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CrisisWatch Database

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117 results found
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Armenia

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

Yazidis demonstrated in Yerevan 14 Aug, called for govt to help Yazidis under siege in northern Iraq; deputy Chief of Staff pledged humanitarian aid. Minister of Economy Garegin Melkonyan 15 Aug said no import restrictions on U.S., EU goods after Armenia joins Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union in Oct. President Sarkisian 25 Aug denied reports govt pressured to join Union. Georgia PM Irakli Garibashvili met Armenian PM Abrahamyan in Yerevan, discussed bilateral cooperation. FM Nalbandyan visited Turkey 28 Aug for inauguration of Turkish President Erdogan.

Armenia

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

PM Abramian 17 July said Armenia to sign agreement joining Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union in Oct. Country’s ascension to Moscow-led Customs Union put off several times over Armenian trade provision objections; sceptics say signing may not happen at all. OSCE representative on media freedom late July expressed concern over 26 June court ruling forcing media outlets to disclose sources. Prominent Armenian-Russian businessman arrested mid-July in Russia, claimed charges politically motivated.

Armenia

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

President Sargsyan 4 June met with OSCE chairman Burkhalter, discussed EU-Armenia relations and Nagorno-Karabakh. Sargsyan 18 June visited Tbilisi, discussed bilateral, regional issues with Georgian President Margvelashvili; Russian FM Lavrov visited Armenia 23 June, discussed Armenia’s possible accession to Eurasian Economic Union. Adoption of national Human Rights Action Plan 30 June commended by joint UN, EU, OSCE, CoE statement.

Armenia

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

French President Francois Hollande on the 12th of May suggested that the European Union association with Armenia should allow for a commercial union between Armenia and Russia.

Armenia

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Acting economy minister said Armenia would sign agreement on joining Russian-led Customs Union in May or June, not 29 April as earlier reported; Yerevan has cited hundreds of objections which would raise tariffs on imports in delaying agreement. Russian ambassador issued statement seen by some analysts as blunt warning for Yerevan to quickly endorse Moscow-led bloc agreement or face damage to relations. Constitutional Court 2 April struck down several clauses of controversial new mandatory pensions law. PM Tigran Sargsyan, criticised over dire economy and pensions law, resigned 3 April. Turkish PM Erdoğan 23 April offered condolences to descendants of victims of mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman forces during WWI; President Sargsyan dismissed gesture as ongoing denial of genocide.

Armenia

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Ukraine protested, withdrew ambassador after President Sargsyan endorsed 16 March referendum in Crimea (see Ukraine). Sargsyan in phone call to Russian President Putin 19 March reportedly voiced support for right to self-determination. Armenia one of only 11 states to vote against 27 March UNGA resolution affirming Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

Armenia

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

PM Sargsyan met with Russian PM Medvedev in Sochi 24 Feb to discuss bilateral relations, including Russian-led Customs Union that Armenia plans to join. Authorities late Jan arrested former police officer for allegedly spying for Azerbaijan. Govt critics expressed dismay over more restrictive rules introduced for Armenian migrant workers in Russia.

Armenia

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

Opposition parties unified over public hostility to law adopted by ruling Republican party mandating payroll deductions to be put into privately run retirement accounts; several protests against law during month. Constitutional Court 24 Jan suspended enactment of legislation pending final ruling regarding its constitutional legality.

Armenia

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Russian President Putin visited Yerevan 2 Dec for meeting with President Sargsyan, agreed deal on low-cost Russian gas; around 1,000 protested visit. Turkish FM in Yerevan for meeting of Black Sea Economic Cooperation group 12 Dec, met with Armenian FM, first high-level Turkish visit since 2009.

Armenia

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

Govt 6 Nov signed cooperation agreement with Russia-led “Eurasian Economic Union”, seen as larger political component of Customs Union which govt decided to join in Sept. Dozens of anti-govt protesters clashed with police in Yerevan 5 Nov, several arrested, some sent to psychiatric hospitals.

Armenia

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

Speaking at Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe 2 Oct, President Sargsyan denied widespread opinion of politicians and commentators that pressure from Russia played role in Sept decision to join Russian-led Customs Union, expressed hope that Armenia could still initial association agreement (AA) with EU. EU officials say not possible as AA agreement contains free trade clauses incompatible with Russian-led Customs Union membership.

