Survace 29.800 km² about 3,4 million inhabetants Language: Armenian and a number of local languages
Telephone entry code 00374 Currency:Armenian Dram VAT non refundeble
Alcohol percentage 0,5% while driving a vehicle
Yerevan with in the background the mountain Ararat
Storing and distribution from patatoes
Import and custom
regulations for reliefgoods
What is absolutely impossible:
No meat or products containing meat
2. No milk/diary or products containing milk
3. No vis or products containing vis
4. No food whit a short expire date or an oudated expiredate, e.g. 03-08 can not be transported in august 2003, in general food should have an expire date of at least 6 months after import in the country.
5. No 2de hand refrigerators because of the very strict export rules in the EU about equipment containing CFK.
What is possible but only with an importlicense of the ministery of agriculture:
Patatoes (consumption and seed), Rice, Seeds and milkpowder with all the phyto sanitary certificates
Besides the above mentioned products almost anything
can be imported if it´s according to the following regulation:
The goods can anly be used for reliefprojects and may never be used for trading, commercial purposes or for gain.
Your receiver must custom
clear the loads by itself:
A service like Fundatia Martha in Romenia is not possible in Armenia but your receiver must custom clear the goods by itself, please bare in mind that your receiver must provide the following documents and import licenses:
1. Make the custom decleration at a local expeditor
2. custom clear the goods at the customs
3. pay for all the declaration and custom fees
If you are interrested in transportation or if you want a quotation than please fill in the Information form
ARMENIAN CIVILIZATION HAD its beginnings in the sixth century B.C. In the centuries following, the Armenians withstood invasions and nomadic migrations, creating a unique culture that blended Iranian social and political structures with Hellenic-- and later Christian--literary traditions. For two millennia, independent Armenian states existed sporadically in the region between the northeastern corner of the Mediterranean Sea and the Caucasus Mountains, until the last medieval state was destroyed in the fourteenth century. A landlocked country in modern times, Armenia was the smallest Soviet republic from 1920 until the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. The future of an independent Armenia is clouded by limited natural resources and the prospect that the military struggle to unite the Armenians of Azerbaijan's Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region with the Republic of Armenia will be a long one.
The Armenians are an ancient people who speak an Indo-European language
and have traditionally inhabited the border regions common to modern Armenia,
Iran, and Turkey. They call themselves hai
(from the name of Hayk, a legendary hero) and their country Haiastan. Their
neighbors to the north, the Georgians, call them somekhi, but most of the rest of the world follows the usage
of the ancient Greeks and refers to them as Armenians, a term derived according
to legend from the Armen tribe. Thus the Russian word is armianin,
and the Turkish is ermeni.
People first settled what is now Armenia in about 6000 B.C. The first
major state in the region was the kingdom of Urartu, which appeared around Lake
Van in the thirteenth century B.C. and reached its peak in the ninth century
B.C. Shortly after the fall of Urartu to the Assyrians, the
Indo-European-speaking proto-Armenians migrated, probably from the west, onto
the Armenian Plateau and mingled with the local people of the Hurrian
civilization, which at that time extended into Anatolia (presentday Asian
Turkey) from its center in Mesopotamia. Greek historians first mentioned the
Armenians in the mid-sixth century B.C. Ruled for many centuries by the
Persians, Armenia became a buffer state between the Greeks and Romans to the
west and the Persians and Arabs of the Middle East. It reached its greatest size
and influence under King Tigran II, also known as Tigranes or Tigran the Great
(r. 95-55 B.C.). During his reign, Armenia stretched from the Mediterranean Sea
northeast to the Mtkvari River (called the Kura in Azerbaijan) in present-day
Georgia. Tigran and his son, Artavazd II, made Armenia a center of Hellenic
culture during their reigns.
By 30 B.C., Rome conquered the Armenian Empire, and for the next 200
years Armenia often was a pawn of the Romans in campaigns against their Central
Asian enemies, the Parthians. However, a new dynasty, the Arsacids, took power
in Armenia in A.D. 53 under the Parthian king, Tiridates I, who defeated Roman
forces in A.D. 62. Rome's Emperor Nero then conciliated the Parthians by
personally crowning Tiridates king of Armenia. For much of its subsequent
history, Armenia was not united under a single sovereign but was usually divided
between empires and among local Armenian rulers
Early in the fifth century A.D., Saint Mesrop, also known as Mashtots, devised an alphabet for the Armenian language, and religious and historical works began to appear as part of the effort to consolidate the influence of Christianity. For the next two centuries, political unrest paralleled the exceptional development of literary and religious life that became known as the first golden age of Armenia. In several administrative forms, Armenia remained part of the Byzantine Empire until the midseventh century. In A.D. 653, the empire, finding the region difficult to govern, ceded Armenia to the Arabs. In A.D. 806, the Arabs established the noble Bagratid family as governors, and later kings, of a semiautonomous Armenian state.
