A general outlook on Armenia Alexanyan
Khor Virap Monastery

The last few months were tremendously remarkable for Armenian internal and foreign political life. According to the pro-European views, Armenia has failed to defend its foreign policy by placing it under full Russian dependency. Meanwhile, the opposite opinion supports the Armenian-Russian ties and confirms that Russia continues to be one of the key allies of Armenia in global politics.

During the past years Armenian civil society has done necessary efforts in order to push and to combine the European-Armenian integration at a level to meet the requirements needed to sign the Association Agreement at the Vilnius Summit. However, in September, surprisingly, president Sargsyan has announced about the government’s intention to join the Eurasian Customs Union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. It immediately created a room of disappointment amongst the European leaders who insisted that Customs Union and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement are incompatible on the basis of different tariff units. Different views have been argued undermining the statement of the Armenian government and such an abrupt decision.

Furthermore, during the crisis in Ukraine, Armenia was initially keeping its political neutrality even though the support from the civil society was huge, including an Armenian activist who became victim at Euromaidan.

Armenian foreign policy was further condemned when, at the UN General Assembly on Crimean referendum, 11 countries including Armenia and Russia voted against the resolution, declaring the recent referendum on territorial integrity invalid. Amongst several political experts, Armenia was expected to abstain; however the decision to vote against has created even tense relations between Armenia and Ukraine. Meanwhile, this decision has been supported by another group of politicians, as well as within the society which was more commonly explained by putting parallels between Crimea and Nagorno Karabagh, expecting a similar resolution of NK conflict without violence. Another viewpoint insists that Armenia is acting on the basis of its political, social, economic and military dependency from Russian government.

Meanwhile, “Armenian population has been recently struggling for its existence in the region of Kessab in Syria”[1], where Turkish-supported forces had attacked the region. It created social evacuation and a crisis deepening the Armenian-Turkish tense relations over one month before the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. However, the reaction of the international community was not impressive. The Armenian Diaspora is still acting hard to legally punish the forces attacking the region, by bringing the attention of the global powers to the issue.

On the other hand, surprising changes have been recently made inside the Armenian government. The flow of internal and foreign changes has lead to governmental reforms that has started by the unexpected resignation of the prime minister on 3rd of April and his replacement by the president of the National Assembly, Hovik Abrahamyan.  According to president Sargsyan, Abrahamyan has gained trust and respect amongst the political leaders in order to accomplish the new PM’s position.

Despite the foreign and internal policies that the government is performing, Armenia’s most powerful instrument is the strong Diaspora all around the world that is making the necessary efforts to raise the Armenian issues at the international level and to defend its interests by keeping the Armenian identity in the world.

[1] http://one-europe.info/armenians-escaping-the-ethnic-massacre-in-kessab     

Edited by: Lilit Mkrtchyan
Photo credits: Alexanyan via Compfight cc