7 questions and answers about the Armenia-EU-US meeting scheduled for April 5 - Mediamax.am

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7 questions and answers about the Armenia-EU-US meeting scheduled for April 5


Photo: Press service of the Armenian government

Photo: Press service of the Armenian government

Photo: Press service of the Armenian government

Photo: Press service of the Armenian government


The meeting of the Prime Minister of Armenia, the U.S. Secretary of State and the President of the European Commission scheduled for April 5 is being actively commented both in Armenia and beyond. We present the information available at the moment.

1.    When did it first become known about the upcoming meeting?

Following the results of the meeting held in Granada on October 5, 2023, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan adopted a joint statement, which specifically stated:

“President von der Leyen informed about the preparation of a joint EU-US event to support Armenia.”

The joint statement also read:

Photo: Press service of the Armenian government


“In the longer run, the European Union and Armenia are determined to reinforce their economic ties, working to bring out the full potential of our Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement. In particular, the EU Economic Investment Plan (EIP) for Armenia provides up to 2.6 billion euros to be used for investments in important infrastructure and other projects. The Commission and Armenia will redouble efforts to implement important projects.”

2.    Which statement made by Pashinyan is often cited by his teammates and Western partners?

Delivering remarks at the European Parliament, on October 17, 2023, Nikol Pashinyan, in particular, said:

“Armenia is ready to be closer to the European Union, as much as the EU considers it possible.”

Photo: Press service of the Armenian government


Nikol Pashinyan also reminded that “our joint statement with President von der Leyen reads: “In these difficult times, the EU and Armenia stand shoulder to shoulder.”
 
3.    What was the response of the American side?
 
Assistant Secretary at the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs of the US Department of State James O’Brien, speaking at a November 15, 2023 hearing at the Foreign Relations Committee of the U.S. Congress, said that the United States and the European Union wish Armenia’s rapprochement with transatlantic allies and are working on a plan to ensure it.

“The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, stated that she intends to hold a meeting with the U.S. and Armenia with the aim of bringing Armenia closer to their communities. I discussed this matter with Armenian Prime Minister a few days ago, and we are now trying to develop its model.

Photo: Press service of the Armenian government


Given the geographical proximity, the offer that the EU can make in terms of trade preferences, economic cooperation and access to the single market is incredibly important. We can help with that,” O’Brien said.

4.    What was Moscow’s reaction?

On March 28, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, said that “the Armenia-EU-USA meeting scheduled for April 5 is causing Moscow’s concern.”

“Such events cause concern in Russia, because the U.S. and EU officials are telling our partners outright that their main thrust is exclusively against Russia. They say so directly,” the Russian diplomat said.

Maria Zakharova noted that Armenia is being turned before the eyes of the whole world into a tool for the implementation of extremely dangerous plans of the collective West, which completely disagree with the fundamental interests of the Armenian people.”

5.    What was the reaction of Baku?

On March 27, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesperson Aykhan Hajizada said that “having been a victim of armed aggression, occupation and ethnic cleansing for almost 30 years, Azerbaijan has never received such unconditional support from the EU and the US.”

“Another cause for concern is the French-led campaign aimed at militarizing Armenia, which also includes new promises to increase military supplies, including lethal and offensive weapons. Another EU member state, Greece, has recently made statements about deepening military cooperation with Armenia. In addition, plans to provide military assistance to Armenia under the European Peace Facility and reports that the April 5 meeting includes military components raise additional concerns and undermine peace-building efforts in the region,” the Azerbaijani diplomat said.

6.    What was the reaction of Armenia?

On March 28, the spokesperson of the Armenian Foreign Ministry, Ani Badalyan, said:

“The meeting provides a valuable opportunity to discuss the Armenia-US, and Armenia-EU bilateral agendas, as well as issues on the Armenia-US-EU cooperation. We anticipate having substantive discussions on the political dialogue, the development of Armenia’s economic and energy capacities, as well as addressing humanitarian issues that Armenia is facing. The high-level meeting is aimed at developing and deepening our existing relations and is not connected with relations with third countries.”

7.    What was the U.S. response?

Matthew Miller, spokesperson for the U.S. Secretary of State, stated that the April 5 meeting between the Armenian Prime Minister, U.S. Secretary of State and President of the European Commission “is about Armenia’s reforms and its democracy, economy, and resilience.”

“The peace process is not the focus of this meeting; it’s a meeting between the U.S., EU, and Armenia to discuss economic diversification, humanitarian assistance, support for refugees, and supporting Armenia’s political reforms in areas such as democracy and the rule of law. It is not a regionally focused meeting.”




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