TBILISI — Armenia is moving away from Russia and seeking closer links with NATO, according to Javier Colomina, the NATO secretary general’s special representative for the South Caucasus and Central Asia.
“Armenia has decided very clearly to make some shift in their foreign policy, to take some distance from Moscow,” Javier Colomina told Georgian state television in an interview aired on Monday. “We have welcomed that.”
“Armenia’s citizens are free to make decisions and this is what they have decided. In my view, Armenia has already started moving closer to us,” Colomina said, adding that Yerevan is now asking NATO for “more cooperation and political dialogue.”
The representative of the North Atlantic Alliance also expressed support to the process of normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which, in his words, is of fundamental importance for maintaining stability in the Caucasus.
“We were and remain part of a security architecture which has demonstrated its inefficiency, and any rational sovereign state would draw conclusions from that and try to use new tools for ensuring its security,” Arsen Torosyan, an Armenian lawmaker from the ruling Civil Contract party, said in this regard on Tuesday.
Torosyan did not clarify whether that means Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s government could eventually pull Armenia out of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
Pashinyan declared in early September that his government is trying to “diversify our security policy” because Armenia’s long-standing heavy reliance on Russia has proved a “strategic mistake.” He claimed that Moscow is “unwilling or unable” to defend its South Caucasus ally.