Yerevan /Mediamax/. The EU’s External Action Service source confirmed to POLITICO that plans are being finalized to extend and expand the monitoring mission along Armenia’s borders after its mandate ended in December.
The insider said “there are several steps that still need to be cleared before their deployment, and it will now go to the Political and Security Committee in Brussels, seeking a two-year mandate.”
Up to 100 monitors are expected to be deployed in Armenia.
However, the official emphasized that tense relations with Russia will have to be navigated given its presence in the region. “
“The Russian FSB is everywhere in Armenia. We have had a few cases where our monitors were turned back by Russian border guards, even though they were accompanied by Armenian Defense Ministry personnel,” POLITICO’s source said.
On January 18 Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated:
“We are now ready to send a CSTO mission to the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. Although we are allies, the Armenian side prefers to reach agreement with the European Union on the long-term deployment of the EU civilian mission. We should not forget that it concerns the border with Azerbaijan, and the EU mission may be counterproductive without Baku’s consent,” Lavrov said.