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Declaration of Alma Ata and the issue of territorial belonging to Artsakh

Following a trilateral meeting in Brussels on May 14, 2023, involving Pashinyan and Aliyev, Charles Michel, the President of the European Council, announced the unequivocal commitment of leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to the 1991 Almaty Declaration and the respective territorial integrity of Armenia (29,800 km2) and Azerbaijan (86,600 km2). Michel's statement shed light on Nikol Pashinyan's primary objective, a pursuit dating back to 2022 when he began alluding to the Alma Ata Declaration of December 21, 1991. Pashinyan's covert intention was to relinquish Armenia's obligations to Artsakh and acknowledge Artsakh as part of Azerbaijan. Recognizing the potential ramifications of such a direct statement, Pashinyan concealed this agenda for an extended period, gradually priming society for the notion that sacrificing Artsakh was necessary to preserve Armenia.

By referencing the Alma Ata Declaration, Pashinyan sought to argue that Armenia had ostensibly acknowledged Artsakh as part of Azerbaijan in 1991, aiming to shift accountability for the surrender of Artsakh onto the previous authorities. This analysis underscores that documents concerning the formation of the CIS, including the Alma Ata Declaration, do not, from an international law perspective, imply Armenia's agreement that Artsakh is the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Full material is only available in Armenian.

  


The social-economic developments in the economy of the RA for January-August 2023

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.

  


The three parallel directions of the North-South International Transport Corridor and Armenia

For obvious reasons, the formed and planned East-West transport corridors bypass the Republic of Armenia, and the only hope not to be completely cut off from all regional integration processes is participation in the North-South transport corridor.

Within the framework of this analysis, the parallel directions of the North-South international transport corridor were studied, trying to understand the level of participation of the countries of the region in it, as well as the opportunities of Armenia to be involved in the project. In particular, first the three branches of the North-South ITC were studied: Eastern, Caspian and Western, and then 3 possible directions of the western branch were considered, through the territory of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey.

The study of the transport infrastructures that have already been formed in the South Caucasus or will be completed in the near future gives an opportunity to assess the risks of Armenia's exclusion from another international project and the possibilities of overcoming them. Overcoming the transport blockade in the region is not only of economic importance for Armenia, but is also directly related to the country's security, and should be one of the priorities of our foreign policy. Full material is only available in Armenian.

  


The social-economic developments in the economy of the RA for January-July 2023

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.

  


Artsakh. the second miracle or a permanent catastrophe?

As a result of the change of power in Armenia in 2018, the Karabakh conflict settlement process underwent a turning change. The desire of the new Armenian authorities to build a settlement process from the "zero point" led to a change in the 30-year-old format of the settlement, which was mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs representing Russia, the United States and France. This led to the disruption of the principles of negotiations in force from 2007 to 2021 and the achievements recorded during this period (the negotiation scheme based on the principles of international law and the negotiation document developed on its basis). This development of events became the reason for the Azerbaijani-Turkish aggression in 2020. During this aggression, which led to catastrophic human, territorial, material, moral and psychological consequences for the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh, the principles and norms of international law were grossly violated, war crimes were committed. The practice of resolving conflicts of self-determination shows that it is in this situation that recognition processes are accelerated. Therefore, after the cessation of hostilities, the authorities of Armenia and Artsakh had to deploy appropriate work in international instances in order to document these crimes.  The necessary work would make it possible to return the settlement process to the framework of the Minsk Group, to immediately activate the mechanism provided for in the negotiation document for determining the final status of Nagorno-Karabakh, to prevent further mass crimes against the self-determined Artsakh, as happened in East Timor, South Sudan, etc. At the same time, it would deter the ongoing aggression of Azerbaijan and would become the basis for real peace. Instead, by officials from Moscow, Brussels and Washington, the Armenian authorities were involved in the Armenian-Azerbaijani meetings, which the parties consider "negotiations", but are not held under the auspices of the relevant international organization, without the participation of experienced mediators. These "negotiations", which have superseded the format, agenda, principles and objectives formulated by the Minsk Group Co-Chairs, are carried out on the basis of false "ideas" allegedly based on the Alma-Ata Declaration of 1991. But in fact, this declaration has nothing to do with international law. These "negotiations" have become platforms for political manipulation. As a result, the Republic of Armenia faced serious security challenges, and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic faced a real threat of genocide and the destruction of statehood. This is also facilitated by the "it is necessary to ensure respect for the rights and security of the residents of Nagorno-Karabakh" approach, which violates the fundamental principles and norms of international law, provides for the status of a national minority within Azerbaijan for the people of the NKR, which officials from Yerevan, Moscow, Washington and Brussels are trying to impose on Artsakh. To overcome a catastrophic situation, it is necessary to eliminate the root cause of this situation. In international relations, the Armenian authorities do not represent either the interests or the position of Artsakh, and the authorities of Artsakh have neither the determination nor the relevant knowledge to conduct appropriate policies and protect the interests of Artsakh. At the first stage of the conflict settlement process (the 90s of the last century), when the Armenian authorities also did not imagine the possibility of international recognition of Artsakh's independence, in 1998 the problem was solved by a change of power and a radical turn took place in the negotiation process. In Armenia, such real changes are not visible in the foreseeable future due to the incapacity of the opposition. The only possibility remains the resignation of the President of Artsakh A. Harutyunyan and the change of power in Artsakh in order for Artsakh to have the opportunity to independently decide its fate. The new authorities of Artsakh should become the sole representative of the country in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and the Armenian authorities should not interfere in the process, but should discuss with Azerbaijan and international partners only the issues of the delimitation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.

