Senior government official explains what ratification of Rome Statute would mean in terms of Putin arrest warrant


YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 28, ARMENPRESS. A senior government official has explained what the ratification of the Rome Statute (the treaty that established the International Criminal Court) by Armenia would mean in the event of Russian president Vladimir Putin visiting the country after the move.

Yeghishe Kirakosyan, Armenia’s Representative on International Legal Affairs, was asked on the possible enforcement of the ICC arrest warrant for Putin.

Kirakosyan said that heads of state have immunity.

“I don’t think there can be talk of arrest. The solutions which are based on paragraph 2, article 96 of the Rome Statute have been proposed to our Russian partners. It implies the signing of a bilateral agreement, which allows to create certain guarantees for the concerns that some partner countries might have. The text was presented months ago, we are waiting for our partners’ proposal,” Kirakosyan said.

The Armenian government on September 1 sent the Rome Statute to parliament for ratification.

A parliamentary committee approved the bill on September 28 and the ratification bill will be debated at a plenary session.

In 2022, the Pashinyan Administration explained that it seeks to join the Rome Statute because it would allow to hold the government of Azerbaijan to account for its aggressions against Armenia.

On 17 March 2023, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, after an investigation of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Ukraine.

The ICC arrest warrant for Putin accuses the Russian leader of unlawfully deporting thousands of Ukrainian children, a war crime. This has been denied by the Russian government.

Countries that are signatories to the Rome Statute would have to enforce the arrest warrant once Putin travels into their territory.

Armenian Foreign Minister meets with UAE Federal National Council President

 15:44, 7 September 2023

YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 7, ARMENPRESS. On September 7, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan had a meeting with Saqr Ghobash, the President of the Federal National Council of the UAE.

The meeting took place during the Minister's official visit to the United Arab Emirates.

During the meeting, issues on the expansion of political dialogue between Armenia and the UAE and bilateral relations in various fields were discussed, the foreign ministry said in a readout. 

Both parties noted the willingness to further develop the 25-year diplomatic relations between Armenia and the UAE and foster friendly ties between the two peoples, including through high-level visits and active participation in events organized by both countries.

The interlocutors also emphasized the role of parliamentary diplomacy in promoting the bilateral agenda. In this context, the importance of activating the work between the friendship groups operating in the two parliaments was stressed.

Touching upon the security situation in the South Caucasus, Minister Mirzoyan briefed the President of the Federal National Council of UAE on the vision of the Armenian side on the establishment of stability and lasting peace in the region and the existing challenges, especially since the 2020 war unleashed by Azerbaijan against Nagorno-Karabakh. In this context, Minister Mirzoyan emphasized the importance of addressing the issues of the rights and security of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh within the framework of an international mechanism.

Minister Mirzoyan thoroughly touched upon the humanitarian crisis that has been deteriorating as a result of Azerbaijan's illegal blockade of the Lachin corridor since December 2022 and the actual siege of 120,000 people of Nagorno-Karabakh since June this year. Ararat Mirzoyan emphasized the imperative of continuously addressing the issue by the international community, including the UN Security Council, which has primary responsibility for maintenance of international peace and security, as well as expressing a targeted position by all partners.

Russian diplomat calls EU’s remarks about Armenia joining NATO ‘grand fantasy’

Russia – Sept 6 2023
"Armenia is a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization and we proceed from reality," Alexander Grushko stated

MOSCOW, September 6. /TASS/. The European Union’s recent statements about Armenia needing to join NATO are a "grand fantasy,"’ Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told TASS on Wednesday.

Asked by a TASS correspondent to comment on a statement from Gunther Fehlinger, the Chair of the European Committee for NATO Enlargement, that Armenia needs to join NATO, Grushko replied: "This is a grand fantasy."

"Armenia is a member of the CSTO [the Collective Security Treaty Organization] and we proceed from reality," the diplomat stated.

Grushko also said that Russia would continue strengthening its military and political cooperation with Armenia as Moscow and Yerevan were allies who have each other’s back.

"We will continue strengthening our military and political cooperation. This is our ally and we rely on each other in the sphere of security," he said.

"I strongly believe that this permanent feature will remain a defining one in our bilateral relations for the years to come," he added.

On Monday, Gunther Fehlinger, the Chair of the European Committee for NATO Enlargement, called on Armenia to join the North Atlantic Alliance. Later that day, Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister Vahan Kostanyan said that his country cooperated with NATO in various formats and that it was ready to continue this process.

Putin’s Russia scrambles to draft in mercenaries from Armenia and Kazakhstan to plug gaps in troop numbers fighting in Ukraine

MSN News
Sept 3 2023

Putin's Russia scrambles to draft in mercenaries from Armenia and Kazakhstan to plug gaps in troop numbers fighting in Ukraine

Story by James Callery 

MoD said Russia has been appealing to citizen of neighbouring countries with recruitment adverts since June

Vladimir Putin is scrambling to draft mercenaries from Armenia and Kazakhstan to plug the gaps in troop numbers fighting in Ukraine.

