Armenia profile - Timeline 17405415

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A chronology of key events:

1915 - 1917 - Between 600,000 and 1.5 million Armenians are massacred or deported from their homeland in Anatolia to present-day Syria. The Ottoman government had suspected them of harbouring pro-Russian sympathies.

1916 - Armenian regions of the Ottoman Empire fall to the Russian army.

1918 - Soviet Union, as successor to Russia, cedes all of Ottoman Armenia and part of Russian Armenia to the now moribund Ottoman Empire.

1918 - Independent Armenia emerges from defeat of Ottoman Empire in World War I.

1920 - Armenia is invaded by Turkey and Bolshevik Russia. An agreement with the Bolsheviks leads to Armenia proclaiming itself a socialist republic.

1922 - Armenia is incorporated into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, USSR.

1930s - Armenians suffer under Stalin's purges, but the country also experiences industrial development.

The modern period

1988 - Encouraged by the new policy of openness ("glasnost"), Armenians begin to campaign for Nagorno-Karabakh, a region with a predominantly Armenian population in the neighbouring Soviet republic of Azerbaijan, to be united with Armenia.

1988 December - Earthquake in northern Armenia kills 25,000 and leaves hundreds of thousands homeless. The relief effort is slow and chaotic.

Metsamor nuclear plant closed after earthquake highlights safety concerns.

1989 - Conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh begins. It lasts intermittently for five years. Many Azeri citizens are forced to flee their homes.

1990 - Armenian nationalists win parliamentary elections. Independence is declared, but ignored by Moscow.

1991 September - A referendum sees 94% vote for secession from the Soviet Union.

1991 October - Levon Ter-Petrosian elected president.

1991 December - Armenia joins the Commonwealth of Independent States, the successor to the Soviet Union.

Internal unrest

1992 - Armenia joins the United Nations. A trade and energy embargo is imposed by Azerbaijan. The conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh continues.

1994 - Demonstrations in Yerevan over shortages of food and energy. A Russian-brokered ceasefire ends the Nagorno-Karabakh fighting. The region is left a self-proclaimed republic, with ethnic Armenian forces in control of Azerbaijani territory surrounding Karabakh.

1995 - The government launches privatisation and price liberalisation programme. Parliamentary elections return the ruling party. The powers of the president are widened.

1996 - Mr Ter-Petrosian is re-elected president. Tanks are deployed on the streets of Yerevan to quell protests over alleged electoral fraud.

1998 - President Ter-Petrosian resigns over opposition to his efforts to find a compromise with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh. Nationalist Robert Kocharyan is elected president.

1999 - Gunmen open fire in the Armenian parliament. The prime minister, parliamentary speaker and six other officials are killed. The gunmen accuse the government of leading Armenia into political and economic ruin.

2001 January - Armenia becomes a full member of Council of Europe.

France ignores Turkish objections and introduces a law stating that Ottoman Turks committed genocide against Armenians in 1915.

Robert Kocharyan re-elected

2003 March - President Robert Kocharyan wins further term in second round of presidential elections. Election monitors complain of ballot-stuffing.

2003 May - European observers find parliamentary elections in which pro-presidential candidates win majority of seats fall short of international standards.

2007 February - Parliament adopts bill allowing dual citizenship, paving the way for naturalisation of Armenia's massive foreign diaspora estimated at around 8 million.

2007 March - Prime Minister Andranik Markaryan dies suddenly of a heart attack. He is replaced by Serzh Sargsyan.

2007 May - Republican Party wins almost 33% of the vote in parliamentary polls. European observers say the elections generally meet international standards.

Serzh Sargsyan elected

2008 February - Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan wins presidential elections. Thousands of opposition supporters take to the streets to protest at the result.

2008 March - Three-week state of emergency declared. Police disperse Yerevan protests amid arrests and accusations of brutality. Parliament passes law restricting public gatherings.

2008 September - Turkish President Abdullah Gul visits - the first time a Turkish leader has set foot in Armenia.

Rapprochement with Turkey

2009 October - The governments of Turkey and Armenia agree to normalise relations at a meeting in Switzerland, paving the way for moves to establish diplomatic ties and reopen the border. Opposition protesters accuse government of failing to raise the genocide question.

Image source, Carlson
Image caption,
Armenia is famed for its ancient churches

2010 April - Parliament suspends ratification of accord normalising relations with Turkey after Yerevan accuses Ankara of imposing conditions, in particular by its insistence that Armenia resolve its dispute with Azerbaijan first.

2010 October - Armenia and Azerbaijan agree on a Russian-brokered deal to exchange prisoners captured during Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

2011 October - During a visit to Armenia, French President Nicolas Sarkozy urges Turkey to accept responsibility for the genocide of more than one million Armenians during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

2012 January - The French Senate approves a bill making it a crime to deny genocide was committed by Ottoman Turks against Armenians during World War I. Armenia dubs the vote "historic". Turkey warns of retaliatory measures.

2012 May - Governing Republican Party wins a majority of seats in parliamentary elections, polling 44% of the vote, with its former coalition partner the Prosperous Armenia party second on about 30%. Independent observers note minor violations.

Sargsyan's second term

2013 February - Serzh Sargsyan wins a second term as president, with official results giving him nearly 59% of the vote. His nearest rival rejects the outcome.

2013 September - European Union asks the government to clarify its decision to join a Russian-led customs union, which derails a EU plan to conclude an association agreement with Armenia.

2014 November - Tensions rise over Nagorno-Karabakh after Azerbaijani forces shoot down an Armenian military helicopter, killing its three-member crew.

2015 February - President Serzh Sargsyan withdraws the landmark 2009 agreement with Turkey to restore diplomatic ties from parliament, citing an absence of political will on the Turkish side.

2015 April - Turkey recalls its envoy to the Vatican after Pope Francis describes the mass killing of Armenians under Ottoman rule during the First World War as genocide. President Serzh Sargsyan welcomes his comments.

2015 December - Voters in a referendum on constitutional reform approve plans to make Armenia a parliamentary republic in 2018

2016 June - German parliament adopts resolution declaring as genocide the killing of Armenians by Turkish forces during the First World War.

2016 December - Clashes break out on the border with Azerbaijan, killing four Armenian troops and one Azeri soldier.

'Velvet Revolution'

2017 April - Parliamentary polls. European observers and the opposition criticise alleged voting irregularities.

2018 April - President Serzh Sargsyan briefly assumes the premiership, which outranks the presidency in terms of political power after Armenia became a parliamentary republic in March, but street protests force him to resign. Opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan takes over.

2018 December - Nikol Pashinyan calls a snap election to remove the Republican Party majority in parliament, and his My Step Alliance wins an overwhelming majority. The Republicans win no seats.

2020 September-November - Azerbaijani gains in an offensive against Nagorno-Karabakh lead to protests against Mr Pashinyan for agreeing to a Russian-brokered ceasefire.