Armenia

  |  1 Oct 2013

Unchanged

President Sargsyan 3 Sept said Armenia to join Russian-led Customs Union and future Eurasian Economic Union following talks with Russian President Putin citing “national interests”. Govt said still hoped Armenia would be able to sign planned association agreement with EU in Nov but EU officials ruled this out. EU Enlargement Commissioner Füle criticised Russian “threats” and “undue pressure” on Armenia and other countries in region as “unacceptable”. Police arrested 9 people protesting in Yerevan against Customs Union move. Opposition activist Dmitry Harutiunian, detained 24 Aug during protest in Yerevan, put in pre-trial detention for 2 months, charged with insulting police.

Armenia

  |  1 Sep 2013

Unchanged

Opposition parties continue to promise autumn protests or “revolution” to force President Sargsyan from office. Already weak economy continuing to suffer from Russian increase in natural gas prices.

Armenia

  |  1 Aug 2013

Unchanged

June increase in Russian natural gas prices caused rise in electricity tariffs and public transport fares; sporadic but widespread protests followed. Russian gas price increase seen across political spectrum as “punishment” for Armenia’s plans to formally sign association and free trade agreement with EU late Nov.

Armenia

  |  1 Jul 2013

Unchanged

Rising anger at Russia over Moscow’s military assistance to Azerbaijan (see Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan)), steep rise in price of Russian natural gas supplies, Moscow’s perceived attempts to use its leverage to coax Yerevan into Russian-led customs union/planned broader political “Eurasian Union”.

Armenia

  |  1 Jun 2013

Unchanged

President Sargsyan’s Republican Party of Armenia won 5 May municipal elections in Yerevan with over 58% of vote; opposition alleged vote rigged. For further information please refer to “Opposition casting about for a new catalyst”, Eurasianet, 3 May 2013, here.

Armenia

  |  1 May 2013

Unchanged

As president Sargsyan sworn in for 2nd term 9 April, defeated candidate Raffi Hovannisian, who continues to contest result of Feb presidential poll, held “alternative inauguration” drawing several thousand supporters.

Armenia

  |  1 Apr 2013

Unchanged

As supporters of defeated candidate in Feb presidential election Raffi Hovannisian continued to rally against result, Hovannisian 4 March made formal complaint to constitutional court alleging electoral fraud, went on hunger strike 10-29 March calling for President Sargsyan to step down. Court ruled no violations during vote. Sargsyan 25 March signalled readiness to engage in talks with Hovannisian.

Armenia

  |  1 Mar 2013

Unchanged

President Sargsyan re-elected to 2nd term in first round presidential election 18 Feb with 58.64% of vote. Main opponent, American-born former FM Raffi Hovannisian, took 2nd place with unexpectedly strong 36.75%; refused to recognise results. Several thousand rallied in Yerevan against electoral process over following days. OSCE criticised lack of real competition in election.

Armenia

  |  1 Feb 2013

Unchanged

8 candidates registered for 18 Feb presidential election. Candidate Andreas Ghukasyan, manager of private radio station, began hunger strike 21 Jan after his bid to have incumbent president Sargsyan rendered ineligible for registration was rejected by electoral commission. Other opposition candidates questioned accuracy of voters list, warned of possible irregularities. Sargsyan reaffirmed pledges to ensure proper conduct of election. Candidate Paruyr Hairikian wounded in attack by unidentified gunman 31 Jan.

Armenia

  |  30 Dec 2012

Unchanged

Prosperous Armenia Party 12 Dec announced its leader, wealthy businessman Gagik Tsarukian, would not run in 18 Feb 2013 presidential election; former president Ter-Petrossian also said he will not run. President Sargsyan unlikely to face challenger in race.

Armenia

  |  1 Nov 2012

Unchanged

Ahead of Feb 2013 elections, authorities charged major opposition candidate MP Vartan Oskanian, former foreign minister and possible contender for presidency, with money laundering. Oskanian accused of embezzling more than $1.4 million from donation made by U.S. businessman to his Civilitas Foundation. Oskanian stripped of immunity from criminal prosecution in 2 Oct parliamentary vote boycotted by all parties except ruling coalition. Many condemn charges against Oskanian, say trial politically motivated.