Moscow has suffered heavy troop losses since the war in Ukraine began 18 months ago and the total number of Russian and Ukrainian troops killed or wounded is nearing 500,000, US officials said.

Russia has been appealing to citizen of neighbouring countries with recruitment adverts since June, the Ministry of Defence said in its latest Defence Intelligence update.

The MoD said that online adverts have been observed in Armenia and Kazakhstan offering 495,000 roubles (£4,079) in initial payments and salaries from 190,000 roubles (£1,566).

There have been recruitment efforts in Kazakhstan's northern Qostanai region, appealing to the ethnic Russian population and since at least May, Russia has approached central Asian migrants to fight in Ukraine with promises of fast-track citizenship and salaries of up to £3,305, the update added.

The MoD said Uzbek migrant builders in Mariupol have reportedly had their passports confiscated upon arrival and been coerced to join the Russian military and noted that there are at least six million migrants from Central Asia in Russia, which the Kremlin probably see as potential recruits.

The MoD added: 'Russia likely wishes to avoid further unpopular domestic mobilisation measures in the run up to the 2024 Presidential elections.

'Exploiting foreign nationals allows the Kremlin to acquire additional personnel for its war effort in the face of mounting casualties.'

Some 280,000 people have signed up so far this year for professional service with Russia's military, the deputy chair of the Russian Security Council, former President Dmitry Medvedev, said today.

Visiting Russia's Far East, Medvedev said he was meeting local officials to work on efforts to beef up the armed forces.

'According to the Ministry of Defence, since January 1, about 280,000 people have been accepted into the ranks of the Armed Forces on a contract basis,' including reservists, state news agency TASS quoted Medvedev as saying.

Last year, Russia announced a plan to expand its combat personnel more than 30 per cent to 1.5 million.

Some Russian lawmakers suggested Russia needs a professional army seven million strong to ensure the country's security – a move that would require a huge budget allowance.

Putin ordered a 'partial mobilisation' of 300,000 reservists in September 2022, prompting hundreds of thousands of others to flee Russia to avoid being sent to fight. Putin has said there is no need for any further mobilisation.

In July, Russia's lower house of parliament voted to raise the maximum age at which men can be conscripted to 30 years from 27, increasing the number of young men liable for a year of compulsory military service at any one time.

The new legislation, which comes into effect on January 1, means men will be required to carry out a year of military service, or equivalent training during higher education, between the ages of 18 and 30, rather than 18 and 27 as now.

The law also bans men from leaving Russia from the day they are summoned to a conscription office.

In April, legislation was passed allowing conscription summonses to be served online instead of in person.

Compulsory military service has long been a sensitive issue in Russia, where many men go to great lengths to avoid being handed conscription papers during the twice-yearly call-up periods.

Conscripts cannot legally be deployed to fight outside Russia and were in theory exempted from a limited mobilisation last autumn, although some conscripts were sent to the front in error.

State media reported in July that Russia will keep compulsory military service for 18-year-olds, permanently increasing the number of young men liable to conscription, after lawmakers dropped a proposal not to start before the age of 21.

In June, the lower house of Russia's parliament said it had voted to give its initial backing to legislation that will allow the Defence Ministry to sign contracts with suspected or convicted criminals to fight in Ukraine.

Under the proposed changes, a contract could be concluded with someone being investigated for committing a crime, who is having their case heard in court or after they have been convicted but before the verdict takes legal effect, according to the database of the State Duma, the lower house.

Since the spring, the Russian army has led a huge publicity campaign to recruit volunteers, with mass advertisements online and in Russian streets.

It has also sought to attract future soldiers by promising higher salaries.

The Russian military launched a video campaign to lure more professional soldiers to fight in Ukraine in April, which challenged those interested to show they are 'a real man' and swap what it cast as hum-drum civilian life for the battlefield.

The ad, set to stirring music, followed a report from British military intelligence and Russian media reports that suggested Moscow was seeking to recruit up to 400,000 professional soldiers – on a volunteer basis – to bolster its forces in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Russia launched a three-and-a-half hour drone attack on the southern parts of the Odesa region early on Sunday, hitting a Danube River port infrastructure and injuring at least two people, Kyiv said.

Ukraine's air defence systems shot down 22 of the 25 Iranian-made Shahed drones that Russia launched on Odesa in the early hours of Sunday, Ukraine's Air Force said on the Telegram messaging app.

Ukraine's South Military Command said on social media that at least two civilians were injured in the attack on what it said was the 'civil infrastructure of the Danube'.

