Exclusive interview of the President International Center for Human Development (ICHD) Mr Tevan J. Poghosyan
What's new in Armenia's relations with the EU today?
After the Velvet Revolution in spring 2018, the EU has once again endorsed its commitment to continue deepening its relations with Armenia. Ratification of the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) is ongoing, and we hope that by May 2019 it can be concluded.
During the first ever visit of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Armenia, it was made clear that Germany would help with speeding up the process of visa liberalization.
The Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan paid a visit to Brussels during the NATO Summit and another to France, and many issues related to the overall relations between the EU and Armenia were discussed during these important visits. Hopefully, after the snap elections in Armenia in December 2018 and the formation of the new parliament and respectively, the new government, with the support of the EU, the reforms in Armenia in line with CEPA will result in a transformative change towards stronger democracy and economy.
After the Brussels summit to what extent will Armenia-NATO relations contribute to the regional security?
Armenia-NATO cooperation is now based on the bi-annual program of Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP), which has been the key mode of cooperation since 2006 and has never ceased. With every other year the number of related activities increases and the relations deepen, but the latter have always been based on the needs of Armenia and at the same time limited by Armenia’s membership to Collective Security Treaty Organization.
Armenia cooperates with NATO also by participating in two NATO-led peacekeeping operations in Kosovo and Afghanistan. We hope that all actions undertaken within the cooperation frameworks both with CSTO and NATO contribute to enhancing and improving Armenia’s security sector, and hence regional security.
What is new in Armenia's foreign policy today?
Perhaps the most important news is Armenia’s real commitment to building a strong democracy, and as democratic country Armenia emphasizes not only improvement of internal institutions and policies, but also implementation of its international commitments. As the Prime Minister has claimed on a number of occasions, Armenia is not going to make revisions to its foreign policy priorities, expressed in international agreements and commitments. The news is that from now on Armenia will not be a passive recipient of opportunities and challenges on the international political arena, but will instead be an active stakeholder in enhancing all its foreign relations with new ideas and activities.