The European Union is indicating a willingness to explore an Association Agreement with Armenia. But even as it raises the possibility of closer ties with this cash-poor South Caucasus state, Brussels appears eager to stem the westward flow of illegal Armenian migrants.
Official data, which many Armenians view skeptically, reports that 49,660 citizens left Armenia permanently in 2012, and that number shows little change from 2011. From 2005-2012, 204,000 people left Armenia for good, according to the National Statistical Service. The number accounts for just under 10 percent of the country’s 2012 population of 2.97 million people. Observers believe the actual number of émigrés to be much higher than the official figure.
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Marianna Grigoryan is a freelance reporter based in Yerevan and editor of MediaLab.am.