Hopes are running high in Armenia that the pending end of international sanctions against Iran, its southern neighbor, will advance strategic investment projects. But Armenian analysts caution that Russia, Tehran’s longtime regional rival, may foil Yerevan’s ambitions.
Five years ago, 53-year-old freelance columnist Miran Pirgiç, a resident of the eastern Turkish region of Tunceli, decided to disclose a tightly held secret — his Armenian ethnicity. Increasingly, scores of ethnic Armenians whose ancestors survived the 1915 massacre and were raised as Turks, Kurds or Alevis are choosing to do the same.
Leo Forrest is just over a month old, but already has become a potent symbol of the struggles and discrimination that disabled children endure in Armenia. Whether his story can catalyze changes in public attitudes, however, remains unclear.
With the Russian economy hitting the skids, it looks like Armenia wants to hedge its economic bets. Although Yerevan became a member of the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union in January, a senior Armenian government official told EurasiaNet.org that the country is working to complete an updated version of an EU Association Agreement that Armenian officials put on hold back in 2013.
A diamond deal that gives Armenia duty-free access to rough diamonds from Russia could offer Alrosa, the semi-government-owned Russian diamond company that provides roughly 27 percent of the world’s rough-diamond supplies, a dodge from potential European-Union sanctions, Armenian diamond-industry professionals believe.