Armenia, Relations with

   Armenia, formerly the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic from 1936 until its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, was incorporated into the Russian empire in the early 19th century. Armenia is a small, transcontinental country in the southern Caucasus; it borders Turkey, Georgia, Iran, and Azerbaijan. With no contiguous border with the Russian Federation, a shared faith in Eastern Orthodoxy, and only a nominal ethnic Russian population, Armenia has been called “Russia’s only ally in the south” by Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov.
   Both Russia and Armenia are founding members of the Russianbacked Collective Security Treaty Organization. Russia’s 102nd Military Base is located in Gyumri, Armenia, and Armenia forms part of the air defense perimeter of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Armenian border guards work in conjunction with the Federal Security Service (FSB) and regular Russian military personnel guard the CIS borders with Turkey and Iran. Russia has long supported the Armenian people against their historical enemy, the Turks.
   During World War I, Ottoman Armenian support for the Romanov Empire was a catalyst for the Armenian Genocide of 1915; as the ethnic cleansing turned violent, tsarist Russia functioned as a refuge for tens of thousands of ethnic Armenians. Moscow’s support for a nominally independent Armenian republic within the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in the 1930s was welcomed by the worldwide Armenian diaspora, despite totalitarian controls on the economy and society.
   In the waning days of the Soviet Union, Moscow further ingratiated itself with the Armenian authorities and the community abroad by backing the Communist government and later independent Armenia against neighboring Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh War (1988–1994). During the conflict, ethnic Armenian forces in the self-declared Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, aided by the Armenian government and Russian mercenaries, were able to wrest control of the region away from Azerbaijan and establish the Lachin Corridor to connect the region to Armenia proper. In 1994, the Russians brokered an end to formal hostilities. In the years after the conflict was frozen, Russia secretly provided arms and other military supplies to Armenia. In 1997, Boris Yeltsin and Levon Ter-Petrosyan signed a comprehensive “Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance,” deepening the country’s dependence on Russia.
   From the mid-1990s onward, Armenia faced a crippling AzeriTurkish blockade on its eastern and western borders. As a consequence, Armenia’s economy, and particularly its energy sector, is dominated by transnational Russian interests, and in particular, Gazprom. Russia also controls the telecommunications and railway sectors. Remittances from the large number of Armenian guest workers in Russia are also a vital part of the country’s economy. During the second administration of Vladimir Putin, Russia undertook a modest realignment in the southern Caucasus, placing a greater emphasis on Azerbaijan, much to the dismay of Armenian policymakers. In this new environment, Putin put pressure on Armenian president Robert Kocharyan and Azerbaijan’s head of state, Ilham Aliyev, to resolve the crisis; however, no final solution was agreed. Moscow’s rapprochement with Baku brought other changes in the region as well. Yerevan is particularly distressed over the construction of the Olya-Astara-Qazvin rail line connecting Russia to Iran via Azerbaijan, thus bypassing Armenia altogether. Armenia has compensated by expanding its diplomatic and trade links with the United States and Iran. Despite such efforts, RussianArmenian relations were reaffirmed by the current president Serzh Sargsyan, who quickly shored up his relationship with Moscow in the wake of the disputed 2008 Armenian presidential elections and their violent aftermath. However, the 2008 South Ossetian War has severely complicated Armenia’s diplomatic position, since it is so closely tied to Russia, but dependent on neighboring Georgia for international trade, as nearly three-quarters of its imports and exports pass through the Black Sea country.

Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. . 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Azerbaijan, Relations with —    Azerbaijan, a Caspian country in the southern Caucasus, was incorporated into the Russian Empire during the early 1820s through the Treaties of Gulistan and Turkmenchay with Persia. The discovery of petroleum in the 1870s resulted in an… …   Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation

  • Turkey, Relations with —    Russo Turkish relations were forged on mutual hostility and civilizational confrontation. From the 16th century onward, the Ottoman and Romanov empires engaged in no less than a dozen wars, including World War I (1914–1918), which ultimately… …   Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation

  • Roman relations with the Armenians — Contacts between the Italian peninsula and the Armenian Highland go back to the Iron Age when the Etruscan civilization traded with the Kingdom of Urartu by way of Phrygia and Ancient Greece. Urartian bronzes, bull headed cauldrons and pottery… …   Wikipedia

  • Dates of establishment of diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China — Main article: Foreign relations of the People s Republic of China Since its founding in 1949, the People s Republic of China (PRC) has had a diplomatic tug of war with its rival in Taiwan, the Republic of China (ROC). Throughout the Cold War,… …   Wikipedia

  • Georgia, Republic of, Relations with —    Georgia, one of the oldest Christian nations in the world, was incorporated into the Romanov Empire at the beginning of the 19th century. During the Russian Civil War, Georgia declared itself an independent democratic republic under Menshevik… …   Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation

  • Roman relations with the Parthians and Sassanids — Relations during the RepublicThe first direct contact between the Republic and the Parthians was c.96BC, when Lucius Cornelius Sulla, while proconsul in Cilicia, met the Parthian ambassador Orobazus. Plutarch reports that he managed to take the… …   Wikipedia

  • European Union, Relations with —    In the early days of the Cold War, the United States encouraged its allies on the Continent to enter into an economic cooperation regime in an effort to prevent a future Franco German war; Washington used its Marshall Plan funds and created… …   Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation

  • Armenia — • A mountainous region of Western Asia occupying a somewhat indefinite area to the southeast of the Black Sea Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Armenia     Armenia      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Armenia — /ahr mee nee euh, meen yeuh/; for 3 also Sp. /ahrdd me nyah/, n. 1. an ancient country in W Asia: now divided between Armenia, Turkey, and Iran. 2. Also called, Armenian Republic. a republic in Transcaucasia, S of Georgia and W of Azerbaijan.… …   Universalium

  • Armenia–Turkey relations — There are currently no formal diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey. While Turkey recognized the state of Armenia soon after Armenia s independence, it refusedFact|date=October 2007 for various reasons to establish formal diplomatic… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.