- Introduction ::ArmeniaBackground:Armenia prides itself on being the first nation to formally adopt Christianity (early 4th century). Despite periods of autonomy, over the centuries Armenia came under the sway of various empires including the Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Persian, and Ottoman. During World War I in the western portion of Armenia, Ottoman Turkey instituted a policy of forced resettlement coupled with other harsh practices that resulted in at least 1 million Armenian deaths. The eastern area of Armenia was ceded by the Ottomans to Russia in 1828; this portion declared its independence in 1918, but was conquered by the Soviet Red Army in 1920. Armenian leaders remain preoccupied by the long conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, a primarily Armenian-populated region, assigned to Soviet Azerbaijan in the 1920s by Moscow. Armenia and Azerbaijan began fighting over the area 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, ethnic 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. Turkey closed the common border with Armenia in 1993 in support of Azerbaijan in its conflict with Armenia over control of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas, further hampering Armenian economic growth. In 2009, senior Armenian leaders began pursuing rapprochement with Turkey, aiming to secure an opening of the border, but Turkey has not yet ratified the Protocols normalizing relations between the two countries.Geography ::ArmeniaLocation:Southwestern Asia, between Turkey (to the west) and AzerbaijanGeographic coordinates:40 00 N, 45 00 EArea:total: 29,743 sq kmcountry comparison to the world: 143land: 28,203 sq kmwater: 1,540 sq kmArea - comparative:slightly smaller than MarylandLand boundaries:total: 1,254 kmborder countries: Azerbaijan-proper 566 km, Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave 221 km, Georgia 164 km, Iran 35 km, Turkey 268 kmCoastline:0 km (landlocked)Maritime claims:none (landlocked)Climate:highland continental, hot summers, cold wintersTerrain:Armenian Highland with mountains; little forest land; fast flowing rivers; good soil in Aras River valleyElevation extremes:lowest point: Debed River 400 mhighest point: Aragats Lerrnagagat' 4,090 mNatural resources:small deposits of gold, copper, molybdenum, zinc, bauxiteLand use:arable land: 14.47%permanent crops: 1.8%other: 83.74% (2011)Irrigated land:2,735 sq km (2006)Total renewable water resources:7.77 cu km (2011)Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):total: 2.86 cu km/yr (40%/6%/54%)per capita: 929.7 cu m/yr (2010)Natural hazards:occasionally severe earthquakes; droughtsEnvironment - current issues:soil pollution from toxic chemicals such as DDT; the energy crisis of the 1990s 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 in spite of its location in a seismically active zoneEnvironment - international agreements:party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlandssigned, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic PollutantsGeography - note:landlocked in the Lesser Caucasus Mountains; Sevana Lich (Lake Sevan) is the largest lake in this mountain rangePeople and Society ::ArmeniaNationality:noun: Armenian(s)adjective: ArmenianEthnic groups:Armenian 97.9%, Yezidi (Kurd) 1.3%, Russian 0.5%, other 0.3% (2001 census)Languages:Armenian (official) 97.7%, Yezidi 1%, Russian 0.9%, other 0.4% (2001 census)Religions:Armenian Apostolic 94.7%, other Christian 4%, Yezidi (monotheist with elements of nature worship) 1.3%Population:2,974,184 (July 2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 138Age structure:0-14 years: 17.3% (male 274,473/female 239,275)15-24 years: 17.7% (male 270,206/female 255,325)25-54 years: 46% (male 643,563/female 725,985)55-64 years: 9.2% (male 106,531/female 167,486)65 years and over: 9.8% (male 106,552/female 184,788) (2013 est.)Dependency ratios:total dependency ratio: 44.1 %youth dependency ratio: 29.2 %elderly dependency ratio: 14.9 %potential support ratio: 6.7 (2013)Median age:total: 32.9 yearsmale: 30.3 yearsfemale: 35.7 years (2013 est.)Population growth rate:0.14% (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 183Birth rate:12.86 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 154Death rate:8.51 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 81Net migration rate:-2.93 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 176Urbanization:urban population: 64.1% of total population (2011)rate of urbanization: 0.34% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)Major urban areas - population:YEREVAN (capital) 1.116 million (2011)Sex ratio:at birth: 1.11 male(s)/female0-14 years: 1.15 male(s)/female15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female25-54 years: 0.88 male(s)/female55-64 years: 0.62 male(s)/female65 years and over: 0.59 male(s)/femaletotal population: 0.89 male(s)/female (2013 est.)Mother's mean age at first birth:24.1note: Median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2010 est.)Maternal mortality rate:30 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)country comparison to the world: 124Infant mortality rate:total: 17.59 deaths/1,000 live birthscountry comparison to the world: 100male: 21.9 deaths/1,000 live birthsfemale: 12.83 