There were no immediate details on which port facility was hit. The military said a fire that resulted from the attack at the facility was quickly extinguished.

Some Ukrainian media reported blasts in the Reni port, one of the two major ports on the Danube that Ukraine operates.

The Russian army said today that it had hit the port of Reni with overnight drone strikes.

'Today at night, the Russian army carried out a group drone strike on fuel storage facilities used to supply military equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the port of Reni, in the Odesa region,' the army said. 'All designated targets were hit.'

Following the collapse in July of a United Nations-brokered deal allowing safe shipments from the Black Sea, Russia has ramped up attacks on Ukraine's southern Odesa and Mykolaiv regions, home to ports and infrastructure that are vital for the shipment of grain.

The Danube has become Ukraine's main route for exporting grain since the collapse of the deal.

Last month, the first civilian cargo ship sailing through the Black Sea from Ukraine arrived in Istanbul in defiance of the Russian blockade.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday that two more vessels had passed through the country's 'temporary Black Sea grain corridor'.

On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet with Putin, hoping to persuade the Russian leader to rejoin the Black Sea grain deal.

The meeting in Sochi on Russia's southern coast comes after weeks of speculation about when and where the two leaders might meet.

Erdogan previously said that Putin would travel to Turkey in August.

The Kremlin refused to renew the grain agreement six weeks ago.

The deal – brokered by the United Nations and Turkey in July 2022 – had allowed nearly 33 million metric tons (36 million tons) of grain and other commodities to leave three Ukrainian ports safely despite Russia's war.

However, Russia pulled out after claiming that a parallel deal promising to remove obstacles to Russian exports of food and fertiliser hadn't been honoured.

Moscow complained that restrictions on shipping and insurance hampered its agricultural trade, even though it has shipped record amounts of wheat since last year.

Zelensky and his French counterpart today discussed the 'functioning' of a sea corridor set up by Kyiv for safe navigation of ships after Moscow exited the grain deal.

They also spoke about enhancing the security of the Odesa region, Zelensky said on social media after the phone call.

RFE/RL Armenian Service – 08/23/2023


U.S. Denies Blocking UN Resolution On Karabakh

Armenia - The U.S. Embassy in Yerevan

The United States strongly denied on Wednesday claims that it is opposed to the 
passage of a UN Security Council resolution condemning Azerbaijan’s blockade of 

The Security Council discussed the worsening humanitarian crisis in Karabakh 
last week during an emergency meeting initiated by Armenia. Speaking at the 
meeting, Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan urged it to demand the 
immediate reopening of the Lachin corridor, send a fact-finding mission to 
Karabakh and provide humanitarian aid to the region’s struggling population.

Although most of its members, notably the U.S. and Russia, urged the lifting of 
the Azerbaijani blockade, the Council stopped short of adopting a relevant 
resolution or statement.

“We have not seen a draft resolution, and claims that the U.S. is pressuring 
member countries not to sign a resolution are completely false,” the U.S. 
Embassy in Yerevan told the Armenpress news agency.

“As noted in our statement at the [UN Security Council] session, we remain 
deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and we’re 
encouraging the Azerbaijani government to open the Lachin Corridor to 
humanitarian, commercial and private traffic expeditiously,” it said.

Mirzoyan also dismissed the rumors, circulated by some media outlets, when he 
spoke during a news conference in Yerevan on Tuesday. He said he believes 
Washington realizes that a UN resolution would help to end the crisis in 

An Armenian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said on Monday that Armenia is not in a 
position to draft such a document because of not being a Security Council member.

The U.S., the European Union and Russia have repeatedly called on Azerbaijan to 
allow renewed commercial and humanitarian traffic through the Lachin corridor. 
Baku has dismissed their appeals.

Pashinian Critical Of Armenia’s 1990 Independence Declaration

Armenia - Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian speaks during a news conference in 
Yerevan, July 25, 2023.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian on Wednesday criticized a 1990 declaration of 
Armenia’s independence, saying that it fomented the conflicts with Azerbaijan 
and Turkey and is now at odds with his “peace agenda.”

The document adopted by Armenia’s first post-Communist parliament stopped short 
of declaring the republic’s immediate secession from the Soviet Union. It 
announced instead “the start of a process of establishing independent statehood.”

The declaration made reference to a 1989 unification act adopted by the 
legislative bodies of Soviet Armenia and the then Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous 
Oblast. It also called for international recognition of the 1915 genocide of 
Armenians “in Ottoman Turkey and Western Armenia.”

In a statement issued on the 33rd anniversary of its passage, Pashinian said 
that he used to view the declaration as a “biblical message” but revised his 
assessment after the 2020 war in Karabakh.

“A critical analysis of the text of the declaration shows that we basically 
chose a discourse and content which is based on the formula that had made us 
part of the Soviet Union. Namely, a confrontational discourse on the regional 
environment that was to keep us in constant conflict with our neighbors,” read 
the statement.

