The incident which recently occurred in the second largest Armenian city of Gyumri where two clans engaged in a gun battle in broad daylight and most importantly the drastic response of the authorities to similar methods of asserting influence on local politics have given many experts reasons to talk about the beginning of ‘decriminalization’ of Armenia. But everyone now is wondering what will be introduced instead of the uprooted ‘thief’ rule to fill the gap.
Armenia and Azerbaijan will have fresh talks on Karabakh at the level of their foreign ministers in the Polish city of Krakow next month. This was announced after the meeting of Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on Thursday.
On April 24 the world marked the 98th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide committed in the Ottoman Empire. Two years from now it will be a century since the massacres in which 1.5 million Armenians lost their lives and a whole people was uprooted from its historical homeland.
Already now experts estimate that the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in 2015 may become a point that will have political implications for the entire region.
The U.S. State Department has issued its annual report on human rights, in which it makes quite a harsh assessment of the situation in Armenia. In addition to a number of violations of human rights and minority rights, the report also points to government corruption at all levels, the limited right of citizens to change their government and the low level of transparency in government.
In May Armenia will assume a six-month presidency of the Council of Europe. Matters connected with this development are being discussed in Yerevan these days as Council of Europe Secretary General Jagland Torbern is on a three-day visit to Armenia. Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan is also expected to pay a visit to Strasbourg in this connection.
Campaigning in the May 5 elections to Yerevan’s Council of Elders has entered its second week, with the political forces participating in the race likely to step up their efforts after the first week of electioneering eclipsed by the presidential inauguration and related opposition protests.
The Armenian government and the Eurasian Economic Commission have signed a Memorandum of Understanding this week in what pundits say is likely to be a compromise solution to the current status quo in which Armenia resists Russia’s pressure for a full commitment.
The document was signed on April 10 by acting Prime Minister of Armenia Tigran Sargsyan and Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission, Viktor Khristenko.
April 9, the day that saw the inauguration of President Serzh Sargsyan for a second term and marked the culmination of opposition protests against his election victory, ended without victims unlike similar events five years ago when 10 people were killed in unrest.
Serzh Sargsyan, who began his term as president of Armenia under extraordinary conditions in 2008 and is ending his first stint in office in similarly turbulent circumstances now, has had a five-year period of work in-between that is being praised by his supporters and criticized by opponents with equal vigor.
A reliable international partner with a recovering economy after the global storm, a country oriented towards Europe but maintaining allied ties with Russia... This is a Sargsyan Armenia described by his supporters and some observers in and outside Armenia.