The Sevan lake in Armenia / The Cathedral of Echmiadzin
The Mamluks controlled Cilician Armenia until the Ottoman Turks conquered
the region in the sixteenth century. Meanwhile, the Ottoman Turks and the
Persians divided Caucasian Armenia to the northeast between the sixteenth and
eighteenth centuries. The Persians dominated the area of modern Armenia, around
Lake Sevan and the city of Erevan. From the fifteenth century until the early
twentieth century, most Armenians were ruled by the Ottoman Turks through the
millet (see Glossary) system, which recognized the ecclesiastical authority of
the Armenian Apostolic Church over the Armenian people.
In the mid-nineteenth century, a major movement toward centralization and
reform, called the Tanzimat, swept through the Ottoman Empire, whose authority
had been eroded by corruption and delegation of control to local fiefdoms.
Armenian subjects benefited somewhat from these reforms; for instance, in 1863 a
special Armenian constitution was granted. When the reform movement was ended in
the 1870s by reactionary factions, however, Ottoman policy toward subject
nationalities became less tolerant, and the situation of the Armenians in the
empire began to deteriorate rapidly.
Lacking faith in reform within the empire, Armenian leaders began to
appeal to the European powers for assistance. In 1878 Armenian delegates
appeared at the Congress of Berlin, where the European powers were negotiating
the disposition of Ottoman territories. Although Armenian requests for European
protection went largely unanswered in Berlin, the "Armenian question"
became a point of contention in the complex European diplomacy of the late
nineteenth century, with Russia and Britain acting as the chief sponsors of
Armenian interests on various issues.
The Armenian independence movement began as agitation on behalf of
liberal democracy by writers, journalists, and teachers. But by the last decade
of the nineteenth century, moderate nationalist intellectuals had been pushed
aside by younger, more radical socialists. Armenian revolutionary parties,
founded in the early 1890s in Russia and Europe, sent their cadres to organize
in Turkey. Because of the self-destruction of one major party, the Social
Democratic Hnchaks, and the relative isolation of the liberals and the
"internationalist" Social Democrats in the cities of Transcaucasia,
the more nationalist of the socialist parties, the Armenian Revolutionary
Federation (ARF, also known as the Dashnak, a shortened form of its Armenian
name), emerged by the early twentieth century as the only real contender for
Armenian loyalties. The ARF favored Armenian autonomy in both the Russian and
the Ottoman empires rather than full independence for an Armenia in which
Russian- and Ottomanheld components would be unified.
In the last decades of the nineteenth century, the Armenians' tendency
toward Europeanization antagonized Turkish officials and encouraged their view
that Armenians were a foreign, subversive element in the sultan's realm. By 1890
the rapid growth of the Kurdish population in Anatolia, combined with the
immigration of Muslims from the Balkans and the Caucasus, had made the Armenian
population of Anatolia an increasingly endangered minority. In 1895 Ottoman
suspicion of the westernized Armenian population led to the massacre of 300,000
Armenians by special order of the Ottoman government.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Russian border, Armenian churches and
schools were closed and church property was confiscated in 1903. Tatars
massacred Armenians in several towns and cities in 1905, and fifty-two Armenian
nationalist leaders in Russia were tried en masse for underground activities in
In the early stages of World War I, in 1915 Russian armies advanced on
Turkey from the north and the British attempted an invasion from the
Mediterranean. Citing the threat of internal rebellion, the Ottoman government
ordered large-scale roundups, deportations, and systematic torture and murder of
Armenians beginning in the spring of 1915. Estimates vary from 600,000 to 2
million deaths out of the prewar population of about 3 million Armenians. By
1917 fewer than 200,000 Armenians remained in Turkey.
