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Armenia



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Introduction

Background: An Orthodox Christian country, Armenia was incorporated into Russia in 1828 and the USSR in 1920. Armenian leaders remain preoccupied by the long conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, a primarily Armenian-populated exclave, assigned to Soviet Azerbaijan in the 1920s by Moscow. Armenia and Azerbaijan began fighting over the exclave in 1988; the struggle escalated after both countries attained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. By May 1994, when a cease-fire took hold, Armenian forces held not only Nagorno-Karabakh but also a significant portion of Azerbaijan proper. The economies of both sides have been hurt by their inability to make substantial progress toward a peaceful resolution.

Geography

Location: Southwestern Asia, east of Turkey

Geographic coordinates: 40 00 N, 45 00 E

Map references: Commonwealth of Independent States

Area
  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: Armenian Highland 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, Hazardous Wastes, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
  signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants

Geography - note: landlocked

People

Population: 3,344,336 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure
  0-14 years: 24% (male 415,297; female 400,590)
  15-64 years: 66% (male 1,084,588; female 1,131,387)
  65 years and over: 10% (male 129,890; female 182,584) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: -0.28% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 10.97 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 9.53 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: -4.23 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio
  at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
  under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
  15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
  65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female
  total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 41.48 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
  total population: 66.4 years
  male: 61.98 years
  female: 71.04 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.47 children born/woman (2000 est.)

Nationality
  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%

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

Government

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

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 1918-2 December 1920 (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 Aram SARKISYAN (since 3 November 1999)
  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 to be held NA 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 (131 seats; members serve four-year terms)
  elections: last held 30 May 1999 (next to be held in the spring of 2003)
  election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - unity bloc 61 (Republican Party 41, People's Party of Armenia 20), Stability Group (independent Armenian deputies who have formed a bloc) 21, ACP 10, independents 10, ARF (Dashnak) 8, Law and Unity Party 7, NDU 6, Law-Governed Party 6, unfilled 2; note - seats by party change frequently

Judicial branch: Supreme Court; Constitutional Court

Political parties and leaders: Armenian Communist Party or ACP [Vladimir DARBINIAN]; Armenian National Movement or ANM [Vano SIRADEGIAN, chairman]; Armenian Revolutionary Federation ("Dashnak" Party) or ARF [Vahan HAVHANNISIAN]; Christian Democratic Union or CDU [Azat ARSHAKYN, chairman]; Democratic Liberal Party [Ramkavar AZATAKAN, chairman]; Free Armenian's Mission [Ruben MNATSANIAN, chairman]; Law and Unity Party [Artashes GEGAMIAN, chairman]; Law-Governed Party [Artur BAGDASARIAN, chairman]; Mission Party [Artush PAPOIAN, chairman]; National Democratic Union or NDU [Vazgen MANUKIAN]; National State Party [Samvel SHAGINIAN]; People's Party of Armenia [Stepan DEMIRCHYAN]; Republican Party [Andranik MARKARYAN]; Shamiram Women's Movement or SWM [Maria NERSISSIAN]; Social Democratic (Hnchakian) Party [Yeghia NACHARIAN]; Stability Group [Vartan AYVAZIAN, chairman]; Union of National Self-Determination or NSDU [Paruir HAIRIKIAN, chairman]

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

Diplomatic representation in the US
  chief of mission: Ambassador Arman KIRAKOSIAN
  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 Michael LEMMON
  embassy: 18 General Bagramian Avenue, Yerevan
  mailing address: American Embassy Yerevan, Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-7020
  telephone: [374] (2) 151-551
  FAX: [374] (2) 151-550

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

Economy

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 era. The agricultural sector has long-term needs for more investment and updated technology. The privatization of industry has been at a slower pace, but has been given renewed emphasis by the current administration. 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 breakup of the centrally directed economic system of the former Soviet Union 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 1995-99. Armenia also managed to slash inflation and to privatize most small- and medium-sized enterprises. The chronic energy shortages Armenia suffered in recent years have been largely offset by the energy supplied by one of its nuclear power plants at Metsamor. Continued Russian financial difficulties have hurt the trade sector especially, but have been offset by international aid, domestic restructuring, and foreign direct investment.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $9.9 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 5% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $2,900 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector
  agriculture: 40%
  industry: 25%
  services: 35% (1999 est.)

Population below poverty line: 45% (1999 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share
  lowest 10%: NA%
  highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.5% (1999)

Labor force: 1.5 million (1999)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 55%, services 25%, manufacturing, mining, and construction 20% (1999 est.)

Unemployment rate: 20% (1998 est.) (Note: official rate is 9.3% for 1998)

Budget
  revenues: $360 million
  expenditures: $566 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1999 est.)

Industries: 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: -2% (1998)

Electricity - production: 5.764 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source
  fossil fuel: 48.92%
  hydro: 26.44%
  nuclear: 24.64%
  other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 5.361 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: fruit (especially grapes), vegetables; livestock

Exports: $240 million (1999 est.)

Exports - commodities: diamonds, scrap metal, machinery and equipment, cognac, copper ore

Exports - partners: Belgium, Russia, Iran, Turkmenistan, US, Georgia (1998)

Imports: $782 million (1999 est.)

Imports - commodities: natural gas, petroleum, tobacco products, foodstuffs, diamonds

Imports - partners: Russia, US, UK, Iran, Turkey, Belgium (1998)

Debt - external: $862.7 million (1999)

Economic aid - recipient: $245.5 million (1995)

Currency: 1 dram = 100 luma

Exchange rates: dram per US$1 - 527.02 (January 2000), 535.06 (1999), 504.92 (1998), 490.85 (1997), 414.04 (1996), 405.91 (1995)

Fiscal year: calendar year

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use: 583,000 (1995)

Telephones - mobile cellular: NA

Telephone system: system inadequate; now 90% privately owned and undergoing modernization and expansion
  domestic: the majority of subscribers and the most modern equipment are in Yerevan (this includes paging and mobile cellular service)
  international: Yerevan is connected to the Trans-Asia-Europe fiber-optic cable through Iran; additional international service is available by microwave radio relay and landline connections to the other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States and through the Moscow international switch and by satellite to the rest of the world; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat

Radio broadcast stations: AM 9, FM 6, shortwave 1 (1998)

Radios: 850,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 4 (1998)

Televisions: 825,000 (1997)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 1 (1999)

Transportation

Railways
  total: 825 km in common carrier service; does not include industrial lines
  broad gauge: 825 km 1.520-m gauge (825 km electrified) (1995)

Highways
  total: 15,998 km
  paved: 15,998 km (including 7,567 km of expressways)
  unpaved: 0 km (1998 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.)

Military

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

Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower - availability
  males age 15-49: 896,646 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service
  males age 15-49: 708,940 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually
  males: 33,391 (2000 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $75 million (FY99)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 4% (FY99)

Transnational Issues

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

Illicit drugs: illicit cultivator of cannabis mostly for domestic consumption; increasingly used as a transshipment point for illicit drugs - mostly opium and hashish - to Western Europe and the US via Iran, Central Asia, and Russia

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