Asbarez: Yerevan Ready to Sign Non-Aggression Pact with Azerbaijan

Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan addresses the UN Disarmament Conference in Geneva on Feb. 27

Accuses Baku of Disregarding Human Rights Norms and Stoking Conflict

Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan on Tuesday said that Armenia is ready to sign an non-aggression pact with Azerbaijan before the ratification of a peace treaty, talks for which are scheduled later this week in Berlin. He also accused Baku of disregarding international human rights norms and continuing the fan the flames of conflict.

Speaking at the annual United Nations Disarmament Conference in Geneva, Mirzoyan proposed to sign a bilateral arms control mechanism and non-aggression pact ahead of the peace treaty “in case the signing of the latter requires additional time to reach a consensus.”

“Armenia is well familiar with the devastating impact of conflict, having experienced the tragic consequences of wars in our recent history. This painful past motivates us to persistently advocate for peaceful resolution of conflicts, prevention of the use or threat of force, uncontrolled and mass acquisition of weaponry and disarmament,” Mirzoyan said.

“The erosion of the arms control regimes does not happen in a vacuum. It is usually a consequence of years-long noncompliance to the main treaties and documents, as well as the negligence of such crucial principles of the UN Charter as the non-use of force or threat of use of force and the maintenance of international peace and security and good-neighborly relations. The international failures of identifying early warning signs of such violations usually evolve into bloody conflicts and hostilities,” the foreign minister added.

He emphasized that continued disregard for international norms led to the 2020 Artsakh War, and continued as Azerbaijan invaded Armenia’s sovereign territory, and, finally in September of last year launched an attack on Artsakh that forced the Armenian population there to flee to Armenia. Mirzoyan accused Azerbaijan of an ethnic cleansing campaign that went generally unpunished by the international community.

“We have proposed simultaneous withdrawal of troops from the Armenia-Azerbaijan interstate border, with further demilitarization of the bordering areas. Armenia also is proposing to sign a bilateral arms control mechanism and non-aggression pact ahead of the peace treaty in case the signing of the latter requires additional time to reach a consensus. Despite the fact that all these proposals have so far been ignored or rejected by Azerbaijan, we are determined to continue our efforts,” Mirzoyan said.

He also spoke at the United Nations Human Rights Council, where he accused Azerbaijan of violating international norms and also derided world leaders for failing to properly condemn the Azerbaijan’s aggression against Armenia and Artsakh.

“We have been witnessing such a policy of Azerbaijan since the 80s of last century. In fact, today, we commemorate the victims of Sumgait pogroms. Together with similar acts in Baku, Kirovabad and other Armenian-populated cities of Azerbaijan, around 360 thousand Armenians were forced to flee their homes, deprived of all their rights, including the right to property, and find refuge in Armenia. Earlier, due to the same-style implemented policy, Armenians left their homes in Nakhichevan,” Mirzoyan told the UN HRC.

“In the case of Nagorno-Karabakh, there was no shortage of early warning signs of the looming atrocities. The list includes statements from the UN Secretary-General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights and Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, Orders of ICJ, public communications of UN Special Procedure Mandate Holders,” explained Mirzoyan.
“However, this was not enough for the international community, and I quote the Secretary General again, ‘to stand on the right side of history, to stand up for human rights.’ Approximately 145.000 people were forcibly displaced from Nagorno-Karabakh and relocated to Armenia between 2020 and 2023,” he emphasized.

“There are more than thousand missing persons and enforced disappearances on the Armenian side from the wars of the 1990s and 2020. We have 23 prisoners of war and other detainees in Azerbaijan. We have an immense risk of destruction of Armenian cultural and religious heritage that the UN Special Rapporteur has recently warned: ‘may amount to cultural cleansing,’” Mirzoyan pointed out.

“There is continuous bellicose rhetoric and military escalation provoked by Azerbaijan following earlier incursions into the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia. The impunity of the illegal use of force resulted in new territorial claims against Armenia. Nowadays, the whole territory of the Republic of Armenia is presented as so-called ‘Western Azerbaijan,’ which was invented with a pure intention to keep tension in the region,” he added, underscoring that February 27 marked the beginning of the 1988 Azerbaijani pogroms of Armenians in Sumgait.