Armenia

  |  1 Oct 2012

Unchanged

Continued anger over Azerbaijan’s pardon of Ramil Safarov, convicted of 2004 murder of Armenian soldier in Hungary (see Azerbaijan); President Sargsyan conveyed country’s readiness for war in event of military provocation, suspended ties with Hungary. Armenia mid-Sept hosted joint Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) military exercises; coincided with significant Russian military exercises.

Armenia

  |  1 Sep 2012

Unchanged

President Sargsyan 31 Aug labelled Azerbaijan President Aliyev’s pardoning of Azerbaijani soldier “grave mistake” (see Azerbaijan). President Sargsyan 8 Aug met with Russian President Putin to negotiate price of Russian natural gas, set to rise dramatically to market value.

Armenia

  |  1 Aug 2012

Unchanged

Hundreds attended 3 July funeral of military doctor Vahe Avetyan who died after severe beating in Yerevan restaurant by bodyguards of oligarch and senior Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) MP Ruben Hayrapetyan; Hayrapetyan forced to resign from Parliament following national outcry.

Armenia

  |  1 Jul 2012

Unchanged

Month saw escalating clashes with Azerbaijan. Increasing tensions between ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) and former coalition partner Prosperous Armenia (BHK) ahead of 2013 presidential elections; Armenian National Congress (HAK) leader Ter-Petrosyan voiced support for BHK during 26 June rally held in Yerevan. Money laundering case launched by authorities against Civilitas NGO run by former FM and BHK MP Vartan Oskanyan. President Sargsyan 16 June announced new cabinet.

Armenia

  |  1 Jun 2012

Unchanged

Ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) won 69 of 131 mandates in 6 May parliamentary elections with reported 44% of votes; opposition coalition Armenian National Congress (HAK) surpassed 7% threshold to enter parliament. Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), Armenian Revolutionary Federation (HHD), HAK alleged widespread violations, fraud; BHK leader Gagik Tsarukian 24 May ruled out joining ruling-coalition.

Armenia

  |  1 May 2012

Unchanged

Registration for participation in 6 May parliamentary elections closed 1 April: 8 parties, 1 bloc registered including ruling Republican Party (HHK), leading opposition parties Armenian National Congress (HAK) and Zharangutyun (Heritage). Independent candidate Meruzhan announced withdrawal from polls following 6 April abduction, beating by unknown assailants; supporters blamed violence on HHK rival Aleksan Petrosyan. 3 HAK activists reportedly assaulted 15 April by govt loyalists while campaigning in Yerevan; authorities denied role in attack.

Armenia

  |  1 Apr 2012

Unchanged

4 of 22 political groups aligned with opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) 6 March announced boycott of 6 May parliamentary elections after failing to reach agreement with former President and HAK leader Ter-Petrossian over electoral list. 9 Iranians, 1 other injured 20 March in grenade attack on Yerevan night club.

Armenia

  |  1 Mar 2012

Unchanged

Ruling coalition partners 13 Feb announced plans to run separately in 6 May parliamentary elections, signalling split in 2-party coalition and intensifying pre-election competition.

Armenia

  |  1 Feb 2012

Unchanged

Ahead of scheduled 6 May parliamentary elections, 2 opposition parties 20 Jan tabled amendments to Electoral Code, 20 Jan held conference promoting holding elections solely on proportional party-list basis to reduce vote-rigging. Proposal supported by main opposition HAK coalition, opposed by ruling HHK. HAK announced street protests starting Feb. FM welcomed “historic” French law criminalising denial of Armenian genocide (see Turkey).

Armenia

  |  2 Jan 2012

Unchanged

Ruling HHK party 1 Dec named Samvel Nikoyan candidate for parliament speaker; opposition HAK criticised Nikoyan’s role in parliament commission into 2008 post-election violence, which found use of force against protesters justified.

Armenia

  |  1 Dec 2011

Unchanged

Ahead of May 2012 parliamentary elections and 2013 presidential elections, former president Kocharian indicated possible intent to return to politics. Parliament 1 Nov approved increase in 2012 military budget to $400mn. Armenia signed cooperation plan with Collective Security Treaty Organisation to promote military ties. Armenian and Turkish business leaders meeting in Yeveran 22 Nov called for opening of border.

