The ‘economic’ debate between the current Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan and former President Robert Kocharyan is seen by many as the possible beginning of a greater political campaign. It is not entirely clear now what the objectives of this campaign are, but most likely it is the resignation of the prime minister, which would create preconditions for demanding early parliamentary and presidential elections.
On January 18, four non-governing parliamentary parties – Prosperous Armenia, the Armenian National Congress (ANC), Heritage and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) – intend to hold a joint rally against the introduction of a mandatory accumulation pension system.
A resolution calling for the recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh was introduced in the parliament of California (USA) on January 6. Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) joined with people of Armenian descent around California and the world in calling for the United States to recognize the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic as a sovereign state.
New Year holidays are over in Armenia and the country is returning to its working routine. Political and economic processes that started last year are expected to continue in 2014. In particular, this will be building a closer relationship with Russia, further monopolization of Armenian national assets by Russian state corporations, and exacerbation of internal political struggle in Armenia in connection with the unofficial start of a new election campaign.
2013 became a milestone year for Armenia not only in its foreign, but also domestic politics. After nearly four years of negotiations with the European Union over the signing of an association agreement on September 3 Armenia unexpectedly announced its intention to join the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
Apparently, the first political force with a clear goal of seeking Armenia’s integration with the European Union is emerging in the country. This was stated by President of the Yerevan Press Club Boris Navasardyan, who had for four years coordinated the Armenian National Platform of the Civil Society Forum of Eastern Partnership.
A meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council took place in Moscow on December 24, endorsing the roadmap for Armenia’s accession to the Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Space. Even though a number of documents were signed during the meeting, the statements that were made showed that the member-nations do not plan to turn the economic union into a political one.
Today, the Armenian Parliament was to vote on the Armenian-Russian gas agreements, which were signed on December 2 during the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Armenia.
The ratification was originally scheduled for December 20 and was supposed to proceed without problems. However, the minority factions of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, the Armenian National Congress, Heritage (including Free Democrats) and the Prosperous Armenia Party (PAP) strongly criticized the terms of the agreements.
On December 17-18, after visits to Baku and Yerevan, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs also visited Stepanakert. There they first met with the Karabakhi leadership, then the American and French co-heads of the group, James Warlick and Jacques Faure, had a meeting with representatives of non-governmental organizations, and the Russian co-chair, Igor Popov, met with Karabakh Defense Minister Movses Hakobyan.
The relations between Russia and Ukraine are being followed with a great deal of interest from Armenia as many analysts believe that they may shape the geopolitical future of the entire post-Soviet space.
The two Slavonic nations reached agreement on Tuesday as their leaders, Vladimir Putin and Viktor Yanukovych, met in Moscow. It was stated following the meeting that the price of Russian gas supplied to Ukraine would be reduced by one third - from $400 to $268 per thousand cubic meters.