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)Life expectancy at birth:total population: 73.75 yearscountry comparison to the world: 119male: 70.1 yearsfemale: 77.8 years (2013 est.)Total fertility rate:1.39 children born/woman (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 206Contraceptive prevalence rate:54.9% (2010)Health expenditures:4.4% of GDP (2010)country comparison to the world: 159Physicians density:3.7 physicians/1,000 population (2007)Hospital bed density:3.7 beds/1,000 population (2009)Drinking water source:improved:urban: 99% of populationrural: 97% of populationtotal: 98% of populationunimproved:urban: 1% of populationrural: 3% of populationtotal: 2% of population (2010 est.)Sanitation facility access:improved:urban: 95% of populationrural: 80% of populationtotal: 90% of populationunimproved:urban: 5% of populationrural: 20% of populationtotal: 10% of population (2010 est.)HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:0.1% (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 109HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:1,900 (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 136HIV/AIDS - deaths:fewer than 100 (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 122Obesity - adult prevalence rate:24% (2008)country comparison to the world: 68Children under the age of 5 years underweight:5.3% (2010)country comparison to the world: 85Education expenditures:3.2% of GDP (2010)country comparison to the world: 136Literacy:definition: age 15 and over can read and writetotal population: 99.6%male: 99.7%female: 99.5% (2011 est.)School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):total: 12 yearsmale: 12 yearsfemale: 13 years (2010)Child labor - children ages 5-14:total number: 19,596percentage: 4 %note: data represents children ages 7-17 (2007 est.)Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:total: 45.5%country comparison to the world: 9male: 37.4%female: 54.7% (2008)Government ::ArmeniaCountry name:conventional long form: Republic of Armeniaconventional short form: Armenialocal long form: Hayastani Hanrapetut'yunlocal short form: Hayastanformer: Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, Armenian RepublicGovernment type:republicCapital:name: Yerevangeographic coordinates: 40 10 N, 44 30 Etime difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)Administrative divisions:11 provinces (marzer, singular - marz); Aragatsotn, Ararat, Armavir, Geghark'unik', Kotayk', Lorri, Shirak, Syunik', Tavush, Vayots' Dzor, YerevanIndependence:21 September 1991 (from the Soviet Union)National holiday:Independence Day, 21 September (1991)Constitution:adopted by nationwide referendum 5 July 1995; amendments adopted through a nationwide referendum 27 November 2005Legal system:civil law systemInternational law organization participation:has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCtSuffrage:18 years of age; universalExecutive branch:chief of state: President Serzh SARGSIAN (since 9 April 2008)head of government: Prime Minister Tigran SARGSIAN (since 9 April 2008)cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister(For more information visit the World Leaders website )elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 18 February 2013 (next to be held February 2018); prime minister appointed by the president based on majority or plurality support in parliament; the prime minister and Council of Ministers must resign if the National Assembly refuses to accept their programelection results: Serzh SARGSIAN reelected president; percent of vote - Serzh SARGSIAN 58.6%, Raffi HOVHANNISIAN 36.7%, Hrant BAGRATIAN 2.2%, other 2.5%Legislative branch:unicameral National Assembly (Parliament) or Azgayin Zhoghov (131 seats; members elected by popular vote, 90 members elected by party list and 41 by direct vote; to serve five-year terms)elections: last held on 6 May 2012 (next to be held in the spring of 2017)election results: percent of vote by party - RPA 44%, Prosperous Armenia 30.1%, ANC 7.1%, Heritage Party 5.8%, ARF (Dashnak) 5.7%, Rule of Law 5.5%, other 1.8%; seats by party - RPA 69, Prosperous Armenia 37, ANC 7, Heritage Party 5, ARF (Dashnak) 5, Rule of Law 6, independent 2Judicial branch:highest court(s): Court of Cassation (consists of the court chairman and organized into a criminal chamber and a civil and administrative chamber, each with a court chairman and 2 judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges)judge selection and term of office: Court of Cassation judges nominated by the Judicial Council, a 9-member body of selected judges and legal scholars; judges appointed by the president; Constitutional Court judges - 4 appointed by the president, and 5 elected by National Assembly; judges of both courts can serve until retirement at age 65subordinate courts: 2 Courts of Appeal (for civil cases and for criminal and military cases); district courts; Administrative CourtPolitical parties and leaders:Armenian National Congress or ANC (bloc of independent and opposition parties) [Levon TER-PETROSSIAN]Armenian National Movement or ANM [Ararat ZURABIAN]Armenian Revolutionary Federation (""Dashnak"" Party) or ARF [Hrant MARKARIAN]Heritage Party [Raffi HOVHANNISIAN]People's Party of Armenia [Stepan DEMIRCHIAN]Prosperous Armenia [Gagik TSARUKIAN]Republican