Armenia’s external debt has mounted by roughly 7 percent since 2011, and now given the country’s Gross Domestic Product has not actually increased, the situation appears risky. If the growth rates remain slow, the Armenian Government is likely to cover the foreign debt service with difficulty, said economist Artak Manukyan.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe was heavily criticized in Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh following the approval of the controversial report on Karabakh at the PACE Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy. Criticisms are addressed to PACE and report author Robert Walter (United Kingdom), a rapporteur of the PACE Political Affairs Committee. The Armenian authorities, though, are also criticized, and the project’s approval is described as Yerevan’s diplomatic defeat.
The judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the case of Perinçek v. Switzerland met the demands of Armenia which was involved in the trial as a third party. The judgement, though, can hardly be called a victory.
The Constitutional Court ruled in favor of the right of mass media not to disclose their source of information, and this decision may become a positive precedent and minimize demands enforcement agencies set forth to media outlets to reveal their sources, said Artak Zeynalyan from the Rule of Law NGO.
EU and Armenia are likely to kickstart talks on a new agreement by the end of this year. The EU Council has adopted a mandate to open negotiations with Armenia. A series of meetings between Armenian authorities and EU officials will be held by the end of the year, said First Deputy Minister of Economy Garegin Melkonyan who currently coordinates the Armenia-EU negotiations.
The constitutional changes are illegitimate since the majority of Armenia’s population is not interested and does not feel the importance of the process. Various surveys document the same results. The changes are undertaken by the authorities who seek to only stay in power and concentrate the power in one person’s hands, believe publicist Zara Hovhannisyan and lawyer Armineh Arakelyan.
The escalation of military activity along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and line of contact may have three causes: falling oil prices which have plunged oil-dependent Azerbaijan into a challenging situation, recent activation of external players and upcoming parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan, experts believe.
The Iraqi Yazidis who migrated to Armenia following the outbreak of military activities in the Middle East that left thousands dead and made numerous people refugees have to tackle social security, education and culture related problems in Armenia. The Yazidi community – the largest national minority in Armenia – supports them, but the migrants are looking for more help from the state and international organizations.
The import of Russian gas and oil products fixed in Russian rubles is likely to benefit Armenia and may reduce the prices of these products. Though challenging, it is a promising trading model which will be a step forward towards a single currency in Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), economists believe.