November 30, 2023 - 12:03 AMT
EU says will explore non-lethal support to Armenian army

The European Union will further explore non-lethal support to the Armenian military via the European Peace Facility, according to a statement published by the bloc a delegation of the European External Action Service and the European Commission visited Armenia on November 27-29.

The delegation was in Armenia to explore possibilities to deepen and strengthen EU-Armenia relations in all dimensions including under the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement.

“The EU and Armenia are committed to building a partnership delivering tangible benefits to the citizens. The participants discussed ways to further strengthen cooperation and delivery of reforms inter alia in the areas of energy, transport, digital, research & innovation, including through investments. They exchanged on how to best leverage investments to address the immediate needs and enable integration of displaced Karabakh Armenians, as well as to strengthen Armenia’s economic and social resilience in the longer term,” the statement said.

“Both the EU and Armenian side expressed an interest to continue the cooperation on justice and police reform; to strengthen collaboration on migration and mobility; and to explore options to possibly launch a visa liberalisation dialogue with Armenia. It was also agreed to explore areas to strengthen cooperation between the EU’s Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) and Armenia. The meetings further confirmed the mutual interest of Armenia and the EU to further the dialogue and cooperation in the areas of security and defence. The EU will for instance further explore non-lethal support to the Armenian military via the European Peace Facility.”

At the occasion of the visit, the EU and Armenia also inaugurated the EU-Armenia Investment Coordination Platform. This platform brings together the EU, the government of Armenia and International Financial Institutions, and it will help further step up EU investments in Armenia under the Economic and Investment Plan, which has already mobilised close to EUR 500 million in Armenia. Two new projects were signed during this first ever meeting of the Platform, aimed at improving energy efficiency in kindergartens in cooperation with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and providing support to Armenian SMEs in cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

The EU reiterated its continued support to the normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan based on the principles of mutual recognition of territorial integrity and inviolability of borders based on the 1991 Almaty Declaration. Following the discussions of the Foreign Affairs Council on 13 November, the EU will also reinforce the EU Mission in Armenia.

Along the EEAS and the European Commission, representatives of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Frontex joined the visit.

The delegation met with Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigoryan, Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Khachatryan, Deputy Foreign Minister Paruyr Hovhannisyan and with the relevant Deputy Ministers. They also exchanged with the civil society organisations and representatives of the UN agencies present on the ground.