Party of Armenia or RPA [Serzh SARGSIAN]Rule of Law Party (Orinats Yerkir) [Artur BAGHDASARIAN]Political pressure groups and leaders:Aylentrank (Impeachment Alliance) [Nikol PASHINIAN]Yerkrapah Union [Manvel GRIGORIAN]International organization participation:ADB, BSEC, CD, CE, CIS, CSTO, EAEC (observer), EAPC, EBRD, FAO, GCTU, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, MIGA, NAM (observer), OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTODiplomatic representation in the US:chief of mission: Ambassador Tatoul MARKARIANchancery: 2225 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008telephone:  (202) 319-1976FAX:  (202) 319-2982consulate(s) general: Glendale (CA), Los AngelesDiplomatic representation from the US:chief of mission: Ambassador John HEFFERNembassy: 1 American Ave., Yerevan 0082mailing address: American Embassy Yerevan, US Department of State, 7020 Yerevan Place, Washington, DC 20521-7020telephone: (10) 464-700FAX: (10) 464-742Flag description:three equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue, and orange; the color red recalls the blood shed for liberty, blue the Armenian skies as well as hope, and orange the land and the courage of the workers who farm itNational symbol(s):Mount Ararat; eagle; lionNational anthem:name: ""Mer Hayrenik""""(Our Fatherland)lyrics/music: Mikael NALBANDIAN/Barsegh KANACHYANnote: adopted 1991; based on the anthem of the Democratic Republic of Armenia (1918-1922) but with different lyricsEconomy ::ArmeniaEconomy - overview:After several years of double-digit economic growth, Armenia faced a severe economic recession with GDP declining more than 14% in 2009, despite large loans from multilateral institutions. Sharp declines in the construction sector and workers' remittances, particularly from Russia, led the downturn. The economy began to recover in 2010 with 2.1% growth, and picked up to 4.6% growth in 2011, before slowing to 3.8% in 2012. Under the old Soviet central planning system, Armenia developed a modern industrial sector, supplying machine tools, textiles, and other manufactured goods to sister republics, in exchange for raw materials and energy. Armenia has since switched to small-scale agriculture and away from the large agroindustrial complexes of the Soviet era. Since August 2011, Armenia experienced a sharp 15 percent currency depreciation and an increase in the unemployment rate. Armenia's geographic isolation, a narrow export base, and pervasive monopolies in important business sectors have made it particularly vulnerable to the sharp deterioration in the global economy and the economic downturn in Russia. Armenia has only two open trade borders - Iran and Georgia - because its borders with Azerbaijan and Turkey have been closed since 1991 and 1993, respectively, as a result of Armenia's ongoing conflict with Azerbaijan over the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region. Armenia is particularly dependent on Russian commercial and governmental support and most key Armenian infrastructure is Russian-owned and/or managed, especially in the energy sector. The electricity distribution system was privatized in 2002 and bought by Russia's RAO-UES in 2005. Natural gas is primarily imported from Russia but construction of a pipeline to deliver natural gas from Iran to Armenia was completed in December 2008, and gas deliveries expanded after the April 2010 completion of the Yerevan Thermal Power Plant. Armenia's severe trade imbalance has been offset somewhat by international aid, remittances from Armenians working abroad, and foreign direct investment. Armenia joined the WTO in January 2003. The government made some improvements in tax and customs administration in recent years, but anti-corruption measures have been ineffective and the economic downturn has led to a sharp drop in tax revenue and forced the government to accept large loan packages from Russia, the IMF, and other international financial institutions. Amendments to tax legislation, including the introduction of the first ever ""luxury tax"" in 2011, aim to increase the ratio of budget revenues to GDP, which still remains at low levels. Armenia will need to pursue additional economic reforms and to strengthen the rule of law in order to regain economic growth and improve economic competitiveness and employment opportunities, especially given its economic isolation from two of its nearest neighbors, Turkey and Azerbaijan.GDP (purchasing power parity):$19.97 billion (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 131$18.63 billion (2011 est.)$17.8 billion (2010 est.)note: data are in 2012 US dollarsGDP (official exchange rate):$10.07 billion (2012 est.)GDP - real growth rate:7.2% (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 254.7% (2011 est.)2.2% (2010 est.)GDP - per capita (PPP):$5,900 (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 152$5,600 (2011 est.)