YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — Armenia is being warned that it faces “a new wave of emigration” unless the government does more to improve the socioeconomic situation and strengthen the rule of law.
The warning came in a report by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) presented this week.
The report — drawn up by local migration experts — called for wide-ranging government measures, including democratic reform, that would “considerably reduce the motivation of Armenia’s population to leave the country.”
At least 700,000 Armenians, or about one-quarter of the country’s population, are believed to have emigrated to Russia and other countries since the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the resulting turmoil in the region.
The outflow slowed significantly in the 1990s as the Armenian economy began recovering from its post-Soviet slump.
“However, despite the aforementioned process, the external migration situation in Armenia still remains alarming,” the report
says. “Moreover, there are certain factors that give reason to assume that a new, rather massive wave of emigration may emerge.”