakh. The two filmed their actions and posted the films on social media. Two other soldiers are said to have desecrated Armenian tombstones.
Azerbaijan celebrates victory in war
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is taking part in Azerbaijan’s celebration of the victory over Armenia in the recent Nagorno-Karabakh war. In a military parade held in Baku, drones of Turkish manufacture are among the equipment on display. On the same day, Amnesty International calls on both Azerbaijan and Armenia to investigate allegations of war crimes; such accusations are leveled against both sides.
Almost 5,500 died in the autumn war
Azerbaijan publishes for the first time an indication of how many lives were claimed in the autumn war over Nagorno-Karabakh: 2,783 soldiers have been found dead and another 100 missing. Armenia has previously stated its military losses at 2,425. This means that more than 5,200 soldiers lost their lives. At least 143 civilian casualties are known, on both sides.
History. – The 2007 parliamentary elections were won by the Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), whose leader Serzh Sargsyan created a coalition that gave the government a dominant majority. In the subsequent presidential elections of 2008, Sargsyan himself ran and won in the first round against former president Levon Ter-Petrosyan and the Norma of Law (OEK) party candidate Artur Baghdasaryan. The validity of the results was contested by the opposition which organized a series of demonstrations severely repressed by the police.
The severe measures taken by the government were heavily criticized by the international community and degenerated into the tragic events of 1 March 2008, in which ten demonstrators died. Subsequently, Sargsyan took a softer line by mitigating the authoritarian tendency of his predecessor, initiating a season of greater compromises with the opposition and civil society, and launching a campaign against rampant corruption, excess bureaucracy and organized crime. Since then, however, there have been no substantial improvements to a political-economic system that remained highly closed and centralized.
In the first months of 2011, along the lines of the Arab Spring, thousands of opposition protesters took to the streets to protest against the precarious economic conditions – low wages and high unemployment -, social and democratic. To avoid the degeneration of the protests and in compliance with the main requests of the Council of Europe, the Armenian authorities released the last activists arrested in 2008, lifted the ban on demonstrations in Freedom Square in Yerevan and began a dialogue with the opposition.
The legislative elections of 6 May 2012 gave a landslide victory to the tripartite ruling coalition – HHK with OEK and Prosperous Armenia (BHK) – which won a majority of 112 out of 131 seats. Although international observers confirmed an improvement in democratic standards, also the regularity of these elections was challenged by the fragmented opposition which obtained only 19 seats. The election campaign for the 2013 presidential election took place in a tense political climate, culminating in the attempted murder of candidate Paruyr Hayrikyan in January 2013. The February elections reconfirmed outgoing president Sargsyan (58.64% of the votes) beating Raffi Hovannisian (36.75%), leader of the opposition party Legacies and his main challenger.
Despite the attempts to normalize relations with Turkey and to make peace with Azerbaijan, there were no substantial improvements in relations with these two countries, with which the Armenia it shares two boundaries that are still closed. The question of Nagorno Karabakh remained unresolved, where a situation of ‘frozen’ conflict persisted with frequent clashes along the border which periodically risked escalating into a large-scale war.
Furthermore, after the inconclusive negotiations for an association agreement with the European Union, on 9 October 2014 the Armenia, former member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (see csi) and the military alliance of the Organization of the Security Treaty collective (CSTO), opted for the initiative promoted by Russia, its main economic and strategic-military partner, by joining the Eurasian Economic Union.