Friday, 13 December 2019

E Editorial

Will Armenia be able to benefit from favorable external developments?

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In recent days, domestic political life in Armenia has undergone a stormy change. The trial of the second president, Robert Kocharyan, accused of overthrowing the constitutional order, played the role of a catalyst, thanks to which the reform of the judiciary was subjected to “surgical intervention” and turned into the only political agenda for representatives of the executive and legislative branches. Therefore, a number of events and developments in the foreign policy sphere, which are of great importance for Armenia, remained out of the public eye.

The jubilee summit dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the EU Eastern Partnership was held in Brussels on May 13-14, after which the Declaration was adopted. However, the summit participants decided not to give it a higher status in order to prevent Azerbaijan from interfering with the signing of the document. As a result, instead of the signatures of the representatives of the Partnership countries, the text of the Declaration was signed only by the EU Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini. This was due to the fact that Azerbaijan’s request to include the problem of the country's territorial integrity was categorically rejected by official Brussels, which presented Baku with an unpleasant surprise. The EU position is a direct evidence of the recognition of the state interests of Armenia in the Artsakh issue.

Another important event was the meeting of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan with President Xi Jinping on May 14, during a working visit to the People's Republic of China. The influence of China in the modern world is enormous, and, as in other regions, in the Caucasus and the Middle East, the military-political balance is sometimes maintained by the tacit, but substantial involvement of China in political processes. From this point of view, Xi Jinping’s words that they know the Armenian people well and that the tragic events with the Armenian people should be excluded in the future, and the common goals of cooperation of civilizations should unite the peoples of Armenia and China - this is a good opportunity for further expansion strategic partnership between the two countries.

On May 15, against the background of deepening relations with official Brussels and Beijing, statements by the newly appointed US ambassador to Armenia, Lynn Tracy, appeared in the press. According to the ambassador, Armenia, although geographically and historically connected with Russia, however, according to its values, is connected with the West.

The United States understands and appreciates a wide range of bilateral and multilateral international relations of Armenia. Armenia as a sovereign, democratic state makes its choice on the basis of its national interests, and official Washington understands that, based on geographical and historical realities, our country has strong ties with Russia. According to Tracy, the United States believes that Armenian-Russian relations cannot and do not keep Armenia from forming close and mutually beneficial relations with the United States, the European Union and other possible partners.

The above facts once again prove that after the velvet revolution, the “windows” on the foreign policy front appeared, which opened new horizons for assessing the role and place of Armenia in the region, for accepting a new role in the region, and for wider expansion in international relations. By the way, foreign diplomatic missions, the US embassy, the PACE co-rapporteurs, the EU ambassador also expressed their support for the government initiating judicial reforms, noting that they welcome and support the changes to be made in accordance with the country's constitution.

It is obvious that a wide field has been created for bilateral and multilateral international relations. The extent to which Armenia will be able to realize this opportunity will depend on the political and diplomatic professionalism of the government.

The Armenian Center for National and International Studies

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Yerevan, Armenia

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