It is the same formula that “had already led to the loss of our independence at 
the beginning of the 20th century,” Pashinian went on. He claimed in this regard 
that only his current “peace agenda” aimed at normalizing Armenia’s relations 
with Azerbaijan and Turkey could prevent a repeat of that scenario.

“As long as we do not have peace, the ghost of the USSR will hover in our sky, 
in the sky of our region,” he added.

Armenia - A copy of the 1990 Declaration of Independence.

Pashinian did not specify which concrete provisions of the 1990 declaration, 
which is mentioned in a preamble to the Armenian constitution, he is unhappy 

Some opposition figures were quick to condemn the premier’s statement as 
pro-Turkish and pro-Azerbaijani. Artur Khachatrian, a lawmaker from the main 
opposition Hayastan bloc, said Pashinian is resorting to “cheap blackmail” in a 
bid to convince Armenians to “abandon Karabakh.”

“I have the impression that Pashinian’s ‘declaration of independence’ message 
was written in Ankara,” Eduard Sharmazanov of the former ruling Republican Party 
charged in a Facebook post.

Other critics have speculated over the last two years that Pashinian is facing 
strong pressure from Baku and Ankara to remove all references to Karabakh and 
the Armenian genocide from the constitution.

Pashinian drew strong condemnation from the Armenian opposition and Karabakh’s 
leadership in May when he pledged to recognize Azerbaijani sovereignty over 
Karabakh through an Armenian-Azerbaijani peace treaty. He caused more outrage by 
declaring that such a deal would give Armenia a “certificate of title” for its 

However, Pashinian complained on August 3 Azerbaijan is seeking to sign the kind 
of treaty with Armenia that would not prevent it from laying claim to Armenian 

The premier’s detractors seized upon that statement to assert that even the 
far-reaching concession offered by him to Baku would not safeguard Armenian 
territory from future Azerbaijani attacks. They regularly say that Pashinian 
himself put Armenia’s independence at serious risk by mishandling the 2020 war.

EU Urges Dialogue Between Baku, Stepanakert

        • Heghine Buniatian

Belgium - European Council President Charles Michel arrives for a European Union 
leaders' summit in Brussels, December 15, 2022.

The European Union hopes for the start of direct dialogue between Azerbaijan and 
Nagorno-Karabakh’s leadership while pressing Baku to end its blockade of the 
Lachin corridor, a senior EU official said on Wednesday.

“[EU Council] President Charles Michel calls for the dialogue meeting between 
Baku and Stepanakert to take place as soon as possible,” the official told 
RFE/RL’s Armenian Service.

Sources in Stepanakert said last month that Azerbaijani officials and Karabakh 
representatives were due to meet in Bulgaria’s capital Sophia Sofia in the 
beginning of July. The meeting did not take place because the sides did not 
agree on its agenda, according to them.

Another Karabakh official claimed afterwards that the Western-mediated talks 
were rescheduled for August 1 but then cancelled by the Azerbaijani side. Baku 
wants such negotiations to be held in an Azerbaijani city, he said, adding that 
this is unacceptable to Stepanakert.

The EU official, who did not want to be identified, said it remains unclear when 
and where the two sides could launch the dialogue strongly backed by Armenia.

The deadlock is further complicating the lifting of the Azerbaijani blockade 
that has resulted in a grave humanitarian crisis in Karabakh. The EU has 
repeatedly urged Baku to unblock the sole road connecting Karabakh to Armenia.

“President Michel has stressed to the Azerbaijani side the urgent necessity to 
unblock the Lachin road in compliance with the relevant [International Court of 
Justice] decision and in order to prevent a further escalation,” the official 
said in thins regard. “He also noted Azerbaijan’s willingness to provide 
humanitarian assistance via other roads, including Aghdam.”

Michel’s team as well as the EU’s special envoy to the South Caucasus, Toivo 
Klaar, have been discussing with Baku, Yerevan and Karabakh Armenian leaders 
“options for unblocking the situation,” added the official. He stressed that the 
EU remains an “honest broker” in ongoing Armenian-Azerbaijani negotiations.

Karabakh’s leadership has rejected the alternative, Azerbaijani-controlled 
supply route proposed by Baku as a cynical ploy designed to facilitate the 
restoration of Azerbaijani control over the Armenian-populated region. The EU 
foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, stressed late last month that the Aghdam 
route “should not be seen as an alternative to the reopening of the Lachin 

Mayoral Election Campaign Kicks Off In Yerevan

        • Robert Zargarian
        • Anush Mkrtchian

Armenia - A view of the municipal administration building of Yerevan, August 23, 

Campaigning officially began on Wednesday for municipal elections in Yerevan 
effectively boycotted by Armenia’s main opposition groups.

