Natural resources, energy and environment
Armenia has large deposits of molybdenum, an
extremely heat resistant metal used in alloys. The
country also has significant reserves of copper and
gold, mineral salts and lime, marble and granite. There
is also some coal, but no mining has started.
From being a rather insignificant part of the
economy, mining has grown in importance since the turn
of the millennium, with the help of Russian and Western
Major exports by Armenia with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.
At the International Energy Council (IEA), which is
affiliated with the OECD, statistics for Armenia on
energy production, consumption, imports and emissions
and greenhouse gases in 1990–2016 show very similar
curves: steep falls in the years following the collapse
of the Soviet Union, then a slow but steady increase.
For its energy supply, Armenia is highly dependent on
imports from other former Soviet republics, today mainly
Russia. When the oil supplies from Azerbaijan were cut
by 1989 (compare Modern History), Armenia suffered a
severe and protracted energy crisis. Even ten years
later, the millionth city of Yerevan could not afford to
have the streets lit at night. Armenia imports oil and
gas from Russia via pipelines through Georgia.
Abbreviationfinder: A popular acronym site in the world covering abbreviation for each country. For example, AM stands for Armenia. Visit itypeusa for more information about Armenia.
When Russian gas supplier Gazprom raised its prices
sharply in 2006, Armenia began to look for alternatives,
setting the hope for Iran. From there they have since
received a certain amount of their gas, but despite an
agreement on a new oil pipeline from Iran, the
construction has not started, partly because of concerns
that Armenia will suffer Western sanctions against Iran
due to the Iranian nuclear program. The uncertainty has
also hit the plans to build two large hydropower plants
near the common border with Iranian assistance.
An agreement signed in December 2013, under
opposition from the opposition, gave Gazprom a monopoly
on gas imports to Armenia. A jointly owned gas company
then completely went into Russian ownership. In 2019
Russia raised the gas price, which caused annoyance in
Hydropower is Armenia's most important source of
energy - mainly from Lake Sevan but also from rivers in
the mountains. In recent years, hydropower has increased
its share of electricity generation. However,
heavy-handed exploitation of water resources during the
Soviet era (1920 - 1991) for electricity production and
irrigation led to problems with pollution and reduced
Most of Armenia's electricity is produced today in
five major plants: two thermal power plants fired with
Russian gas, two hydroelectric power stations and the
Soviet-built nuclear power plant Metsamor.
Metsamor was built in 1976, four miles outside
Yerevan and in the midst of a volcanic fault crack, and
has been designated the world's most dangerous nuclear
power plant. It was closed after the 1988 earthquake,
but in 1995 the operation was resumed at a reactor,
after some rebuilding.
The nuclear power plant produces more than 30 percent
of Armenia's electricity. Both the EU and the US have
invested funds in improving safety at Metsamor. The EU
also made contributions to develop other electricity
generation, in the promise that Metsamor would be
closed, but the closure has been postponed step by step.
Production will continue at least until a planned new
nuclear power plant at the same site is put into
operation, which is believed to be possible around 2026.
Parliament approved a law amendment banning plastic
bags in Armenian stores by 2022.
The World Wildlife Fund's branch in Armenia has been
running a program to protect the leopard since 2002.
Until the 1980s, there were plenty of leopards in the
country, but they were hunted hard. In 2020, WWF
estimated that there were ten leopards left. The brown
bear and the native mufflon sheep are also among species
that are red listed and threatened.
FACTS - ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Energy use per person
984 kilos of oil equivalent (2014)
Electricity consumption per person
1900 kilowatt hours, kWh (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions in total
5 530 thousand tonnes (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant
1.9 tons (2014)
The share of energy from renewable sources
15.8 percent (2015)
Hacker attacks threaten to lead to war
The tone is piqued in the conflict with Azerbaijan. President Sargsyan says a
new war cannot be ruled out. Several Azerbaijan internet sites are being harmed
by Armenian "hackers", whereupon President Sargsyan's official website is also
hacked, probably by Azerbaijanis. The Russian government stands on Armenian
side, while the EU urges both sides to avoid escalating the conflict.
Conflict with Hungary
Armenia breaks diplomatic relations with Hungary. The reason is that an
Azerbaijani soldier, sentenced to life imprisonment in Hungary for the 2004
murder of an Armenian soldier, was transferred to Azerbaijan where he was
pardoned and promoted immediately after returning home. The two soldiers had
been on a NATO-led course in Hungary when the Azerbaijan killed its Armenian
colleague with an ax. The Armenian government accuses the Hungarian authorities
of making a gross mistake when they trusted Azerbaijan's promises that the
punishment would be respected. The government of Yerevan also sends letters of
protest to the countries of the OSCE so-called Minsk Group - which is in vain
mediated by the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict - and the US government demands a
declaration from Hungary.
Soldiers are killed in border fighting
Border battles with Azerbaijan erupt on a few occasions and three Armenian
soldiers are killed. Both sides blame the violence on the fact that forces from
the other side have tried to cross the border. Struggles also occur in
Nagorno-Karabakh where an Armenian is killed.
Own majority for the ruling party
In the election, the Republican Party gets its own majority with 70 out of
131 seats. The second largest is, as before, a successful Armenia. The Armenian
National Congress, formed in 2008 by former President Levon Ter-Petrosyan,
passes the seven percent barrier. The parties Dasjnak, the Rule of Law and the
Cultural Heritage also manage to remain in Parliament. The choice goes quietly,
but there are many complaints about irregularities.
Try to avoid election fraud
Ahead of the impending parliamentary election, several opposition parties and
the smaller government party A successful Armenia include an agreement to work
together to ensure that the election is a fair one this time. An offer by
President Sargsyan's Republican Party for an alternative multi-party group with
the same purpose wins no hearing. The Passport Police report that approximately
2,000 deceased citizens have been removed from the voting booths in an attempt
to reduce the election fraud.