Whatever the exact dimensions of the genocide, Armenians suffered a
demographic disaster that shifted the center of the Armenian population from the
heartland of historical Armenia to the relatively safer eastern regions held by
the Russians. Tens of thousands of refugees fled to the Caucasus with the
retreating Russian armies, and the cities of Baku and Tbilisi filled with
Armenians from Turkey. Ethnic tensions rose in Transcaucasia as the new
immigrants added to the pressures on the limited resources of the collapsing
Russian Empire. )
Folk dancers celebrating Armenian Independence Day (May 28, 1918) in Erevan
Courtesy Azarian Churukian
Between 1915 and 1917, Russia occupied virtually the entire Armenian part
of the Ottoman Empire. Then in October 1917, the Bolshevik victory in Russia
ended that country's involvement in World War I, and Russian troops left the
Caucasus. In the vacuum that remained, the Armenians first joined a
Transcaucasian federation with Azerbaijan and Georgia, both of which, however,
soon proved to be unreliable partners. The danger posed by the territorial
ambitions of the Ottoman Turks and the Azerbaijanis finally united the Caucasian
Armenian population in support of the ARF program for autonomy. In May 1918, an
independent Armenian republic was declared; its armies continued to fight on the
Allied side south of the Caucasus until the Ottoman Empire surrendered in
October 1918. The independent republic endured from May 1918 to December 1920.
In the new government, ARF leaders R.I. Kachazuni and A.I. Khatisian became
prime minister and foreign minister, respectively.
The Republic of Armenia included the northeastern part of present-day
eastern Turkey, west along the Black Sea coast past Trabzon and southwest past
Lake Van. But Armenia's precarious independence was threatened from within by
the terrible economic conditions that followed the war in the former Ottoman
Empire and, by 1920, by the territorial ambitions of Soviet Russia and the
nationalist Turks under Kemal Atatürk. Atatürk had rehabilitated Turkey
rapidly under a new democratic system, but the ruling party still hoped to
create a larger state by taking territory in western Armenia from which
Armenians had been driven. In defending its independence, the Republic of
Armenia waited in vain, however, for the material and military aid promised at
the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. The Allies' memories of the 1915 massacre
faded as war weariness and isolationism dominated their foreign policy.
In agreeing to the 1920 Treaty of Sèvres, the World War I Allies and
Turkey recognized Armenian independence; as part of the treaty, Armenia received
some disputed territory in what had been the Ottoman Empire. However, most of
western Armenia remained in Turkish hands. Eastern Armenia, ravaged by warfare,
migration, and disease, had an Armenian population of only 720,000 by 1920.
Caught between the advancing Turks and the Red Army, which had already occupied
neighboring Azerbaijan, in November 1920 the ARF government made a political
agreement with the communists to enter a coalition government. The Treaty of
Aleksandropol', signed by this government with Turkey, returned Armenia's
northern Kars District to Russia and repudiated the existence of Armenian
populations in newly expanded Turkey.
Stalin's enforced social and economic engineering improved literacy and education and built communications and industrial infrastructures where virtually none had existed in tsarist times. As they emerged from the Stalin era in the 1950s, Armenians were more mobile, better educated, and ready to benefit from the less repressive policies of Stalin's successor, Nikita S. Khrushchev (in power 1953-64). The years of industrialization had promoted an upward social mobility through which peasants became workers; workers became foremen or managers; and managers became party and state officials.
Even as Armenia continued its transformation from a basically agrarian
nation to an industrial, urban society--by the early 1980s, only a third of
Armenians lived in the countryside--the ruling elite remained largely unchanged.
As a result, corruption and favoritism spread, and an illegal "second
economy" of black markets and bribery flourished. In 1974 Moscow sent a
young engineer, Karen Demirchian, to Erevan to clean up the old party apparatus,
but the new party chief soon accommodated himself to the corrupt political
system he had inherited.
Control of Nagorno-Karabakh (the conventional geographic term is based on
the Russian for the phrase "mountainous Karabakh") had been contested
by the briefly independent republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan after World War
I. In 1924 the Soviet government designated the region an autonomous region
under Azerbaijani jurisdiction within the TSFSR. At the time, 94.4 percent of
the estimated 131,500 people in the district were Armenian. Between 1923 and
1979, the Armenian population of the enclave dropped by about 1,000, comprising
only about 76 percent of the population by the end of the period. In the same
period, the Azerbaijani population quintupled to 37,000, or nearly 24 percent of
the region's population. Armenians feared that their demographic decline in
Nagorno-Karabakh would replicate the fate of another historically Armenian
region, Nakhichevan, which the Soviet Union had designated an autonomous
republic under Azerbaijani administration in 1924. In Nakhichevan the number of
Armenians had declined from about 15,600 (15 percent of the total) in 1926 to
about 3,000 (1.4 percent of the total) in 1979, while in the same period
immigration and a higher birth rate had increased the Azerbaijani population
from about 85,400 (85 percent) to 230,000, or nearly 96 percent of the total.
