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Armenia considering applying for EU membership amid growing tensions with Russia

by Dmytro Basmat March 10, 2024 3:50 AM 2 min read
Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum (ADF) in Antalya, Turkiye on March 2, 2024. (Mehmet Emin Menguarslan/Anadolu via Getty Images)
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Armenia is considering applying for membership in the European Union, aiming to strengthen ties with Western countries amid growing tensions with Russia, Armenia's Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan revealed in an interview on March 9.

"Many new opportunities are largely being discussed in Armenia nowadays and that will not be a secret if I say that includes membership in the European Union," Mirzoyan said in an interview with Turkish TV channel TRT World.

Traditionally aligned with Russia in its regional conflict against Azerbaijan, Armenia has experienced heightened tensions with Russia after Russian "peacekeepers" did nothing to prevent Azerbaijan's September 2023 offensive into Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan said in February that Armenia had "frozen" its participation in the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) because it failed to uphold its objectives regarding Armenia.

The CSTO did not intervene during Azerbaijan's offensive in September 2023.

Since coming to power in a 2018 revolution, the government of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has steadily deepened the country's ties with the West while drawing condemnation from Russia.

Pashinyan and other Armenian officials have repeatedly accused Moscow of being an unreliable partner and sought to foster security ties with other countries, such as France, the U.S., or India.

In January 2023, Armenia joined the International Criminal Court becoming one of 124 countries obliged to arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin if he steps foot in national territory. The Kremlin decried the move as an "unfriendly step" and "the wrong decision."

Earlier this week, Armenia asked Russian "peacekeepers" who have been stationed at Yerevan's international airport since the country's independence to leave.

Armenia asks Russian ‘peacekeepers’ stationed at Yerevan’s airport to leave
A Russian “peacekeeping” force has been stationed at Zvartnots Airport since Armenia’s independence from the Soviet Union and outbreak of war with neighboring Azerbaijan.



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