Middle East :: ARMENIA
  • Introduction :: ARMENIA

  • Armenia prides itself on being the first nation to formally adopt Christianity (early 4th century). Despite periods of autonomy, over the centuries Armenia came under the sway of various empires including the Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Persian, and Ottoman. During World War I in the western portion of Armenia, the Ottoman Empire instituted a policy of forced resettlement coupled with other harsh practices that resulted in at least 1 million Armenian deaths. The eastern area of Armenia was ceded by the Ottomans to Russia in 1828; this portion declared its independence in 1918, but was conquered by the Soviet Red Army in 1920.
    Armenian leaders remain preoccupied by the long conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, a primarily Armenian-populated region, assigned to Soviet Azerbaijan in the 1920s by Moscow. Armenia and Azerbaijan began fighting over the area in 1988; the struggle escalated after both countries attained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. By May 1994, when a trilateral cease-fire between Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Nagorno-Karabakh took hold, ethnic Armenian forces held not only Nagorno-Karabakh but also seven surrounding regions - approximately 14 percent of Azerbaijan’s territory. The economies of both sides have been hurt by their inability to make substantial progress toward a peaceful resolution.
    Turkey closed the common border with Armenia in 1993 in support of Azerbaijan in its conflict with Armenia over control of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas, further hampering Armenian economic growth. In 2009, Armenia and Turkey signed Protocols normalizing relations between the two countries, but neither country ratified the Protocols, and Armenia officially withdrew from the Protocols in March 2018. In January 2015, Armenia joined Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan as a member of the Eurasian Economic Union. In November 2017, Armenia signed a Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the EU.
  • Geography :: ARMENIA

  • Southwestern Asia, between Turkey (to the west) and Azerbaijan; note - Armenia views itself as part of Europe; geopolitically, it can be classified as falling within Europe, the Middle East, or both
    40 00 N, 45 00 E
    Asia
    total: 29,743 sq km
    land: 28,203 sq km
    water: 1,540 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 143
    slightly smaller than Maryland
    total: 1,570 km
    border countries (4): Azerbaijan 996 km, Georgia 219 km, Iran 44 km, Turkey 311 km
    0 km (landlocked)
    none (landlocked)
    highland continental, hot summers, cold winters
    Armenian Highland with mountains; little forest land; fast flowing rivers; good soil in Aras River valley
    mean elevation: 1,792 m
    elevation extremes: lowest point: Debed River 400 m
    highest point: Aragats Lerrnagagat' 4,090 m
    small deposits of gold, copper, molybdenum, zinc, bauxite
    agricultural land: 59.7%
    arable land 15.8%; permanent crops 1.9%; permanent pasture 42%
    forest: 9.1%
    other: 31.2% (2014 est.)
    2,740 sq km (2012)
    most of the population is located in the northern half of the country; the capital of Yerevan is home to more than five times as many people as Gyumri, the second largest city in the country
    occasionally severe earthquakes; droughts
    soil pollution from toxic chemicals such as DDT; deforestation; pollution of Hrazdan (Razdan) and Aras Rivers; the draining of Sevana Lich (Lake Sevan), a result of its use as a source for hydropower, threatens drinking water supplies; restart of Metsamor nuclear power plant in spite of its location in a seismically active zone
    party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants
    landlocked in the Lesser Caucasus Mountains; Sevana Lich (Lake Sevan) is the largest lake in this mountain range
  • People and Society :: ARMENIA

