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.
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.
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.