Armenia is a mountain country in the southern
Caucasus with an ancient Christian culture. The country
is sandwiched between the Muslim neighbors Turkey and
Azerbaijan and has very strained relations with both of
these countries. Throughout history, Armenia has
suffered from a variety of empires. From 1920 until
independence in 1991, the area was a sub-republic in the
Soviet Union. The country is still heavily dependent on
Russia, both politically and economically.
Brief profiles of Armenia, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Geography and climate
Between the Black Sea to the west and the
Caspian Sea to the east runs the mighty mountain range
of the Caucasus. The whole area of the mountain range
is called the Caucasus and formerly belonged to the
Soviet Union. Today, the North Caucasus, with the
majority of the Caucasus, is considered Russia. South
Caucasus is divided into the three independent states of
Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The South Caucasus was formerly called Transcaucasia,
"the land beyond the Caucasus" - thus viewed from
Moscow's point of view.
Traditionally, the Caucasus has been considered to be
the border between Europe and Asia. Here, however, there
is no sharp natural boundary - neither geographically
nor culturally - between the continents.
Armenia is located in the southern Caucasus, between
Georgia in the north, Azerbaijan in the east, Iran and
the independent Azerbaijani enclave Nachichevan (Naxçıvan
in Azerbaijani) in the south and Turkey in the west.
Armenia controls the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh enclave
in Azerbaijan (see Nagorno-Karabakh) as well as a buffer
zone around the enclave and a land area connecting it to
Armenia is a highland. Half the land area is higher
than 2,000 meters above sea level. The terrain is richly
varied with high plateaus, extinguished volcanoes and
deep cut river valleys. Through northern Armenia, a
mountain range extending from the south goes along the
border with Azerbaijan to the east.
In eastern Armenia there is also Lake Sevan, which is
about the same size as Lake Mälaren. It has shrunk
considerably since it was regulated for power plant
construction in the 1930s. Sevan is located about two
kilometers above the surface of the world sea. In the
southwestern part of the country is a high plateau,
which gradually descends towards the area around the
At high altitudes, vegetation is steep, while it can
be very lush in the river valleys and in the
comparatively low-lying area around Yerevan.
Armenia is in an earthquake zone and was hit hard by
a severe quake in 1988.
Armenia has a marked inland climate, ie dry with hot
summers and cold winters. However, both temperature and
rainfall vary widely between different parts of the
country depending on the large elevation differences.
29,800 km2 (2018)
Swedish + 3 hours
Adjacent country (s)
Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Iran
Capital with number of inhabitants
Yerevan 1,125,000 (2012 estimate)
Other major cities
Gjumri 146 200, Vanadzor 105 400 (estimated 2012)
Aragats (4090 m asl)
Clear sign of deepened Russian cooperation
Largely approves the country's participation in the Russian-led Euro-Asian
Armenia threatens with quick revenge
Armenia's defense minister says that the country will henceforth "respond to
any Azerbaijani provocation with immediate retaliation".
Helicopter is shot down
The Azerbaijani Army shoots down a Nagorno-Karabakh military helicopter that
should have entered the Azerbaijani airspace. According to a statement in Baku,
the helicopter was preparing an attack against Azerbaijani forces near the
border of the breakaway republic. All three on board perish. Authorities in
Nagorno-Karabach say the helicopter participated in an exercise and had no
weapons on board. The shooting is described as the single most serious incident
since the ceasefire formally entered into force in the area of 1994.
Summit without expectations
The Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan meet in Paris in a new attempt to
revive the dialogue between the countries. The hope of a breakthrough is minimal
after the summer battles along the border and around Nagorno-Karabakh, which
required more than 20 casualties. The two leaders agree to maintain the dialogue
and to exchange information on persons reported missing in connection with the
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with the help of the International Red Cross
Protests after membership in Customs Union
Armenia formally joins the Russian-led Customs Union, which from 2015 will be
deepened through the formation of the Euro-Asian Economic Union. President
Sargsyan signs the agreement at a regional summit in Minsk, Belarus. On the same
day, more than 10,000 supporters of the opposition in Yerevan demonstrate
against the government for its inability to curb poverty and corruption. A week
later, around 16,000 people are reportedly gathering in central Yerevan to
demand fresh elections.
Russian mediation in border conflict
Armenian and Azerbaijan leaders meet with Russian President Putin in Sochi to
discuss the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Putin said after the meeting that both
presidents expressed a desire to solve the problem. As the meeting goes on, the
fighting continues and an Azerbaijani soldier must have been killed.
International concern over violence in the state of eruption
The Minsk Group (Russia, France and the United States) expresses "grave
concern" over the escalating violence in Nagorno-Karabakh, including the
intentional killing of civilians.
The OSCE supports journalistic source protection
The OSCE expresses its concern that a court ordered a newspaper and an
internet site to reveal what sources they had for their report on the
investigation against a police officer accused of violence. The OSCE fears that
the decision may discourage reporting on issues of general interest. So far,
both media have refused to obey the court's order.
Bloody border battles
A soldier from Nagorno-Karabakh and a soldier from Azerbaijan are reported to
have been killed in a battle at the border of the breakaway area against the
actual Azerbaijan. The Nagorno-Karabakh authorities also claim to have captured
an Azerbaijani soldier, but the Baku Ministry of Defense denies that the named
man would be part of the country's army.
Soldiers are killed at the border
Two Armenian soldiers are killed at the border with Azerbaijan, where
tensions have increased in recent months. Since the turn of the year, a total of
14 soldiers have been killed.
The Pension Act falls to the Prime Minister
Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan resigns. He does not justify the decision, but
his government has been severely criticized since the pension reform in January.
A few days before Sargsyan's departure, the Constitutional Court says that
pension reform must be changed. Hovik Abrahamyan, who has been President of
Parliament so far, is appointed as new Prime Minister. He is also the Vice
Chairman of the ruling Republican Party.
Protests against pension teams
About 6,000 people in Yerevan demonstrate that everyone born after 1974 as of
the turn of the year must deposit five percent of their income on private
pension funds. The law is perceived by many government critics as a way for the
authorities to use their money.