Armenia. The country's Prime Minister Armen Sarkisian
resigned in March due to ill health. President Levon
Ter-Petrosian added Robert Kotjarjan to the post. He was
previously president of the disputed enclave of
Countryaah, Georgia's President Eduard Shevardnadze made his first
official state visit to Armenia in May. An agreement that
the countries should cooperate in a number of areas,
including research, banking, environmental protection and
education, were concluded at the visit. Armenia also sought
cooperation with the Russian Federation, and the country's
president met President Boris Yeltsin during the year. An
agreement was signed in which the two countries pledged to
continue their peaceful cooperation.
Large demonstrations broke out in October in Armenia's
capital Yerevan. The Armenians demonstrated against their
president's approval of a peace plan for Nagorno-Karabakh,
which the European Security Organization (OSCE) supported.
According to the plan, Armenia and Azerbaijan will work to
give the enclave a comprehensive autonomy.
In April 2016, serious armed clashes occurred in
Nagorno-Karabakh, killing at least 30 Armenian and
In July, a group of armed men stormed a Yerevan police
station, killing 1 officer, wounding 2 and taking several
hostages. After the storm at the police station, several
hundred protesters gathered at Freedom Square to show their
solidarity with the armed group, demand the release of the
leader of the armed group, Jirair Sefilian as well as the
departure of the President. The following weeks, the
protests spread in Yerevan, and there were frequent clashes
between police and protesters. On July 20, it clashed after
protesters tried to deliver food to the armed group at the
police station. Police sought to impede the delivery, and
were instead met by stones and bottles. Police again
responded with tear gas and shock grenades that also hit
peaceful protesters. 136 were subsequently arrested. 9 days
later, new clashes between protesters and police came not
far from the occupied police station. Police too hard
forward and 60 protesters were injured. Subsequently,
Yerevan's police chief was fired and 13 policemen - several
senior officials - were sanctioned for not preventing
attacks on protesters and journalists.
In September 2016, Prime Minister Abrahamyan resigned and
criticized his government's inability to deal with the
current economic and political challenges. He was replaced
at the post by Yerevan's former mayor, Karen Karapetyan.
Despite some economic growth during the year, unemployment
remained at 18%.