ARF Launches Anti-Emigration Campaign

Leader of the ARF’s parliamentary bloc Armen Rustamian (left)

Campaign called “We Will Live in Our Country” aims to curb depopulation of Armenia.

YEREVAN (Arka)—Rampant emigration from Armenia is depopulating the country, putting the country’s national security in jeopardy, Armen Rustamian, the head of the  Armenian Revolutionary Federation’s Parliamentary bloc, said Tuesday at a press conference. The press conference was being held to present the party’s new campaign called “We Will Live in Our Country.”

Rustamian pointed out that the most immediate threat of depopulation is the shortage of conscripts in the Armenian army.

“There are gaps also in other areas,” he said. The program consists of 11 parts, targeting various areas, including economy, politics, and education.

In its program, the ARF proposes to separate business and politics, to pursue a just human resources policy, to make officials’ activities more transparent and accountable, to provide young people with room for putting their ambitions into reality, to create new jobs, to make tax and customs policy more predictable, to spur investments, to carry out a transition from social to industrial agriculture and to increase the quality and availability of education.

Rustamian said the Armenian Revolutionary Federation embarked on this program a few months ago.

“We have held a series of substantial discussions on various professional platforms, and we need to start a new phase now,” he said, adding that discussions will continue and stressing that this campaign is not an ordinary project of the party, but rather the party’s national plan.

The party leader also said that the ARF is willing to cooperate with all parties in implementing this program.

“The authorities should understand that the continuation of this situation means self-destruction, and we hope there are people who understand this among officials,” he said.

Armenia’s population has contracted by 15,000 people since the beginning of this year. Armenian citizens crossed the country’s borders 702,525 times, 298,146 times arriving in it and 404,397 times departing.

It means 106,233 Armenians remained abroad in January to June, 2013, compared to 73,451 in January to June, 2012.

According to June 2013 reports, there were 3,011,900 citizens in the country then, of which 1,904,400 lived in cities and 1,107,500 in rural areas.

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