  • 3,045,191 (July 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    noun: Armenian(s)
    adjective: Armenian
    Armenian 98.1%, Yezidi (Kurd) 1.1%, other 0.7% (2011 est.)
    Armenian (official) 97.9%, Kurdish (spoken by Yezidi minority) 1%, other 1%
    note: Russian is widely spoken (2011 est.)
    Armenian Apostolic 92.6%, Evangelical 1%, other 2.4%, none 1.1%, unspecified 2.9% (2011 est.)
    0-14 years: 18.94% (male 306,322/female 270,388)
    15-24 years: 12.89% (male 203,358/female 189,092)
    25-54 years: 43.43% (male 640,881/female 681,784)
    55-64 years: 13.41% (male 187,178/female 221,071)
    65 years and over: 11.33% (male 138,458/female 206,659) (2017 est.)
    total dependency ratio: 44.4
    youth dependency ratio: 28.7
    elderly dependency ratio: 15.8
    potential support ratio: 6.3 (2015 est.)
    total: 35.1 years
    male: 33.3 years
    female: 36.9 years (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    -0.21% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 210
    12.9 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 154
    9.4 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    -5.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 195
    most of the population is located in the northern half of the country; the capital of Yerevan is home to more than five times as many people as Gyumri, the second largest city in the country
    urban population: 63.1% of total population (2018)
    rate of urbanization: 0.22% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    YEREVAN (capital) 1.08 million (2018)
    at birth: 1.12 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.14 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.84 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    24.4 years (2015/16 est.)
    25 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    total: 12.7 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 14.1 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 11.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 113
    total population: 74.9 years
    male: 71.6 years
    female: 78.5 years (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    1.64 children born/woman (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 177
    57.1% (2015/16)
    4.5% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    2.8 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
    4.2 beds/1,000 population (2015)
    improved:
    urban: 100% of population
    rural: 100% of population
    total: 100% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 0% of population
    rural: 0% of population
    total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 96.2% of population
    rural: 78.2% of population
    total: 89.5% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 3.8% of population
    rural: 21.8% of population
    total: 10.5% of population (2015 est.)
    0.2% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    3,400 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    <200 (2017 est.)
    20.2% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    2.6% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 89
    2.8% of GDP (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 99.7%
    male: 99.7%
    female: 99.6% (2015 est.)
    total: 13 years
    male: 13 years
    female: 13 years (2015)
    total: 36.3%
    male: 29.5%
    female: 45.7% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
  • Government :: ARMENIA