RFE/RL Armenian Service – 02/27/2024


‘Still No Decision’ On New Armenian Constitution

        • Ruzanna Stepanian

Armenia - The main government building in Yerevan's Republic Square decorated 
and illuminated by Christmas lights, December 7, 2022.

Armenia’s leadership has not made a final decision on whether to try to enact 
this year a new constitution sought by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian, one of 
his top political allies said on Tuesday.

A national referendum is the only legal way of completely replacing the current 
Armenian constitution enacted in 1995 and repeatedly amended since then.

“If I’m not mistaken, one of the opposition representatives said during an 
RFE/RL program that ‘we should turn the constitutional referendum into [a 
popular vote of no confidence in Pashinian,]” parliament speaker Alen Simonian 
told journalists. “What constitutional referendum? Have we said that a 
constitutional referendum will be held in the near future?”

“Such a change might happen in, say, 2030,” added Simonian.

Pashinian said last month that Armenia needs to adopt a new constitution 
reflecting the “new geopolitical environment” in the region. Also in January, 
the Armenian Ministry of Justice a presented a still unpublicized “concept” for 
constitutional reform to the prime minister’s office.

Critics believe that Pashinian first and foremost wants to get rid of a preamble 
to the current constitution which makes an indirect reference to a 1989 
declaration on Armenia’s unification with Nagorno-Karabakh and calls for 
international recognition of the 1915 Armenian genocide in Ottoman Turkey. 
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said on February 1 that Armenia should remove 
that reference and amend other documents “infringing on Azerbaijan’s territorial 
integrity” if it wants to make peace with his country.

Armenian opposition leaders portrayed Aliyev’s statement as further proof that 
Pashinian wants to change the constitution under pressure from Azerbaijan as 
well as Turkey. The premier and his allies denied that.

Simonian insisted that “there is no decision” on the new constitution yet. He 
claimed that the authorities simply wanted to trigger a public debate on the 
idea and gauge Armenians’ reaction to it.

Ishkhan Saghatelian, a leader of the main opposition Hayastan alliance, 
similarly told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service last week: “In my view, they [the 
authorities] are trying to examine the public mood and they will make a final 
decision only if they feel that they will succeed.”

Saghatelian said that should they decide to hold the referendum after all the 
Armenian opposition “will do everything to turn it into a referendum of no 
confidence in Nikol Pashinian.”

German Lawmaker Against Sanctioning Azerbaijan

        • Anush Mkrtchian

Germany - Elisabeth Winkelmeier-Becker (left), a senior German parliamentarian, 
talks to journalists in Yerevan, .

A senior member of Germany’s parliament on Tuesday argued against imposing 
sanctions on Azerbaijan over its military offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh and what 
the European Union has described as territorial claims to Armenia.

Elisabeth Winkelmeier-Becker, the chairwoman of the Bundestag’s committee on 
legal affairs, insisted that European sanctions would only dent prospects for an 
Armenian-Azerbaijani peace deal.

“I want to stress that the facts presented by you cannot be justified,” 
Winkelmeier-Becker told reporters in Yerevan. “All that is alien to us. I come 
from a country where it is impossible to imagine such a violation of human 
rights, the displacement of an ethnic group.”

“At this stage of the peace process, we should act like an honest broker, a 
facilitator, and I think that such a contribution to the peace process on our 
part is in Armenia’s interests. Sanctions have a limited impact, and their 
application at this stage could hinder the peace process,” said the lawmaker 
affiliated with Germany’s main opposition Christian Democratic Union party.

Winkelmeier-Becker spoke at the end at a visit to Armenia by a German 
parliamentary delegation led by her. The delegation is scheduled to visit Baku 
later this week.

The EU and Germany in particular were quick to condemn Azerbaijan’s September 
offensive that forced Karabakh’s practically entire population to flee to 
Armenia. In an October resolution, the European Parliament accused Azerbaijan of 
committing “ethnic cleaning” and called on the EU to impose sanctions on Baku.

