Greece and Armenia to Increase Military Cooperation

What’s Happening

Armenia’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Greece, Tigran Mkrtchyan, on March 1st met with the Greek Minister of Defence. The two discussed a number of different things related to defence, and additionally announced that the Greek Defence Minister will be going to Armenia next week, in order to hold further discussions.

In December of 2023, Armenia’s Defence Minister visited Greece. During this visit, a series of agreements were reached, again regarding defence. The details of these agreements have not been publicly released. A key topic of the Ambassador’s meeting with the Greek Defence Minister was the implementation of these agreements.

Increased Cooperation

The series of visits between Defence personnel of Greece and Armenia highlights the quickly growing relationship between the two nations, as well as that of Armenia and the West in general. A few days ago, on February 27th, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan additionally visited Greece, and held meetings with Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

PM Mitsotakis announced increased cooperation in renewable energy and technology, but also spoke of Greek support for a series of reforms that Armenia is pursuing.

Over the past few months, Armenia has sought various different reforms for the nations’ democratic institutions, aimed at likening itself more to democracies within the EU. While the reforms have several purposes, a primary purpose is to better Armenia’s relationship with the EU.

PM Mitsotakis stated that “forming clear and transparent institutions”, with the support of the EU, “will allow attracting investments.”

Greece further announced diplomatic support for Armenia in establishing a peace agreement with Azerbaijan, as well as “the format for easing the lives of more than 100,000 people of Nagorno-Karabakh”, in reference to the approximately 120,000 refugees Armenia received from Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) after Azerbaijan took over the region in September/October of 2023.

Greece, Armenia, and sometimes Cyprus have held several joint military exercises in the past.

A Growing Trend

PM Mitsotakis stated that it was Greece’s responsibility “as a country of the European Union and the North Atlantic Alliance” to support the democratic reforms within Armenia, in order to assist in the formation of “a new liberal democracy”.

The increased Greek support for Armenia, particularly in the military sector, is another case in a growing trend of Armenian cooperation with western nations. Similar to Greece, France has also pledged support for Armenia’s democratic reforms, and has encouraged other EU countries to do the same.

Armenia, a traditional ally of Russia’s, has been making continuous moves towards the west after accusing Russia of failing to support it in it’s varying conflicts and issues against Azerbaijan.

Despite increased military cooperation with the west, no other realistic opportunities have presented themselves for Armenia to find a partner that provides legitimate security guarantees for Armenia like the CSTO was supposed to.

Sébastien Gray
Sébastien Gray
Sébastien Gray is a published journalist and historicist with over 5 years experience in writing. His primary focus is on East and West African affairs.

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