Armenia’s Highest Political Circles Negotiating with NATO


4 Nov 04

NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer will arrive in Yerevan on
November 5. Hovhannes Hovhannisian, president of the Liberal
Progressive Party, known for his pro-NATO views gave an interview to
Azg Daily days before thevisit.

– NATO seems to be expanding to the East, and some view this as an
expansion against Russia.

– I wouldn’t say so. At the Istanbul summit of 2003 NATO made it clear
that it has plans concerning the three South Caucasian states and will
do everything to reach a high level of relationships.

NATO’s expansion is directed at reaching peace and stability
withinNATO and the world in general. NATO considers 3 Caucasian states
as potential candidates of the Treaty.

– Does it mean we can come closer to NATO without tearing off with

– Many powerful NATO states such as Italy and Germany maintain good
relations with Russia. Do you think that we need to be a vassal
country to be on good terms with Russia?

– Do you approve of a complementary policy?

– Any far-sighted geo-policy has the elements of complementarism but
this is not the case. We often forget that Russia is not an axis
anymore, we should treat it as a neighboring European state. The
former totalitarian country vanished away long ago. The steps we take
in the foreign policy should consider development of our own state.

– Still, what does Armenia think of getting involved in a common
structure with Azerbaijan?

– If we coexisted alongside Azerbaijan in the Soviet Union why can’t
we do the same in the structure of NATO?

– Last events within the frameworks of Cooperation for Peace
Initiative do not promise a hopeful future.

– I am sure that the 3 Caucasian states should join the NATO
simultaneously. It is the guarantee for a lasting peaceful
coexistence for them. And the war-battered region will get the chance
of settling its conflicts.

– In his recent interview to Mediamax news agency NATO Secretary
General said that he sees readiness of deepening relations with NATO
in Armenia. What parties (organizations) besides yours support NATO in

– The Ministry of Defense and highest political circles of the country
are negotiating with NATO.

– Will you meet the Secretary General during his visit in Armenia?

– I knew the former Secretary well enough but have never met with the
new one. Our meeting depends on his willingness.

By Karine Danielian