13 Jul
2024
ABCMEDIA
To give Armenia an EU candidate status and to help it lessen its dependence on Russia: EU officials issue report

To give Armenia an EU candidate status and to help it lessen its dependence on Russia: EU officials issue report

Former and current EU officials have issued a report on Armenia-EU relations, calling on the EU to give Armenia EU candidate status, to help it in the security sector, and to help it lessen its dependence on Russia. The key points of the report are presented below:

  • The EU has an historic opportunity to support Armenia’s pivot to the West. This is a high-impact, low-cost opportunity that could help transform the South Caucasus. It would consolidate Armenia’s democracy and help stabilise the country and region. The EU has a strong interest in ensuring that Armenia becomes more resilient, less dependent on Russia, and less threatened by Azerbaijan.

 

  • There is considerable scope for the EU and individual member states to do more for Armenia. This should be a long-term, substantial, and strategic commitment to democratic Armenia. 

 

  • Steps currently being considered by the EU to support Armenia are positive and welcome, but they are not far-reaching enough, nor do they address Armenia’s immediate needs—in particular its security concerns. The risk of a renewed Azerbaijani aggression must be taken seriously. 

 

  • The EU should offer Armenia the prospect of EU membership and recognise its strategic shift towards the West. Such an offer needs to be backed by tangible support.  

 

  • This would provide Armenia with a sense of direction, helping it to consolidate its democratic foundations and solidify its Western strategic orientation. It would allow for enhanced support from the EU, in particular to strengthen Armenia’s resilience, increase its deterrence, and decrease its dependence on Russia. 

 

  • The EU should prioritise security cooperation with Armenia. This should take the form of both non-lethal and lethal equipment and ammunition under the European Peace Facility, coupled with increased bilateral military assistance. There is an urgent need to bolster Armenia’s deterrence against an attack by Azerbaijan with the tacit support of Russia.