Russian Ambassador Ivan Volinkin’s recent call “to neutralize” Western-funded non-governmental organizations in Armenia is stoking fears among Armenian activists that the country’s pending membership in the Moscow-led Customs Union will prompt a rollback of civil rights.
Armenia’s four competitors at the Sochi Winter Olympics didn’t come close to winning a medal. But a joke making the rounds in Yerevan goes that since the athletes made it into Russia, they should at least stick around and look for work.
Armenia is the most gas-hungry country in the South Caucasus, and already is in a committed energy relationship with Russia. But many Armenians, tired of being taken for granted by the Kremlin, want their government to start flirting with another natural-gas suitor: Iran.
A former Soviet republic has its sights set on moving closer to Europe, a move staunchly opposed by Moscow.
With the Kremlin's tacit support, one of its majority ethnic-Russian cities votes to secede, sparking fears of violent conflict. Officials in Moscow vow to defend the rights of its smaller neighbor's Russian-speaking residents.
President Serzh Sargsyan’s early September announcement that Armenia is ready to join the Moscow-led Customs Union is stirring uneasiness in Yerevan. Some analysts contend the move would do more to bolster the incumbent government’s authority than benefit the country as a whole.
For nearly a week now, several dozen youth activists have held a nonstop sit-in outside the office of Yerevan's mayor, protesting a rise in public-transit fares and demanding the dismissal of the officials who implemented them.
At first glance, the connection between a fatal July 13 traffic accident outside Moscow and Armenia’s strategic partnership with Russia may not be obvious. But, to many Armenians, a link exists, and it comes in the form of a woman’s yellow-and-pink flowered bathrobe.