Paris using the EU to gain a foothold in the South Caucasus
    Neo-imperial plans of Armenia's "sister"

    ANALYTICS  24 January 2023 - 11:36

    Bahram Batiyev

    Yesterday, during a meeting of foreign ministers of the 27 EU countries in Brussels, a new observer mission was approved to be deployed in Armenia. Unlike the previous mission, which was limited to two months, the current one is going to stay in Armenia for two years.

    To begin with, let us recall official Baku's position on the issue. As President Aliyev stated in his interview with local TV channels on January 10, 2023, "the sending of another EU mission to Armenia is a very unpleasant fact".

    "According to the information we have, a large delegation will be sent to Armenia again in February. And again without our agreement. Sending another mission is of course a very unpleasant fact. This will not increase security, but rather, this format of negotiations with us will undergo a major shake-up," President Aliyev said. He added that sending a new EU mission to Armenia without consulting Azerbaijan would have a negative impact on the negotiations under EU auspices.

    It is clear that the plan of the long-term mission is unacceptable for Azerbaijan, as the neo-imperial plans of France to gain a foothold in the South Caucasus with the help of Armenia are behind it. This decision also contradicts the results of negotiations, including in Prague, where it was agreed that the EU mission, consisting of 40 people, would be short-term and last only two months. But now, under pressure from Paris, the EU is hypocritically sending a mission to Armenian territory under the pretext of "contributing to stability in the border regions of Armenia, building confidence on the ground and ensuring conditions conducive to the normalisation of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan". It is only unclear how this mission will contribute to Armenian-Azerbaijani normalisation, if Baku has already clearly indicated its negative reaction to this adventure by the Europeans, undertaken under Armenia's pressure.

    On January 18, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also pointed out that the EU's decision to send a long-term (and in fact, we do not rule out a permanent mission) to Armenia serves not to stabilise the situation in the region, but to exacerbate it.

    "This is actually Armenia's right, but we should not forget that we are talking about the border with Azerbaijan and probably if this mission is deployed without Azerbaijan's consent, it can be counterproductive. Instead of confidence-building on the border, it may create additional irritants," said the head of Russian diplomacy.

    In this context, it is also worth mentioning some Russian Telegram channels close to the Russian security bloc, which note that the EU mission in Armenia may expand to 2,000 people, with Yerevan itself seeking this. In other words, Armenia wants to see a genuine military peacekeeping mission. Moreover, this time European 'missionaries' are planned to be deployed along the entire length of the conditional border with Azerbaijan. As Russian TG channels emphasise, "this is obviously done to finally put an end to the Russian presence in Armenia - to withdraw the 102nd base of the Russian Federation in Gyumri".

    "Defending its friendship with France, Russia is literally being squeezed out of Armenia. The climax is near. And the end of such 'play' will be tragic for the Armenian statehood," the TG channel "Siloviki" says.

    On our part, it should be noted that according to "TG-channels close to Russian security services", among European "missionaries" there will be many employees of special services, who also know the Armenian and Russian languages. The mission is overseen by French diplomat Charles Fries, deputy secretary-general of the European External Action Service.



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