France | Defence cooperation agreement with Armenia
Defence Redefined
Published on 05/10/2023 at 08:05

France has agreed on future contracts with Armenia for the supply of military equipment for its defence, French Foreign Minister, Catherine Colonna, said on Tuesday as part of a visit to Yerevan.

It was the first trip by a Western Minister to Armenia since Azeri Armed Forces seized Nagorno-Karabakh on September 20, prompting a mass exodus of its Armenian residents.

Colonna traveled to Armenia to assess its immediate needs amid an influx of Armenian refugees from the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave and fears of possible military action by Azerbaijan against Armenia after the fall of Karabakh, according to Reuters.

She also said that she asked the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, to include Armenia in the EPF (European Peace Facility), which deals with military aid.

France will be vigilant about Armenia’s territorial integrity, Colonna said, hoping EU member states would send a clear message to anyone tempted to question Armenia’s sovereignty, without specifying what kind of military aid is intended to be received by Armenia.

Also read: Nagorno Karabakh | The development of an international observation organization in the foreground

It is noted that a week after Azerbaijani forces took control of the enclave, French MPs from across the political spectrum criticized the Macron government for not doing enough to help the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh. France also has 400,000 to 600,000 residents of Armenian origin.

Paris has already sent 12.5 million euros in humanitarian aid to Armenia and French officials have favored the idea of ​​EU sanctions on Baku. Yet, they admit there is reluctance within the EU to do so, just a year after a major energy deal to replace supplies coming from Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.

France and other Western countries are concerned about the possible destabilization of Armenia and its government after what is perceived as its abandonment by its historical ally Russia in recent weeks.

More than 100,000 Armenians have fled their homes in Nagorno-Karabakh, which is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but has been controlled by Armenian separatists since the 1990s, following a conflict after the fall of the Soviet Union.

With information from: Reuters, Euronews, France24

Also read: Azerbaijan – Armenia | Talks have begun




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