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European Union Plans to Assist Armenian Army with Non-Lethal Weapons

Vassilis Maragos

The European Union (EU) is considering offering "non-lethal" military aid to Armenia, aiming to boost the country's defense capabilities. Vassilis Maragos, the head of the EU Delegation in Yerevan, mentioned this during a parliamentary hearing on Armenia's "European integration."

The aid would be part of the European Peace Facility, a fund designated to enhance the defense capacity of EU partners. Armenian parliament speaker Alen Simonyan previously disclosed that Yerevan had sought "technical assistance" from the fund but was declined by Brussels.

In November, a delegation from the European Commission and External Action Service visited Yerevan to discuss the matter with Armenian leaders. They indicated that the EU would explore providing non-lethal support to the Armenian military through the European Peace Facility.

Maragos stated in early December that the EU would dispatch a "technical mission" to Armenia to assess the country's security needs and develop concrete proposals for such aid. However, there has been no official confirmation of this visit from either the EU or the Armenian government.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken are set to meet with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Brussels on Friday, April 5. The focus of the meeting will be on Western support for political and economic reforms in Armenia, amidst concerns expressed by Azerbaijan regarding the arming of Armenia.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev cautioned against arming Armenia during a phone call with Blinken, citing concerns about the European Peace Facility. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan has intensified criticism of an EU monitoring mission launched along Armenia's border, which has been expanded over the past year.

Maragos reiterated the EU's commitment to assisting the armed forces of Armenia with non-lethal weapons, emphasizing the importance of stabilizing and normalizing the situation in the South Caucasus.


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