France adopts another resolution in support of Armenia: what to expect?
Resolution by National Assembly of France
On November 30 the French National Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution in support of Armenia. The authors suggested that the French government consider “the possibility of applying personal economic sanctions” in the event Azerbaijan continues “military invasion and occupation of the sovereign territory of Armenia.”
On November 15 the French Senate adopted a similar resolution. Both documents are advisory in nature for the government, and the French Foreign Ministry has stated that they “do not reflect the official position of the government and are the independent opinion of another branch of government in accordance with the principle of separation of powers.”
However, political scientist Gurgen Simonyan does not believe that the resolutions are formal, rather that they show that France has assumed the role of an ally to Armenia. In his view, iif a deliberate policy is pursued, Armenia can “achieve great success” in this situation.
The resolution adopted by the National Assembly and commentary of the French government, reaction from Yerevan and Baku, and analyst opinion.
Proposals of the National Assembly of France
The resolution was presented on behalf of the majority of the National Assembly of France by the ruling Renaissance faction. The document was approved unanimously with 256 deputies in favor.
The National Assembly of France proposed the government consider the possibility of strengthening the defense capability of Armenia.
The document calls on the government to continue its mediation efforts to resolve the issue of the security of the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh, in accordance with the “provisions of the National Assembly Resolution No. 502 of 2020,” a document adopted earlier by the French Parliament with a call to recognize the NKR.
The NA deputies emphasize the need for “immediate release and return of all Armenian prisoners of war.”
In addition, the French National Assembly called on international organizations “to take measures to protect the Armenian cultural and religious heritage in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, the territories which passed under the control of Azerbaijan.”
“Does not reflect the position of the government” – comment of the representative of the French Foreign Ministry
Although the resolution was presented on behalf of the ruling Renaissance faction, according to a spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry, “the text of the parliamentary initiative is not the government’s official position.” In a conversation with journalists, he stressed that the resolution was adopted absolutely independently in accordance with the principle of separation of powers.
“The position of the French government is known and has been repeatedly expressed by the minister, in particular on November 29 last year, namely: France continues to call on the parties to move forward in the negotiations in order to seize the chance of achieving peace.”
“Long live France!” – reaction from Yerevan
Speaker of the Armenian Parliament Alain Simonyan thanked the deputies of the National Assembly of France.
“We welcome the leadership of France in support of Armenia in the face of the aggressive policy and behavior of Azerbaijan and thank the National Assembly of France for the unanimous adoption of the relevant resolution. Long live France,” Simonyan wrote on Twitter.
“This is another provocation against Azerbaijan” – reaction from Baku
The Azerbaijani authorities reacted harshly to the resolution adopted by the French National Assembly. The Foreign Ministry issued an official statement saying that this is “another provocation against Azerbaijan.”
The statement says that the resolution:
- “aims to harm the process of normalization of relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia, as well as efforts to establish peace and stability in the region,
- clearly demonstrates France’s biased political stance, and thus its inability to act as a neutral and fair mediator.”
Baku maintained that the representative of the French government “actually defended this resolution” at the hearings. According to the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, this once again indicates that the French government is behind the resolution, which “recently has been openly promoting anti-Azerbaijani initiatives on various platforms.”
Political scientist Gurgen Simonyan does not believe that the resolutions adopted in November are of a formal nature, despite the statement by a representative of the French Foreign Ministry that they do not coincide with the position of the government. According to Simonyan, the adoption of these documents show that France has assumed the role of Armenia’s ally.
“This is a signal from Baku that if the Azerbaijani authorities try to continue their military-political aspirations in the region, relying on the potential of NATO member Turkey, then they should know that Armenia has the support of France, which is a member of the same alliance,” he told JAMnews .
Simonyan believes that if a targeted policy is pursued, Armenia can “receive a lot of benefits from this.”
He considers it quite realistic to fulfill the provisions of the resolution, in particular on the imposition of sanctions. Simonyan believes that the EU-Azerbaijan gas agreement will not interfere with this:
“If Baku becomes a threat to the military-political, infrastructure and power systems and ignores Western concepts and approaches, then the end of the gas contract will happen very quickly. Azerbaijan will find itself, to put it mildly, in an unenviable situation.”
Commenting on the issue of possible support for strengthening the defense capability of Armenia, Simonyan emphasizes that France is ready to provide large-scale assistance in training military personnel and developing strategies. He is believes that there is the possibility of supplying certain types of weapons of a defensive nature.
“Armenia’s membership in the Russian military bloc CSTO is a significant negative circumstance, but only in the sense that, in connection with this, technologies of strategic importance will not come here.”
Simonyan considers it possible that the UK will join the US and France to support Armenia.
He says that they can be attracted on the basis of the diversification of security policy and owing to their existential interests.
Many Armenian experts came to this conclusion, as during the discussion of the resolution MP Anne-Laurent Petel stated: “Since Russia is not able to help Armenia, we must offer it from France, Great Britain and the United States.”
According to Simonyan, the south of Armenia, the Syunik region, should be considered in the context of the security of the West: if Syunik is not Armenian, not only will it not be possible to ensure the viability of Armenia, but also “the world will face an infrastructure crisis.”
“If the infrastructure comes under the control of the Turkic world, do you think other countries will be able to use cheap transit routes? This will be another powerful lever of political blackmail and an opportunity to put the world in a no-win situation.“
Resolution by the National Assembly of France