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Armenia deepening relations with US, EU, considers joining EU, FM says

Signaling a potential pivot away from Moscow, Armenia’s foreign minister revealed the country is weighing an EU membership application driven by public pro-European sentiments.
Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan in Türkiye, March 2024. Screenshot: TRTWorld
Armenia deepening relations with US, EU, considers joining EU, FM says

Armenia is weighing the possibility of applying for membership in the European Union, signaling a potential shift in its foreign policy orientation away from Russia. Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan stated that the idea of EU membership is being “widely discussed” within the country, attributing it to widespread pro-European sentiments among citizens.

Armenia has been a close ally of Russia since the collapse of the USSR, with both being members of the CSTO alliance and having a joint air defense system. Russia has a military base in Armenia’s Gyumri and co-guards Armenia’s borders. However, relations have weakened due to conflicts with Azerbaijan from 2020-2023, where Russia did not support Armenia.

In an interview with the Turkish TV channel TRT World while in Antalya for a diplomatic forum, Armenian FM Ararat Mirzoyan emphasized the importance for Armenia to expand its circle of partners and allies, including strengthening ties with the United States, the European Union, and India.

He said the US and the EU are “main supporters of the democratic changes in Armenia, institutional changes.”

“We’re right in the middle of the process of significantly deepening our relations with the European Union, with the United States of America, keeping the traditional ties (implying Russia, – Ed.),” Mirzoyan said.

The Armenian minister says the priority for Armenia is “to normalize relations with neighbors.” The statement follows Armenia’s recent loss of control over Azerbaijan’s Nagorny Karabakh region after conflicts in 2020 and 2023.

Asked about the possibility of Armenia’s leaning towards the EU or NATO membership, the Armenian FM replied:

“Many new opportunities are largely being discussed in Armenia nowadays. that will not be a secret if I say that an idea such as also membership in the European Union. […] The people of Armenia does have European [aspirations],” Mirzoyan said, noting that Armenia is passing through “serious transformations” and nobody can predict how this process would end.

In February 2024, Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan said that his country’s isn’t Moscow’s ally in the Russo-Ukrainian war. Later, he suspended Armenia’s participation in the CSTO – a Russian-led NATO-like alliance, calling the organization “a threat to the national security.”

Last fall, Armenia sent its first humanitarian aid package to Ukraine.

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