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US withdrawal from Afghanistan. Domestic and foreign policy consequences and Russia's new opportunity

In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States, the fight against terrorism became a priority for the USА, leading to the engagement in the longest war in American history in Afghanistan. After G. Bush era, several U.S. administrations began to realize that there are other foreign policy priorities for the United States and there is a need to end "forever war” in Afghanistan. This led to the gradual withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. The complete withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan took place under the 46th U.S. President Joe Biden. Although the U.S. troops have now been completely withdrawn from Afghanistan, the withdrawal has been a very hectic, rapid and disorganized process, for which Biden and his administration have been widely criticized. This paper will discuss the process of withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, its domestic political consequences for the Biden administration, as well as Russia's response and possible further steps in the current situation. Full material is available only in Armenian․

  


The social-economic developments in the economy of the RA for January-July 2021

In the present analysis, given the data published by the Statistical Committee of the RA, we study the recent social-economic developments in the economy of the RA. In particular, we consider the cumulative indicator of economic activity of the given month, its sectoral distribution, as well as the dynamics of individual sectors of the economy. We also analyze economic developments in the foreign trade, labour market and fiscal system of the RA. In addition, some aspects of the financial system (inflation, deposits and loans), as well as the behaviour of the exchange rate, are touched upon. Full material is only available in Armenian.

  


On the execution report of the state budget of the RA for the first half of 2021

The objective of the present analysis is to assess the execution of the state budget of the RA in the given period. First, we describe the general state of the economy of the RA, namely the driving forces of economic activity, the developments in individual sectors of the economy, the behavior of the components of the demand – consumption and investment – and so on. Afterwards, we analyze the performance of government revenues and expenditures by comparing the actual and planned values of the respective indicators. We conclude the analysis by summarizing the main observations and results. Full material is only available in Armenian․

  


The G7 plan to counter China's growing influence․ BRI vs B3W

During the 2021, G7 summit in the UK, Build Back Better World (“B3W”) global infrastructure initiative was launched, which has the ambition of becoming a serious challenger to the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (“BRI”). The B3W project aims to fill the 40+ trillion infrastructure gap in the developing world by 2035. This article identifies the potential of the B3W project, its challenges and obstacles, the prospects of possible competition with the Chinese BRI initiative, as well as Armenia's role in the implementation of the B3W project. Full material is only available in Armenian.

  


Energy Transition Index in the RA (2021)

The study of indicators and indices published by international organizations allows to address two important problems. First, to assess the performance of the RA in the given period with the help of comprehensive numerical measures, as well as to make intertemporal comparisons in order to understand whether the country moves in the desirable direction. Second, to compare the performance of the RA with other countries to ascertain Armenia’s relative position in the region and Eurasian Economic Union. These results are important, since they help to derive the comprehensive assessment of the economic situation, which is needed both for the public and the private sector. The present analysis is aimed at addressing the foregoing problems. Full material is only available in Armenian.

  


Global Gender Gap Index in the RA (2020)

The study of indicators and indices published by international organizations allows to address two important problems. First, to assess the performance of the RA in the given period with the help of comprehensive numerical measures, as well as to make intertemporal comparisons in order to understand whether the country moves in the desirable direction. Second, to compare the performance of the RA with other countries to ascertain Armenia’s relative position in the region and Eurasian Economic Union. These results are important, since they help to derive the comprehensive assessment of the economic situation, which is needed both for the public and the private sector. The present analysis is aimed at addressing the foregoing problems. Full material is only available in Armenian.

  


Medium-Term Public Expenditure Framework for 2022-2024

The primary document that defines the medium-term (that is, for the upcoming three years) objectives of the government of the RA is the framework of public medium-term expenditures (MTEF), which is at the same time one of the main tools for fiscal policy communication. The effective use of the MTEF for that purpose is especially important in both crisis and post-crisis periods (such as the 2021 year), as it can give policy signals to economic agents, positively affect expectations and decrease the uncertainty in the economy. The present analysis is aimed at exploring the MTEF for 2022-2024, in particular the structure of the program, the main macroeconomic forecasts and directions of fiscal policy, which reflect the government's expectations regarding the further development of the economic situation as well as government actions to ensure a rapid economic recovery. Since the government's debt burden exceeded the legal limit in 2020, the analysis also considers the government's debt reduction program for 2022-2026. Full material is only available in Armenian.

  


The social-economic developments in the economy of the RA for January-June 2021

In the present analysis, given the data published by the Statistical Committee of the RA, we study the recent social-economic developments in the economy of the RA. In particular, we consider the cumulative indicator of economic activity of the given month, its sectoral distribution, as well as the dynamics of individual sectors of the economy. We also analyze economic developments in the foreign trade, labour market and fiscal system of the RA. In addition, some aspects of the financial system (inflation, deposits and loans), as well as the behaviour of the exchange rate, are touched upon. Full material is only available in Armenian.

  


Quo Vadis, Armenia? A Two-Fold Mission of Parliamentary Opposition

It was supposed that through the 2021 snap parliamentary elections Armenia would overcome the consequences of the crisis resulted from the Azerbaijani-Turkish military aggression in 2020. The results of the elections came as a surprise to many. The political force whose catastrophic mistakes resulted in heavy defeat in the war, thousands of casualties, wounded, captives, tens of thousands of displaced people, huge material and moral losses, received almost twice as many votes as the opposition and remained in power. Nevertheless, the quantitative and qualitative analysis of the election results shows that the impression of a great superiority in elections is deceptive: only 26.2% of voters expressed trust in the ruling political force, by means of the absolute use of administrative resources and mass violations. Moreover, even in that case, the registered votes for the ruling political force are only a few percent higher than the threshold required to form a government. The elections also marked the collapse of the multi-party system in Armenia. 25 political forces took part in elections, whereas from 9 to 11 political parties participated in the previous general elections. Still, the overwhelming majority of voters voted for individuals. The CEC also noted a significant decrease in the votes of the ruling political party in comparison with the previous elections and a sharp increase in the votes cast for opposition. A radical qualitative changes in the opposition also took place. Obviously, the new opposition has incomparably higher qualities both in terms of experience and political struggle, as well as the possibility of using richer and more effective tools in that struggle. In a situation fraught with grave consequences for the state, amid a collapsed multi-party system, a visible way out can be provided by the parliamentary opposition. The latter must take on a two-fold mission: leading Armenia out of a deep and multifactorial crisis and forming a viable multi-party system - the backbone of a healthy political life. To carry out such a complex mission, the two political parties having received the status of parliamentary opposition must modernize and increase their institutional and functional capacities. Full material is only available in Armenian․

  


The probability of economic collapse in Armenia - a myth or a real threat?

Are the concerns about the economic collapse in Armenia currently exaggerated or is it really a serious threat to the state, which can cause new catastrophes in the country? What are the possible prerequisites and causes of the collapse? Is governance the main source of threat? This study aims to provide answers to the above questions and assess the likelihood of economic collapse in Armenia. The risks and vulnerabilities accumulated in the economic system of the Republic of Armenia for the last three years were analyzed, as well as the anti-crisis policy of the Government of the RA to deal with the catastrophe that hit the country in 2020 was discussed. The Government's previous experience of successfully coping with the 2009 crisis, and some examples of countries that have gone through an economic collapse were brought. Reference was made to the possible steps that the current Government can take, learning from the previous experience of effective governance in the state, as well as from the devastating mistakes of the collapsed countries. At the end of the research, the possible scenario and mechanisms of economic collapse were modeled using modern econometric methods, as well as their possible effects on the economy were assessed. Full material is only available in Armenian․

  


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