The sanctions require the unanimous backing of all EU member states. None of 
them -- including France, the main EU backer of Armenia -- has voiced support 
for them. French President Emmanuel Macron said in October that punitive 
measures against Baku would be counterproductive at this point.

The 27-nation bloc signaled no change in this policy even after what its foreign 
policy chief, Josep Borrell, described as territorial claims to Armenia made by 
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev last month.

“Any violation of Armenia’s territorial integrity would be unacceptable and will 
have severe consequences for our relations with Azerbaijan,” Borrell warned on 
January 22.

Pashinian Hopes For Progress In Armenian-Azeri Talks

        • Artak Khulian

Greece - Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his Armenian counterpart 
Nikol Pashinian speak after talks in Athens, .

Just days after saying that Azerbaijan is “very likely” to invade Armenia, Prime 
Minister Nikol Pashinian expressed hope on Tuesday that the foreign ministers of 
the two states will make progress at their upcoming talks in Berlin.

Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan complained, meanwhile, about the 
“continuous bellicose rhetoric and military escalation provoked by Azerbaijan” 
as he addressed the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. He accused Baku of making 
“new territorial claims” to Armenia.

Mirzoyan and his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov are scheduled to meet 
in the German capital on Wednesday and Thursday for further discussions on an 
Armenian-Azerbaijani peace treaty.

“We should hope that progress will be made during that meeting,” Pashinian said 
during a visit to Greece. He said he briefed Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos 
Mitsotakis on “outstanding issues” in the Armenian-Azerbaijani negotiation 

In an interview with the France 24 TV channel aired last Friday, Pashinian said 
Azerbaijan remains reluctant to recognize Armenia’s borders “without ambiguity” 
and is planning military aggression against his country. The Azerbaijani Foreign 
Ministry rejected the claim as “absolutely baseless.”

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said on Monday that Yerevan has no choice but 
to accept his terms of a peace deal discussed by the two sides.

Aliyev and Pashinian met in Munich on February 17 for talks hosted by German 
Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The latter said they “agreed to resolve open issues 
without new violence.”

Armenian Speaker Blasts Russian Military Presence

        • Shoghik Galstian

Armenia -- President Armen Sarkissian (second from right) visits a Russian 
border guard post on Armenia's border with Turkey, July 4, 2020.

Parliament speaker Alen Simonian on Tuesday criticized Russian border guards and 
military personnel deployed in Armenia, saying that they do not protect his 
country against Azerbaijani attacks.

The border guards have for decades been stationed along Armenia’s borders with 
Turkey and Iran as well as at Yerevan’s Zvartnots international airport. During 
and after the 2020 war in Nagorno-Karabakh, they were also deployed, along with 
Russian army units, to some sections of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.

Some Armenian media outlets have reported in recent weeks that the Armenian 
government now wants them to leave Zvartnots amid its mounting tensions with 
Moscow. Simonian did not confirm those reports. But he did call for Russian 
withdrawal from the airport.

“We will defend the borders of our country, but I’m not sure they will defend 
the borders of our country,” Simonian told reporters, clearly referring to not 
only the border guards but also Russian troops. “It was proved on a number of 
occasions that they didn’t protect [Armenia] and even did everything to make 
those borders much more vulnerable.”

Armenia - Parliament speaker Alen Simonian speaks to journalists, Yerevan, 
November 28, 2023.

The controversial speaker, who is a leading member of Prime Minister Nikol 
Pashinian’s political team, went on to point to the failure of Russian 
peacekeeping forces to prevent or stop last September’s Azerbaijani military 
offensive that forced Nagorno-Karabakh’s practically entire population to flee 
to Armenia.

“What did they do in Nagorno-Karabakh? They escorted the Armenian population out 
[of the region] … One day they could also escort me and you out of Zvartnots,” 
he said.

Simonian’s remarks are another indication of a deepening rift between 
Pashinian’s government and Moscow. Visiting Paris last week, Pashinian declared 
that Armenia has effectively “frozen” its membership in the Russian-led 
Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). The Kremlin responded by 
demanding official explanations from Yerevan.

