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Armenia’s parliamentary speaker: Armenia should seek EU candidacy

1 March 2024
Alen Simonyan. Official Photo.

Armenia’s Parliamentary Speaker, Alen Simonyan, has stated that Armenia should ‘definitely’ be granted membership of the European Union. 

‘We are ready and will move in the direction that will provide us with maximum security. Today, democracy, being a democratic country, can be said to be our biggest security system’, said Simonyan.

While Simonyan did not state whether Armenia will officially submit an EU membership request, Armenia has sought closer diplomatic and security relations with the European Union and the West as its relations with Russia remain in freefall.

Last month, the EU announced that it was launching an ‘ambitious’ partnership agenda with Armenia which includes visa liberalisation, trade, and security cooperation. In October 2023 Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan told the European Parliament that Armenia was ready to be closer to the European Union, ‘as much as the European Union considers it possible.’

During the briefing, Simonyan also criticised the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), a Russia-led security bloc to which Armenia is party, as an organisation that ‘does not work’.

His criticism of the CSTO came a week after Pashinyan told France 24 that Armenia had ‘basically frozen’ its participation in the CSTO for its refusal to come to Armenia’s defence against Azerbaijani attacks on the border.

[Read more: Pashinyan: Armenia has ‘frozen’ its participation in the CSTO]

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While Armenia has not formally left the organisation, Simonyan did not exclude his country leaving the CSTO, as ‘with more than a dozen episodes, it has become obvious that our ally is not helping us’.

Armenia has recently been diversifying its security partners, purchasing weaponry and defence systems from France and India.

Simonyan also accused Russia of collaborating with Turkey and Azerbaijan, suggesting that the three countries might have agreed on military action before the 2020 war.

Simonyan expressed concern over the possibility of another pre-coordinated escalation.

‘Our biggest concern is where the attack will come from. It is obvious that this attack is carried out by the hands of Azerbaijan and is directed against our sovereignty,’ said Simonyan.

Read in Georgian on On.ge.