Armenia [Country Flag of Armenia]
Transnational Issues
[Country map of Armenia]



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Current issues: Armenia's leaders remain preoccupied by Armenia's 10-year conflict with Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave. Although a cease-fire has been in effect since May 1994, the sides have not made substantial progress toward a peaceful resolution. In January 1998, differences between President TER-PETROSSIAN and members of his cabinet over the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process came to a head. With the prime minister and defense and security ministers arrayed against him, an isolated TER-PETROSSIAN resigned the presidency on 3 February 1998. Robert KOCHARIAN, TER-PETROSSIAN's prime minister, was elected president in March 1998. Concerns about Armenia's economic performance rose in 1997 with a slowdown in growth and an increase in inflation.


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Location: Southwestern Asia, east of Turkey

Geographic coordinates: 40 00 N, 45 00 E

Map references: Commonwealth of Independent States

total: 29,800 sq km
land: 28,400 sq km
water: 1,400 sq km

Area—comparative: slightly smaller than Maryland

Land boundaries:
total: 1,254 km
border countries: Azerbaijan-proper 566 km, Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave 221 km, Georgia 164 km, Iran 35 km, Turkey 268 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

Climate: highland continental, hot summers, cold winters

Terrain: high Armenian Plateau with mountains; little forest land; fast flowing rivers; good soil in Aras River valley

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Debed River 400 m
highest point: Aragats Lerr 4,095 m

Natural resources: small deposits of gold, copper, molybdenum, zinc, alumina

Land use:
arable land: 17%
permanent crops: 3%
permanent pastures: 24%
forests and woodland: 15%
other: 41% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 2,870 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: occasionally severe earthquakes; droughts

Environment—current issues: soil pollution from toxic chemicals such as DDT; energy blockade, the result of conflict with Azerbaijan, has led to deforestation when citizens scavenged for firewood; pollution of Hrazdan (Razdan) and Aras Rivers; the draining of Sevana Lich (Lake Sevan), a result of its use as a source for hydropower, threatens drinking water supplies; restart of Metsamor nuclear power plant without adequate (IAEA-recommended) safety and backup systems

Environment—international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Nuclear Test Ban, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography—note: landlocked


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Population: 3,421,775 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 26% (male 460,191; female 441,906)
15-64 years: 65% (male 1,092,652; female 1,139,916)
65 years and over: 9% (male 119,464; female 167,646) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: -0.36% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 13.52 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 8.82 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: -8.29 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 40.77 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 66.73 years
male: 62.45 years
female: 71.23 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.69 children born/woman (1998 est.)

noun: Armenian(s)
adjective: Armenian

Ethnic groups: Armenian 93%, Azeri 3%, Russian 2%, other (mostly Yezidi Kurds) 2% (1989)
note: as of the end of 1993, virtually all Azeris had emigrated from Armenia

Religions: Armenian Orthodox 94%

Languages: Armenian 96%, Russian 2%, other 2%

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 98% (1989 est.)


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Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Armenia
conventional short form: Armenia
local long form: Hayastani Hanrapetut'yun
local short form: Hayastan
former: Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic; Armenian Republic

Data code: AM

Government type: republic

National capital: Yerevan

Administrative divisions: 10 provinces (marzer, singular—marz) and 1 city* (k'aghak'ner, singular - k'aghak'); Aragatsotn, Ararat, Armavir, Geghark'unik', Kotayk', Lorri, Shirak, Syunik', Tavush, Vayots' Dzor, Yerevan*

Independence: 28 May 1918 (First Armenian Republic); 23 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)

National holiday: Referendum Day, 21 September

Constitution: adopted by nationwide referendum 5 July 1995

Legal system: based on civil law system

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Robert KOCHARIAN (since 30 March 1998)
head of government: Prime Minister Armen DARBINYAN (since 10 April 1998)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; special election last held 30 March 1998 (next election to be held March 2003); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Robert KOCHARIAN elected president; percent of vote—Robert KOCHARIAN 59%, Karen DEMIRCHYAN 41%

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly (Parliament) or Azgayin Zhoghov (190 seats; members serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 5 July 1995 (next to be held NA July 1999)
election results: percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—Republican Bloc 159 (ANM 63, DLP-Hanrapetutyun Bloc 6, Republic Party 4, CDU 3, Intellectual Armenia 3, Social Democratic Party 2, independents 78), SWM 8, ACP 7, NDU 5, NSDU 3, DLP 1, ARF 1, other 4, vacant 2

Judicial branch: Supreme Court; Constitutional Court

Political parties and leaders: Armenian National Movement or ANM [Vano SIRADEGIAN, chairman]; National Democratic Union or NDU [Vazgen MANUKIAN]; Intellectual Armenia [H. TOKMAJIAN]; Social Democratic (Hnchakian) Party [Yeghia NACHARIAN]; Shamiram Women's Movement or SWM [Maria NERSISSIAN]; Armenian Communist Party or ACP [Sergey BADALYAN]; Union of National Self-Determination or NSDU [Paruir HAIRIKIAN, chairman]; Armenian Revolutionary Federation ("Dashnak" Party) or ARF; Christian Democratic Union or CDU [Azat ARSHAKYN, chairman]; Democratic Liberal Party [Orthosis GYONJIAN, chairman]; Republican Party [Andranik MARKARYAN]