In addition to fearing the loss of their numerical superiority, Armenians
in Nagorno-Karabakh resented restrictions on the development of the Armenian
language and culture in the region. Although the Armenians generally lived
better than Azerbaijanis in neighboring districts, their standard of living was
not as high as that of their countrymen in Armenia. Hostile to the Azerbaijanis,
whom they blamed for their social and cultural problems, the vast majority of
Karabakh Armenians preferred to learn Russian rather than Azerbaijani, the
language of Azerbaijan. As early as the 1960s, clashes occurred between the
Karabakh Armenians and the Azerbaijanis, and Armenian intellectuals petitioned
Moscow for redress of their situation in Nagorno-Karabakh. )
A series of escalating attacks and reprisals between the two sides began
in early 1988. Taking advantage of the greater freedom introduced by the
glasnost(see Glossary) and perestroika(see Glossary) policies of Soviet leader
Mikhail S. Gorbachev (in power 1985-91) in the late 1980s, Armenians held mass
demonstrations in favor of uniting NagornoKarabakh with Armenia. In response to
rumored Armenian demands, Azerbaijanis began fleeing the region. A two-day
rampage in the industrial town of Sumgait, northwest of Baku, resulted in the
deaths of more than 100 Armenians. During 1988, while Moscow hesitated to take
decisive action, Armenians grew increasingly disillusioned with Gorbachev's
programs, and Azerbaijanis sought to protect their interests by organizing a
powerful anti-Armenian nationalist movement.
Memorial to Azerbaijani victims of 1990 Russian invasion, Baku
Gorbachev's 1989 proposal for enhanced autonomy for NagornoKarabakh
within Azerbaijan satisfied neither Armenians nor Azerbaijanis, and a long and
inconclusive conflict erupted between the two peoples. In September 1989,
Azerbaijan began an economic blockade of Armenia's vital fuel and supply lines
through its territory, which until that time had carried about 90 percent of
Armenia's imports from the other Soviet republics. In June 1989, numerous
unofficial nationalist organizations joined together to form the Armenian
Pannational Movement (APM), to which the Armenian government granted official
Although the declarations and counter declarations of mid1989 were
ultimately declared invalid by the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, and
although both Armenia and Azerbaijan continued to be governed by communist
parties, neither republic was willing to obey Moscow's directives on the
Karabakh issue. In November 1989, in frustration at its inability to bring the
parties together, the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union abolished the Special
Administrative Committee and returned direct control of Karabakh to Azerbaijan.
Rejecting Moscow's decision, the Armenian Supreme Soviet declared Karabakh a
part of Armenia in December 1989.
After more than two years of the Karabakh conflict, Armenia had gone from
being one of the most loyal Soviet republics to complete loss of confidence in
Moscow. Gorbachev's unwillingness to grant Karabakh to Armenia and his failure
to end the blockade convinced Armenians that the Kremlin considered it
politically advantageous to back the more numerous Muslims. Even the invasion of
Azerbaijan by Soviet troops in January 1990, ostensibly to stop pogroms against
Armenians in Baku, failed to dampen the growing anti-Soviet mood among Armenians
With the APM in power and the communists in opposition, the transition
from Soviet-style government to an independent democratic state began in
earnest. The new government faced a nearly complete collapse of order in the
republic. Buildings were seized by armed men in Erevan, and several independent
militia groups operated in Erevan as well as on the Azerbaijani frontier.
Frustrated by the Azerbaijani blockade and determined to defend their republic
and Karabakh, members of Armenia's Fidain (whose name was taken from an Arabic
term literally meaning "one who sacrifices himself" and recalling the
Armenian freedom fighters of the turn of the century) raided arsenals and police
stations to arm themselves for the coming battles. In July Gorbachev demanded
immediate disarmament of the Armenian militias and threatened military
intervention if they did not comply. In response, Ter-Petrosian's government
itself disarmed the independent militias and restored order in Erevan.
On August 23, 1990, Armenia formally declared its intention to become
sovereign and independent, with Nagorno-Karabakh an integral part of what now
would be known as the Republic of Armenia rather than the Armenian Soviet
Socialist Republic. The Armenian nation was defined broadly to include not only
those living in the territory of the republic but also the worldwide Armenian émigré
population as well.