Yerevan residents will elect on September 17 a new municipal assembly that will 
in turn appoint the mayor of the Armenian capital. Thirteen parties and one bloc 
are vying for the assembly’s 65 seats.

The last mayor, Hrachya Sargsian, stepped down in March after only 15 months in 
office. Yerevan has since been effectively run by Tigran Avinian, a deputy mayor 
nominated by the ruling Civil Contract party for the vacant post. Prime Minister 
Nikol Pashinian expressed confidence about the party’s victory during an 
election campaign fundraiser held late last month.

The opposition Hayastan and Pativ Unem alliances represented in the Armenian 
parliament have decided not to join the mayoral race. Some of their senior 
members have said that the upcoming elections are not significant given the 
grave security challenges facing Armenia as well as Nagorno-Karabakh.

Andranik Tevanian, a Hayastan parliamentarian, disagreed with the de facto 
boycott, resigning from the National Assembly and cobbling together an electoral 
bloc called Mayr Hayastan (Mother Armenia) to run for mayor. He has said that an 
opposition victory in Yerevan would pave the way for regime change in the 

Armenia - Opposition mayoral candidate Andranik Tevanian (right) starts his 
election campaign in Yerevan, .

Tevanian made the same point as his bloc comprising several other outspoken 
opposition figures launched its campaign with a rally held in the city center.

Another major opposition contender is the Aprelu Yerkir party widely linked with 
Ruben Vardanyan, an Armenian-born tycoon and philanthropist who moved to 
Karabakh last year. Its mayoral candidate, Mane Tandilian, too has described the 
Yerevan polls as an opportunity to precipitate the Pashinian government’s ouster.

Tandilian ruled out any post-election power-sharing deals with Pashinian’s party 
as she spoke during her party’s inaugural campaign event. “Our struggle is about 
strengthening our statehood,” she told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service.

Tandilian, 50, served as labor and social affairs minister in Pashinian’s first 
cabinet in 2018.

Civil Contract and Avinian may also face a serious challenge from Hayk Marutian, 
a popular TV comedian whom Pashinian’s political team had installed as mayor 
after winning the last municipal polls in 2018. The city council controlled by 
the ruling party ousted Marutian in December 2021 after he fell out with the 
prime minister.

Marutian tops the list of council candidates nominated by a little-known party 
called National Progress.

Armenia - Opposition mayoral candidate Mane Tandilian speaks at an election 
campaign meeting in Yerevan, .

Avinian was due to hold his first campaign gathering in the city’s southern 
Nubarashen suburb on Wednesday evening. His campaign is thought to have 
unofficially begun months ago, with Civil Contract disseminating videos of his 
speeches and other public appearances on social media.

In a recent report issued earlier this month, Independent Observer, a coalition 
of civic groups that will monitor the September 17, vote accused Avinian of 
having systematically abused his administrative resources to promote his mayoral 

The coalition also said that the administration of a local community in central 
Armenia comprising the town of Spitak and surrounding villages is drawing up 
lists of its Yerevan-based natives promising to vote for Avinian. It said the 
process is overseen by Gevorg Papoyan, the ruling party’s deputy chairman.

Armenia - Former Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinian attends a session of 
Yerevan's municipal assembly, September 23, 2022.

The allegations are based on recorded phone calls between local officials and a 
civic activist posing as an aide to Papoyan. Spitak’s deputy mayor and six 
village chiefs could be heard saying that they already have or will soon have 
such lists.

Papoyan strongly denied the allegations. Vahagn Hovakimian, a Pashinian ally 
heading the Armenia’s Central Election Commission, said, for his part, that “the 
audio does not testify to an abuse of administrative resources.”

Reposted on ANN/Armenian News with permission from RFE/RL
Copyright (c) 2023 Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, Inc.
1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.


From Armenia to Greece: India’s Geopolitics Unsettles Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Pakistan triad

Financial Express
Aug 21 2023

India’s growing ties with Armenia and Greece are unsettling for Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Pakistan. These three countries have been working together to strengthen their military capabilities and to counter India’s influence in the Middle East and Central Asia.

India’s decision to sell arms to Armenia and to upgrade its strategic partnership with Greece is seen as a direct challenge to these countries. Armenia is a traditional ally of Russia, and Greece is a member of NATO. By strengthening its ties with these countries, India is sending a strong message to the informal triad led by Turkey.

Growing ties with Armenia and Greece are also part of India’s larger strategy to diversify its partnerships in the region as it is no longer content to rely on its traditional allies, such as Russia and Iran. It is now looking to build new partnerships with countries that share its interests, such as Greece and Armenia.

