Armenia. Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pasjinian was
appointed Chief Minister in January since his party alliance
My step had gained his own majority in the December 2018
In February, further corruption charges were brought
against the detained former President Robert Kotjarjan.
These were allegations that his former environment minister
took bribes equivalent to about SEK 100 million. The
minister himself was detained in his absence.
The trial against Kotjarjan began in May. He was accused
of violating the constitution after the 2008 election and
illegally ordered the security forces to use force against
protesters who claimed electoral fraud. Eight protesters
Kotjarjan became free of bail, prompting Prime Minister
Pasjinian to call for protests. Protesters gathered outside
the courts and blocked the entrances. According to
Pasjinian, the judiciary was under the influence of the old
"corrupt regime" and he demanded the departure of several
It caused a reaction in the Council of Europe, where
reporters for Armenia urged the country's leaders not to
exert pressure on the judiciary. The trial against Kotjarjan
resumed later in the year.
In May, Armenia received a promise from the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) on a three-year standing loan of close
to $ 250 million for structural reforms and improvements to
the business climate. The country's GDP had increased just
over 5% last year - a slowdown in growth.
In August, the government agreed to gold mining in
eastern Armenia, where locals have long blocked a mining
project with protests in concern for environmental damage.
In September, the world's largest Yazidic temple was
opened in the city of Aknalich in western Armenia. About
35,000 Yazidis live in Armenia and are the largest ethnic
minority in the country.
The Eurasian Economic Union held a summit in October in
the capital Yerevan. Prime Minister Pasjinian had talks with
Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin, who was met by
CountryAAH, Armenia is in conflict with Azerbaijan over the
Armenian-backed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, which Prime
Minister Pasjinian visited during the year. He said the
region was "Armenian" and led the crowd in shouting for the
unification of Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia. Azerbaijan
called the speech "aggressive" and accused the Armenian
leader of provoking tensions in the area and sabotaging
international mediation attempts.
Former President Serzh Sargsyan was indicted in December
for embezzlement, which he denied.