Pashinian has so far stopped short of demanding the withdrawal of the Russian 
troops or border guards from Armenia. His domestic critics say he will 
eventually do so at the behest of Western powers locked in the geopolitical 
standoff with Russia over Ukraine. While also criticizing Moscow’s actions in 
the region, they say that a Russian withdrawal would only encourage Azerbaijan 
and even Turkey to invade Armenia.

Armen Rustamian, a lawmaker from the main opposition Hayastan alliance, 
suggested that Simonian’s calls for the removal of Russian security personnel 
from the Yerevan airport are the first step towards the Armenian government 
demanding an end to the Russian military presence. He warned of “destructive” 
consequences of such a development.

Reposted on ANN/Armenian News with permission from RFE/RL
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AW: Council of Socialist International adopts resolution on Artsakh

On February 24-25, the Council of the Socialist International held a meeting in Madrid, at the headquarters of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE).

Since 1907, the ARF-Dashnaktsutyun has been a member of this large political organization, which unites political parties from about a hundred countries. Mario Nalpatian, a former member of the ARF-Dashnaktsutyun Bureau and a member of the Armenian National Committee – International, as well as one of the vice-presidents of the Socialist International (SI), participated in the meetings of the Council and the Presidium and was elected a member of the SI Finance and Administration Committee.

President of the Socialist International and Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez referred to the Artsakh/Nagorno Karabakh issue in his opening speeches at the organization’s Presidium and Council meetings.

At the meetings of the SI Presidium and Council, Nalpatian presented the situation and challenges caused by the ethnic cleansing of Artsakh by Azerbaijan’s genocidal actions and violence, as well as Azerbaijan’s threats and demands directed at the Republic of Armenia.

The SI Council adopted a resolution on the Artsakh issue, which states:

The Socialist International supports the negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan aimed at signing a peace agreement. To contribute to the establishment of peace and stability in the region, such an agreement should be reached without the use of force or the threat of force, based on international law and diplomatic practice, including a commitment to an internationally sponsored peaceful process towards a final political settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh issue and the full realization of the fundamental rights and security of the people of Nagorno Karabakh on their ancestral territory.

President of the Socialist International and Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez speaking at the Council of the Socialist International meeting

In line with our longstanding principled policy regarding the Nagorno Karabakh issue and the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and considering the November 17, 2023 provisional measure by the International Court of Justice ordering Azerbaijan to “ensure that persons who have left Nagorno Karabakh after 19 September 2023 and who wish to return to Nagorno Karabakh are able to do so in a safe, unimpeded and expeditious manner” and “are free from the use of force or intimidation that may cause them to flee,” we reiterate our call:

  1. Until the final political settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh issue and the full realization of the fundamental rights of the people of Nagorno Karabakh, for the collective, unhindered and safe return to their homeland. Also, for the provision of an intermediate status for Nagorno Karabakh – ensuring the full extent of the civil and political rights and providing effective security guarantees for the people of Nagorno Karabakh, as well as unhindered land connection with Armenia – guaranteed by international norms.
  2. For the release of prisoners of war and detained persons. 
  3. For the complete and simultaneous lift of the blockades of transport and other means of communication, without any restriction of sovereignty.

The Socialist International stands ready to assist in these processes through its good offices and with the participation of its member parties and organizations.

The meeting of the Council of the Socialist International also made decisions on organizational issues and adopted the Madrid Declaration.

The Socialist International is the worldwide organization of social democratic, socialist and labor parties. It currently brings together 132 political parties and organizations from all continents. The relevant structures of the ARF are full members of the Socialist International Women (SIW) and the International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY). Sarine Abrahamian, from the ARF Youth, is a vice-president of IUSY. 

Armenian National Committee – International

New inclusive tourism product "Accessible Dilijan" launched in Armenia


YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 26, ARMENPRESS.  Destination Management Organization GoToDili, with the support of the Tourism Committee of the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Armenia, with the participation of AR-trails, has launched a new inclusive project "Accessible Dilijan". It is created for people with hearing impairments, as well as for completely deaf/deaf-mute people.