India & Armenia

Relations with Armenia have been growing steadily since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1992. In 2019, India and Armenia signed a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement, which has led to increased cooperation in areas such as trade, investment, defense, and culture. India has also been providing military assistance to Armenia, which is at odds with Azerbaijan.

Relations with Greece have also been growing in recent years. In 2020, the two countries signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement, which has led to increased cooperation in areas such as defense, trade, and energy. India has also been providing military assistance to Greece, which is at odds with Turkey.

The three countries are likely to be rattled by India’s growing ties with Armenia and Greece. The alliance is already facing challenges from within, as Turkey and Azerbaijan have been at odds over the issue of the Eastern Mediterranean. India’s move is likely to further strain relations within the alliance and could lead to increased tensions in the region.

However, India is not aggressively countering these countries. Instead, it is taking a more subtle approach, building ties with them one by one. This approach is likely to be more effective in the long run, as it will make it more difficult for them to unite against India.

India is also benefiting from the fact that the alliance is not a monolithic bloc. There are differences of opinion within the alliance, and India is exploiting these differences to its advantage. For example, India has been able to build closer ties with Greece, even though Greece is a member of NATO, which is a major ally of Turkey.

India’s strategy of quietly but steadily building ties with Armenia, Greece, and Iran is a smart move. It is a strategy that is likely to pay dividends in the years to come.

India’s growing ties with Armenia and Greece are also a sign of its increasing strategic interests in the Mediterranean region. The region is becoming increasingly important to India’s energy security, as it is a major source of oil and gas. India is also looking to expand its trade and investment ties with the region.

India’s ties with Armenia and Greece are also a way to counter China’s growing influence in the region. China has been expanding its economic and military presence in the Mediterranean region, and India is looking to balance China’s influence.

Overall, India’s growing ties with Armenia and Greece are a significant development that is likely to have a major impact on the geopolitics of the region. India’s growing ties with Armenia, Greece, and Iran are a sign of its changing geopolitical priorities. India is no longer content to be a passive player in the region. It is now actively seeking to expand its influence and footprint across the globe. This is likely to lead to some hectic geopolitics in the region in the years to come.

Sharings his views with Financial Express Online on the forthcoming visit of PM Modi to Greece, Ambassador Anil Anil Trigunayat says: “It is indeed a highly significant visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Greece which for an inexplicable reason happens to be after a hiatus of four decades after that of Mrs Gandhi in 1983.  Fortunately, given the historic and civilizational connection, we have had other high level exchanges including by Presidents Pranab Mukherjee and Ram Nath Kovind.”

However, “In recent years exchanges have acquired good interactive frequency especially at the ministerial levels and security and defence sectors. Trade and investments are also witnessing a positive swing and with the PM ‘s visit greater security cooperation can be expected.”

“Moreover Sweden has always supported and empathized with Indian concerns starting from our nuclear tests where despite western sanctions Greece signed defence cooperation agreement,” he opines.

In his view, on the Kashmir issue and Pakistan sponsored terrorism Athens has stood by India.   Greece is also looking for greater Indian investments and could help steer the FTA with EU.

According to him, “Greece is a Mediterranean power and it fits well in India’s Maritime strategy and collaboration, from hydrocarbons to navigation to security. Hence this relationship has a multifaceted collaborative opportunity including countering the vitriolic influence of some not so friendly powers.”

“Waiting for a resolution”: details of the UN Security Council meeting at the request of Armenia

Aug 17 2023
  • JAMnews
  • Yerevan

Emergency meeting of UN Security Council on NK

“We can state that the truth about the illegal blocking of the Lachin corridor and the resulting humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh was voiced in the highest international instance. And the international community has made a collective call to Azerbaijan to remove the illegal blocking of the Lachin corridor,” Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan commented on the results of the emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.

The meeting was held at the request of Armenia “in connection with the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh as a result of the blockade of the Lachin corridor and the complete blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh by Azerbaijan.” Representatives of 15 states that are members of the Security Council, as well as Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey, spoke. The Commissioner for the EU Delegation to the UN also participated in the meeting.

It is not yet known whether the Security Council will adopt any resolution or statement after nearly two hours of deliberation.

According to political observer Hakob Badalyan, “the effective functioning of the UN Security Council in the conditions of the ongoing world war cannot be expected.”

The UN Security Council already discussed this issue on December 20, 2022. The overwhelming majority of council members called on Azerbaijan to lift the blockade. However, no statement, much less a resolution, was adopted.

Opinions of members of the Security Council on the blockade of the Lachin corridor, assessment of the results of the discussion by the Prime Minister of Armenia, as well as comments by Armenian analysts on the likelihood of adopting a resolution.

