Switzerland supports Armenia through technical cooperation and efforts towards resolving the conflicts in the South Caucasus region.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Armenia
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
Switzerland played an active role as mediator in the negotiations between Armenia and Turkey on the normalisation of their bilateral relations. This mediation work contributed to closer relations between Switzerland and Armenia, even though the resultant agreement – the Zurich Protocols, signed on 10 October 2009 – was not subsequently ratified by either Turkey or Armenia.
Armenia and Switzerland have concluded bilateral agreements in many areas. A visa facilitation agreement came into force in 2016.
Economic relations between Switzerland and Armenia are expanding. Switzerland is the third-largest importer of Armenian products (after Russia and Bulgaria) and the fourth-largest exporter to Armenia (after Russia, Georgia and the United Arab Emirates). Switzerland exports primarily pharmaceuticals and machinery and imports products for the watch-making industry and textiles. Precious metals also account for a significant volume of trade in both directions.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Researchers from Armenia can apply to the State Secretariat for Education Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
Peacebuilding and human security
Switzerland's mandate to mediate between Armenia and Turkey formally expired with the signing of the Zurich Protocols on 10 October 2009. Although the protocols were never ratified, Switzerland is continuing its efforts to facilitate a rapprochement between Turkey and Armenia.
As part of its 2017–20 cooperation strategy for the South Caucasus, Switzerland is working towards a peaceful solution to the conflicts in the region.
The programmes under the Swiss Cooperation Strategy South Caucasus 2017–20 (covering Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia) focus on peacebuilding, democracy, rule of law and human rights. The budget for the strategy for all three countries is CHF 75 million.
Cultural relations between the two countries have intensified in recent years. Between 2013 and 2018 the Swiss embassy participated in cultural exchange activities with 60 events of its own. Numerous events are hosted as part of the Italian Language Week, the Francophonie week and the German Language Days.
Swiss citizens in Armenia
According to statistics on the Swiss abroad, there were 33 Swiss citizens living in Armenia at the end of 2017.
History of bilateral relations
Switzerland provided humanitarian assistance to Armenia following the devastating earthquake in 1988 when the country was still part of the Soviet Union.
Switzerland recognised Armenia as an independent state on 23 December 1991. The two countries have maintained diplomatic relations since 30 April 1992. The Armenian ambassador was accredited to Switzerland in 2002.
Switzerland opened an embassy in Yerevan in 2011. Until then, the Swiss ambassador in Tbilisi had also been accredited to Armenia.
The number of Swiss nationals living in Armenia remains small. By contrast, the Armenian community in Switzerland is relatively large: between 4,000 and 6,000 people of Armenian origin live in Switzerland.