Armenia joined the OSCE in 1992 shortly after gaining its independence from the Soviet Union.
Yerevan hosted an OSCE field office from February 16, 2000 until its closure in August 31, 2017 when the Government of Azerbaijan denied the consensus required to renew the office’s mandate. Until that point, the OSCE office had helped Armenian government institutions and civil society develop their capacity to address topics such as corruption, trafficking, environmental protection, human rights, media freedom, gender equality, and law enforcement.
The OSCE’s Office of Democratic Institution and Human Rights continues to observe national elections in Armenia. Since a popular protest movement overthrew the country’s long-serving ruling party in 2018, ODIHR has played a larger role in advising the new government on strengthening Armenia’s democratic institutions and improving the competitiveness and administration of its elections.
Armenia has been at war with neighboring Azerbaijan over the territory of Nagorno Karabakh since 1992. The United States serves alongside France and Russia as a co-chair of the OSCE-led Minsk Group process, which aims to facilitate a negotiated resolution to the conflict. A small team of OSCE monitors led by the “Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson in Office on the Conflict Dealt with by the OSCE Minsk Conference” regularly visits the line of contact between the sides and documents violations of the 1994 ceasefire that was agreed after Armenia occupied Nagorno Karabakh and all or part of seven surrounding Azerbaijani territories.
Armenia has been a member of the Council of Europe since 2001. In 2015, Yerevan joined the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union, freezing its prospects of an association agreement with the European Union as part of the EU’s Eastern Partnership initiative. In 2017, Armenia and the EU signed a comprehensive and enhanced partnership agreement.
Staff Contact: Michael Cecire, senior policy advisor