Armenia has been member of the Eurasian Economic Union founded by Russia since January 2015.
Membership in that union was justified by Armenia’s economic and political interests, as well as security. Hence, let us see how those spheres changed during this single year.
In 2014, the GDP in Armenia was 11.6 billion USD. However, according to forecasts, it will decrease by 10% in 2015 and will reach 10.6 billion.
Armenia’s foreign trade turnover has suffered an even greater decline. Import has decreased by 20% and export – by 5%. Moreover, even the trade with Russia has declined by 15%.
Instead, the foreign debt of Armenia has increased. It was 4.4 billion USD in January 2015. Currently, it has increased by 12% and reached 5 billion USD.
The situation is also sad in the security sector.
Since Armenia became member of the Eurasian Economic Union, Russia has sold a considerable number of T-90 tanks, armored vehicles, anti-aircraft missiles and other weaponry to Azerbaijan.
Compared to 2014, ceasefire violation cases on the border have doubled in 2015, and the number of shots towards Armenian forces have doubled as well reaching 650 thousand (compared to the previous 320.000).
Consequently, 26 soldiers died in Armenia as a result of ceasefire violations in 2014, and that number has increased by 54% in 2015 and has reached 40.
Moreover, artillery volleys resumed on the frontline after 20-year pause. And in 2015, the Azerbaijani side has already released more than 4000 artillery, mortar shells and even volley fire system shells.
Moreover, in September 2015, many of the shells hit the villages of Tavush region, killing 3 civilians.
As you know, Armenia was moving slowly along the democratization path for years. The police were slowly improving year by year, the corruption rates were declining in some places… Even the elections were every time more peaceful and accompanied by a smaller number of violence cases. But 2015 demonstrated the exact opposite trend. During the constitutional referendum that took place on December 6 massive election fraud (some techniques of which had been forgotten during the last elections, including 2013 elections) and violence towards observers and opposition representatives were observed.
Moreover, in 2014, the police detained 52 citizens during demonstrations and marches. However, in 2015, that figure rose by 11 times and reached 380. In June 2015, the police dispersed an exclusively peaceful protest by using water cannons and brutal force, and even the journalists were arrested. This behavior of the police was true to style prevalent in the other member countries of the Eurasian Economic Union.