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Armenia expected to extend state of emergency


Armenia expected to extend state of emergency

An Armenian armed police vehicle enforces a lockdown in March in Yerevan
Photo: TASS

Armenia plans to extend its state of emergency that was declared in mid-March and originally scheduled to end today.

Despite cautious optimism about the pandemic’s stabilisation, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has argued that the situation remains sufficiently critical to warrant an extension of the lockdown.

As Armenia continues to struggle with the domestic outbreak, Georgia has announced plans to send medical aid that will likely include personnel, ventilators and tests. Armenian-Georgian relations—historically functional but never particularly close—have been hampered by Georgia’s alliance with Azerbaijan, Armenia’s economic pivot towards Russia and conflicting stances on regional separatist conflict. Armenia, in pursuance of diplomatic diversification, recently sought to reinvigorate ties with Georgia via high-level visits in March.

Official Armenian suggestions that Georgia may be underreporting COVID-19 statistics have threatened to reverse the small gains made in March. Georgia’s offer of aid suggests that the two countries will move beyond recent tensions and cautiously resume efforts to boost bilateral cooperation. If Armenian-Georgian relations strengthen, Armenia will likely counter its geographical isolation and reduce dependence on Russia as Georgia balances increasingly strained relations with Azerbaijan.

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