According to topschoolsintheusa, Armenia is a State Republic of Transcaucasia. It borders Georgia to the N, Azerbaijan to the E and SE, Iran to the Sand Turkey to the West.
The territory, with no outlet to the sea and with an average height of 1800 m, culminates in Mount Aragac, of volcanic origin (4090 m). The most significant hydrographic elements are Lake Sevan (1244 km 2) and the tributary watercourses of the Kura and Arasse rivers (for other physical characteristics ➔ Armenia).
The part of the to. which was under the Persian dominion (➔ Armenia) and had then passed to Russia, in 1917 formed the Federal Republic of Transcaucasia with Georgia and Azerbaijan, dissolved in May 1918 to give rise to three independent republics. Proclaimed a Soviet republic in 1920, in 1922 it was united with Georgia and Azerbaijan to form the Soviet Socialist Federative Republic of Transcaucasia, divided in 1930 into the three republics of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, recognized constituent members of the USSR.
In 1991 the Armenia declared independence and L. Ter Petrosian was elected president. The strong nationalist mobilization he promoted resulted in military support for the militias of Nagornyj Karabah, an Armenian enclave in Azerbaijani territory, and in the war against Azerbaijan, up to the conquest of the enclave and part of Azerbaijani territory (1992-93). The situation remained tense even after the signing of the ceasefire agreement (1994) and the resumption of diplomatic negotiations, which lasted until 2001 and then blocked. In fact, the two fundamental problems remained unresolved: the restitution of the Azerbaijani territories in the hands of the Armenian army and the status to be accorded to Nagornyj Karabah. The military effort aggravated the country’s economic situation, already severely tested by the dissolution of the USSR and the massive influx of ethnic Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan, compromising the stability of the executive. In 1995 only the ban on the main opposition forces from participating in political elections allowed the Pan-Armenian National Movement to remain at the head of the government, while a new Constitution was approved that strengthened presidential powers. In 1998, however, Ter Petrosian was forced to resign and was elected in his place R. Kocharian, appreciated by the most intransigent nationalist forces. The political elections of 1999 instead saw the victory of the Unitary Bloc (Republican Party and People’s Party) and the republican leader V. Sargisian was appointed prime minister, but a few months later he was killed by a terrorist commando that entered Parliament. In 2001 the Armenia became a full member of the Council of Europe. In 2003 Kocharian was reconfirmed and, in the legislative elections of the same year, the candidates in favor of him were established. The opposition organized a vehement protest action against Kocharian, who was criticized for the manipulation of the votes in the 2005 referendum which sanctioned the approval of important constitutional changes. In 2008, the consultations to elect Kocharian’s successor, that after two consecutive terms he could no longer reapply, were won by the premier S. Sargsyan, dauphin of the outgoing president. The result was contested by supporters of Ter Petrosian, who became the flag of the opposition. The political elections held in May 2012 saw the victory of the Republican Party of President Sargsyan, who obtained an absolute majority of seats (69 out of 131). At the presidential consultations held in February 2013 Sargsyan was confirmed for a second term with a preference rate close to 60%. New electoral success for the president’s party was registered in the parliamentary elections held in April 2017, won by the Republicans with 49.12%, while the prosperous Armenian opposition coalition, founded by ‘ entrepreneur G. Tsarukyan, who got 27.3% of the votes. In March 2018, with the support of the Republic Party and with a very high percentage of support, Armenia Sarkissian was elected president of the country; the following month the outgoing president Sargsyan, who in 2015 had passed a constitutional reform that transferred many of the presidential powers to the premier, took over that position by taking over from K. Karapetyan. This sparked widespread protests in the country that forced the politician to resign, taking over from him in May by opposition leader N. Pashinyan, who in turn resigned in October 2018, for lead the country to early elections and advance the democratization process; the consultations, held in December, recorded the clear affirmation of the politician, who with the coalition Il mio passo received 70.4% of the votes, a result confirmed by the early legislative elections held in June 2021 following the defeat of the.
UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE
Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin (1996, 2000); Èčmiadzin cathedral and churches and Zvartnots archaeological site (2000); Geghard Monastery and Upper Azat Valley (2000).
The difficult process of transition to democratic life that began after the detachment from the USSR (1991) suffered a sharp slowdown on the threshold of the 2000s. The massacre perpetrated in parliament, in October 1999, by a terrorist group of uncertain ideological origin, cost the lives, among others, to Prime Minister V. Sargisian and to the Speaker of the House K. Demirchian (leader of the two parties that established themselves in the legislative elections of the previous May, the republican and the popular), threw the country into a profound political crisis. The state of uncertainty favored the strengthening of President R. Kocharian (elected in 1998), which, with the support of the Republican Party, the bureaucracy and the army, concentrated power in its hands and severely limited the institutional and propaganda action of the opposition forces. Kocharian continued the market liberalization policy already initiated in previous years, satisfying the expectations of the new economic elite, and aimed to include the country in the international arena. Reconfirmed the traditional ties with Russia, one of the major suppliers of the country’s energy resources, the government sought at the same time to develop economic relations with neighboring countries, first of all Irān, and to increase relations with Western powers, Europe and the United States, offering itself as a strategic ally in the fight against terrorism in the region. He joined the Council of Europe and in February 2003 joined the World Trade Organization (WTO). Despite international successes and economic growth, the internal situation remained difficult: social disparities increased, the unemployment rate remained high and corruption became a constant in public life. In February 2003, ahead of the presidential elections, the opposition forces decided to unite and support a single candidate, S. Demirchian, in an attempt to beat Kocharian, who had run for a second term. Held in a climate of strong tension and with serious irregularities, the consultations reconfirmed the outgoing president, elected in the second round with the 65.5% of votes; in May the legislative elections gave the majority of seats to the Republican Party and its allies. In the following years, the conflict with the opposition forces, which contested the legitimacy of Kocharian’s election and who were repeatedly subjected to intimidation and restrictions by the police, remained bitter, and helped to keep the situation critical. The issue that had been an element of instability throughout the 1990s, namely the secessionist tendencies of Nagorno-Karabah, an Armenian enclave in the territory of Azerbaijan, despite repeated negotiations and an easing of tensions, remained at the beginning of the 2000s, not of the all resolved, and, in 2003 and again in 2005, armed clashes occurred on the border.