Armenia. Armenia has long demanded that Turkey recognize the Ottoman military massacre of Armenians in 1915 in the First World War. In April, for the first time, such a statement came from Turkey’s Prime Minister, but Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian did not think it went far enough. The dispute over history has poisoned the relationship between the two neighboring countries, which lack diplomatic relations.
According to Countryaah.com, Armenia population in 2020 is estimated at 2,963,254. Turkey has long closed the border with Armenia because of the unresolved conflict surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh, the Armenian enclave in Azerbaijan, which is Turkey’s ally. Border battles occurred at Nagorno-Karabakh during the summer, when at least 15 soldiers from both sides were killed. While the fighting was going on in August, Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin led a meeting between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan, apparently without progress.
In Nagorno-Karabakh there is a group of Yazidis who during the year invited Yazidis who fled the Islamic State (IS) violence in northern Iraq to settle in the Caucasian mountain slave. Yazidis in Armenia’s capital Yerevan demonstrated with demands that the government send arms and other aid to the Yazidis in Iraq. The government promised humanitarian aid. The Yazidis in Armenia are descendants of refugees from the massacres in 1915, when thousands of Yazidis were also killed. According to Abbreviation Finder, AM stands for Armenia in English. Click to see other meanings of this 2-letter acronym.
In April, Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian departed surprisingly. Some assessors linked the resignation to popular protests against a pension reform implemented at the turn of the year, which meant that all persons born after 1974 must save in private pension funds. According to the Constitutional Court, the reform must be changed on several points. New Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan was appointed by the ruling Republican Party as new Prime Minister.
In October, President Sarkisian signed an agreement with the Euro-Asian Economic Union, the EEU, which comes into force at New Year 2015 with Armenia, the Russian Federation, Belarus and Kazakhstan as members. Following pressure from the Russian Federation, Armenia has suspended its approach to the EU to join the EU.
According to topb2bwebsites, during the autumn, the opposition continued its protest campaign against pension reform, against the corruption in the country and against the decision to join the EEU.
Population, society and rights
Armenia is the most ethnically homogeneous country in the Caucasus region. 95% of the population is Armenian, while the remainder is made up of Russians (2%), Kurds (2%) and Azeris (1%). However, it is estimated that around 200,000 Azeris have left the country following the conflict in Nagorno Karabach. Ethnic homogeneity corresponds to confessional homogeneity: almost all of the population belongs to the Armenian Apostolic Church, an autocephalous church and central element of national identity. Although Armenia prohibits religious proselytizing activities, freedom of worship is guaranteed. The majority of the population did not benefit from the economic growth that characterized the country after 2000: according to the World Bank, 32% of it still lived below the national poverty line in 2013. This has led to a massive migratory phenomenon. According to data from the World Bank, there are more than 870,000 Armenians abroad (mainly in Russia,USA and Ukraine): a significant number when compared with the currently resident national population. Although the constitutional amendments of 2005 have reduced the powers of the presidency and given greater independence to the legislative and judiciary, the latter remain subject to political pressure from the executive. Moreover, with the referendum of 2015 the presidential term will increase from five to seven years and the powers of the prime minister will be strengthened, in the event that Sargsyan becomes prime minister. Corruption and the mixing of political and economic power remain widespread problems and not effectively addressed by Armenian governments, despite international pressure. Although still far from international standards, over the years the electoral processes in Armenia have shown a progressive improvement in terms of transparency and inclusiveness. This emerged in particular from the 2012 legislative elections, an all the more delicate appointment due to the violent street clashes that followed the presidential elections of 2008 and lasted until 2011, when Yerevan was the scene of massive demonstrations. The positive opinion on the regularity of the 2012 elections expressed by international observers represented a significant step forward, despite the fear that instability could return to characterize Armenia in view of the next elections in 2017 and 2018.