Exclusive interview of the President International Center for Human Development (ICHD) Mr Tevan J. Poghosyan
1) How do You estimate current relations of Armenia with CSTO and NATO?
Armenia is a unique country that has committed to a policy of complementarity, i.e. building and maintaining relations with different international organizations and cooperating with sides that often are perceived as adversary and which many think to be impossible. However, Armenia seems to have adopted two directions within similar cooperation modes: it cooperates with CSTO and NATO on security, and with EAEU and the EU on economy and institutional development. It is natural that when there is no confrontation between Russia and the West, Armenia appears in a much easier situation, but with political confrontations it is very difficult to maintain the “and …and…” formula. Still, Armenia is trying.
In regard to the details of cooperation with CSTO, Armenia is fulfilling all its obligations and even if there are some issues raised in the Armenian society, usually about some tensions among the members, these usually refer to other members’ fulfilment of their obligations towards Armenia. One such key issue is selling arms to Azerbaijan, and by this, supporting the arm race in the region and contributing towards Azerbaijani militaristic pressure on Armenia.
As to cooperation with NATO, Armenia is considered a good partner and since 2005 has engaged in cooperation with NATO under IPAP framework. The recent IPAP for 2017-2019 is already endorsed and its implementation is underway. Besides Armenia contributes to NATO-led operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo and cooperates with the Allies and other partner countries in many other areas and NATO support for the country’s reform efforts is a priority.
2) Do You consider possible the combination of participation in the association with the European Union and participation in the Eurasian Economic Union?
On November 24, 2017 Armenia and the EU signed the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA), and the name of the agreement itself implies that classical perception of association with the European Union is no more there. However, we need to understand the very context of the Agreement, which essentially may bring us much closer to the Association Agreement. In addition, your question is about consideration of a possibility, which is strange, as the Agreement is already signed, and it means that all the EU member countries have considered it possible: they have agreed and signed an official document. Moreover, the EAEU did not make an issue of this as well, which also means that they are very well aware of the situation and it sees no problem with one of its members signing CEPA. Hence yes, I personally consider it possible.
3) What is the situation with the Armenian nuclear power plant today?
The Armenian Nuclear Power Plant is operating, and there is a special program on consistent monitoring and extension of its operations for another decade. It is natural that nothing is eternal in this world, and we understand perfectly well that in future Armenia would need to build another unit. Hence, there is already a concept developed for the future steps necessary for provision of energy security. For the upcoming decade, all the necessary details will be worked out and once the new unit becomes operational, the old one will stop. However, this is a matter of tomorrow, until the resources of the current unit are all utilized.