  • conventional long form: Republic of Armenia
    conventional short form: Armenia
    local long form: Hayastani Hanrapetut'yun
    local short form: Hayastan
    former: Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, Armenian Republic
    etymology: the etymology of the country's name remains obscure; according to tradition, the country is named after Hayk, the legendary patriarch of the Armenians and the great-great-grandson of Noah; Hayk's descendant, Aram, purportedly is the source of the name Armenia
    parliamentary democracy; note - constitutional changes adopted in December 2015 transformed the government to a parliamentary system
    name: Yerevan
    geographic coordinates: 40 10 N, 44 30 E
    time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    11 provinces (marzer, singular - marz); Aragatsotn, Ararat, Armavir, Geghark'unik', Kotayk', Lorri, Shirak, Syunik', Tavush, Vayots' Dzor, Yerevan
    21 September 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
    Independence Day, 21 September (1991)
    history: previous 1915, 1978; latest adopted 5 July 1995
    amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by the National Assembly; passage requires approval by the president, by the National Assembly, and by a referendum with at least 25% registered voter participation and more than 50% of votes; constitutional articles on the form of government and democratic procedures are not amendable; amended 2005, 2007, 2008, last in 2015
    note: a 2015 amendment, approved in December 2015 by a public referendum and effective for the 2017-18 electoral cycle, changes the government type from the current semi-presidential system to a parliamentary system (2017)
    civil law system
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Armenia
    dual citizenship recognized: yes
    residency requirement for naturalization: 3 years
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Armen SARKISSIAN (since 9 April 2018)
    head of government: Prime Minister Nikol PASHINYAN (since 8 May 2018); First Deputy Prime Minister Ararat MIRZOYAN (since 11 May 2018)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister
    elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the National Assembly in 3 rounds if needed for a single 7-year term; election last held on 2 March 2018; prime minister elected by majority vote in 2 rounds if needed by the National Assembly; election last held on 8 May 2018
    election results: Armen SARKISSIAN elected president in first round; note - Armen SARKISSIAN ran unopposed and won the Assembly vote 90-10; Nikol PASHINYAN elected prime minister in second round; note - Nikol PASHINYAN ran unopposed and won the Assembly vote 59-42
    description: unicameral National Assembly (Parliament) or Azgayin Zhoghov (minimum 101 seats, currently 105; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)
    elections: last held on 2 April 2017 (next to be held in spring of 2022, unless election called earlier)
    election results: percent of vote by party - RPA 49.2%, Tsarukyan Alliance 27.4%, Yelk (Way Out) 7.8%, ARF (Dashnak) 6.6%, other 9%; seats by party - RPA 58, Tsarukyan Alliance 31, Yelk (Way Out) 9, ARF (Dashnak) 7
    highest court(s): Court of Cassation (consists of the Criminal Chamber with a chairman and 5 judges and the Civil and Administrative Chamber with a chairman and 10 judges – with both civil and administrative specializations); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges)
    judge selection and term of office: Court of Cassation judges nominated by the Supreme Judicial Council, a 10-member body of selected judges and legal scholars; judges appointed by the president; judges can serve until age 65; Constitutional Court judges - 4 appointed by the president, and 5 elected by the National Assembly; judges can serve until age 70
    subordinate courts: criminal and civil appellate courts; administrative appellate court; first instance courts; specialized administrative and bankruptcy courts
    Armenian National Congress or ANC (bloc of independent and opposition parties) [Levon TER-PETROSSIAN]
    Armenian National Movement or ANM [Ararat ZURABIAN]
    Armenian Revolutionary Federation or ARF ("Dashnak" Party) [Hrant MARKARIAN]
    Bright Armenia [Edmon MARUKYAN]
    Civil Contract [Nikol PASHINYAN]
    Heritage Party [Raffi HOVHANNISIAN]
    People's Party of Armenia [Stepan DEMIRCHIAN]
    Prosperous Armenia [Gagik TSARUKYAN]
    Republic [Aram SARGSYAN]
    Republican Party of Armenia or RPA [Serzh SARGSIAN]
    Rule of Law Party (Orinats Yerkir) [Artur BAGHDASARIAN]
    Tsarukyan Alliance [Gagik TSARUKYAN]
    Yelk (Way Out) [Edmon MARUKYAN, Nikol PASHINYAN, Aram SARGSIAN] (alliance includes Bright Armenia, Civil Contract, Republic)
    ADB, BSEC, CD, CE, CIS, CSTO, EAEC (observer), EAEU, EAPC, EBRD, FAO, GCTU, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, MIGA, NAM (observer), OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    chief of mission: Ambassador Grigor HOVHANNISSIAN (since 28 January 2016)
    chancery: 2225 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 319-1976
    FAX: [1] (202) 319-2982
    consulate(s) general: Glendale (CA)
    chief of mission: Ambassador Richard MILLS (since 13 February 2015)
    embassy: 1 American Ave., Yerevan 0082
    mailing address: American Embassy Yerevan, US Department of State, 7020 Yerevan Place, Washington, DC 20521-7020
    telephone: [374](10) 464-700
    FAX: [374](10) 464-742
    three equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue, and orange; the color red recalls the blood shed for liberty, blue the Armenian skies as well as hope, and orange the land and the courage of the workers who farm it
    Mount Ararat, eagle, lion; national colors: red, blue, orange
    name: "Mer Hayrenik" (Our Fatherland)
    lyrics/music: Mikael NALBANDIAN/Barsegh KANACHYAN
    note: adopted 1991; based on the anthem of the Democratic Republic of Armenia (1918-1922) but with different lyrics
  • Economy :: ARMENIA