$5,400 (2010 est.)note: data are in 2012 US dollarsGross national saving:20.7% of GDP (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 7118.9% of GDP (2011 est.)16.7% of GDP (2010 est.)GDP - composition, by end use:household consumption: 88.6%government consumption: 10.7%investment in fixed capital: 30.6%investment in inventories: 0.9%exports of goods and services: 21.8%imports of goods and services: -53.3%(2012 est.)GDP - composition, by sector of origin:agriculture: 21.1%industry: 37.7%services: 41.2% (2012 est.)Agriculture - products:fruit (especially grapes), vegetables; livestockIndustries:diamond-processing, metal-cutting machine tools, forging-pressing machines, electric motors, tires, knitted wear, hosiery, shoes, silk fabric, chemicals, trucks, instruments, microelectronics, jewelry manufacturing, software development, food processing, brandy, miningIndustrial production growth rate:8.8% (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 17Labor force:1.194 million (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 139Labor force - by occupation:agriculture: 44.2%industry: 16.8%services: 39% (2008 est.)Unemployment rate:7% (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 775.9% (2011 est.)Population below poverty line:35.8% (2010 est.)Household income or consumption by percentage share:lowest 10%: 3.7%highest 10%: 25.4% (2008)Distribution of family income - Gini index:30.9 (2008)country comparison to the world: 11044.4 (1996)Budget:revenues: $2.338 billionexpenditures: $2.492 billion (2012 est.)Taxes and other revenues:23.2% of GDP (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 139Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):-1.5% of GDP (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 69Public debt:41.8% of GDP (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 8443.6% of GDP (2011 est.)Fiscal year:calendar yearInflation rate (consumer prices):2.6% (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 717.7% (2011 est.)Central bank discount rate:8% (11 January 2012)country comparison to the world: 357.25% (2 December 2008)note: this is the Refinancing Rate, the key monetary policy instrument of the Armenian National BankCommercial bank prime lending rate:17.23% (31 December 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 2517.76% (31 December 2011 est.)note: average lending rate on loans up to one yearStock of narrow money:$1.352 billion (31 December 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 139$1.332 billion (31 December 2011 est.)Stock of broad money:$3.555 billion (31 December 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 138$4.261 billion (31 December 2011 est.)Stock of domestic credit:$4.355 billion (31 December 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 122$3.548 billion (31 December 2011 est.)Market value of publicly traded shares:$43.52 million (31 December 2011)country comparison to the world: 117$27.99 million (31 December 2010)$140.5 million (31 December 2009)Current account balance:-$1.163 billion (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 117-$1.12 billion (2011 est.)Exports:$1.523 billion (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 147$1.456 billion (2011 est.)Exports - commodities:pig iron, unwrought copper, nonferrous metals, diamonds, mineral products, foodstuffs, energyExports - partners:Russia 19.9%, Germany 11%, Belgium 9.4%, Bulgaria 8.8%, Iran 7.1%, Canada 6.2%, US 6.1%, Georgia 5.9%, Netherlands 5.2%, Switzerland 5% (2012)Imports:$3.603 billion (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 140$3.561 billion (2011 est.)Imports - commodities:natural gas, petroleum, tobacco products, foodstuffs, diamondsImports - partners:Russia 24.6%, China 9%, Germany 6.2%, Iran 5.4%, Ukraine 5.4%, Turkey 4.7% (2012)Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:$1.799 billion (31 December 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 124$1.932 billion (31 December 2011 est.)Debt - external:$7.292 billion (31 December 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 109$7.383 billion (31 December 2011 est.)Exchange rates:drams (AMD) per US dollar -401.76 (2012 est.)372.5 (2011 est.)373.66 (2010 est.)363.28 (2009)303.93 (2008)Energy ::ArmeniaElectricity - production:7.432 billion kWh (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 101Electricity - consumption:5.8 billion kWh (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 107Electricity - exports:1.36 billion kWh (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 48Electricity - imports:291 million kWh (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 82Electricity - installed generating capacity:3.173 million kW (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 84Electricity - from fossil fuels:53.3% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 150Electricity - from nuclear fuels:11.8% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 18Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:34.7% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 61Electricity - from other renewable sources:0.1% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 96Crude oil - production:0 bbl/day (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 105Crude oil - exports:0 bbl/day (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 74Crude oil - imports:0 bbl/day (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 151Crude oil - proved reserves:0 bbl (1 January 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 103Refined petroleum products - production:0 bbl/day (2008 est.)country comparison to the world: 150Refined petroleum products - consumption:45,300 bbl/day (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 103Refined petroleum products - exports:0 bbl/day (2008 est.)country comparison to the world: 148Refined petroleum products - imports:9,698 bbl/day (2008 est.)country comparison to the world: 132Natural gas - production:0 cu m (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 96Natural gas - consumption:2.077 billion cu m (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 78Natural gas - exports:0 cu m (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 54Natural gas - imports:2.077 billion cu m (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 48Natural gas - proved reserves:0 cu m (1 January 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 106Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:11.56 million Mt (2010 est.)country comparison to the world: 97Communications ::ArmeniaTelephones - main lines in use:577,500 (2011)country comparison to the world: 92Telephones - mobile cellular:3.211 million (2011)country comparison to the world: 123Telephone system:general assessment: telecommunications investments have made major inroads in modernizing and upgrading the outdated telecommunications network inherited from the Soviet era; now 100% privately owned and undergoing modernization and expansion; mobile-cellular services monopoly terminated in late 2004 and a second provider began operations in mid-2005domestic: reliable modern fixed-line and mobile-cellular services are available across Yerevan in major cities and towns; significant but ever-shrinking gaps remain in mobile-cellular coverage in rural areasinternational: country code - 374; 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, through the Moscow international switch, and by satellite to the rest of the world; satellite earth stations - 3 (2008)Broadcast media:2 public TV networks operating alongside more than 40 privately owned TV stations that provide local to near nationwide coverage; major Russian broadcast stations are widely available; subscription cable TV services are available in most regions; Public Radio of Armenia is a national, state-run broadcast network that operates alongside about 20 privately owned radio stations; several major international broadcasters are available (2008)Internet country code:.amInternet hosts:194,142 (2012)country comparison to the world: 73Internet users:208,200 (2009)country comparison to the world: 138Transportation ::ArmeniaAirports:11 (2013)country comparison to the world: 154Airports - with paved runways:total: 10over 3,047 m: 22,438 to 3,047 m: 21,524 to 2,437 m: 4914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)Airports - with unpaved runways:total: 1914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)Pipelines:gas 2,233 km (2013)Railways:total: 869 kmcountry comparison to the world: 96broad gauge: 869 km 1.520-m gauge (818 km electrified)note: some lines are out of service (2009)Roadways:total: 7,705 km (2012)country comparison to the world: 143Military ::ArmeniaMilitary branches:Armenian Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Air Force and Air Defense; ""Nagorno-Karabakh Republic"": Nagorno-Karabakh Self-Defense Force (NKSDF) (2011)Military service age and obligation:18-27 years of age for voluntary or compulsory military service; 2-year conscript service obligation; 17 year olds are eligible to become cadets at military higher education institutes, where they are classified as military personnel (2012)Manpower available for military service:males age 16-49: 805,847females age 16-49: 854,296 (2010 est.)Manpower fit for military service:males age 16-49: 644,372females age 16-49: 717,272 (2010 est.)Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:male: 23,470female: 21,417 (2010 est.)Military expenditures:2.8% of GDP (2010)country comparison to the world: 46Transnational Issues ::ArmeniaDisputes - international:the dispute over the break-away Nagorno-Karabakh region and the Armenian military occupation of surrounding lands in Azerbaijan remains the primary focus of regional instability; residents have evacuated the former Soviet-era small ethnic enclaves in Armenia and Azerbaijan; Turkish authorities have complained that blasting from quarries in Armenia might be damaging the medieval ruins of Ani, on the other side of the Arpacay valley; in 2009, Swiss mediators facilitated an accord reestablishing diplomatic ties between Armenia and Turkey, but neither side has ratified the agreement and the rapprochement effort has faltered; local border forces struggle to control the illegal transit of goods and people across the porous, undemarcated Armenian, Azerbaijani, and Georgian borders; ethnic Armenian groups in the Javakheti region of Georgia seek greater autonomy from the Georgian GovernmentRefugees and internally displaced persons:refugees (country of origin): 6,000 (Syria - ethnic Armenians) (2013)IDPs: 8,400 (conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh) (2009)stateless persons: 35 (2012)Illicit drugs:illicit cultivation of small amount of cannabis for domestic consumption; minor transit point for illicit drugs - mostly opium and hashish - moving from Southwest Asia to Russia and to a lesser extent the rest of Europe"
The World Factbook. 2014.
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