Basic information about the territory
- System of governance and political tendencies in the country
- Foreign policy of the country
The system of governance and political tendencies in the country
The official name of the state is the Republic of Armenia (Armenian: Рамените Рапепутивный – Hajastani Hanrapetutjun / Republic of Armenia / Республика Армения).
Armenia is a parliamentary republic. Legislation is represented by the unicameral parliament (National Assembly). The number of deputies is variable depending on the election results – at least 101 (it can be several dozen more, exceptionally up to 200), they are elected for four years. The Velvet Revolution of April and May 2018 caused the fall of the long-time president and subsequently the prime minister of several days, Serzh Sargsyan. Armen Sarkissyan has been the president since March 2018. Extraordinary parliamentary elections took place in December 2018 after the so-called Velvet Revolution, in which the “My Step” alliance of the previous opposition leader Nikola Pašinjan won. Until then, the ruling Republican Party did not even enter parliament. The next early parliamentary elections took place in June 2021. The representatives of the post-revolutionary government competed for seats in the parliament, so did the representatives of the previous regime, including all three former presidents. The elections took place on June 20, 2021, the “Civil Contract” party won – 53.95% of the votes, 71 seats. Representatives of the “Hajastan” bloc (Armenia Alliance) also got into the parliament – 21.11% of votes, 29 seats; and the “I Have Honor Alliance” block – 5.22% of votes, 7 seats. Check equzhou to learn more about Armenia political system.
At the end of August 2021, the complete composition of the new government was announced. Since then, there have been several personnel changes in key positions in the government (among other things, after the resignation of President Armen Sarkissian in January 2022, former Minister of High-Tech Industry Vahagn Khachaturyan was elected president in March 2022). The composition of the government as of 5/15/2022 is as follows.
Prime Minister: Mr. Nikol Pashinyan
Deputy Prime Ministers: Mr. Hambardzum Matevosyan, Mr. Mher Grigoryan
Minister of Labor and Social Affairs: Mr. Narek Mkrtchyan
Minister of Health: Mrs. Anahit Avanesyan
Minister of Justice: Mr. Karen Andreasyan
Minister of Emergency Situations: Mr. Armen Pambukchyan
Minister of Foreign Affairs: Mr. Ararat Mirzoyan
Minister of High-Tech Industry: Mr. Robert Khachatryan
Minister of Economy: Mr. Vahan Kerobyan
Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports: Mr. Vahram Dumanyan
Minister of Environment: Mr. Hakob Simidyan
Minister of Defense: Mr. Suren Papikyan
Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure: Mr. Gnel Sanosyan
Minister of Finance: Mr. Tigran Khachatryan
Armenia is divided into the capital Yerevan and 10 provinces (“marz” in Armenian). Individual provinces are headed by governors appointed by the government. The capital city is headed by a mayor elected by the Council of Elders of the capital city, which emerged from the municipal elections. In addition to Yerevan, other large cities include Gyumri (formerly Leninakan), Abovyan, Hrazdan, Vanadzor (formerly Kirovakan), Idzhevan, Alaverdi, Kapan.
Foreign policy of the country
Armenia is located in a geopolitically unstable region, plagued by a number of problems and long-term unresolved conflicts. One of the main topics of the country’s foreign policy is the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh, the declared goal of which is to achieve a settlement of the Karabakh conflict in accordance with the Armenian perception. Another key topic is the issue of recognition of the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire. Check recipesinthebox for Armenia defense and foreign policy.
Since regaining its independence, Armenia has been strongly oriented towards Russia as the formal guarantor of its security. It has a strategic partnership and alliance commitments with Russia. Relations with the USA and France are also significant, given the large diaspora and the role of both states in mediating the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Regarding relations with the European Union, Armenia is one of the countries of the Eastern Partnership and cooperates with the EU within this format. EU-Armenia relations are based on the Comprehensive EU-Armenia Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which was signed in November 2017 and entered into force on 1 March 2021. The EU supports the political goals of democratization, reform and transformation in Armenia. There are also thematic programs focused on human rights and civil society.
Among the neighbors, there are good relations with Georgia and Iran. On the contrary, relations with Azerbaijan and Turkey are below freezing, especially after the end of the Second Karabakh War in autumn 2020. Despite the signed ceasefire, which should unblock transport communications within the region, there has been no real progress so far, and Armenia’s borders with Azerbaijan and Turkey remain closed ( they are literally barricaded and mined). There is some minor progress in Turkish-Armenian relations – the Armenian government lifted the ban on the import of Turkish goods to Armenia on 12/31/2021, and regular flights on the Yerevan-Istanbul route were resumed in the spring of 2022. However, there is still a long way to go before full normalization of relations.
According to official data, just under 3 million people live in Armenia. The population is predominantly Armenian (about 98%). More than 20 national groups live in Armenia, but national minorities are few. These are minorities of Yezidis, Kurds, Russians, Greeks, Assyrians, Ukrainians, Poles, Germans, Jews, Georgians, Roma, Mordvins, Ossetians, Udes and Tats.
There is a very numerous and influential Armenian diaspora abroad (USA, France, Russia and many other countries). Economic emigration from Armenia is significant, causing population decline in some years.
The vast majority of the population belongs to the Armenian Apostolic Church (about 95%). Other Christian churches include Baptists and Presbyterians. The Roman Catholic Church, the Mechitarist Catholic Church (congregation of Benedictine monks of the Armenian Catholic Church) and the Russian Orthodox Church also operate in the country. Yezidi Kurds live mainly in the western part of the country and practice Yezidism. Part of the Kurds practice Sunni Islam. There is also a small Jewish community (about 700 people) living in the country.
Armenia generally prides itself on being the country with the earliest adoption of Christianity as a state religion in the world (back in 301).