"Accessible Dilijan" is an AR–tours around the city recorded by sign language interpreters in Armenian, Russian and English. This is the first project in Armenia that helps people with hearing disabilities to complete an excursion or a small hiking route without assistance.

You can use the tour by downloading the AR-Trails app. Three products are available in AR-trails: a city tour, a walking tour of the National Park, and a virtual visit to the tourist information center. After selecting a location, the app provides a route, and virtual sign language interpreters tell users about it.

The city tour will introduce users to the history of Dilijan and its famous landmarks. The hiking tour will lead to a hidden waterfall in the National Park, introducing the flora and fauna along the way. The AR-Trails app also allows you to visit a virtual information center, where the overview information about Dilijan is available. In total, virtual tours cover 15 locations in Dilijan.

"Travel must be accessible to everyone," emphasized Sisian Poghosyan, the Head of Armenia's Tourism Committee.

"Every visitor to Armenia, regardless of physical abilities, should have the opportunity to travel in our country, discover hidden paths, and equally experience all the interesting and unforgettable experiences. In this context, the Tourism Committee welcomes the creation of the 'Accessible Dilijan' tourist product, which is a new opportunity for individuals to discover the wonders of Armenian tourism," she said.

"Inclusive tourism plays an extremely important role for Armenia," said Ani Avanesova, the  head of DMO GoToDili.

"Products designed specifically for people with disabilities will not only significantly improve their standard of living and provide new conditions for exploring the tourist locations of the country, but also favorably promote socialization and bring benefits to the country as a whole, making it more attractive to tourists. The GoToDili team is happy to be one of the pioneers on this important path,'' she said.

Scholz explains his reluctance to send Taurus long-range missiles to Ukraine


YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 26, ARMENPRESS. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has reiterated that he objects to supplying Kiev  with Taurus cruise missiles, citing concerns that his country could find itself dragged into the conflict.

"We should not be linked with any targets this system may reach in any way," he told a conference organized by the DPA news agency, the AP reports.

"We must make this clear. I am shocked that some don’t care, that they don’t even stop and think that it might come to  being dragged into the war because of what we are doing," he said.

In previous arguments why Germany could not send Taurus missiles, Scholz said he was concerned German personnel would have to be on the ground in Ukraine to help the missile targeting process, which he has ruled out.

As New Talks are Announced, Aliyev Threatens Armenia

President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan speaks in occupied Artsakh on Feb. 26

President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan on Monday threatened Armenia, saying that Yerevan should accept all of Baku’s conditions, as both countries announced that their foreign ministers will meet in Berlin this week for a new round of peace talks.

“Armenia and its patrons believed that no one would punish them. They were completely wrong, and they are still wrong today,” Aliyev said, according to the Trend news agency.

“Armenia, which is looking for a new owner and seeking refuge in somebody else’s arms, should understand that the only way is to accept all of Azerbaijan’s conditions and give up its territorial claims against Azerbaijan,” Aliyev added.

His remarks come two days after Azerbaijani forces attacked the Verin Shorzha region of the Gegharkunik Province on Saturday, prior to which another attack on Armenian positions in Nerkin Hand in the Syunik Province killed four soldiers.

Foreign minister Ararat Mirzoyan will meet his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhum Bayramov in Berlin later this week.

Spokespersons from both foreign ministries confirmed the meeting, which they said will take place from February 28 to 29.

Aliyev and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met in Munich earlier this month during talks mediated by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Aliyev has criticized the European Union and France, accusing them of advancing pro-Armenian policies.

He criticized the EU’s mission in Armenia and France for selling weapons to Yerevan.

President Emmanuel Macron of France said last week that his country will continue to support Armenia and advance its military capabilities. Macron also emphasized that Azerbaijan should recognize Armenia’s territorial integrity explicitly.