Armenia

  |  1 Nov 2011

Unchanged

Several thousand in opposition rallies in Yerevan early month following HAK party’s late Sept call for return to protests after breakdown in dialogue with govt. Addressing protesters 8 Oct HAK leader Ter-Petrosian announced temporary stop to demonstrations, despite not having secured concessions from govt; called for “immediate resignation” of President Sargsyan. Several thousand reportedly attended 28 Oct opposition rally.

Armenia

  |  1 Oct 2011

Unchanged

Following opposition Armenian National Congress’s (HAK) late Aug suspension of its participation in dialogue with govt to protest detention of one of its youth activists, govt said it does not intend to expedite activist’s release. Fears that dialogue in danger of collapse. Thousands attended 9 Sept HAK rally; HAK 30 Sept called for “nonstop rallies”. President Sargysyan addressing UNGA blamed Azerbaijan for lack of progress in Nagorno-Karabakh negotiations, accused Turkey of obstructing normalisation of Armenia-Turkey relations.



Armenia

  |  1 Sep 2011

Unchanged

7 opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) activists severely beaten, detained by police in Yerevan 9 Aug, charged with assaulting police; 6 later released, remaining detained activist facing lengthy prison sentence. Activists claimed they were targeted after confronting police conducting arbitrary search of citizens. After several rounds of negotiations between HAK and govt over month, HAK 26 Aug announced suspension of talks until remaining detained activist released.

Armenia

  |  1 Aug 2011

Unchanged

Representatives from 3-party ruling coalition and opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) 18 July formed official working group to host series of discussions regarding political reform; second session of talks 26 July.  Defence Ministry 25 July announced U.S., Armenian agreement to hold first ever joint military exercises.

Armenia

  |  1 Jul 2011

Unchanged

Govt continued policies to neutralise opposition movement, with 2 May release of Aram Bareghamyan, Armenian National Congress (HAK) member imprisoned following March 2008 unrest; following 26 May approval by parliament of general amnesty, 2 more prominent opposition members freed from jail. HAK announced it remains committed to holding snap presidential and parliamentary elections, but will consider negotiations with govt. Justice Minister 20 May ruled out early elections.

Armenia

  |  1 Jun 2011

Unchanged

Govt continued policies to neutralise opposition movement, with 2 May release of Aram Bareghamyan, Armenian National Congress (HAK) member imprisoned following March 2008 unrest; following 26 May approval by parliament of general amnesty, 2 more prominent opposition members freed from jail. HAK announced it remains committed to holding snap presidential and parliamentary elections, but will consider negotiations with govt. Justice Minister 20 May ruled out early elections.

Armenia

  |  1 May 2011

Unchanged

Thousands of opposition supporters attended rally in Yerevan 8 Apr, fourth such protest this year. Addressing rally, Armenian National Congress (HAK) leader Levon Ter-Petrossian gave President Sargsyan further ultimatum with 28 Apr deadline to release “political prisoners”, conduct probe into March 2008 post-election violence, and give opposition movement access to Liberty Square, or HAK will move from “dialogue” to more active protest. Authorities 26 Apr gave permission for further opposition rally; several thousand joined opposition demonstration in Liberty Square 28 Apr. Special Investigative Service 22 Apr said it would conduct “thorough review” of its investigation into 2008 post-election violence, following 20 Apr call by Sargsyan. Parliament speaker and others 29 Apr made request to Sargysyan to consider release of prominent opposition figure Sasun Mikaelian. U.S. Ambassador 15 Apr said U.S. would not renew Millennium Challenge funding when it ends in Sept. Parliament 12 Apr ratified defence agreement signed with Russia Aug 2010. 

Armenia

  |  1 Apr 2011

Unchanged

President Sargysan facing increased opposition political mobilization in form of street protests organized by former President Levon Ter-Petrossian, campaigning for immediate presidential, parliamentary elections. Over 10,000 people rallied in Yerevan 1, 17 March. Recent demonstrations largest since 2008, despite ban on anti-govt protests. Ter-Petrossian’s HAK party issued series of demands to govt including release of all political prisoners, ceasing of prosecution of opposition activists for alleged political purposes, and firing of PM and ministers accountable for weak economy.  Ahead of protests authorities summoned several opposition activists to police stations, blocked public transport to Yerevan, released 2 Ter-Petrossian loyalists from jail 17 March. Next rally scheduled 8 April. 