International organization participation: BSEC, CCC, CE (guest), CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ESCAP, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITU, NAM (observer), OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO (applicant)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Rouben SHUGARIAN
chancery: 2225 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 319-1976
FAX: [1] (202) 319-2982
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Peter TOMSEN
embassy: 18 General Baghramian Avenue, Yerevan
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [374] (2) 524-661, 521-611
FAX: [374] (2) 151-550, 151-511

Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue, and gold


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Economy—overview: Under the old Soviet central planning system, Armenia had developed a modern industrial sector, supplying machine tools, textiles, and other manufactured goods to sister republics in exchange for raw materials and energy. Since the implosion of the USSR in December 1991, Armenia has switched to small-scale agriculture away from the large agroindustrial complexes of the Soviet area. The agricultural sector has long-term needs for more investment and updated technology. The privatization of industry has been at a slower pace, but ahead of most of the rest of the CIS. Armenia is a food importer and its mineral deposits (gold, bauxite) are small. The ongoing conflict with Azerbaijan over the ethnic Armenian-dominated region of Nagorno-Karabakh and the embargoes imposed by Azerbaijan and Turkey contributed to a severe economic decline in the early 1990s. By 1994, however, the Armenian Government had launched an ambitious IMF-sponsored economic program that has resulted in positive growth rates in 1995-97. Armenia also managed to slash inflation and to privatize most small and medium-sized enterprises. The chronic energy shortages Armenia suffered in recent years has been partially offset by the energy supplied by one of its nuclear power plants at Metsamor, which in 1996 supplied about 40% of the country's energy needs, according to the Armenian Government. Moreover, Armenia is expanding its energy imports from Iran.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$9.5 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 2.7% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$2,750 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 38%
industry: 32%
services: 30% (1996 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 13.2% (1997 est.)

Labor force:
total: 1.6 million (1997)
by occupation: manufacturing, mining, and construction 25%, agriculture 38%, services 37%

Unemployment rate: 10.6% officially registered unemployed, but large numbers of underemployed (June 1997)

revenues: $322 million
expenditures: $424 million, including capital expenditures of $80 million (1998 est.)

Industries: much of industry is shut down; metal-cutting machine tools, forging-pressing machines, electric motors, tires, knitted wear, hosiery, shoes, silk fabric, washing machines, chemicals, trucks, watches, instruments, microelectronics

Industrial production growth rate: 0.7% (1997 est.)

Electricity—capacity: 2.768 million kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 6.3 billion kWh (1996)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 1,570 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: fruit (especially grapes), vegetables; vineyards near Yerevan are famous for brandy and other liqueurs; minor livestock sector

total value: $290 million (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: gold and jewelry, aluminum, transport equipment, electrical equipment, scrap metal
partners: Iran, Russia, Turkmenistan, Georgia

total value: $727 million (c.i.f., 1996)
commodities: grain, other foods, fuel, other energy
partners: Iran, Russia, Turkmenistan, Georgia, US, EU

Debt—external: $820 million (of which $75 million to Russia) (1997 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $NA
note: commitments (excluding Russia), $1,385 million ($675 million in disbursements) (1992-95)

Currency: 1 dram = 100 luma (introduced new currency in November 1993)

Exchange rates: dram per US$1—499.89 (November 1997), 414.04 (1996), 405.91 (1995), 288.65 (1994), 9.11 (1993)

Fiscal year: calendar year


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Telephones: 650,000

Telephone system: joint venture agreement to install fiber-optic cable and construct facilities for cellular telephone service is in the implementation phase
domestic: NA
international: international connections to other former Soviet republics are by landline or microwave radio relay and to other countries by satellite and by leased connection through the Moscow international gateway switch; satellite earth station—1 Intelsat

Radio broadcast stations: AM 10, FM 3, shortwave NA (1991)

Radios: NA

Television broadcast stations: 1
note: 100% of population receives Armenian and Russian TV programs

Televisions: NA


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total: 825 km in common carrier service; does not include industrial lines
broad gauge: 825 km 1.520-m gauge (1992)

total: 8,580 km
paved: 8,580 km
unpaved: 0 km (1996 est.)

Waterways: NA km

Pipelines: natural gas 900 km (1991)

Ports and harbors: none

Airports: 11 (1996 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 5
over 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (1996 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 1 (1996 est.)


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Military branches: Army, Air Force, Air Defense Force, Security Forces (internal and border troops)

Military manpower—military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower—availability:
males age 15-49: 914,134 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—fit for military service:
males: 726,938 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—reaching military age annually:
males: 31,814 (1998 est.)

Military expenditures—dollar figure: 33.3 billion drams (1998); note—conversion of defense expenditures into US dollars using prevailing exchange rates could produce misleading results

Military expenditures—percent of GDP: NA%

Transnational Issues

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Disputes—international: Armenia supports ethnic Armenians in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan in the longstanding, separatist conflict against the Azerbaijani Government; traditional demands on former Armenian lands in Turkey have subsided

Illicit drugs: illicit cultivator of cannabis mostly for domestic consumption; used as a transshipment point for illicit drugs to Western Europe and the US