U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs James O’Brien has said that Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan wants Armenia to move forward in opening its borders and in opening its relations with the West.
“Prime Minister Pashinyan has been very courageous, has made clear that he wants Armenia to move forward in opening its borders and in opening its relations with the West, that it doesn’t want Armenia to be wholly dependent on Russia in the way that previous leaders sought to have it be,” O’Brien told a virtual press briefing on Monday, November 28.
“And he’s undertaken a number of reforms that should be very encouraging for Armenian citizens as they look to continue the sort of quick economic growth that they’ve had over the last year or two.”
According to O’Brien, Pashinyan has also been a “bold voice” for a peace agreement with Azerbaijan as a way of allowing Armenia to focus on its economic development, to build out its security relationships, and to expand trade from Central Asia through to Turkey, and all of which is “something we would very much like to see”.
“So any package that is supportive of Armenia is something to be welcomed; exactly how the EU chooses to get there will be its business,” the diplomat said when asked about the prospects of supporting Yerevan through the European Peace Facility mechanism that was raised by the EU recently.
“But we are committed to working with our European partners and with the government in Armenia to see that the people of Armenia are able to benefit from the reform policies that the Pashinyan government has undertaken.”