In redefining Armenian national interests, the government
acknowledged--but temporarily put aside--the painful question of Armenian
genocide, having in mind improved relations with traditional enemies Turkey and
Iran. This policy prompted strong criticism from extreme nationalist groups that
wanted to recover territory lost to Turkey in World War I. The CPA was also
In August 1991, when a self-proclaimed emergency committee attempted to
overthrow Gorbachev and take control in Moscow, the Armenian government refused
to sanction its actions. Fearing an extension of the Soviet incursion of May,
Ter-Petrosian approached the Moscow coup very cautiously. The republic's Defense
Committee secretly resolved to have the Armenian armed forces go underground and
wage guerrilla warfare. Ter-Petrosian, who believed that Gorbachev's personal
blunders, indecisiveness, and concessions to conservative communists were to
blame for the coup, was overjoyed when the conservatives were defeated. But the
coup itself convinced Armenians of the need to move out of the Soviet Union as
rapidly as possible, and it validated TerPetrosian 's refusal to participate in
the revival of the Soviet Union advocated by Gorbachev.
Within two months of the coup, Armenians went to the polls twice. In
September 1991, over 99 percent of voters approved the republic's commitment to
independence. The immediate aftermath of that vote was the Armenian Supreme
Soviet's declaration of full independence, on September 23, in disregard of the
constitution's restraints on secession. Then in October, Ter-Petrosian was
elected overwhelmingly as president of the republic. He now had a popular
mandate to carry out his vision of Armenian independence and self-sufficiency.
As political changes occurred within the republic, armed conflict
continued in Nagorno-Karabakh during 1991. Armenia officially denied supporting
the "Nagorno-Karabakh defense forces" that were pushing Azerbaijani
forces out of the region; Armenia also accused the Soviet Union of supporting
Azerbaijan as punishment for Armenia's failure to sign Gorbachev's new Union
Treaty. In turn, Azerbaijan called Armenia an aggressor state whose national
policy included annexation of Azerbaijani territory.
While economic and political conditions deteriorated within Armenia, the
military position of the Armenians in the Karabakh struggle improved
dramatically. Various peace negotiations sponsored by Iran, Russia, Turkey, and
a nine-nation group from the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe ( CSCE--see
Glossary) had begun in 1991 and sporadically had yielded cease-fires that were
violated almost immediately. In the spring of 1992, while the Azerbaijani
communists and the nationalist Azerbaijani Popular Front fought for control in
Baku, Karabakh Armenian forces occupied most of Nagorno-Karabakh, took the old
capital, Shusha, and drove a corridor through the Kurdish area around Lachin to
link Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia. But the immediate result of this victory was
the collapse of Russian-sponsored peace negotiations with Azerbaijan and the
continuation of the war.
Beginning a counteroffensive in early summer, the Azerbaijanis recaptured
some territory and created thousands of new refugees by expelling Armenians from
the villages they took. In midsummer this new phase of the conflict stimulated a
CSCEsponsored peace conference, but Armenia stymied progress by demanding for
the first time that Nagorno-Karabakh be entirely separate from Azerbaijan.
By the end of 1992, the sides were bogged down in a bloody stalemate.
After clearing Azerbaijani forces from NagornoKarabakh and the territory between
Karabakh and Armenia, Armenian troops also advanced deep into Azerbaijan
proper--a move that brought condemnation from the United Nations (UN) Security
Council and panic in Iran, on whose borders Armenian troops had arrived. In the
first half of 1993, the Karabakh Armenians gained more Azerbaijani territory,
against disorganized opposition. Azerbaijani resistance was weakened by the
confusion surrounding a military coup that toppled the APF government in Baku
and returned former communist party boss Heydar Aliyev to power.
The coup reinvigorated Russian efforts to negotiate a peace under the complex terms of the three parties to the conflict: the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan, and the increasingly independent and assertive Karabakh Armenians. CSCE peace proposals were uniformly rejected during this period. Although Russia seemed poised for a triumph of crisis diplomacy on its borders, constant negotiations in the second half of 1993 produced only intermittent cease-fires. At the end of 1993, the Karabakh Armenians were able to negotiate with the presidents of Azerbaijan and Russia from a position of power: they retained full control of Nagorno-Karabakh and substantial parts of Azerbaijan proper.