Russia tells EU the mission in Armenia “has distinct geopolitical underpinning”

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin discussed the situation in the South Caucasus with Toivo Klaar, the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus.

The Russian diplomat noted that the decision of Brussels to deploy a mission in Armenia “has a distinct geopolitical underpinning” that does not contribute to real stabilization in the South Caucasus.

The European Union launched on Monday 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.

The Operational Headquarters of the mission will be in Yeghegnadzor, in Armenia’s Vayots Dzor province. EEAS Managing Director of the Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability (CPCC) Stefano Tomat will serve as the Civilian Operation Commander, while Markus Ritter will serve as the Head of Mission.

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