Armenia’s conflict with Turkey over history became an international issue during the year. In February, Armenia’s parliament decided to give President Serzh Sarkisian the power to revoke the preliminary peace agreement between the countries. Turkey had not accepted the Armenian position that there was Turkish mass murder of Armenians in 1915.
According to COUNTRYAAH, Armenia has a population of 2.965 million (2019). Armenia was supported by the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, which in March passed a resolution calling on the US president to recognize the genocide of the Armenians. Sweden’s parliament took after the elected people in the US, which prompted Turkey to call its ambassador from Stockholm.
The Washington and Stockholm decisions prompted the Turkish prime minister to warn that 100,000 Armenians who lacked citizenship could be expelled from Turkey. The Armenian Foreign Minister responded that the events leading up to the Armenian genocide began with such statements. In April, the Armenian government decided to suspend the reconciliation process with Turkey for the time being.
In May, parliamentary elections were held in the Armenian breakaway club Nagorno-Karabach in Azerbaijan. There was victory for the Armenian Government Coalition, which wants independence, but Nagorno-Karabach and its government are not recognized by the EU or the other international community.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visited Armenia in August and signed an agreement that gives the Russian Federation the right to retain the military base Gjumri until 2044. Thousands of Russian soldiers are seen in Armenia as a security in view of the conflict with neighboring Azerbaijan, which Armenia fought in the war against of the 1990s.
Shortly after the agreement with the Russian Federation, minor fighting took place at Armenia’s border with Azerbaijan with killed soldiers on both sides. Later, Azerbaijan accused Armenia of ethnic cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh, while Armenia claimed that Azerbaijan threatened regional peace.
Opposition editor Nikol Pasjinian was sentenced at the beginning of the year to seven years in prison accused of participating in and organizing the violent mass protests following the presidential election in Armenia in 2008. Pasjinian denied and later stated that he had been beaten in prison at night by masked men. Journalists and editors from a variety of Armenian media joined forces in demanding the release of Pasjinian.
At the end of the year, some imprisoned opposition activists were released, but not Pasjinian.