  • The situation in NK: three mothers talk about their families
  • Armenian analysts on the delivery of aid to NK through Agdam
  • “Arrest under the protection of the ICRC is a war crime” – the position of Armenia

Although no documents following the discussion in the Security Council have yet been adopted, the Prime Minister of Armenia spoke in the morning at a government meeting about the positive factors he noticed:

  • “The fact of blocking the Lachin corridor was recognized in the highest international instance, we must not forget that Azerbaijan constantly insists that the Lachin corridor is open,
  • confirmed the existence of a humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh and the fact that the life and security of 120,000 residents of Nagorno-Karabakh are in question,
  • The participants in the discussion stressed that the decision of the International Court of Justice on ensuring the unhindered movement of people, vehicles and goods in both directions through the Lachin corridor has not been implemented by Azerbaijan.”

Pashinyan stated that the situation in NK is deteriorating day by day. According to the prime minister, Azerbaijan not only prevented the import of 100 tons of flour sent by the Armenian government to Nagorno-Karabakh, but also does not allow local residents to harvest grain. He stressed that the peasants performing agricultural work are under fire from the Azerbaijani Armed Forces.

“This is another fact that substantiates the thesis put forward by international experts that Azerbaijan is committing genocide by starving the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh. In this regard, the unblocking of the Lachin corridor should be considered as a step aimed at preventing genocide,” he stressed.

It is not yet known when the meeting of the Security Council will take place.

Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan spoke from Armenia at the meeting. He presented statistical data and facts about the consequences of the 8-month blockade of the Lachin corridor. In his assessments, he also referred to the expert opinion of the former prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno Ocampo, who after examining the issue declared that what is happening in NK is genocide in accordance with Article II, point “c” of the Genocide Convention: “deliberately creating for any group of such living conditions that are calculated for its physical destruction.”

“Preventing this catastrophe is the primary responsibility of the UN and this council. I believe that the respected council, despite geopolitical differences, is able to act as a body that prevents genocide, and not commemorate [the victims] when it is too late,” Ararat Mirzoyan said.

He stressed that Azerbaijan is provoking a humanitarian catastrophe in Nagorno-Karabakh, which undermines the prospects for achieving peace and stability in the region.

According to him, official Yerevan expects from the Security Council

  • “condemn the use of starvation against civilians as a method of warfare, which is prohibited by international humanitarian law;
  • condemn the illegal denial of humanitarian aid and the deprivation of the civilian population of NK of what is necessary for survival;
  • demand full compliance with obligations under international humanitarian law;
  • call for the immediate restoration of the freedom and safety of movement of citizens, vehicles and goods along the Lachin corridor in accordance with the previously reached agreements;
  • to ensure the full and conscientious cooperation of the parties with the International Committee of the Red Cross, as well as the safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid;
  • send an independent multi-agency needs assessment mission and provide humanitarian assistance to the affected population.”

Referring to the proposal of alternative routes as a replacement for the Lachin Corridor, the Minister said:

“It was agreed that the Lachin corridor is a link between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, and it has no alternative. The Lachin corridor should be open. As for other possible ways, this issue should be resolved within the framework of the international dialogue mechanism between Baku and Stepanakert.”

A group of local residents held a protest in front of the military base of Russian peacekeepers stationed in NK. They said that “all deaths will remain on Putin’s conscience”

The United States called on the Azerbaijani authorities to restore free movement along the Lachin corridor. In his remarks, the Representative of the States stressed that access to food, medicine, baby food and energy must not be hindered:

“We also take note that other additional routes for humanitarian supplies can be compromised.”

Talking about the establishment of peace in the region, he noted that this process should include the protection of the rights and security of people living in NK. The United States is calling for direct talks between the parties, including Baku officials and the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The representative of Russia expressed hope that in order to overcome this difficult situation, “political will will be shown and a dialogue will take place in the Baku-Stepanakert format.” Without naming either side, he stated:

“Steps are needed to quickly de-escalate tensions around the Lachin corridor, end the blockade and use other humanitarian ways. We are doing everything in our power – by political and diplomatic means, at all levels and on the ground, so that the Russian peacekeeping forces prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in the region.”

According to the representative of Russia, reconciliation between Armenia and Azerbaijan is impossible without guarantees of the security and rights of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh. He specified: “guarantees based on internationally recognized principles and in the context of the laws of Azerbaijan.”

The representative of France stated that “Azerbaijan’s blocking of the Lachin corridor continues to isolate the inhabitants of Nagorno-Karabakh from the rest of the world without any legal grounds.” According to her, this is contrary to the principles of international humanitarian law:

“France condemns the ban on the import of humanitarian aid, which the Armenian authorities sent in July to eliminate the consequences of this situation. The same applies to obstructing the activities of the ICRC, which violates the principles of international law. It is unacceptable”.

Former ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo published his opinion on the situation in the unrecognized NKR under the heading “Armenian Genocide in 2023”

The British representative called for the admission of the Red Cross to the NK on all roads to fulfill its vital function:

“All parties have an obligation to refrain from politicizing humanitarian assistance so that the needs of the civilian population can be met.”