A day later, France’s defense minister Sebastien Lecornu visited Yerevan and signed several more agreements with his Armenian counterpart. Reports also indicated that a new shipment of military equipment from France arrived in Armenia on the same day of Lecornu’s visit.

Lukashenko Cautions Armenia: A Critical Look at Western Promises Amidst Regional Tensions

Feb 26 2024
Hadeel Hashem

In a recent dialogue, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko offered a word of caution to Armenia regarding its burgeoning military and economic relations with France. The advice comes at a pivotal moment for Armenia as it navigates the complex geopolitical landscape of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus region. Lukashenko's counsel underscores a broader skepticism towards Western support, urging Armenia to tread carefully and consider the reliability of such promises, as illustrated by the experiences of countries like Georgia.

Armenia's strategic shift towards the West, particularly France, has been marked by significant military and economic support. This move, while aimed at bolstering Armenia's defense capabilities, has raised eyebrows among traditional allies within the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), led by Russia. The expansive defense cooperation between Armenia and France spans various military sectors, signaling a deepening of ties that extends beyond mere diplomatic engagement. However, this pivot is not without its challenges. Lukashenko's warning draws attention to the potential fickleness of Western support, citing the case of Georgia, which has faced its own set of challenges in balancing Western aspirations with regional dynamics.

The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) plays a crucial role in the geopolitics of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. Lukashenko's advice to Armenia to not hastily distance itself from this bloc underscores the importance of established regional relationships. The Belarusian leader points to the fluctuating nature of international relations and the potential for changes in the stance of major Western players, including the United States, towards countries like Armenia and Ukraine. This cautionary stance highlights the complexities of navigating alliances and support in a region where geopolitical interests often intersect and collide.

As Armenia considers its future direction, the implications of Lukashenko's advice are far-reaching. While the allure of Western support, particularly in the realm of defense and economic aid, is undeniable, the historical and geopolitical context within which these relationships unfold cannot be ignored. Armenia's strategic choices will inevitably shape its position within the broader regional and international landscape. The balancing act between embracing Western support and maintaining traditional regional alliances is fraught with challenges but also opens up potential avenues for diplomatic and military strategy.

In conclusion, Lukashenko's cautionary advice to Armenia serves as a reminder of the intricacies of international politics. As Armenia navigates its path forward, the lessons of history and the realities of present geopolitical dynamics will be critical in shaping its decisions and alliances.

Armenia Asserts Its Sovereignty: A Shift in Foreign Policy and Defense Alliances

Feb 26 2024

In a bold assertion of national self-determination, Gagik Melkonyan, a deputy of Armenia's 'Civil Contract' faction, recently articulated the country's stance on navigating its foreign policy and defense alliances, signaling a potential shift in its long-standing relationship with Russia and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). This comes amid discussions of Ukraine's President Zelensky's possible visit to Armenia and broader considerations of the country's international affiliations and defense strategies.

Central to Armenia's recalibrated foreign policy is the assertion of its sovereignty and the prerogative to make independent decisions that best serve its national interests. Melkonyan's statements underscore a growing sentiment within Armenia that, despite its historical and strategic ties with Russia, the nation must evaluate and potentially reorient its alliances in response to the evolving geopolitical landscape. This reevaluation is particularly poignant in the context of President Zelensky's anticipated visit, which symbolizes Armenia's openness to strengthening ties with other nations, even those in conflict with traditional allies.

Furthermore, Melkonyan criticized the dependency of certain CSTO members, such as Belarus, advocating for Armenia's independence in making military-technical contracts and decisions. This stance is indicative of a broader desire to diversify Armenia's defense and diplomatic relationships, moving beyond the sphere of Russian influence. Such a shift is not without its complexities, given Armenia's reliance on Russia for security and economic support, especially in the face of ongoing tensions with Azerbaijan.

The discussion of Armenia's CSTO membership, or lack thereof, reveals the country's dissatisfaction with the alliance, particularly in light of a year of non-participation in CSTO meetings. Melkonyan's remarks resonate with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's earlier expressions of disillusionment with the CSTO, especially regarding the lack of support Armenia received during the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. This discontent has prompted Armenia to seek alternative defense partnerships, notably with France, as evidenced by recent military-technical cooperation agreements aimed at bolstering Armenia's defensive capabilities.

