The periodical increases in energy prices in the last few years and Armenia’s decision to join the Russia-led Customs and Eurasian Unions are leading the country to energy isolation, some economists believe.
While in the modern-day world environmentalists encourage and promote energy saving technologies as the best means of protecting the environment, people in Armenia are still learning to save energy to confront the difficult social conditions aggravated by periodically raised tariffs for electricity and natural gas.
The protracted Nagorno-Karabakh conflict again appears to be in the focus of attention of the world’s powers. While some analysts in Armenia are convinced that the recent more intensified ceasefire violations at the Karabakh-Azerbaijani and Armenian-Azerbaijani borders have been directly or indirectly provoked by Russia, the United States and France (that co-chair the OSCE Minsk Group along with Russia) have called for re-opening talks on Karabakh as soon as possible.
After years of resistance, the Armenian government has decided to take the advice of international organizations and introduce a foster family system that would make it possible to reduce the number of children attending the country’s orphanages and special schools.
The newly amended law on funded pensions that has created the hottest public debate in Armenia in recent months has come into effect beginning today, July 1. It will concern tens of thousands of public sector employees who will be required to make “targeted social payments” that come to replace the controversial contributions to private pension funds ruled by the Court as unconstitutional earlier this year.
The government has initiated a 3.5-fold cut-down on the turnover tax in order to support Armenian small and family businesses. If this does not help their number to increase, it will surely decrease their mass going out of business, something that has been the case during the recent years, experts say.
Civil pressure and political parties’ struggle against penalties related to driving in Armenia and parking rules in Yerevan forced the government to take some steps towards re-considering and mitigating the legislation for the field.
Despite a new law effective last January to decrease joblessness in Armenia, new employment is down over the previous year. About 4,300 applicants got jobs in the past year, compared to nearly three times that amount in the previous period.
On a visit to Yerevan Monday, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrovsaid that a resolution of theKarabakh conflict can be achieved by restarting meetings between Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents.
Lavrov arrived in Armenia on Sunday on a two-day visit to discuss Armenia-Russia relations, including Armenia’s membership in the Eurasian Economic Union.