  • Under the old Soviet central planning system, Armenia developed a modern industrial sector, supplying machine tools, textiles, and other manufactured goods to sister republics, in exchange for raw materials and energy. Armenia has since switched to small-scale agriculture and away from the large agro industrial complexes of the Soviet era. Armenia has only two open trade borders - Iran and Georgia - because its borders with Azerbaijan and Turkey have been closed since 1991 and 1993, respectively, as a result of Armenia's ongoing conflict with Azerbaijan over the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region.
    Armenia joined the World Trade Organization in January 2003. The government has made some improvements in tax and customs administration in recent years, but anti-corruption measures have been largely ineffective. Armenia will need to pursue additional economic reforms and strengthen the rule of law in order to raise its economic growth and improve economic competitiveness and employment opportunities, especially given its economic isolation from Turkey and Azerbaijan.
    Armenia's geographic isolation, a narrow export base, and pervasive monopolies in important business sectors have made it particularly vulnerable to volatility in the global commodity markets and the economic challenges in Russia. Armenia is particularly dependent on Russian commercial and governmental support, as most key Armenian infrastructure is Russian-owned and/or managed, especially in the energy sector. Remittances from expatriates working in Russia are equivalent to about 12-14% of GDP. Armenia joined the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union in January 2015, but has remained interested in pursuing closer ties with the EU as well, signing a Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement with the EU in November 2017. Armenia’s rising government debt is leading Yerevan to tighten its fiscal policies – the amount is approaching the debt to GDP ratio threshold set by national legislation.
    $28.28 billion (2017 est.)
    $28.21 billion (2016 est.)
    $27.32 billion (2015 est.)
    note: data are in 2017 dollars
    country comparison to the world: 137
    $11.55 billion (2017 est.)
    7.5% (2017 est.)
    0.3% (2016 est.)
    3.3% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    $9,500 (2017 est.)
    $9,400 (2016 est.)
    $9,100 (2015 est.)
    note: data are in 2017 dollars
    country comparison to the world: 144
    18.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
    17.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
    18.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    household consumption: 76.6%
    government consumption: 13.1%
    investment in fixed capital: 17.9%
    investment in inventories: 3%
    exports of goods and services: 37.3%
    imports of goods and services: -47.9% (2017 est.)
    agriculture: 17.7%
    industry: 27.8%
    services: 54.5% (2017 est.)
    fruit (especially grapes and apricots), vegetables; livestock
    brandy, mining, diamond processing, metal-cutting machine tools, forging and pressing machines, electric motors, knitted wear, hosiery, shoes, silk fabric, chemicals, trucks, instruments, microelectronics, jewelry, software, food processing
    5% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    1.507 million (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    agriculture: 36.3%
    industry: 17%
    services: 46.7% (2013 est.)
    18.9% (2017 est.)
    18.8% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 182
    32% (2013 est.)
    lowest 10%: 3.5%
    highest 10%: 25.7% (2014)
    31.5 (2014)
    31.5 (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    revenues: $2.536 billion
    expenditures: $2.91 billion (2017 est.)
    23% of GDP (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 131
    -3.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 130
    53.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
    51.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 92
    calendar year
    0.9% (2017 est.)
    -1.4% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    6.5% (14 December 2016)
    10.5% (10 February 2015)
    note: this is the Refinancing Rate, the key monetary policy instrument of the Armenian National Bank
    country comparison to the world: 60
    16% (31 December 2017 est.)
    17.36% (31 December 2016 est.)
    note: average lending rate on loans up to one year
    country comparison to the world: 35
    $1.514 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $1.355 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    $2.563 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $2.219 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 147
    $6.616 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $5.689 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    $132.1 million (31 December 2012 est.)
    $139.6 million (31 December 2011 est.)
    $144.8 million (31 December 2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    -$295 million (2017 est.)
    -$238 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    $2.233 billion (2017 est.)
    $1.891 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    unwrought copper, pig iron, nonferrous metals, gold, diamonds, mineral products, foodstuffs, brandy, cigarettes, energy
    Russia 24.2%, Bulgaria 12.8%, Switzerland 12%, Georgia 6.9%, Germany 5.9%, China 5.5%, Iraq 5.4%, UAE 4.6%, Netherlands 4.1% (2017)
    $3.361 billion (2017 est.)
    $2.835 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    natural gas, petroleum, tobacco products, foodstuffs, diamonds, pharmaceuticals, cars
    Russia 28%, China 11.5%, Turkey 5.5%, Germany 4.9%, Iran 4.3% (2017)
    $2.242 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $2.204 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    $9.17 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $8.987 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    $4.169 billion (2015 est.)
    $4.087 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    $228 million (2015 est.)
    $215 million (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    drams (AMD) per US dollar -
    487.9 (2017 est.)
    480.49 (2016 est.)
    480.49 (2015 est.)
    477.92 (2014 est.)
    415.92 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: ARMENIA