Armenia's pivot towards enhancing its defense ties with France and other Western countries reflects a strategic attempt to modernize its armed forces and restore military balance with Azerbaijan. This move, while potentially estranging Russia, signifies Armenia's commitment to its sovereignty and security, free from the constraints of traditional alliances that have failed to adequately protect its interests.

Armenia's potential departure from the CSTO and its efforts to forge new defense alliances could have significant implications for the region's security dynamics. While seeking to assert its sovereignty and diversify its partnerships, Armenia faces the challenge of navigating its relationship with Russia, a key ally and economic partner. The country's strategic realignment underscores the delicate balance between maintaining historical ties and pursuing a foreign policy that reflects its current needs and aspirations.

Moreover, Armenia's stance invites a reevaluation of regional alliances and the role of major powers in shaping the geopolitical landscape of the South Caucasus. As Armenia explores new avenues for cooperation, it also contends with the reality of regional conflicts, particularly with Azerbaijan. The assertion of independence in foreign policy and defense strategy is a testament to Armenia's evolving identity on the international stage, striving for autonomy in a complex and often contentious regional context.

As Armenia charts its course through these turbulent waters, the international community watches closely, recognizing the broader implications of Armenia's strategic decisions for regional stability and the intricate web of global alliances. In this era of shifting loyalties and emerging partnerships, Armenia's journey underscores the enduring importance of sovereignty and the pursuit of national interests in the ever-evolving tapestry of international relations.

Gevorg Papoyan: From National Assembly to Armenia’s New Economy Minister

Feb 26 2024

In a decisive move that underscores the fluid dynamics of political careers, Gevorg Papoyan, a seasoned member of Armenia's National Assembly, has officially submitted his letter of resignation. This step, dictated by Article 155.1 of the Constitutional Law on the Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly, not only marks a significant pivot in Papoyan's career but also signals a forthcoming change in Armenia's economic leadership. With the backdrop of a nation at a crossroads, Papoyan's transition from lawmaker to potentially steering the country's economic fortunes as the Minister of Economy is both a testament to his political acumen and a beacon of new aspirations for Armenia.

Papoyan's resignation, while a procedural formality, is the precursor to a more significant undertaking. Assuming no retraction within the stipulated one-week period, the Speaker of the National Assembly will formalize Papoyan's departure, clearing the path for his new role. This transition is not merely about changing titles; it's about the weight of expectation now resting on Papoyan's shoulders. As Armenia grapples with economic challenges, including the need for sustainable growth and innovation, the eyes of the nation will be fixed on how Papoyan's strategies and policies will drive economic revitalization.

Papoyan's move comes at a tumultuous time for Armenia, with the resignation of the previous economy minister amidst a corruption investigation. This reshuffling within the ruling Civil Contract party, to which Papoyan belongs, is indicative of broader political realignments and the party's commitment to integrity and reform. Papoyan's appointment is seen as a fresh start, an opportunity to inject new ideas and vigor into Armenia's economic planning and execution. His journey from the parliamentary benches to the helm of the economy ministry encapsulates the fluidity and interconnectedness of governance and economic management.

While Papoyan's resignation and subsequent appointment spotlight the individual's career trajectory, they also reflect broader narratives within Armenia's political and economic landscapes. Transitioning from a lawmaker to overseeing the country's economic direction, Papoyan embodies the hope for a new chapter in Armenia's economic story. With challenges abound and opportunities on the horizon, his strategies, policies, and leadership will be pivotal in steering Armenia towards sustainable economic growth and prosperity.

As Armenia stands at this crossroads, the anticipation of Papoyan's economic stewardship is palpable. The nation watches, hopeful that this transition marks the beginning of an era of economic rejuvenation and progress. With a blend of political experience and a fresh mandate, Papoyan's journey from the National Assembly to the Ministry of Economy is more than a career shift—it's a symbol of Armenia's aspirations for a brighter economic future.