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SnapshotsNov 17, 2020 | 17:38 GMT
Armenians gather in Yerevan on Nov. 11, 2020, to protest against their country’s agreement to end fighting with Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
A Cease-Fire Will Only Freeze Azerbaijan and Armenia’s Fight
Armenia’s political crisis is intensifying amid growing calls for the government’s resignation over a controversial cease-fire agreement with Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh. The volatile situation in both Armenia and the disputed region makes episodes of ethnically-motivated violence and future violations of the cease-fire possible. On Nov. 9, Armenia and Azerbaijan reached a Russia-brokered deal that put an end to six weeks of fighting. The cease-fire involves Armenia giving up on some areas of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and three regions surrounding it. As a part of the deal, roughly 2,000 Russian peacekeeping troops will also be present in the region for a five-year period. The cease-fire has been received as a victory in Azerbaijan and as a capitulation in Armenia, as the former won many of the territories it has long sought in negotiations with the latter over the decades-old dispute. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian has nonetheless defended the deal, arguing that
AssessmentsJan 21, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
Supporters of Armenian Nikol Pashinian celebrate in Yerevan's Republic Square on May 8, 2018. Pashinian would go on to become prime minister.
What the Chill in Russian-Armenian Relations Means
When it comes to former Soviet countries, few states have remained closer to Russia than Armenia. The Caucasus country hosts 5,000 Russian troops at the 102nd military base in Gyumri, while Russia wields substantial influence over most of Armenia's strategic economic sectors, from energy pipelines to telecommunications. Russia is also Armenia's largest trade partner -- accounting for 25 percent of total trade -- and it is the largest destination for Armenian migrant workers, whose remittances account for 10 percent of their country's gross domestic product. Yerevan is also a member of both the Eurasian Economic Union and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Moscow's primary mechanisms for integrating the countries of the former Soviet Union. Recent political shifts in Armenia, however, have thrown the traditionally strong relationship between Yerevan and Moscow into question – raising the possibility that other powers near and far could step in to fill any breach.
SnapshotsOct 25, 2018 | 17:33 GMT
Azerbaijan, Armenia: Washington Turns Its Attention to the South Caucasus
For the first time ever, U.S. national security adviser John Bolton is calling on the three countries of the South Caucasus. Bolton visited Azerbaijan on Oct. 24, where he met President Ilham Aliyev and highlighted the importance of Azerbaijan's role in the international energy market. One day later, Bolton visited Armenia to meet acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and discuss the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The U.S. official will round out his tour with a visit to Georgia on Oct. 26. The Caucasus is a major energy corridor and a geopolitical fault line at the intersection of Russia, the West and the Middle East; unsurprisingly, numerous external powers have vied for influence in the region. While the Trump administration has been relatively quiet on the region, a variety of factors have put the area on Washington's radar.
SnapshotsOct 4, 2018 | 18:42 GMT
Armenia: Standoff Between Prime Minister and Parliament Could Trigger a Fresh Political Showdown
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian said on Oct. 3 that he rejects claims by the ruling Republican Party that parliamentary elections should be held in May or June of 2019, calling for them to be held much earlier -- in December of this year. Pashinian said his country was in "a political crisis" and added that "We are going to resolve that crisis." The Republican Party, meanwhile, has insisted that the government be given a "reasonable time frame" to prepare for elections.
SnapshotsJun 4, 2018 | 17:47 GMT
Georgia: How Protests Are Changing Eurasia
Just weeks after a wave protests led to a change of government in Armenia, a major protest movement is gripping neighboring Georgia. The demonstrations were sparked by a court's failure to convict two teenagers of murder after a deadly brawl in December. Protest leader Zaza Saralidze, the father of one of the brawl victims, demanded the resignation of the country's chief prosecutor, Irakli Shotadze. Despite the prosecutor's resignation May 31, the protests have gathered steam, with demonstrators now seeking the ouster of Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and his Cabinet. Over the weekend, thousands of people took to the streets, with Saralidze calling on "all Georgian political parties to join forces and to dismantle this system together." On June 4, protests continued in the Georgian capital with a transit strike that has shut down Tbilisi's metro system.
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