The fundamental goal of the foreign policy strategy of Armenia is to create guarantees for the security and economic prosperity of our country and people, to provide for stability and lasting peace in our region. The policy is being conducted in accordance with the norms of international law and is geared to establish good neighborly, reciprocally favorable relations with all states.
The key issues of Armenia’s foreign policy:
- secure required guarantees for protection of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state;
- create conducive external conditions for the sustainable development and economic progress;
- implement consistent democratic reforms;
- normalize relations with neighbour states and create necessary conditions for cooperation;
- build a stable system of equal and partnership relations based on bilateral and multilateral treaties, initiate and implement regional cooperation projects;
- further deepen and develop European integration;
- reach a peaceful and negotiated solution to Nagorno Karabagh conflict;
- expand involvement in international political and economic cooperation structures;
- develop Armenia-Diaspora relations and assist to safeguarding the distinct identity of Diaspora;
- pursue international recognition of Armenian Genocide.
The principle of “complementarity”
The foreign policy of Armenia is hinged on basic principles of complementarity and political reality. The principle of complementarity suggests that Armenia pursues its national interest building relations in international fora refraining from the competition and antagonism of forces, and relies on the potential of partnership and balance, thus developing effective relations simultaneously with all players in our vital environment. It is directed to keep the equilibrium in the region, to prevent the policy of dividing lines and resist the polarisation of geopolitical interests.
Armenia is guided by political reality while assessing its place and role in the region as well as in the play of relations of states that practise their interests therein. There is a clear understanding of the reach of country’s capabilities conditioned by political, economic and military potential. Also of importance are the limitations that ensue from the contradictory interests and goals pursued by different forces in the region.
Armenia, as a country actively involved in regional and global integrational processes, views itself as a full participant to those processes and as a part of international system still, in many respects, in the making. Armenia takes into account the common interests of international community. Involvement, in particular, is aimed at the enhancement of state’s international profile, acquisition of allies, securing its own role in international fora. Armenia will continue to expand and deepen its involvement in processes directly affecting the region.
Adherence to European integration broadens Armenia’s foreign policy perspectives.
The main components of Armenia’s security policy are:
- bilateral relations with Russia, cooperation in the defence and military-technical spheres, strategic partnership between two states, as well as Armenia’s membership to CSTO;
- full participation to NATO PfP program, including the PARP process, membership to the EAPC; the implementation of Individual Partnership Action Plan since the beginning of 2006 and other initiatives make it more result-oriented the cooperation and interaction between Armenia and the North Atlantic Alliance;
- membership to international security organizations, in particular to the OSCE, and adherence to strict implementation of arms control treaties (CFE);
- relations and military cooperation with NATO member states, for the most part with the US and Greece.
Armenia’s foreign policy priorities are: economic development and European integration.
The enhanced economic factor is included in Armenia’s foreign policy agenda and, in parallel with security factor, becomes a priority in regard to deepening of foreign relations, decision taking and implementation. The main directions of foreign economic policy are:
- safeguarding Armenia’s energy security, in particular, diversification of energy sources and power-generating substances;
- de-blockade, development and diversification of communication routes;
- search for new markets for exports, creation of favorable conditions for foreign trade;
- establishment of mutually beneficial economic ties, acquisition and use of new technologies;
- encouragement of foreign investments, securing assistance, loans and grants.
In the framework of European integration Armenia continues to consistently implement reforms aimed at building democratic institutions and civil society in line with European standards and principles.
Armenia’s inclusion in European Neighborhood Policy, signing and the beginning of the implementation of the Action Plan in 2006 was a significant progress on the path of European integration. These processes will make it possible for Armenia in the nearest future to move in some areas from the cooperation stage to integration stage with the EU.
European integration for Armenia is not an aim in itself. It will positively influence the social fabric, will help to strengthen democracy, civil society and rule of law. Eventually it will ascertain in Armenian and European perceptions that Armenia is an inalienable part of Europe.
EU has initiated a number of important regional programs (TRACECA, TACIS, INOGATE, Regional Environmental Centre) and their successful implementation will not only serve as a serious impetus for economic development, but will contribute to the atmosphere of mutual trust, stability and cooperation.
European integration includes also a security component and is viewed by Armenia in the context of Euro-Atlantic partnership.
Armenia’s foreign policy agenda on global issues includes:
- participation to the coalition of fight against international terrorism;
- active involvement in major international organizations;
- development of relations with Russia, US and EU as key players in regional processes;
- participation to European integration processes, involvement in Euro-Atlantic and post-soviet area cooperation structures.
Priorities of regional agenda are:
- further development of good neighbourly relations with immediate neighbours – Georgia and Iran;
- normalization of relations with Turkey;
- settlement of Nagorno Karabagh conflict and building relationship with Azerbaijan;
- strengthening of regional stability, development of mutually beneficial cooperation, inclusion of the country in international economic programs being implemented in the region.
Armenia simultaneously puts a lot of diplomatic effort to develop relations with China, India and Japan, as well as with a range of Latin American states.
Armenia will continue efforts to strengthen traditional friendly ties with Middle East countries and will give a push to relations with Gulf states.