It has been two years since Armenia became member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) founded by Russia.
Membership in that union was justified by Armenia’s economic and political interests, as well as security. Hence, the “Union of Informed Citizens” has prepared a summary of changes in the aforementioned sectors during these two years.
Armenia’s GDP in 2014 was 11.6 billion USD. However, according to IMF, it will make up 10.7 billion USD in 2016.
Armenia’s international reserves have decreased as well. In 2014, they formed 1.8 billion USD on average. Currently, that figure is even less than 1.7 billion USD according to the RA Central Bank.
An even greater decline has been experienced in foreign trade turnover. In 2016, import has reduced by 28% compared to 2014. And though export has increased by 16% during the same period of time, it is a result of simple re-export of goods imported from Turkey to Armenia (because of the ban on Turkish products in Russia), rather than strengthening of Armenia’s trading positions and development of Armenian production. And if we take out the “Turkish flow” from the export volumes, we can assert with confidence that exports have also suffered a decline.
Instead, Armenia’s foreign debt has increased by 26%, reaching 5.6 billion USD compared to 4.4 billion USD two years ago.
In 2015, there was a sharp increase in border ceasefire violations (by 103%) compared to 2014, and artillery was first used after a 20-year pause.
And in 2016, Azerbaijan launched a war in Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh), using all the weapons obtained from Russia. As a result, 100 Armenians were killed, including civilians and children.
In 2014, 26 soldiers were killed due to ceasefire violations. In 2015, that number reached 40, and more than 110 in 2016. In 2014, there were no deaths among civilians as a result of ceasefire violations. However, 3 such cases were registered in 2015, and 4 in 2016.
As it is known, Armenia was slowly moving towards democratization for years. The Police were making slow but steady reforms year by year, corruption rates were reducing in some sectors. Even the elections were every time more peaceful and less violent than the previous ones. However, the opposite picture was observed in 2015. During the constitutional amendments referendum on December 6, even long forgotten forms of election fraud and violence against observers and opposition representatives were applied.
Moreover, in 2014, 52 citizens were detained by the Police during demonstrations and marches. The year 2015 saw an increase of that number by more than 7 times, namely, 380 people were detained. In 2016, more than 900 people were detained during peaceful protests. Previously, peaceful protestors used to be released hours after detention. Conversely, in 2016, hundreds of protestors were forced to pass a few days in prison, and more than 20 peaceful oppositionists are still in prison (not counting the members of ‘Sasna Tsrer” armed group).
In June 2015, the Police only used water cannons and brutal force to disperse the protests. However, the year 2016 saw use of tear gas, stun grenades and other cruel methods, as a result of which more than 100 peaceful citizens (including journalists) appeared in hospital.
“Union of Informed Citizens”