Moscow sees the EU Mission in Armenia as an attempt to “squeeze Russia out of the region”

Russia sees geopolitical motives behind the European Union’s civilian mission in Armenia geared to squeeze Russia out of the region, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Monday, TASS reports.

“Regrettably, this is not the first time we see that the European Union is sparing no efforts to win a foothold in our allied Armenia. We see solely political motives, which are far from the interests of real normalization of relations in the South Caucasus. It is sparing no effort to squeeze Russia out of the region and weaken its historical role as a key security guarantor. Baku’s openly voiced negative views about this initiative are being ignored,” she said, commenting on the deployment of the EU civilian mission to Armenia.

According to Zakharova, “the European Unions’ record of settling regional conflicts is quite dubious.” “I don’t think Brussels can boast any achievements in this field. Enough to recall the European Union’s mediatory efforts and its mission in Kosovo,” she noted.

She stressed that a key factor of stability and security in the region in the foreseeable perspective is the package of agreements between the Russian, Azerbaijani and Armenian leaders. “The shortest way to improve the situation in the region lies via the comprehensive implementation of these agreements, including the unblocking of transport communication, the delimitation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, establishment of ties between peoples, experts, religious circles, parliamentarians of the two countries, and through peace treaty talks. Russia is ready to continue to promote this,” she said.

The European Union launched today the EU civilian mission in Armenia (EU Mission in Armenia / EUMA) under the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP).

The EUMA was formally established by a Council Decision on 23 January 2023. Through its deployment on the Armenian side of the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, the objectives are to contribute to stability in the border areas of Armenia, build confidence and human security in conflict affected areas, and ensure an environment conducive to the normalisation efforts between Armenia and Azerbaijan supported by the EU.

The total – exclusively civilian – staff of the EUMA will be approximately 100, including around 50 unarmed observers.

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