  • electrification - total population: 100% (2016)
    7.393 billion kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    5.331 billion kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    1.424 billion kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    174 million kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    4.068 million kW (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    58.8% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    9.2% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    31.9% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    0.1% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 162
    0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 84
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    0 bbl (1 January 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    8,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 129
    7,736 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    2.05 billion cu m (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    2.05 billion cu m (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 110
    12 million Mt (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 97
  • Communications :: ARMENIA

  • total subscriptions: 531,624
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 17 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    total: 3,434,567
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 113 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    general assessment: telecommunications investments have made major inroads in modernizing and upgrading the outdated telecommunications network inherited from the Soviet era; now 100% privately owned and undergoing modernization and expansion; mobile-cellular services monopoly terminated in late 2004, and a second and third provider began operations in 2005 and 2009 respectively
    domestic: reliable modern fixed-line and mobile-cellular services are available across Yerevan and in major cities and towns; mobile-cellular coverage available in most rural areas
    international: country code - 374; Yerevan is connected to the Trans-Asia-Europe fiber-optic cable through Iran; additional international service is available by microwave radio relay and landline connections to the other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, through the Moscow international switch, and by satellite to the rest of the world; satellite earth stations - 3 (2015)
    2 public TV networks operating alongside about 40 privately owned TV stations that provide local to near nationwide coverage; major Russian broadcast stations are widely available; subscription cable TV services are available in most regions; Armenian TV completed conversion from analog to digital broadcasting in late 2016; Public Radio of Armenia is a national, state-run broadcast network that operates alongside 21 privately owned radio stations; several major international broadcasters are available (2017)
    .am
    total: 1,891,775
    percent of population: 62.0% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
  • Transportation :: ARMENIA

  • number of registered air carriers: 3
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 5 (2015)
    EK (2016)
    11 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 154
    total: 10
    over 3,047 m: 2
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
    914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2017)
    total: 1
    914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)
    gas (high and medium pressure) 3,838 km (2017)
    total: 780 km
    broad gauge: 780 km 1.520-m gauge (780 km electrified)
    note: 726 km operational (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    total: 7,792 km (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 142
  • Military and Security :: ARMENIA

  • 4.09% of GDP (2016)
    4.25% of GDP (2015)
    3.94% of GDP (2014)
    4% of GDP (2013)
    3.58% of GDP (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    Armenian Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Air Force and Air Defense; "Nagorno-Karabakh Republic": Nagorno-Karabakh Self-Defense Force (NKSDF) (2011)
    18-27 years of age for voluntary or compulsory military service; 2-year conscript service obligation; 17 year olds are eligible to become cadets at military higher education institutes, where they are classified as military personnel (2012)
  • Transnational Issues :: ARMENIA

  • the dispute over the break-away Nagorno-Karabakh region and the Armenian military occupation of surrounding lands in Azerbaijan remains the primary focus of regional instability; residents have evacuated the former Soviet-era small ethnic enclaves in Armenia and Azerbaijan; Turkish authorities have complained that blasting from quarries in Armenia might be damaging the medieval ruins of Ani, on the other side of the Arpacay valley; in 2009, Swiss mediators facilitated an accord reestablishing diplomatic ties between Armenia and Turkey, but neither side has ratified the agreement and the rapprochement effort has faltered; local border forces struggle to control the illegal transit of goods and people across the porous, undemarcated Armenian, Azerbaijani, and Georgian borders; ethnic Armenian groups in the Javakheti region of Georgia seek greater autonomy from the Georgian Government
    refugees (country of origin): 14,626 (Syria - ethnic Armenians) (2016)
    IDPs: 8,400 (conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh) (2016)
    stateless persons: 773 (2017)
    illicit cultivation of small amount of cannabis for domestic consumption; minor transit point for illicit drugs - mostly opium and hashish - moving from Southwest Asia to Russia and to a lesser extent the rest of Europe