Republic of Armenia
Hayastani Hanrapetut 'Yun
CAPITAL : Yerevan
FLAG : Three horizontal bands of red (top), blue and gold.
ANTHEM : Mer Hayrenik.
MONETARY UNIT : The dram (introduced 22 November 1993) is a paper currency in denominations of 10, 25, 50, 100, 200, and 500 drams. The dram ( D ) replaced the Armenian ruble and the Russian ruble ( R ). Currently D 1 =$0.0017 (or $1 = D 591.00; as of May 2003)
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : The metric system is in force.
HOLIDAYS : New Year, 1–2 January; Christmas, 6 January; Easter, 1–4 April; Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Genocide, 24 April; Peace Day, 9 May; Anniversary of Declaration of First Armenian Republic (1918), 28 May; Public Holiday, 21 September; Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Earthquake, 7 December, New Year, 31 December.
TIME : 4 PM = noon GMT.
The topography of Armenia features the high Armenian Plateau, with mountains (many peaks are above 10,000 feet), little forest land, fast flowing rivers, and the Aras River Valley, which contains good soil.
Armenia's climate ranges from subtropical to alpine-like in the mountains. The mean temperature in midsummer is 25° C (77° F ). In midwinter, the mean temperature is 0° C (32° F ). Rainfall is infrequent. The capital city receives 33 cm of rain annually (13 in), though more rainfall occurs in the mountains.
Armenia is located in what geographers call the Aral Caspian Lowland. The country has broad sandy deserts and low grassy plateaus. The region is home to European bison, snow leopards, cheetahs, and porcupines.
Independent Armenia is only a portion of historic Armenia, which at its greatest extent also included lands now in Turkey, Iran, and Azerbaijan. There are Armenian communities in these countries and also in Russia, Georgia, Lebanon, Syria, and the US. Armenia has a net migration rate of -9.0 migrants per 1,000 population as of 2000. This numbered 300,000 people, or 7.9% of the population.
A 2002 report indicates that Armenians comprise an estimated 95% of the population. Minority groups include the Azeri, Russians, and Yezidi Kurds. As of 1993, most of the Azeris had emigrated from Armenia.
The active armed forces numbered 44,610 in 2002. There were 38,900 personnel in the army, organized into five corps, one rifle brigade, and two artillery regiments. Equipment included 110 main battle tanks. The Air and Defense Aviation Forces numbered 3,160 personnel with 8 combat aircraft and 13 armed helicopters. Paramilitary forces numbered 1,000. Military expenditures for 2001 were $135 million, or 6.5% of GDP.
Fishing is limited to the Arpa River and Lake Sevan. Commercial fishing is not a significant part of the economy. The total catch in 2000 was about 1,105 tons. Carp and whitefish are the principal species.
Forests covered an estimated 12.4% of Armenia in 2000. Soviet mismanagement, the 1988 earthquake, hostilities with Azerbaijan, and fuel shortages have impaired development. Available timber is used for firewood during the harsh winters. Imports of forestry products totaled $14.4 million in 2000.
Insurance is largely controlled by government organizations inherited from the Soviet system, although private insurance companies are not unknown.
All exports are duty-free. Minor customs duties (up to 10%) are imposed on certain imports. Imports of machinery and equipment for use in manufacturing by enterprises with foreign investment are exempt from all customs duties.
Armenia has no territories or colonies.
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Federal Research Division, Library of Congress. Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia: Country Studies. Washington, D.C.: Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, 1995.
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