EU gaining foothold in Armenia
    But neglects its security

    ANALYTICS  26 November 2023 - 12:49

    Matanat Nasibova

    The European Union (EU) is consolidating its presence in Armenia for the long term.

    As previously reported, this week an agreement was signed between the EU and Armenia on the status of the reconnaissance and observation mission on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conventional border - the document was signed at the Armenian Foreign Ministry by Deputy Foreign Minister Paruyr Hovhannisyan and the head of the EU delegation in Yerevan Vasilis Maragos. As for the expansion of the mission, this issue was resolved a few days ago in Brussels - it was approved by the EU foreign ministers.

    It can be assumed that it is no coincidence that the current activity of the EU towards Armenia occurs precisely during a period of significant cooling in Armenian-Russian relations. Particularly noteworthy in this sense is the new EU initiative to include Armenia in the European Peace Fund. For poverty-stricken and always-begging Armenia, such a tempting prospect from the EU is a godsend.

    Therefore, there is no doubt that in order to obtain financial preferences in Yerevan, Europeans, Americans and even Indians, indiscriminately, will agree to any conditions. In this regard, there has long been an opinion in the Russian expert community that Armenia has put itself up for auction and is ready to sell itself to the highest bidder.

    However, at the official level in Moscow, statements are increasingly being made with an emphasis on the fact that it is the West that is not abandoning attempts to win Armenia over to its side. In the same context, Spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova recently spoke out, noting that “the West, whose plans in the Ukrainian direction have completely failed, has now grabbed Armenia with the same beastly grip and is trying to tear it away from Russia.”

    That is, Moscow believes that the initiative of Armenia's withdrawal from Russian integration projects does not come from Yerevan itself, but is dictated by Brussels and Washington. However, the Armenian side demonstrates the opposite with its provocative actions towards Moscow, seemingly dispelling the illusions of its suzerain step by step.

    For example, relatively recently, Armenia transferred to the International Criminal Court all documents confirming its ratification of the Rome Statute and is preparing to become a full member of the ICC on February 1, 2024. After which Armenia received a flattering review from the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell. Thus, a European politician wrote on the X network that Armenia’s ratification of the Rome Statute speaks of its commitment to international law and the protection of human rights.

    Figuratively speaking, Armenia was patted on the head for betraying its closest ally without blinking an eye. Let us recall that on September 24, Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said that accession to the Rome Statute was a consequence of the fact that “the CSTO and the tools of the Armenian-Russian strategic partnership are not enough to ensure external security,” trying to assure Moscow that ratification is not aimed against its top officials.

    Although the Russian Foreign Ministry, even before the ratification of the Rome Statute, warned Armenia that this unfriendly step could worsen relations between Moscow and Yerevan since the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    In this context, this is not the only case recently when the Armenian side openly ignores the interests of Russia. Moscow has serious reasons to be dissatisfied with the behaviour of its South Caucasus outpost in connection with the increasing visits of Armenian officials to Brussels, Paris and Washington, and the frivolous attitude of official Yerevan towards structures controlled by the Kremlin. As an example of this, the following facts. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan flatly refused to participate in the CSTO summit on November 23 in Minsk, and in October from participation in the CIS summit in Bishkek, which did not prevent him from attending the European Political Community summit in Spanish Granada in October, and then the Paris Peace Forum In November.

    In the same month, Secretary of the Security Council of Armenia Armen Grigoryan visited Brussels, where he participated in the forum “Strategic Future of Armenia”, at which he first voiced Yerevan’s desire to become a non-aligned state. The recent statements by Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan, voiced on November 15 in Belgium at the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, that the Armenian government and the Armenian people have European aspirations, probably served as a reason for Moscow’s irritation.


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