Armenia. Struggles between Azerbaijan and the Armenian-backed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh continued during the year. In February, several Azerbaijani soldiers were reported to have been shot dead at the border. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for frequently used acronyms and abbreviations related to as well as country profile of Armenia.
In May the violence was escalated with rockets near densely populated areas along the border line. In June, three Armenian separatists were reported to have been killed. Both sides accused each other of initiating the violence.
During the year, the ICG International Crisis Group noted that the violence surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh has brought neighboring countries Armenia and Azerbaijan closer to a war than ever since the ceasefire in 1994. to widen its influence in the region than to resolve the conflict.
In March, Armenia’s security service arrested a former Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Minister, Samvel Babayan. This one was accused of arms smuggling. According to the opposition, the arrest was an attempt by the regime to spread the fears of the opponents ahead of the parliamentary elections in April, thereby affecting the outcome of the election.
The April election was a bit of a hardship for the ruling Republican Party, which declined a bit. Still, the party won by just over 49% of the vote, giving a shrinking majority in parliament. Opposition Party A successful Armenia and its Alliance gained just over 27%. According to Countryaah.com, the new Liberal Alliance Alliance Way Out made a good choice and took close to a tenth of the seats in Parliament. The government-loyal party Dashnak also joined parliament.
The opposition reported several cases of election fraud. According to international observers, the election was largely right, but there were reports of irregularities such as voting and pressure on both voters and election workers.
Republican Party Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan remained in office after the election and again formed coalition government with the support party Dasjnak. The government thus obtained a three-fifths majority, which is necessary, among other things, for changes in the electoral system.
The economy of the Armenia Soviet, with a strong industrial vocation, was based above all on the transformation of raw materials and semi-finished products. Among the leading sectors were mechanics and electronics for civil and military uses, chemicals, textiles and agri-food. Its degree of interdependence with the other republics (suppliers of energy, raw materials, semi-finished and agricultural products, and buyers of industrial output) was almost total. Independence proved to be a double-edged sword for the country, geographically and politically isolated in an unstable regional context (Azerbaijani-Turkish embargo following the conflict over Nagornyj Karabah, energy and industrial crisis, dissolution of traditional trade ties, low inflow of foreign capital). Hence an economic crisis which in the very first years of the transition manifested itself in catastrophic terms: in the two-year period 1992-93, GDP fell by almost 2/3 and industrial production by 3/4, the inflation rate reached values figures and unemployment has more than tripled. The living conditions of a large part of the population have gone from relative comfort to mere subsistence. The ceasefire in Nagornyj Karabah, signed in 1994, however, made possible a broad program of reforms (privatizations; price liberalization, interest rates, trade and wages; budget cuts; reform of the tax, banking and social security system; creation of a regulatory environment favorable to foreign investment). The national currency, the dram, was introduced in 1993 to stem inflation. Since 1994, GDP has grown at a rapid pace, even up to a rate of 11% in 2004. A significant event was the entry into the WTO (2002). Despite the positive signs, the economic situation still appears difficult: the real unemployment rate is not less than 25%, the average per capita income at purchasing power parity does not reach $ 3,000, about half of the population still lives below the poverty line.
Agriculture retains typical characteristics of marginality, even if it represents the main job outlet (it absorbs 45% of the workforce, but contributes only 23.5% to the formation of the GDP). Alongside subsistence grain farming and sheep and cattle breeding, there are also products with higher added value (vegetables, fruit, wine, flowers), with a good degree of integration with the agro-industrial sector. Mining activities (building materials, stones and precious metals, molybdenum) have been recorded since the last years of the 20th century. good performance. In the secondary sector (18% of employment; 38% of GDP) the main sectors are agri-food, metallurgy and construction. The production of alcoholic beverages (brandy, wine and beer) and the processing of precious stones and metals, an activity which has attracted investments from abroad. Services (37% of the workforce; 48.5% of GDP) are mainly represented by public administration, retail trade and transport and telecommunication activities, while the advanced tertiary sector still plays a very marginal role. Tourism presents great potential, thanks to an extraordinary historical, cultural and architectural heritage. The flows, still modest, appear to be growing strongly (from 41,000 arrivals in 1999 to around 300,000 in 2005). while the advanced service sector still plays a very marginal role. Tourism presents great potential, thanks to an extraordinary historical, cultural and architectural heritage. The flows, still modest, appear to be growing strongly (from 41,000 arrivals in 1999 to around 300,000 in 2005). while the advanced service sector still plays a very marginal role. Tourism presents great potential, thanks to an extraordinary historical, cultural and architectural heritage. The flows, still modest, appear to be growing strongly (from 41,000 arrivals in 1999 to around 300,000 in 2005).
The trade balance is constantly in deficit. Exports mainly concern stones and precious metals, but also metal and mining, mechanical, agri-food and textile products. Imports, equal to two and a half times exports, are mainly made up of fuels, precious stones, food and mechanical products. Among the trading partners the predominance of the Russian Federation and other former Soviet countries is decreasing, while trade with the countries of the European Union is on the rise, first of all Belgium (stones and precious metals), followed by the United Kingdom. The interchange with Iran, Israel and the United States is important.