A necessary condition for the return of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement process to normal is also the formation of a working group consisting of highly qualified specialists under the new governing body, which should ensure the development of the professional foundations of Artsakh's foreign policy.

Negotiations with Azerbaijan are necessary, but they make sense only if two conditions are met. These negotiations should be conducted in a format formed by an international organization authorized to carry out a mediation mission within the framework of international law. The principles and norms of international law should be the basis for discussing problems and formulating solutions to them, and international organizations that have undertaken a mediation mission should be the guarantor of the implementation of agreements. The documentary basis should be a negotiation document and principles developed by representatives of the three permanent members of the UN Security Council, the co-chairs of the Minsk Group. The postulates of the position of the representatives of Artsakh should be the following

• The final status of Artsakh should be determined by the people of Artsakh on the basis of international law,

• Azerbaijan will not be held accountable for military aggression and war crimes only if the territories located within the borders of the NKAO are returned to Artsakh and the independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is recognized.

Full material is only available in Armenian.

  


On the execution report of the state budget of the RA for the first half of 2023

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․

  


Civil unmanned aerial vehicles: Exploitation without rules and new threats

Unmanned aerial vehicles are widely used in the world in various spheres of life: from military to commercial spheres.

Along with the security threats in terms of civil aviation, the use of civil unmanned aerial vehicles (C-UAVs) creates also threats due to the probability of using C-UAVs for carrying out terrorist attacks, the probability of causing damage to persons’ life, health or property as a consequence of using C-UAVs, as well as the probability of violating with C-UAVs privacy and data processing rules.

The analysis of the practice and legal framework of the Republic of Armenia shows that the potential threats caused by the C-UAVs are neglected at the state level, which is demonstrated, in particular, by the absence of state policies, strategic documents and comprehensive legal regulations aimed at reducing such threats. It is sufficient just to note that exploitation in the territory of Armenia of C-UAVs weighing up to 50 kg is essentially not regulated. This situation creates serious risks for the state.

In the light of the analysis of international practices concerning legal regulations on C-UAVs, the current paper makes a number of proposals aimed at outlining the strategic approach on the issue and reducing the threats which are caused by C-UAVs. The proposals may be used for developing strategic documents and other legal acts aimed at effective and realistic regulation and for determining practical measures to be undertaken by the state.

It is important to make sure that the approach of state institutions is based on the following perception:

  • taking into consideration the main risks created by C-UAVs, especially in the context of the situation on the RoA border and the aggression carried out by Azerbaijan against Armenia, it is an imperative for the Armenian government to take operative, proportionate and realistic measures for regulating the field at the minimum necessary level;
  • the absence of legal regulations, exploitation of C-UAVs without any rules creates serious threats for the RoA defense, national security and other sectors;
  • only realistic, feasible, proportionate legal regulations, corresponding to the aim and adjusted to the local specifics and the context, can be effective for regulating the issue.   

Full material is only available in Armenian.

  


A sharp increase in RA export, due to endogenous factors

From April 2022, an unprecedented growth in foreign trade turnover is observed in Armenia, which, however, cannot be explained only by the growth of the export potential of RA.

It is known that this growth is largely due to a significant inflow of people and capital, as well as western sanctions on the Russian Federation, which are consequences of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

The paper is devoted to a study of the structure of RA export (including re-export), to identify the main factors that led to the export growth in the period under review, as well as the impact of exogenous factors (which takes the most part of them) on economic growth in 2022.

The study analyzes the current state and development dynamics of the RA foreign trade turnover, highlighting the most significant changes that have occurred in recent years, and their likely impact on the growth of foreign trade turnover. The volume of the re-export as part of the RA export in 2022, as well as the size of its impact on economic growth, are estimated. Full material is only available in Armenian.

  


The social-economic developments in the economy of the RA for January-June 2023

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.

  


Medium-term public expenditure framework for 2024-2026

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, 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 2024-2026, 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. Full material is only available in Armenian.

  


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