Armenia-NATO relations based on direct dialogue and cooperation

Liana Yeghiazaryan
Public Radio of Armenia

“Armenia’s cooperation with NATO has only been developing over the past twenty years. “These relations are based on direct dialogue and cooperation,” Representative of NATO Public Diplomacy Division Despina Afentouli said at the presentation of the “Armenia-NATO: Modern History” book at the NATO Information Center in Armenia.

Armenia cooperates with NATO not only in the field of defense by sending peacekeeping forces to Afghanistan and other regions, but also on issues of regional security, protection of human rights, fighting terrorism and corruption, etc.

Armenia’s cooperation with NATO takes place within the framework of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and the Partnership for Peace Program.

Despina Afentouli noted that NATO respects Armenian foreign policy priorities – from politics to science and prevention of emergency situations.

Should Azerbaijan unleash war against Armenia, it will mean a clash between the principles of CSTO and NATO. As CSTO member state, Armenia will actually have to fight against a country, which has allied military relations with a NATO member state (Turkey). Is NATO concerned about this?

Despina Afentouli said they have not envisaged such a situation. “On the other hand, we know that you have disagreements with Turkey. There was an attempt of dialogue in the past. We have always supported and continue to support that dialogue,” she said.

Could the suspension of cooperation with Russia negatively affect the relations with CSTO member states or Russia’s partner countries? NATO representative Despina Afentouli reminded that NATO is now increasing its military presence in all countries having a shared border with Russia and declaring that Russia should reconsider its foreign policy.

“At the same time NATO has no relations with CSTO; therefore, there can be no new approaches. On the other hand, the protection of our allies remains the most important principle,” she said.

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