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Pashinyan in Strasbourg confirms Armenia’s foreign policy vector is changing

October 17 2023, 23:00

On October 17, Nikol Pashinyan made a speech in the European Parliament, which not only drew a line under the negotiation process with Azerbaijan, which started under the patronage of the EU in 2021, but also clearly outlined Nikol Pashinyan’s foreign policy priorities and demonstrated the existing problems in negotiations with official Baku.

In Nikol Pashinyan’s speech, we not only heard again that the CSTO and the “security ally”, that is, Russia, failed to help Armenia when Azerbaijan occupied a number of Armenian territories in May 2021, but also a statement was made that the purpose of this aggression and leaving Armenia alone with Azerbaijan was a desire to destroy the independence of Armenia and appoint a puppet ruler in the country. In other words, Baku and Moscow were accused of trying to carry out a violent change of power in Armenia through military aggression.

Moreover, it becomes clear from Pashinyan’s speech that the Armenian leadership believes that the protests in Yerevan that took place from September 19 to 23 were a manifestation of the desire of the allies to change the government in the country, “to destroy Armenian democracy.”

Pashinyan’s speech can also be perceived as a confirmation of the failure of his own foreign policy and a call to the EU in general and to the European Parliament in particular to “support Armenian democracy” and bring Baku to the negotiating table “to sign a document recognizing the territorial integrity of Armenia.”

The part of Pashinyan’s speech in which he reiterated his readiness to “negotiate on the topic of enclaves” (in other words, to surrender “enclaves” to Azerbaijan) again demonstrated the misery of pro-government propaganda, which after the meeting in Granada convinced society that such a topic was not even on the agenda of the negotiations.

Pashinyan also personally confirmed what representatives of a number of Armenian political forces and representatives of the expert community have been saying for a long time: Azerbaijan in a very peculiar way “recognizes the territorial integrity of Armenia”, insisting that the delimitation and demarcation take place according to the maps that Azerbaijan will point to after the signing of the “peace treaty”. Pashinyan’s words prove that, although it seems surreal to many, Ilham Aliyev does not recognize the territorial integrity of not only Armenia but also Azerbaijan, since he refuses to recognize not only the Armenian 29,800 square kilometers, but also his own 86,600 square kilometers. Aliyev wants demarcation and delimitation on his own terms, with all that this entails.

Pashinyan concluded his speech with a statement about his desire to “get closer to the EU to the extent that is considered possible in Brussels.” In this regard, it would be interesting to hear the comments of those Armenian and Russian experts, politicians, and officials who, referring to the words of Nikol Pashinyan in his latest interview, stated that “Nikol has returned to the pro-Russian vector of foreign policy.”

And one more curious nuance: on October 4 and 5, Nikol Pashinyan took part in the 3rd summit of the European Political Community.

On October 13, apparently referring to “important matters”, Pashinyan refused to attend the meeting of the Council of CIS Heads of State.

On October 16, Nikol Pashinyan left for Strasbourg to hold meetings with a number of European officials, and on October 17, his speech in the European Parliament was scheduled.

What exactly happened on October 13 that required the personal presence of Nikol Pashinyan in Armenia?

The vector of Armenia’s foreign policy is changing. And this is being done in conditions when the collective West is not able—or simply does not want—to guarantee the security and territorial integrity of Armenia, not to mention guarantees for the return of Armenians to Karabakh. This only confirms that, having lost Artsakh, we have failed to solve our security problems.

This also confirms that Armenia will continue to be in a state of “political turbulence”, with the military infrastructure and enemy troops advancing to its border on a huge area of contact, the area that was previously controlled by the Artsakh Defense Army and was part of the system of legitimization of the Armenian borders.