ArmInfo.The deployment of a long-term EU mission along Armenia's border has given rise to a number of questions, Armenia's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Paruyr Hovhannisyan stated at a meeting of the Standing Committee on European Integration, RA Parliament.
The questions involve Russia and the West, both of which are making contradictory statements on the goals of the mission.
"We continue our work to explain the reasons for and goals of the mission," Mr Hovhannisyan said. He pointed out Iran has welcomed the deployment of the EU mission. The Iranian ambassador to Armenia stated recently that Tehran does not see any problems.
Mr Hovhannisyan highlighted the importance of further explanatory work with partners. Far fewer Azerbaijani provocations on Armenia's borders have been recorded since the EU mission was deployed, the official said, without citing specific figures.
Observers contribute to the local population's sense of security.
In its statements Russia expressed discontent with the fact, but necessary work is being done with Russian partners as well. Armenian FM Ararat Mirzoyan will soon pay a visit to Moscow, and the issue is likely to be discussed.
The European Union has launched the EU civilian mission in Armenia (EU Mission in Armenia / EUMA) under its Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).
The EUMA is a neutral and non-executive mission, which will have a two-year mandate, and was formally established by the European Council decision on 23 January 2023.
The Mission will be deployed on the Armenian side of the Armenia-Azerbaijan border and will 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 one hundred persons, including around fifty unarmed observers.
The Operational Headquarters of the mission will be in Yeghegnadzor, in Armenia's Vayots Dzor province. EEAS Managing Director of 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. EUMA was preceded by an EU Monitoring Capacity in Armenia (EUMCAP).
The latter had deployed EU observers from the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia from 20 October until 19 December 2022.
On January 23, the EU Council agreed to establish a civilian European Union Mission in Armenia (EUMA) under the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).
The objective of the Mission is to contribute to stability in the border areas of Armenia, building confidence on the ground, and ensuring an environment conducive to normalisation efforts between Armenia and Azerbaijan supported by the EU.