Armenia

  |  1 Mar 2011

Unchanged

Constitutional Court 15 Feb ratified agreement signed Aug 2010 with Russia extending Russian military base in Armenia to 2044. Leading opposition newspaper Haykakan Zhamanak found guilty of libel for Oct report alleging 3 businessmen engaged in criminal activity in Russia; editor denounced verdict as politically motivated. Over 10,000 opposition supporters participated in anti-govt rally in Yerevan 18 Feb.

Armenia

  |  1 Feb 2011

Unchanged

President Sarkisian 13 Jan signed controversial amendments to Law on International Agreements, adopted by parliament 17 Dec, allowing Armenian state institutions to establish “legal relations” and sign agreements with unrecognised entities. Deputy FM Shavarsh Kocharian said document will facilitate international recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh, making it an “international entity” with which Armenia signs “inter-entity” agreements. Parliament’s budgetary affairs committee 13 Jan reported national debt tripled from under 15% of GDP in 2008 to 40% at $3.4bn.

Armenia

  |  3 Jan 2011

Unchanged

National Security Council (NSC) 11 Dec approved 2011-2015 military modernisation program including acquisition of long-range, precision-guided weapons and development of domestic defence industry. NSC head said program will neutralize all possible threats to national security; also recalled Aug Armenian-Russian agreement to set up joint military ventures. U.S. diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks revealed U.S. claims Armenia transferred weapons to Iran in 2003.

Armenia

  |  1 Dec 2010

Unchanged

President Sarkisian boycotted 19-20 Nov NATO summit in Lisbon over anticipated adoption of declaration stressing NATO’s commitment to territorial integrity and sovereignty of countries in South Caucasus; stated Nagorno-Karabakh peace process led by OSCE Minsk group also based on principles of right to self-determination and non-use of force. Growing concern over abuse in army after 2 cases of non-combat shootings mid month left 5 soldiers dead, 4 injured. Followed July shooting spree in another army detachment killing 6. 

Armenia

  |  1 Sep 2010

Unchanged

Turkish FM Davutoğlu 26 Aug confirmed country’s participation in NATO’s disaster relief exercise to be held in Armenia 11-17 Sept; denied reports of possible temporary border opening during drills.



Armenia

  |  1 Aug 2010

Unchanged

Opposition leaders, including ex-President Ter-Petrossian, stated govt acceptance of Madrid principles for Nagorno-Karabakh settlement likely to result in domestic backlash, including possible regime change. 2 opposition youth activists went on trial 14 July on charges of hooliganism and resistance to police during 31 May demonstration; opposition Armenian National Congress said charges politically motivated. EU High Rep Ashton in Yerevan 19 July announced start of talks on association agreement to lead potentially to visa-free travel and free-trade regime.

Armenia

  |  1 Jul 2010

Unchanged

Armenian parliament 10 June passed controversial amendments to law on television and radio regulating mandatory transition to digital broadcasting. Media watchdogs, OSCE, U.S., rights groups denounced measure, claiming it allowed govt to reduce plurality of media, prevent emergence of independent broadcasters.

Armenia

  |  1 Jun 2010

Unchanged

Yerevan court 4 May sentenced former senior Defence Ministry official Armen Sarkisian to 2 years in prison, gave his former subordinate and accomplice 1 year suspended jail term for leaking in Dec 2009 secret govt order sanctioning military’s involvement in suppressing 2008 post-election protests. Directive issued Feb 2008 amidst opposition demonstrations in Yerevan and gave specially created command structure unlimited control over military units in capital. Highest criminal court 5 May rejected appeals against 2 lower-court rulings, upholding 3.5 year jail term of opposition leader Nikol Pashinian sentenced for alleged role in 2008 post-election unrest.

Armenia

  |  1 May 2010

Unchanged

In 24 Apr statement on anniversary of 1915 Ottoman killings of Armenians, U.S. President Obama avoided term “genocide”, described events using Armenian phrase “Meds Yeghern” meaning “Great Calamity”.

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