According to him, it is important to implement the decision of the International Court of Justice of February 22, which obliges Azerbaijan to ensure unhindered movement along the Lachin corridor.

China called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to “compromise” and resolve disputes based on international humanitarian and international norms:

“We believe and hope that all the problems of the parties will be resolved through diplomacy. Armenia and Azerbaijan are neighbors. It is in the interests of both countries to follow a common path of security and development.”

The non-permanent members of the Security Council also took the floor.

They maintained a neutral position, expressed concern about the humanitarian situation in NK and stressed the need for unhindered access for humanitarian assistance.

The representative of Azerbaijan rejected the accusations of Armenia, called the allegations of famine and genocide “false and far-fetched.”

Comments by Armenian experts on the likelihood, effectiveness and possible consequences of the use of force to unblock the only road linking Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia

Political scientist Gurgen Simonyan stated:

“7 out of 15 members of the UN Security Council can block the adoption of a resolution by voting against it. The resolution will also be blocked if at least one of the 5 permanent members uses the right of veto. That is, if 9 members, including 5 permanent members, vote for the adoption of the document, the resolution will be adopted.

Now a question. Will Albania, the United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana, Ecuador and Mozambique vote no? Or will Russia [one of the permanent members of the Security Council] use its veto right? Let’s hope that common sense will prevail and the resolution will be adopted.”

Political observer Hakob Badalyan is less optimistic:

“It is unrealistic to imagine the practical, much less effective work of the UN Security Council in the conditions of the ongoing world war. The course of the meeting only confirmed this.

Offended, upset, send everyone to hell? Of course not. That would be an extremely flippant approach. The five permanent members of the UN Security Council are the minimum circle with which bilateral work and the desire for their maximum effectiveness should be the priorities of Armenian diplomacy.

At the same time, it should be borne in mind that this is a very complex problem now. Because we are actually forced to strive for maximum bilateral efficiency with a group of five states that have both bilateral and multilateral contradictions and confrontations between themselves. They are even in sharp military confrontation with each other. But we have no other choice. Therefore, a hypermobilization of diplomatic resources is needed, including non-governmental circles and resources outside of Armenia.

I do not agree with the opinion that Armenia will not be supported while we are in the Russian “system”. Of course, if Armenia starts a confrontation with Russia, it will be supported, but only in this, and not on the Karabakh issue. Because supporting Armenia in the Artsakh issue means going against Azerbaijan, and therefore against Turkey. And neither Russia nor any other power or superpower wants to do this. That’s why everyone [who spoke at the Security Council meeting] had the same narrative: you [Armenia and Azerbaijan] should come to terms with each other.”

Dutch legislators call for action to prevent genocide in Nagorno-Karabakh


YEREVAN, AUGUST 16, ARMENPRESS. The Dutch parliament has addressed urgent questions to the foreign ministry and prime minister to take action, following obligations in Genocide Prevention Convention to prevent ongoing genocide of Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh, the Federation of Armenian Organisations in the Netherlands (FAON) reported.

“Thank you, Pieter Omtzigt and almost complete Dutch Parliament Tweede Kamer (House of Representatives) for urgent questions to Dutch MFA and PM for action, following obligations in Genocide Prevention Convention to prevent ongoing genocide of Armenians in Nagorno Karabakh,” FAON tweeted.

Central Bank of Armenia: exchange rates and prices of precious metals – 16-08-23


YEREVAN, 16 AUGUST, ARMENPRESS. The Central Bank of Armenia informs “Armenpress” that today, 16 August, USD exchange rate down by 0.69 drams to 385.97 drams. EUR exchange rate down by 1.34 drams to 421.36 drams. Russian Ruble exchange rate up by 0.06 drams to 4.00 drams. GBP exchange rate up by 0.48 drams to 491.73 drams.

The Central Bank has set the following prices for precious metals.

Gold price down by 40.99 drams to 23625.30 drams. Silver price down by 4.41 drams to 278.09 drams.

Acting head of Ukrainian embassy in Armenia dies

Aug 14 2023

The temporary head of Ukraine's diplomatic mission in Armenia, Oleksandr Senchenko, drowned on the evening of Aug. 13 in Lake Sevan, the largest lake in the region.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine confirmed the reports about the charge d'affaires and expressed condolences to his relatives and friends. The ministry said it was "deeply saddened" by the death of the "experienced and highly qualified diplomat."

Senchenko worked for the ministry since 2003 and had been posted to Ukrainian diplomatic missions in Russia and Azerbaijan.

Local media reported that though rescuers were able to retrieve the diplomat from the area of water where he disappeared while swimming, paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.

Ukraine established its embassy in Armenia in 1996.