Categories
Economy Region

Armenia to surpass Azerbaijan and Georgia by GDP per capita. IMF

Armenian GDP per capita has surpassed that of Georgia and is projected to surpass Azerbaijan for the first time since 2005, according to IMF data. More importantly, the growth is projected to continue for the next 4-5 years according to IMF.

In 2019 GDP per capita in Armenia was equal to $ 4527.592 (current prices, USD), while that of Georgia was worth $4289.322 and Azerbaijan — $4689.378. The projection for 2020 says Armenian GDP per capita will grow to $4759.2, overtaking Azerbaijan.

GPD (current prices) in USD in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia

Meanwhile, Armenia’s GDP still is still lagging behind Azerbaijan and even Georgia, according to IMF data. At $13.4 billion USD Armenia’s GDP is 3.5 times smaller than that of Azerbaijan’s $47.1 billion and about $2.4 billion USD less than that of Georgia’s $15.9 billion.

As far as I’m concerned, the good news is that GDP in Armenia will continue to grow according to IMF. And if Pashinia’s full year in power (2019) is any indicator, this growth will actually translate into good roads and infrastructure, better medicaid and higher pensions for Armenian citizens, instead of going into the pockets of a bunch of corrupt officials, as was the habit during the previous regimes.

Categories
Armenia Politics Region

Armenia Issues A Statement on Developments in Baghdad

Armenian Foreign Ministry has issued a statement in connection with the US drone strike, which killed a top Iranian commander.

General Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, was killed in his vehicle near Baghdad International Airport. The news was confirmed both by the US and Iran.

“We are seriously concerned about the recent incidents in Baghdad which led to human loses as well. They risk further undermining the regional security and destabilizing the situation in the Middle East and beyond. Armenia calls for the de-escalation of situation exclusively through peaceful means,” Armenia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted. “Armenia will continue to closely cooperate with all its partners aimed at ensuring regional stability and security.”

Soleimani’s killing has raised fears of serious escalation in the Middle East. Both USA and Iran are key partners for Armenia, while Iraq has become an increasingly important export market. Any escalation in the Middle East is problematic for us, so it is no wonder that the drone strike has stirred heated debates in the Armenian section of Facebook.

Pashinyan reacts

Armenia is enjoying prolonged New Year and Christmas holidays these days, which started on December 31st and will conclude on January 7th. While most state agencies and news media are enjoying the holiday break, the debates around US – Iran tensions and speculations of an all-out global nuclear war is cutting through the half-drank, half-lazy-congratulatory mood of the Armenian social media users.

Meanwhile, Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian, who is always eager to jump into every Facebook discussion, has published a post on Facebook, noting that “there are institutions capable of following the situation, analyzing the developments and act upon those as needed” and that “all the necessary instructions have been given.”

“The Republic of Armenia, RA citizens and numerous tourists visiting our country live a normal life,” the PM has stated and has advised “self-professed geopolitics analysts, who want to engage in fear-mongering, to relax and sit back on their places.”

The point about tourists is especially noteworthy, as a war in the neighboring Iran would be detrimental to the Armenian government’s hopes to stimulate continuous growth in the tourism industry.

Categories
Armenia Region

Russian-Israeli blogger defeats Azerbaijan's Karabakh blacklist

Azerbaijan’s grand experiment of scaring everyone with its blacklist and making the Russian-Israeli blogger Alexander Lapshin an example has failed spectacularly. All kudo’s go to Lapshin, of course. What a guy! But let’s start from the beginning, shall we?

Categories
Armenia Economy Region

Average salary in Armenia is higher than Azerbaijan, lower than Georgia

I came across this infographic on Настоящее Время, which shows average salaries in post-Soviet states in 2016-17. The data is taken from open sources, like the World Bank, etc. Interesting to see that the salaries in oil-rich Azerbaijan are lower than in Armenia, meanwhile Georgia is ahead of everyone. Below is a table extracted from the infographic, which I’ve typed up and translated into English for easy reference.

Country Salary
Estonia  $1,313.00
Latvia  $1,009.00
Lithuania  $903.00
Russia  $657.00
Kazakhstan  $432.00
Georgia  $413.00
Belarus  $402.00
Armenia  $397.00
Azerbaijan  $299.00
Moldova  $288.00
Ukraine  $263.00
Kyrgyzstan  $204.00
Turkmenistan  $198.00
Uzbekistan  $177.00
Tajikistan  $120.00
Categories
Armenia Region

Why Azerbaijani Laundromat is Bad for Armenia and Georgia

Even though Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia are vastly different states, they are always viewed together as one region — the South Caucasus. This means that all international human rights, anti-corruption and democratization reports will look at the indicators from these three countries and try to ‘bring them in line’ together.

Categories
Armenia Politics Region

King Bako Sahakian of Artsakh Inaugurated

This is a sad day. Nagorno-Karabakh President Bako Sahakian personally and deliberately defeated one of the greatest arguments in support of Karabakh’s independence from dictatorial Azerbaijan by swearing in for yet another term on Thursday and extending his decade-long rule.

Categories
Armenia Region Society

Armenians Have The Strongest Opinions on Moral Issues in Eastern Europe

I came across this interesting info-graphic by RFE/RL on social views and morality in the Eastern European countries. What I found most startling, however, was just how unanimous are the views in Armenia: 96% disapprove drug use and prostitution, 98% disapprove homosexuality, 79% disapprove premarital sex. This is perhaps the result of having such a homogeneous society, 98.1% of the population are ethnic Armenians according to the latest population census.
Understandably, this creates a situation, where dissent is not tolerated. I remember the struggles I had in the 90’s, when I had long hair and a beard in highly conservative Gyumri. Luckily, this has changed a great deal now and men having long hair and beards are not fawned upon so badly anymore. Still, this info-graphic is truly disturbing to me, because it reveals lack of diversity and tolerance in the society.

Infographic by RFE/RL

Categories
Armenia Region

National Geographic portrayed Armenians as "respected artisans, scientists, and energetic merchants"

Old National Geographics map describing the people of the Soviet Union

I came across this fascinating map (link to full-sized map) of the “People’s of the Soviet Union”, published by the National Geographic Magazine in February 1976, which offers a unique view into what the West thought of us, the Soviet’s at that time (and I wasn’t even born then).

Categories
Armenia Region Society

Syrian-Armenian Refugees Send this Videomessage on Genocide Remembrance Day

My very good friends, a group of young Syrian-Armenians, who have found refuge in Armenia from Syria’s raging civil war, have made this remarkable video message today, which I want to share with you.

A message to those who tried to scratch our chapter from the book of human existence.
We, the descendants of the Armenian Genocide survivors, are and will be the protectors of our identity and cultural heritage.
With a spark in our eyes, we stand up.
We speak up and hold our heads up!
Today, we carry the torch of our nation and prove to the world that we are unbreakable.
By: Houry Pilibbossian ,Khachig Ainteblian ,Puzant Keshishian ,Galin Dishoyan and Hena Aposhian

Categories
Armenia Region

Thousands join Torchlight Procession in Yerevan Honoring Victims of the Armenian Genocide


The march kicked off in Yerevan’s Freedom square with burning of Turkish and Azerbaijani flags. Whilte