"We expect cooperation with EU in security sphere" - Armenian Security Council Secretary
Yerevan has addressed the European Union with a proposal to deepen cooperation in various directions and expand cooperation even in the security sphere. The Secretary of the Armenian Security Council spoke about it during the conference “Armenia-Europe: Armenia’s Strategic Future” in Brussels. Armen Grigoryan did not give any other details. In response to the journalists’ qualifying questions, he only said that “Armenia is considering all instruments with the help of which it is possible to ensure the country’s security”.
Speaking at the conference, the Secretary of the Security Council touched upon not only Armenia’s cooperation with the EU and proximity to Europe, loyalty to the principles of democracy, but also the settlement of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations and readiness for peace.
The main theses of Armen Grigoryan’s speech.
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“New opportunities have opened up”
The Secretary of the Security Council announced that Armenia has recently been engaged in an intensive dialog with the European Union and EU member states, including on security issues, which has never been the case before. As an example, he recalled the agreements on military cooperation with France.
“We assume that we will be able to strengthen security cooperation both with collective Europe and with individual countries. And when I talk about security cooperation, I don’t mean only the military sphere, but security in a broader context. Economic cooperation can also have a security component in its subtext,” he emphasized.
Grigoryan recalled Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s speech in the European Parliament, which he regarded as a demonstration of “willingness to move forward in terms of cooperation with the EU.”
“Is there an idea of European integration in Armenia?”
Armen Grigoryan himself asked this question and answered it himself:
“There is definitely an idea of European integration in Armenia, but there is also an idea of becoming a non-aligned state, the spectrum is very large.
We are trying to understand what instruments can ensure Armenia’s security and development, as well as peace in the region.”
“Democracy in Armenia is often under attack.”
Grigoryan announced that democracy connects Armenia to Europe. Besides, it is the best tool for solving the country’s internal problems and ensuring internal stability.
“But the biggest question in our society is whether democracy can also ensure external security? In fact, Armenia’s democracy comes under attack, becomes a target. And in order to protect it, it is necessary for Armenia to receive serious support for diversification of its economy, support in the field of security, support for diversification of its resources,” he said.
“We are ready for peace with Azerbaijan”
Touching upon the process of normalizing relations with Azerbaijan, Grigoryan said that Armenia is ready for peace. He emphasized that Yerevan is ready for negotiations in the Brussels format. He expressed hope that they will be able to be organized in the near future.
The next meeting in Brussels was scheduled for the end of October, but did not take place. EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus Toivo Klaar announced that it could not be carried out due to “lack of time.” But in Armenia they said, including the Prime Minister himself, that “the President of Azerbaijan has not confirmed his participation.”
“What do we expect from these negotiations? The border between Armenia and Azerbaijan must be clarified. 29.8 thousand square kilometers of the Republic of Armenia and 86.6 thousand square kilometers of the Republic of Azerbaijan must be publicly confirmed. Unblocking [regional communications] should occur on the basis of four principles: sovereignty, jurisdiction, reciprocity and equality of countries. All Armenian prisoners must be returned,” Armen Grigoryan emphasized.
With such an agenda, he said, Armenia is ready to come to negotiations in the Brussels format and sign a peace treaty with Azerbaijan.